Natalie Smith (Gaskin)

Region: Wellington


Personal Summary

Professionally I have broad experience advising on a range of commercial, trust and property issues. I am focused on building lasting, trusting relationships with my clients, and strive to provide practical and pragmatic advice.


My expertise includes general aspects of corporate and commercial law:

  • Corporate governance;
  • Shareholder agreements and arrangements;
  • Business sales and acquisitions;
  • Asset financing.


In 2016 I was elected to the board of NZ LAW Limited, an association of independent legal practices with member firms located throughout New Zealand. I have competed and finished 8 Ironman triathlons (Taupo – 2011-2016 and Hawaii in 2014 and 2016) with a best time of 10 hours 01 minutes. I am returning to Hawaii again in 2017.

Why are you interested in our organisation?

I have been involved as a top age group triathlete for a number of years. My professional experience as a commercial lawyer and independent director has also provided me with relevant governance experience. I’d like to contribute to the sport that I am incredibly passionate about during a time of change for the sport (for example the change to pay to play and significant compliance issues).


What are some of your prior board leadership experiences?

Partner and Director, Johnston Lawrence Limited

Director, NZ Law Limited


What skills, connections, resources, and expertise do you have to offer and are willing to use on behalf of the organisation?

My legal and governance experience will allow me to engage with key stakeholders and members of the triathlon community. I also believe I will bring a fresh approach to some key issues facing the sport.


What qualities make a great board member?

In my opinion, board members need to possess the following qualities: passion, commitment, time, attentiveness, relevant professional experience, toughness and collegiality.


It is important for board members to understand the difference between governance and management/operations. However, in times of resourcing challenges, that line inevitably becomes blurred.


What personal qualities can you bring to the board?

I believe I have all of the above qualities necessary to be an effective board member.


What motivates you as an individual?

I’m very process and goal orientated. Once goals have been set I dedicate myself to achieving those goals, even though the path may not be linear.


What role do you think you would play on the board?

I believe that my role will very much depend on the other skill sets of the board members. In my opinion, effective boards work collaboratively to achieve goals and change.