Startup Queenstown Lakes Trust board of trustees has announced the appointment of Olivia Wensley as new CEO of the Startup Queenstown Lakes, following the tenure of outgoing CEO James Burnes.

A Queenstown resident, Wensley has been a supporter of the southern startup hub’s activities since inception, was a member of the Chorus Gigatown Queenstown fibre broadband campaign team and has a passion for developing Queenstown Lakes into an attractive destination for investment and growth, particularly in the technology area.

Wensley, a former litigation lawyer and outspoken New Zealand #MeToo advocate, has most recently been part of the executive team at legal-tech startup, Automio.

Startup Queenstown Lakes Trust Chair, David Wallace, said, “We were inundated with applications for this role and were excited by the calibre of people who wanted to lead our organisation to continue to build on the foundations that James Burnes and the team have established. We have some exciting initiatives coming up which will be announced over the next few months and having a new CEO in place with a passion for a thriving startup and technology scene is key to driving a number of these.”

Startup Queenstown Lakes founding CEO James Burnes who stepped down from the role this month after relocating to the US, says, “Olivia brings to the table experiences as an entrepreneur, executive and lawyer that will directly benefit the local startup community.”

Wensley who begins her role in March says, “I’m thrilled to come on board and look forward to taking Startup Queenstown Lakes to the next level.”

“The Queenstown Lakes region is a unique place and there are fantastic opportunities for growth in the startup ecosystem – particularly in the tourism and tourism tech spheres”.

Olivia can be reached via email at

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