Our Team


Joanna Smith

Managing Director, Senior Consultant, Workplace Learning

Joanna is passionate about improving workplace learning. She worked for a number of years as a senior manager in the IT industry, responsible for People and Capability. She totally gets what it's like when the business comes and says "We need training!" The first step is always to focus on the business goals, and determine what the most effective course of action should be. Joanna's early career was spent in tertiary language teaching and teacher training, so she has a soft spot for the language teaching industry. She started  Pukeko Learning Solutions in 2016 and alongside designing effective learning solutions for other organisations, she and the team also work on their internal brand, Language Fuel, with the cornerstone product, the ELT Training Library
Joanna is currently president of New Zealand Association for Training and Development.


Nigel Smith

Senior Consultant, Education sector

Nigel has an extensive background in secondary and tertiary education. He has taught within a variety of curricula (IB, UK, and NZ), been a teacher trainer, and has held leadership roles in a wide variety of organisations (schools, not-for-profit PTE, universities, and commercial education providers). This experience gives him both a deep and broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities in education. He has a particular interest in how to optimise the relational dynamic, which is so critical for effective learning, alongside the implementation of digital solutions. He uses a collaborative approach to project management in order to help educational institutions to achieve their goals.


Sophie Devereaux

Lead Graphic Designer

Sophie has a degree in Information Design, as well as great natural talent and highly developed digital skills. She uses a wide range of software applications to achieve the design which has been set for a project. She has designed and produced websites, brochures, animated and real videos, eLearning modules, and custom graphics.


Chris Silva

Graphic Designer

Chris has recently compled her Masters Degree in Creative practice. Her talent in design and her advanced digital skills are evident in work she’s done creating brand collateral and marketing materials. She also has experience bringing multiple elements together, such as in marketing campaigns and in organising events. She’s recently joined the Language Fuel/Pukeko team and is applying her talents to the field of learning materials design.


Willeke Viellevoye

Language Fuel Manager, Accounts

Willeke comes to Pukeko Learning Solutions from a background of both finance and linguistics.

After working for some time in a support role for a large academic institution, Willeke has decided to turn her hand towards a role which more closely aligns with her passion for languages. Willeke studied psycholinguistics, and second language acquisition, and is excited to support language learning and teaching through Pukeko's brand Language Fuel.  

As well as managing the Language Fuel part of the business, Willeke keeps our finances in order.

Rachel Liao square.jpg

Rachel Liao

Outreach Coodinator

Rachel has recently completed studies in international relations. She is a keen language learner, and works mostly in the Language Fuel part of the business, coordinating our efforts to reach out to partners and customers through various channels.



Learning & Development Contractors

In order best meet the specific needs of your project, we maintain a network of specialists. We can draw on them as required. Sometimes we need to add specific skills to a project, such as videography, or sometimes we simply need some more hands on deck to help us meet a deadline. We know how important those deadlines are, and we commit to you to do whatever it takes to meet them!

Is this you? If you would like to be put on our database of contractors we can call on, get in touch, and let us know what you're capable of!