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James is currently a Senior Consultant working in both the Tax service line and the Māori practice, EY Tahi. 

I graduated with an LLB / BA conjoint from The University of Auckland in 2015 and started in the Auckland office on the Graduate Programme in 2016. While studying I knew my passion was working in some way for Māori, and in my final year of study I was able to combine this with my passion for business, tax and strategy. There were three reasons I chose to apply; one was the people I met who made an impact on me and were people I wanted to work with; the second was the culture and values that have allowed me to genuinely be myself, and thirdly the investment in the Māori practice with strong Māori business leaders.

As a tax professional, my role is primarily to provide tax advisory, compliance and planning advice to clients. While we may be providing tax advice, understanding a clients’ business is fundamental to this which has led me to also work on strategic planning and stakeholder engagement projects with clients.

Since I joined in 2016 I have not only worked with a wide range of clients (including global multinationals, NZ corporates, family-owned NZ businesses, entrepreneurs and iwi/hapu), but also with a wide range of colleagues within the organisation (including other service lines and other countries). Having this breadth of exposure in the early years of my career has ensured I have been given amazing opportunities and had more learnings than I could have imagined. 

A typical week would see me managing a client portfolio and engagements, and meeting with the client and working together as a team through whatever the project might be. From a tax perspective, a large part of my role is ensuring our clients are meeting their compliance obligations, and advising on corporate tax, international tax, structuring and transactions. We also have lots of technical training sessions, where you will present or participate in various matters (which could be many things outside of tax itself).