New Zealand

Join Us

“YPY NZ has been established to help young New Zealand marine professionals extend their network, influence and skill within the New Zealand and global yachting and marine industries.”

Chris Gibbs – Co-founder of YPY New Zealand

Our Chapter

Young Professionals in Yachting was originally founded in South Florida to create a platform for young professionals in the marine and yachting industries to meet regularly, network with their peers and build skill sets to support their growth within the industry.

The goal of the New Zealand charter is to up-skill its members through facilitating networking events, meeting, up-skilling seminars and to be seen as a strong representative group representing young professionals in the New Zealand marine industry.

New Zealand members will be invited to participate in international YPY events, take advantage of their networking opportunities and be part of the global YPY family.

Board Members

Meet the board of YPY New Zealand

Stacey Cook

Events & Export Manager, NZ Marine Industry Association

From a young age Stacey has always been out on the water - fishing, cruising and enjoying the relaxed ocean life, so applying for a job at New Zealand’s only and leading marine industry association was a no brainer. Since starting at NZ Marine in 2010 Stacey has become the Event and Export Manager, managing up to 10 events per year including New Zealand’s largest on water boat show – the Auckland On Water Boat Show in September in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, New Zealand. She's a key figure in ensuring New Zealand's marine reputation maintains its place on the global stage and enjoys helping companies reach their potential in the international marketplace. Stacey is passionate about providing young professionals in New Zealand a platform in which they can network, upskill and enhance their professional career and is looking forward to growing the newest Chapter in New Zealand.

Stacey Cook
Vice President

Isla McKechnie

Albatros PR

For the last six years, Isla has been helping businesses tell the story they want to tell, to the audience they want to reach through her PR agency, Albatross PR. Seeing both young and established companies extend their influence in the marine and superyacht sectors means she's passionate about the future of the market and keen to see the next generation take their place on the world stage. Beginning her career in journalism in Auckland, stints in Brisbane and Rome saw her hone her writing skills before a move to London introduced her to the superyacht industry through a job in a sector publishing house. Eventually her love of the ocean won out over city life though, and now there's nowhere she'd rather be than in New Zealand helping promote southern hemisphere companies to the world.

Isla McKechnie
Board Member

Andrew Clouston

Operations Manager for the AC36, Maritime NZ

Andrew has been lucky enough to make a career in the sport he loves. He is the chief operating officer for Yachting New Zealand, the national sports body for sailing in New Zealand, fostering all levels of the sport from grassroots to the Olympic Games. Andrew also has role with World Sailing, the world body for the sport, looking after development in Oceania, including emerging nations.
Andrew sees a YPY as a huge opportunity to connect the talented pool of people involved in the sport to successful leadership careers in the marine industry.

Andrew Clouston
Board Member

Chris Gibbs

Board Member

Growing up in the idyllic Bay of Islands, New Zealand, Chris was drawn at a very young age to the ocean and developed a passion for diving and fishing. The Bay of Islands was Chris’ home for the first 19 years of his life before moving to London. At 21 Chris sailed for three months around South East Asia before finding a home in Canada for seven months and eventually moving back to New Zealand.
In 2014 Chris moved to Auckland and answered his calling to work in the marine industry, starting as national account manager for Oceanmax. In the past four years he has not only used his existing passion for the marine industry to grow Oceanmax’ sales internationally but found a new drive to help grow New Zealand marine business and drive young people in the marine industry to success. As well as being the international sales manager for Oceanmax, Chris sits on the boards of NZ Marine and the NZ Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation, and is chairman of the NZ Marine Commercial Vessels and Big Engine Group, and founder and chairman of YPY NZ.

Chris Gibbs
Board Member

Zoe Pajot

Maritime Legal Advisor

Zoe Pajot grew up in a family of sailors. She was admitted to the French Bar from end of 2014 to end of 2017, after completing a Master Degree in “Law and Safety of Maritime Activities” at Southampton (UK) and Nantes (France) Universities.

Her background includes working on short terms contracts for the French Delegation at IMO (London), the Maritime Safety Division of the French Ministry in charge maritime affairs (Paris), and at the Legal Department of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC France).

She decided to move to Auckland when ETNZ won the Cup and joined Hesketh Henry in March 2018 to assist the Litigation and Transport teams with shipping and yachting matters.
She advises in particular on maritime contracts (carriage of goods, construction, refit and maintenance, sale and purchase, charter party) marine insurance, casualties such as collisions, dismasting or salvage and yacht registration.

Zoe Pajot – Mellano

Nick Barnett

Special Project Manager, Sealegs

Born and raised in the U.K, Nick relocated to NZ as a teenager and has pursued his passion for boats and engineering from a young age.

He began his professional career at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare but his interest in the marine sector was strong, when an opportunity at Alloy Yachts - New Zealand's leading custom yacht builder - came up, he went for it. With a few years experience and some exciting projects under his belt, including a stint in the naval sector, Nick moved back to the U.K. to take a role with Sunseeker - the world's busiest production superyacht yard.

Nick has a wealth of marine engineering and manufacturing knowledge having led systems, hardware, deck fit, interior and small craft design teams, as well as production integration and managing multiple yacht customisation projects through Sunseeker's famed bespoke design service. Now back in New Zealand, Nick is driving amphibious boat technology innovation as part of the Sealegs design and development team.

Nick sees YPY as a platform to show young engineers and other professionals that the marine sector can be challenging but hugely rewarding, whilst providing a network to support continued development and growth.

Nick Barnett
Board Member

Kit Carlier

Kit Carlier Design

Kit grew up in New Zealand and was introduced to the ocean and boating at a very early age. His passion for the sea meant the progression into the Marine Industry was inevitable.
Kit founded Kit Carlier Design, a yacht architecture and interior design studio in 2014 following a professional career as a qualified boat builder, project and production manager and lead designer for many iconic yards and projects.
Kit brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his 22-year career and is passionate about the marine industry and its future.

Kit Carlier
Board Member

Dave Wild - Futurist
At a seminar held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, YPY welcomed Dave Wild; a futurist who aimed to helped members up-skill their leadership abilities and create their own futures, faster. Wild has significant experience working as a strategist and innovator for design, marketing and innovation consultancies and has led workshops in New Zealand, Australia and the US. With members taking part in a number of interactive activities to get them employing new thought strategies and approaches to their companies, the event was a resounding success – topped off with networking drinks alongside the America's Cup.

Membership is annual based on the calendar year January – December

Full Member - Join between January and June
NZ$150 + GST
Paid Yearly
Full Member - Join between July and December
NZ$75 + GST
Paid Yearly
Membership Application
Contact us

 Stacey Cook:

Young Professionals in Yachting / New Zealand

Join Us At Our Next Meeting

Regular Meetings

Please check our events calendar for more details