Our Team

Amanda Barker

Amanda is the Director of Pillar Consulting which she started in 2016 after moving back to New Zealand from Australia. With experience working in the coal mining sector in Central QLD, Amanda has also worked with a large number of organisations across NZ from a range of sectors since beginning Pillar three years ago.

Currently engaging with more than 20 businesses across NZ, Amanda has experience working in tough environments such as Ports, Farms, Orchards and Construction sites. She often engages with Boards and senior staff to ensure that they understand their duties when it comes to NZ Health and Safety and Employment legislation, as well as ensuring best practice systems and processes are implemented to build a strong culture.

Amanda sits on the BOP branch committee for NZISM (New Zealand Institute for Safety Management) and is passionate about providing her clients with tools and skills to build a strong health and safety and people culture. She thrives on having robust, educational conversations with people about their business and providing training and coaching sessions to staff, empowering them with the skills to do their jobs safely.

As a business owner, Amanda is also a member of the Business Women’s Network (BWN) committee in Tauranga and is passionate about seeing small businesses in NZ thrive. She was also the first Premium Partner in New Zealand to sign up to using the NZ owned ‘Safe365 – Intelligent Health and Safety Software System’, an online tool that has been named as one of the Top 50 Enterprise Start Ups in 2018 by APAC CIO Outlook.

Talk to Amanda 021 621 733

Katharina Schmidt


Kat joined the Pillar Consulting team in Tauranga in 2018, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and qualifications across a range of industries.

Having worked in the Kiwifruit industry in NZ, where she was a Health and Safety Manager for a local Bay of Plenty post-harvest operator company, as well as in the education sector as a Safety & Wellbeing Business Partner, Kat enjoys the variety of working with a range of Pillar Consulting clients.

Originally from Germany, Kat worked as an Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a multinational conglomerate company in the Renewable Energy sector, which had her regularly travelling across Europe as part of the management team of major offshore construction sites, planning and implementing safety initiatives throughout their various locations.

 She has a Bachelor of Engineering in Hazard Control as well as the German version of the NEBOSH Diploma (called SIFA in Germany) and has recently completed the NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety in NZ. She is a Graduate member of the NZISM (New Zealand Institute of Safety Management) and a member of Engineering New Zealand and the New Zealand Society for Safety Engineering.

 Kat is qualified to lead health and safety incident investigations. Her methodical, detail-oriented approach makes her particularly accomplished in this area and many of our clients highly value the conclusions that she articulates in her reports.

 Kat is passionate about what she does and loves educating others on health and safety initiatives, systems and processes as well as behaviours. She is process driven as well as results oriented, loves partnering with her clients and having exposure to a range of industries.

 Talk to Kat 022 353 9316

Mariska Smit

Mariska started her career in her country of origin South Africa and then relocated to the UK where in London she worked for a couple of large Recruitment Agencies, both of which have global footprints as a brand. After falling in love with New Zealand on a working holiday, she decided to make NZ her home. She has worked with three major Recruitment Agencies over the last 13 years with a variety of success and challenges as a senior consultant, or senior manager. As a recruitment professional Mariska can think with an innovative lens which has paid off for her previous employers, landing significant clients and training and developing high performing teams.

In her last role as Group General Manager for one of Wellingtons major recruitment players, the day to day would cover leading a team of Consultants and Administration staff, driving sales and ensuring the right culture was in place so that operationally the company would have excellent continuity.

Mariska gained accreditation on psychometric assessment interpretation and facilitation through OPRA Consulting; this is a powerful tool to ensure clients and candidates find the right fit which improves employee retention by making the right hiring decisions. In this role, she was also the Human Resource and Health and Safety Manager across Wellington and Auckland which she has a particular passion for and boded well for her next journey with us here at Pillar Consulting.

Talk to Mariska 027 528 4713

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