Polson Higgs - setting the pace for tomorrow

The strength of our people is the catalyst that ensures Polson Higgs continues to deliver excellent outcomes for clients. This is true today and will continue to be true in the rapidly changing world we live and work in. With this in mind, and a strong focus on the future, Polson Higgs are pleased to announce some exciting promotions that take effect from the 1st of April 2022. 

David Hogue steps up from his role as Manager to Associate within the Firm.  Partner, Henry van Dyk states, “It was David’s professionalism, drive to deliver and ability to relate to clients that cemented the decision to invest in David’s personal growth. We are privileged to now have David as part of our leadership team as his skills are a real asset to the service we provide our clients”.

Brad Suddaby, Courtney Adams and Amelia McDonald-Nairn have been promoted to the position of Manager.  Carole Adair, the firm's first female partner, commented “It is a real pleasure to witness the growth and acknowledge the achievements of all our team at Polson Higgs. I have been heavily involved in the development of Courtney and Amelia’s careers to date, as part of the mentor programme we have here at Polson Higgs. Their success means a lot to me personally and it’s fantastic to see more and more women involved in the business world” 

Completing these promotions we have Tom Hanning moving to Senior Consultant in the rural team and Lisa Sintmaartensdyk heading up the Human Resources department as HR Manager.

Polson Higgs has had a long association supporting local businesses and farming clients throughout the Southern region. Being a region with a vast geography and many differing industries we understand that the experiences across a range of business are quite different. We are confident, with these additions to the leadership of the firm, we will continue to provide expert advice and services to our business and farming community now and in the future. 

David Hogue
David Hogue 2David has worked closely with all seven partners at Polson Higgs during his career. With each partner having a very different area of expertise, he has been fortunate to gain experience across a range of disciplines including; agri business; start-up’s, commercial, property, health and specialist tax advice.

“Having a variety of mentors under one roof has enabled me to place my focus in the right areas and I am excited to play a role in shaping the future of Polson Higgs. I have learnt first-hand, the importance of communicating information as well as listening to each client, determining the solution they require and ensuring you are providing value”.

As Polson Higgs’ newest Associate, David “applies his commercial knowledge and understanding to each client’s individual business or industry”. One of the main reasons he enjoys being an accountant is “knowing I can deliver a solution to any problem to ensure my clients are achieving the best possible results”.

Coming from a family of accountants in Alexandra, it was no surprise David threw in the towel on his cherry-picking days to head to the bright lights of Dunedin City and begin his accounting degree at the University of Otago.

His professional career began in 2010 as a graduate accountant for Polson Higgs but once Chartered he made the move to Melbourne to experience what the term ‘bright lights’ really meant. Seven years ago, David and his now wife, Claire, made the decision to move back to Dunedin and it has been “one they do not regret”.

On moving back to Dunedin, David said “I really only wanted one job when we decided to move back, which was too come back to Polson Higgs. Polson Higgs is a great place to work and would enable me to be a professional adviser rather than information provider.” Claire has seen the benefits of the support David has been given at Polson Higgs and how it has shaped him into a well-rounded driven advisor.

Since moving back to Dunedin, David has been involved with the Creative Arts Trust, where he has been Chairperson and Treasurer for the last three years. “The Trust is an art studio for people who use mental health and addiction services. I find it very rewarding to be involved in such a meaningful charity”.

Outside of work, David enjoys keeping fit and active by running, playing golf and walking their dog, Mavis. He is also taking up squash this year where he hopes to give colleague, and experienced squash player, Brad Suddaby, a run for his money.

Brad Suddaby
Brad Suddaby 2A proud Southlander, Brad’s interest in business and entrepreneurship stemmed from a young age and lead him to study accounting and tourism at Otago University.

Brad began his career as a graduate with Polson Higgs in 2016, together with Amelia, and feels “privileged to have such a wealth of knowledge under one roof”. He attributes his career progression to the unparalleled guidance and mentorship that has been available to him through the mentor programme at Polson Higgs. He is “excited to have the opportunity to pass on my own knowledge and expertise, in the hope that I can help develop and grow the careers of those around me”. 

Brad enjoys working alongside a variety of small to medium sized business owners but ultimately his passion lies in the commercial and property sectors.

When he is not at work you will find Brad at the squash courts, on the golf course, or “catching up with mates at one of Dunedin’s many wonderful hospitality establishments”.

Courtney Adams
Courtney Adams 2
Born and raised in Whangarei, Courtney moved south to Dunedin for the ‘student experience’ but, like many free-spirited 18-year-olds, she was unsure of her career path. In her mind she had two options: accountant or broadcast journalist. Luckily for us, the accountant in her chose the less risky career path. 

Working for a well-established, local practice like Polson Higgs, Courtney praises the “countless opportunities to expand my knowledge and work alongside a variety of different businesses”. Her interests lie in utilising technology in business to build efficiencies and allow for more informed decision making. As for her role as manager, Courtney plans to grow her skills building teams and becoming the trusted adviser to clients, leading the way for other young women both within the industry and as business owners. 

Dunedin is now her home, “it’s a good size, big enough to provide plenty of opportunities yet small enough to have the community feel”. Courtney has immersed herself in the Dunedin community as treasurer for both the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival (2016-2019) and Taieri Musical Society (2019 – present). She aims to grow her presence in governance and the not-for-profit sector to give back and utilise her skills in the wider community.

Outside of work Courtney loves to travel, she has already ticked off America (three times), China, Bali, and Australia. Next on the list (when COVID permits) is Japan, Europe, and Mexico.

Amelia McDonald-Nairn
Amelia McDonald Nairn 2Appreciating the opportunity to work alongside great colleagues during her career, Amelia is looking forward to stepping into a leadership role at Polson Higgs.

After juggling a commerce degree with full time work at a local law firm, Amelia graduated from the University of Otago and began her career as a graduate with Polson Higgs in 2016. Speaking highly of her mentor, Carole Adair, and the mentor programme at Polson Higgs, Amelia has an interest in helping and supporting other staff members as they navigate their career “I have found it really beneficial to have someone that has been in my shoes to discuss my goals and how to achieve them”.

Polson Higgs has allowed Amelia the opportunity to work in the finance team for ADInstruments, a company with a strong global presence in the life science industry. She also works closely with several childcare centres and not for profits, “I find this work really rewarding. In my spare time I am also co-treasurer at the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital”.

Over summer, Amelia aims to get down to the St Clair Salt Water pool as often as she can. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, exploring new local places and picking up new hobbies – the latest of which being skiing.

Lisa Sintmaartensdyk
HR Manager
Lisa Sintmaartensdyk 2Aside from her infectious, bubbly, personality, Lisa is well known to be determined, hardworking and extremely professional. Her people skills and expertise in her field meant that the decision to move Lisa to a Manager role was an easy one. “The generalist Human Resources role at Polson Higgs, provides me with huge day-to-day variety. I enjoy the challenge each new day brings and appreciate the opportunity to work closely with people both externally and internally”.

The practice of HR remains a passion for Lisa. "It allows me to work with people understanding their needs and to help find a solution.  That said the ability to analyze information and work within legislative frameworks brings an interesting variety to the role. HR is a function where you need to be adaptable to changing conditions."

Spending her childhood on sheep and beef farms around Otago and Southland, Lisa and her now husband, Andre, were attracted to the hustle and bustle of both London and Wellington to peruse their respective careers. In 2015, they were drawn back to the deep South, where they raise their young family on a small lifestyle block close to the city.  "I love that people know each other in the south. I instantly felt at home when we returned". 

Lisa loves the outdoors and spends most of her free time exploring our wonderful, diverse countryside with her young family, and enjoys undertaking new adventures.

Tom Hanning
Senior Consultant
Tom Hanning 2It was rearing calves as a teenager, on his parent’s farm in North Otago, that sparked Tom’s interest in accounting. Whilst thoroughly enjoying the practical aspect of this job, it was also the business side, watching his efforts translate into profit, that motivated him. After seeing out his high school days at St Kevin’s, it was a natural progression to head south and complete his BCom at Otago University.

Tom’s career with Polson Higgs began in 2013 as a graduate accountant, where he was exposed to all facets of accounting. Once he had completed his professional qualification and become a Chartered Accountant, he set his focus on rural accounting and is now a Senior Consultant in the rural team.  “I really enjoy working with, and getting to know, farming families to understand what makes them tick. Helping them prepare a budget, discussing what they can tweak or do differently to improve farm performance, and linking farm performance with their personal goals. I am also interested in succession planning as it’s not a one size fits all approach, and the role of an advisor can have a big impact on keeping families together”.

When not in the office, Tom is most likely to be found in the tussocks hunting deer, training his dogs, or enjoying a bit of family time around Lake Benmore.