New Chief Commercial Officer appointed to Lead Procurement for Defence

Line of Defence Magazine - Update

Nicki Lau Young
Nicki Lau Young joins NZDF as Chief Commercial Officer. Image: LinkedIn/Canva.

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has appointed former Transpower procurement head Nicki Lau Young to the role of Chief Commercial Officer.


According to the announcement by the NZDF on LinkedIn, as new CCO, Nicki brings more than two decades of commercial leadership experience from across the energy and transport sectors.

“Throughout her career Nicki has led the development and implementation of various long term procurement strategies and programmes to ensure commercially sustainable arrangements.”

Nicki was at Transpower NZ Limited for close to 20 years in a range of senior leadership positions. As Head of Procurement for Transpower, she was responsible for providing commercial advice, procurement and sourcing, supply chain management and warehousing for New Zealand’s National Grid.

“I’m excited by this new chapter as Chief Commercial Officer for the New Zealand Defence Force and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

As Project Director and then Programme Director at Greater Wellington Regional Council, she led the development of the future operating model for Wellington’s public transport services, and rolled out electronic ticketing on Wellington’s rail network.

She has also held commercial, legal, and taxation roles  across several organisations in a career dating back to 1998. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington.

“As Chief Commercial Officer for the New Zealand Defence Force Nicki will lead a dedicated team providing strategic and operational procurement and commercial management services,” stated the NZDF announcement.

“I’m excited by this new chapter as Chief Commercial Officer for the New Zealand Defence Force and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together,” said Nicki on the appointment.

“We would like to take the opportunity to thank Barbara McCallum, who stood in as Chief Commercial Officer, and Vanessa White, as Deputy Chief Commercial Officer,” stated the announcement. “Their guidance and leadership have been instrumental in ensuring commercial activities during this transition period have run smoothly.”

Paul Howard held the role of Chief Commercial Officer from November 2015 to September 2023, subsequently returning to the UK where he is currently Director Global Indirect Procurement for National Grid, the largest electricity transmission and distribution business in the UK.

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