Chief Executive and Board

Chief Executive

Having lived in Christchurch for most of his life, Peter Jensen joined Southern Response as Chief Executive in July 2016.

Over the last 25 years Peter has held senior executive and management positions in a range of industries. Before joining Southern Response, Peter worked for six years as Chief Executive of Spanbild Holdings Ltd, a large Christchurch-based construction company with multiple business units operating across Australasia. In this role Peter oversaw many innovative housing initiatives focussed on speeding up residential construction. Prior to this, Peter worked with Skellerup Industries Limited and Hally Group Ltd.

He is currently a Director of Odyssey House, a local residential and day programme based in Burnside for people in the community with drug and alcohol addictions. 


Christchurch born and educated, Ross Butler is a professional director, with a range of governance roles on commercial, Crown entity, sporting, and community Boards and trusts. After spending most of his executive and governance career in financial service and insurance entities in Australia, Ross is now based in both Christchurch and Nelson. He is currently chairman of Ōtākaro Ltd, Rangitane Holdings Limited and Rangitane Investments Limited, a Director of Regenerate Christchurch, and a Member of the Code Committee (Financial Advisers Act). Ross is also the chairman of Mercer New Zealand Limited and Mercer Investments Australia Pty Ltd. He has previously been deputy chair, and chair of audit and risk committee, of GNS Science.

Deputy Chair

Originally from Christchurch, Wanakabased Anne Urlwin has more than 20 years experience as a professional director, chartered accountant and business consultant in an extensive range of sectors. Anne also has senior management experience in the corporate sector including in the IT and meat industries. Anne is currently chairman of commercial construction group Naylor Love. She became a director of Chorus Ltd upon the Telecom demerger in late 2011. She is also a director of Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, Summerset Group Holdings Ltd and of One Path Life (NZ) Ltd, an ANZ Bank subsidiary company.

Jenn Bestwick's professional career has been largely in strategy and business development and includes previously leading the strategic consulting practice for KPMG in Auckland. After moving to Christchurch in 1996, Jenn worked for Ngai Tahu for a number of years and subsequently with local authorities, iwi and the primary and hydro-generation sectors on fresh water management in the Canterbury region. Jenn is currently chair of Ara Institute of Canterbury (formerly Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology), a Lead Reviewer, PIF Panel for the State Services Commission and Advisory Panel Member for Development West Coast. She is a former Board member of Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Learning Media Limited.

Christchurch born and educated, Bevan Killick is a chartered accountant and a chartered insurance practitioner (UK). During his professional career, Bevan held senior positions in the Lloyd’s Insurance Market for 12 years. Now based back in Christchurch, Bevan is a professional director where his roles include being Chairman of St John of God Hauora Trust and Director of Royal Society of the Arts, Australia and NZ. He is also Trustee of the Christchurch Arts Festival. In the post earthquake era Bevan also worked with Recover Canterbury, the organisation responsible for helping businesses recover from the Canterbury earthquakes.

Susan Thodey is admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand and as a solicitor in England. She is a former managing partner of the Auckland based partnership of Heaney & Partners, for whom she currently acts as a consultant. For the past 25 years Susan has been employed by local and overseas insurance companies to advise on a wide range of insurance related matters including policy advice and claims management. She has also acted for local government with an emphasis in recent years on construction disputes.