Who We Are

Hotel Council Aotearoa (HCA) serves the entire hotel industry.


Our Strategic Director

James Doolan

Strategic Director


James has recently returned to New Zealand after 13 years in Hong Kong including 10 years at Marriott International where he was Regional VP Hotel Development responsible for new growth across multiple brands in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Vietnam and Thailand. Prior to joining Marriott James practised as a corporate lawyer with Bell Gully in Auckland and Norton Rose in Hong Kong. He is also principal of boutique hospitality consultancy, Fantail Advisory.

Our Board

Lani Hagaman

HCA Chair

Executive Chair Scenic Hotel Group

As Executive Chair of Scenic Hotel Group, Lani works closely with her extended team to oversee the operation of the company’s 18 hotels throughout New Zealand and the Pacific, and its Corporate Support Office in Christchurch.

Scenic Hotel Group represents New Zealand’s largest privately owned and operated hotel business with a network of hotels in both metropolitan cities and provincial centres, as well as tourist markets in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Lani’s career with Scenic Hotel Group began in 1987 when she was employed as a financial controller. Today she sits at the top table, assisted by the company’s Board of Directors, overseeing the Group’s strategic direction and growth prospects.

Lani is passionate about tourism as well as Scenic Hotel Group’s involvement in local communities and is a very active philanthropist, continuing the legacy established by her late husband Earl Hagaman. Lani is the current chair of the Helen Anderson trust – a centre that provides support for people aged 18 and up with mental and physical disability.

Ken Orr

Vice President Operations Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand
Ken is Vice President Operations for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand (MCK) leading operation of the group’s 19 owned and managed hotels throughout New Zealand.
He has worked for MCK in various managerial and operational roles over the past 24 years in Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch and Wellington. Prior to taking up his current role in April this year, Ken was General Manager of MCK’s Grand Millennium Auckland, the largest hotel in New Zealand, a position he held for three years.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ken holds an Honours degree in economics from Stirling University and has previously worked for MacDonald hotels in the UK.
He has an established reputation as a customer and sales focused hotel manager.

Simon White

General Manager Hotel Operations New Zealand Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd

Simon White commenced his career in the hospitality industry in 1989, working his way up through the industry for various hotel chains in Australia before moving to New Zealand in 2001 where he commenced working for Rydges Hotels & Resorts (EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment).

Since this time Simon has held various General Manager and Area General Manager roles and currently holds a senior leadership position with EVENT Hospitality and Entertainment as General Manager Hotel Operations, New Zealand.

The Event Group’s hospitality division operates QT Hotels & Resorts, Rydges Hotels & Resorts, Atura Hotels brands and an independent collection of Hotels through license or franchise agreements.

Michael Patterson

General Manager and Director Commodore Airport Hotel Ltd

Michael grew up in the hotel business when his family founded the Commodore in December 1971 when Michael was only 4 years old.

Michael attended St Bede’s College and then Christchurch Polytech before going on to complete a Traineeship with the Tourist Hotel Corporation.

Gaining experience at the Hermitage Mount Cook, Wairakei Resort Taupo and the THC Te Anau, Michael also worked in Australia for Park Royal and Travelodge before returning home in 1994.

After a stint in the UK working at London’s Cumberland Hotel. Michael became General Manager at the Commodore in 1998.

Michael works in partnership with his two brothers Ken and Thomas. The Patterson brothers have a strong commitment to the Hotel Industry and have grown the Commodore to become a 160 Room property. They also entered the Queenstown market four years ago purchasing the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel.

Michael is married to Michelle and they have a busy life with four sons.

Marcus Reinders

CEO, NZ Hotel Holdings

Marcus Reinders has recently returned to New Zealand to take up the position of CEO for NZ Hotel Holdings.  Marcus has over 30 years’ experience working in hotels. He started his working life as a houseman and bellman at the Sheraton (now the Cordis) in Auckland.  Over the past few years, Marcus has worked in area roles for Marriott International, including in Europe where he oversaw 500+ properties.  NZ Hotel Holdings is a joint venture between NZ Super Fund, the Russell Group and Lockwood Property Group.  Its hotels include Four Points by Sheraton Auckland, Adina Hotel Auckland,  BreakFree on Cashel Christchurch, Rydges Rotorua, Sofitel Queenstown, QT Auckland and Rydges Wellington.

Tony Rose

Director, Colwall Property Investment Group

Tony Rose has worked as part of the team for Colwall Property Investment group for over 20 years, including the last six years as director.  He began as group financial controller.  Tony is part of the executive team overseeing eight hotels located throughout New Zealand with seven being managed and one operated directly.  Colwall are the owners of the Crowne Plaza Auckland, Novotel Rotorua Lakeside, IBIS Rotorua, Intercontinental Wellington, Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square, IBIS Christchurch, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside and Kamana Lakehouse as well as commercial properties in Auckland and Wellington.

Rachael Nicholson

Group General Manager Operations, Heritage Hotels

Rachael Nicholson is an accomplished tourism executive with over 23
years’ global experience in the cruise and airline industries. Rachael
joined Heritage Hotel Management in August 2022 as Group General
Manager Operations.

Prior to joining Heritage Hotel Group, Rachael was at Air New Zealand
responsible for leading the airline’s Covid-19 response, Global ReStart programme of work, and the establishment of services to New
York. During her 18-year career at Air New Zealand her portfolios of
responsibility spanned sales, revenue, operations, supply chain,
marketing and strategic alliances.

Rachael has a B.Sc and an M.Sc (Hons) from the University of
Canterbury and published papers in the Journal of Travel Research
and the Journal of Vacation Marketing. Rachael is keen to inspire and
support the next generation of leaders and is a regular mentor for the
not-for-profit Travel Industry Mentor Experience (TIME) organisation.

Ronnie Ronalde

Group Operations Manager

Industry stalwart Ronnie Ronalde has devoted 30 years of his life to
the New Zealand hotel industry, and is well-known for his
contributions to industry issues and events, legislation and
representing the hotel sector on international event committees.
Ronnie has realised the vision of positioning CPG Hotels as an
enviable group while driving up to triple digit increases in revenue
year on year, overseeing multi-million dollar refurbishments and
leading an exceptional team, including a pivotal role in the creation
and establishment of the CPG Hotels new luxury brand, Fable Hotels
& Resorts.
His commitment to introducing initiatives that bring to life values
that guide guest experience, environmental awareness and social
purpose are signature actions that reinforce Ronnie’s unwavering
focus on excellence across the group

Advisory Panel

Karl Luxon

CEO – Scenic Hotel Group

Karl has extensive hotel management and operational expertise. In his 30+ year professional career he has developed a deep knowledge of the region and the business functions supporting tourism.

As CEO of Scenic Hotel Group, New Zealand’s longest running hotel chain, Karl is ensuring the group is positioned to address opportunities in times of marked transformation in social, environmental, and technological aspects, via its Scenic Shift Strategy.

A former Executive at Millennium Hotels New Zealand MCK and New Zealand Tourism Future’s Taskforce advisor, Karl continually advocates for greater understanding and appreciation of the real value tourism adds to New Zealand’s economic success and positive international image.

He wants New Zealand to be the best tourist destination in the world but also the best hotel sector for investment, employment, and customer engagement.

Les Morgan

Chief Operating Officer of Sudima Hotels/Hind Management

Les Morgan is the Chief Operating Officer of Sudima Hotels/Hind Management. The Group has an annual turnover in excess of $60m NZD and is currently is experiencing a significant expansion including several new Hotels under development. Sudima Hotels was awarded New Zealand’s Supreme Tourism accolade in 2019.

His background includes experience in Hotels in both the UK and NZ with several of the world’s leading Hotel brands. Les is a previous winner of the Westpac ‘Excellence in Leadership’, ‘NZ Hotel -Senior Hotel Executive of the year’ and the recipient of Tourism Industry Aoteroa’s, ‘Industry Champion’.

Terry Ngan

Terry Ngan & Associates

Terry is a former asset manager for CP Group the largest hotel owner in New Zealand with 21 hotels.

He investigates international hotel investment opportunities for his clients and provides asset management services.

Terry has been asset manager for owners of hotels in New Zealand, French Polynesia, Samoa and Fiji.

He co-owned and operated the Horwath HTL hotel and tourism consulting firm in New Zealand prior to CP Group. Terry has also worked for 2 hotel chains based in Singapore and New Zealand.

Chris Ehmann

General Manager Hilton Queenstown and Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown

Chris Ehmann moved to Queenstown in April 2014 to take up the position of General Manager of Hilton Queenstown and Doubletree by Hilton Queenstown.

A Vancouver native with more than two decades experience in Europe, the Middle East and Australasia, Ehmann has a solid grasp and personal enthusiasm for the tourism industry.

He held in various positions with the InterContinental Hotel Group for six years including Assistant Manager, Acting Director of Human Resources and Front Office Manager. Ehmann first joined Hilton Worldwide as Director of Operations for Hilton Bucharest in Romania in 1998 and held senior positions for the group in Dubai, Cairo, Adeladie, Malaysia and Thailand.

Having served two years on the Board of the Adelaide Convention Bureau, he brings with him experience to support and help position Queenstown to compete on the world stage of meetings and business whilst creating the destination profile to international buyers.

Ehmann graduated with an MBA from Henley Management College in Oxfordshire, England in 2001. He since furthered his studies at the Cornell-Nanyang Institute as well as the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.