Department of Engineering Science

Maury Leyland

Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Engineering Science (1994)

Photograph of Maury Leyland

Associate Director of Strategy and Growth (2005*)
Fonterra, Auckland


I arrived at the Faculty of Engineering as a result of my love of maths, the influence of an engineering father and a dream of being a yacht designer. I chose Engineering Science because it seemed to best match my skills and I liked the flexibility it offered - I wasn’t cornered into one career path or another. It was a good choice. Within days of my final exams I had been offered a job working for Team New Zealand during the 1995 America’s Cup campaign as a member of the design team.

The job quickly grew from a part time and temporary role to fill a few gaps into a permanent and broad ranging adventure that saw me involved in keel design, project management of a twisted flow wind tunnel, weather analysis, performance analysis of the two boat testing program and the competition and a back up crew member on board the yachts. I ended up being the first woman to sail for New Zealand during an America’s Cup campaign. Although I had assumed that I would remain in yacht design for the remainder of my career, on returning to New Zealand I found that I was itching for something new.

Within a year I had a new direction - as a management consultant for The Boston Consulting Group. Over the next eight and a half years I was lucky enough to work on an huge variety of fascinating strategy projects from airlines to pulp and paper mills and fast moving consumer goods companies around NZ, Australia and further afield and covering an enormous range of topics....and become the mother of two sons.

Last year, the opportunity for another change in course arose and I am now Associate Director of Strategy and Growth at Fonterra. Fonterra has to be New Zealand’s most interesting company due to its size, the fact it is owned by 12,000 New Zealand dairy farmers, its youth - Fonterra was only formed three years ago and because it operates in a growing world market for dairy products. Being involved in the ongoing development of its strategy is both exciting and challenging.


*This was written in 2005. As of 2012, Maury is still with Fonterra, now Group General Manager Strategy. Earlier this year, Maury’s achievements were recognised by her being elected a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers, New Zealand.