Our writers

Meet the people responsible for writing stories and running tests here at Consumer NZ.

Erin Bennett

Product Test Writer

Erin is a self-confessed geek who loves sci-fi, particularly Doctor Who. She has a background in web usability and e-learning systems. Erin’s content areas include computing, such as laptops, PCs, software, printers, hard drives and kitchen whiteware. Her mission is to help people understand the key information they need to be informed and confident consumers. Erin’s personal interests include reading and Taiko (Japanese) drumming.

Belinda Castles

Research & Test Writer

Belinda is our food and health writer. She studied nutrition and marketing and in her many years at Consumer she’s analysed more food labels than she cares to count. Since becoming a mum, Belinda is passionate about restricting the marketing of food to children and educating parents to make healthier choices for their kids. Belinda also writes about sunscreens and sunbeds, plus small kitchen appliances such as juicers, blenders and food mixers.

Aneleise Gawn

Consumer Advocate

Aneleise was a lawyer in a previous life. After having children, she realised there was more to life than law so she took on the role of Consumer Advocate at Consumer NZ. Aneleise spends most of her time at Consumer co-ordinating campaigns and writing submissions on behalf of Consumer NZ. The highlight of her career at Consumer NZ so far has been the launch of the very successful “Do Not Knock” campaign.

Nick Gelling

Product Test Writer

Nick can’t decide if he prefers words or numbers, but he’s a big fan of both. He helps consumers understand technological products, so they don’t get swindled when buying a new computer or camera. When he’s not looking at a screen, Nick loves theatre and live music. Kei te ako ia i Te Reo Māori.

Jessica Keane

Digital Journalist

Jessica comes from a background in video media production, and creative writing. Having been involved with not-for-profits and social services, Jessica strives to produce work that contributes to a more equitable society. When she's not behind her work laptop, you'll find Jessica in front of a movie screen or scouting the city in search of the best baked goods.

Amy McNabb

Product Test Writer

Amy has a long-standing passion for researching and comparing products to provide helpful buying advice for others. She did it for fun prior to joining Consumer NZ, with a particular interest in outdoors adventure equipment. She appreciates functional design, and likes to see products performing their primary functions well rather than having excessive features that underperform. Amy loves to get outdoors – mountain biking, tramping and taking her dog out on local adventures – and she’s been a karate practitioner since 2001.

Ruairi O'Shea

Investigative Writer

Ruairi has a background in strategic insight and the analysis of societal trends. He has recently arrived in New Zealand from the UK where he worked to help businesses and government departments develop a better understanding of the emerging factors and forces shaping their futures. Outside of work Ruairi likes riding his bike and exploring the country in his campervan.

James le Page

Test Content Team Leader

James has a background in running civil construction laboratories, which fostered an enquiring mind and a passion for producing quality results. This work, along with a childhood being raised on lifestyle blocks, has also given him the idea that he can swing a hammer and use anything that plugs in or has a motor. On his off days, James is a keen mountain biker and loves to travel.

Vanessa Pratley

Investigative Writer

Vanessa has just completed a law degree and thinks writing for Consumer is a great way to help others and to engage in the areas she’s passionate about. These include fashion and sustainability, climate change and the ins and outs of the law. In her spare time, she considers herself a bit of a history buff, an amateur gardener, and loves sewing her own clothes.

Paul Smith

Test Manager

Paul manages Consumer’s product test programme. He has spent most of his career pushing user-focused quality into the design and manufacture of cars in the UK, and educating design engineers of the future in New Zealand. Paul wants Consumer’s independent tests to empower people to make informed purchase decisions. He’ll only be satisfied when he rids the world (or at least New Zealand) of underperforming, poorly designed products.

Rebecca Styles

Research Team Leader

Joining the Consumer team has combined Rebecca’s love of research, writing and helping people. She’s worked in public and research libraries, communications and studied creative writing. Her mission is to research topics that matter to consumers, helping them tell a real deal from a fake and make sustainable choices. Outside of work, she’s a New Zealand literature geek, writes the odd book review and walks her dog on local tracks.

Bryan Wall

Product Test Writer

Bryan has a background in product design and is passionate about the way products look as well as the way they perform. He has designed a wide variety of products in his career, from tools to remove car windscreens, methadone delivery devices for recovering drug addicts, automated toilets, and scale model aircraft for Sir Peter Jackson. He sees writing for Consumer NZ as a huge opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of consumers in this country, by advising them how good design can improve their lives.