Senior Management Team

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Sanjai Raj

New Zealand Standards Executive

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has appointed Sanjai Raj New Zealand Standards Executive pursuant to the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015. Sanjai is the General Manager of the Consumer Protection and Standards branch within the Market Services Group of the Ministry. 

Sanjai’s previous roles include Official Assignee for the central region and later Group Manager, Radio Spectrum Management, & Energy Safety within the former Ministry of Economic Development. He brings over 26 years of public sector experience to the role, principally involved in administering and enforcing regulations and related statutory delegations. Sanjai holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Public Administration that focused on service delivery issues in the public sector.


Carmen Mak

Manager Standards New Zealand

Carmen comes to the Standards New Zealand team from her substantive role as Principal Policy Advisor in MBIE’s Trade and Regulatory Cooperation team. Carmen led the policy review of the standards system and has a good overview of the standards and conformance infrastructure in New Zealand and the role this infrastructure plays in contributing to regulatory quality, international trade and productivity. In her previous policy role at MBIE and at the New Zealand Treasury, Carmen had team leadership and policy experience in better understanding how regulation might impact on the trade flows of New Zealand firms, international regulatory cooperation, and negotiation of investment chapters in free trade agreements and policies related to the IMF, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank


Stanil Stanilov

Team Leader Standards Development 

Stanil and his team are responsible for primary relationships with new and existing commissioners for the development of standards, national standards bodies, and relationships with committee members. The team is focused on delivering standards and other documents that are of high quality, on time, on budget, and ultimately satisfy the needs of customers, consumers, and sponsors. Stanil comes to Standards New Zealand from the Licensed Building Practitioners scheme within MBIE where he guided a nationwide network of building and construction assessors and played a leading role in development and implementation of regulatory policy, including the LBP Skills Maintenance Scheme. Stanil is a Certified Microsoft Office Professional.


Manisha Thakur

Team Leader Business Capability

Manisha and her team are responsible for information systems, communications, business intelligence, and stakeholder engagement. Manisha has worked with various regulatory bodies within MBIE, particularly within the Consumer Protection and Services branch, for over two years. She has extensive experience in designing and implementing management information solutions, business intelligence, research, and analysis. She has led and delivered several projects in relation to performance measurement, process improvement, trending and forecasting analysis. Manisha has completed a Master of Science in Applied Operations Research, holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mathematics and is currently working towards a Business degree in Information Management.


Danielle Aberdeen

Team Leader Commercial and Sectors

Danielle and her team deliver key initiatives within the business strategy and support the day-to-day operations of Standards New Zealand. They are responsible for increasing the prominence, relevance,  visibility and protection of standards in New Zealand within a financially sustainable business model. The team is focused on  understanding and pursuing the opportunities for standards to play a greater role in NZ Inc. priority sectors. They also drive effective connections with the international standards development work of the ISO and IEC, champion new digital content models and technologies to make standards more accessible, and drive Standards NZ's new approach to working with third parties on value-added products and services. This work significantly maximises the impact of standards on the New Zealand economy, and grows and diversifies Standards New Zealand's products and services.

Danielle has both private and public sector experience, which spans business development, stakeholder engagement, commercial, digital solutions, account management and client relationships. She brings valuable experience from her 13 years at PwC, where she developed effective growth and client development strategies across multiple market segments and service lines.