Latest Updates From Macdonald Perniskie

Get to know... Deanna Sherriff

Q: Time at Macdonald Perniskie? 
A: I worked for Alan Mcdonald in a number of roles from 2005 when I first came to Queenstown, then for the firm from 2014. I’ve recently returned again, after being gone for the past two and a half years. I’m like a boomerang and I keep coming back! 

Q: Have you always wanted to be an accountant? 
A: I never thought I would be an accountant! I always thought I would be something more in the physical world like a personal trainer or a forensic scientist. Ended up in finance and enjoyed it. There are so many options within the industry, I have a flexible role and am able to work around my kids.

Q: Favourite part of your job? 
A: Building client relationships! I’m quite a social person, I like the interaction. Being an accountant is not just about sitting at your computer making everything balance. We want to listen and explore that journey with clients.

Q: Ten-year goal? 
A: Climbing the ladder, I’ve always wanted to develop myself as a person and look out for new areas of achievements. 

Q: What sporting achievement are you most proud of? 
A: I’ve had various sporting achievements. I’m proud of both riding the Mototapu and recently Queenstown half marathon with very little training. I got it done in two hours and one minute, aiming for two hours… I wasn’t even planning to do it until 7pm the night before!

Q: When you were at school you were known for…? 
A: Being a fast runner. I was always a runner at school, always came first or second and always wanted to win.

Q: Who do you admire the most in your life? 
A: My 2 daughters. They are there to support me in every way, they bring a lot of happiness into my life. They’re caring, supportive, motivated – we all bounce off each other which is awesome.

Q: Describe yourself in three words 
A: Enthusiastic, professional, efficient

Q: What’s the one place in NZ you’d like to visit and why? 
A: Akaroa. I’ve never been but it sounds beautiful and relaxing

Q: Which three people alive or dead would you invite to your ultimate dinner party?  
A: Kate Middleton - she inspires me, Beauden Barret  - my All Blacks Idol, and my grandmother Vera who would love to sit with Kate. My grandmother reminded me of the Queen, always dressed like the Queen, always wore a lapel broach, always immaculately dressed and had the most amazing jewellery.

Volunteering in the community – Karen Heslip

Our people are our greatest asset – and Karen Heslip (pictured below, front in the bright green wig) embodies the values we hold dear.

 Not only is she a busy woman juggling her role as an accountant at Macdonald Perniskie’s Gore office since 2015, raising a family and looking after their sheep and beef farms at Pukerau and Moa Flat, she’s also a stalwart community volunteer and advocate for the Child Cancer Foundation (CCF).

It’s a cause dear to her heart and a way of repaying the CCF team for their support in helping her and her family through their youngest son’s cancer journey and through the pain of losing him in 2001.

Since then, Karen has helped co-ordinate CCF’s annual street appeal and other fundraising ventures in the south, supported families going through cancer, and shared her story with various groups to help raise awareness for those in need.  One of her most rewarding experiences is helping organise social activities and family camps for families going through cancer so they can connect with each other outside the hospital environment to relax, chat and enjoy activities together.

Karen has also supported CCF behind the scenes in administrative and governance roles.  In 2001, she became secretary – and then Chair - of the Southland branch committee.  She then became Chair of the wider Otago/Southland regional committee and joined CCF’s National Board in 2011.  This governance role gives Karen a chance to represent and be a ‘voice’ for parents and families from the Southland area which gives her a great deal of satisfaction. In 2018, CCF recognised Karen’s huge contribution with a Distinguished Service Award.  

Karen’s workmates at MPL are very supportive of her efforts and think she’s “a legend with a huge heart”.  She, in turn, is very grateful for their support and describes the annual CCF Wig Wednesday fundraiser that the office takes part in as “very entertaining”!

Get to know... Greta Armstrong 


Time at Macdonald Perniskie? 
A: 4 Years and five months.  Prior to working for Macdonald Perniskie I had been working for another accounting firm so I have been involved in accounting work for 16 years now.

Q: Always wanted to be an accountant? 
A:
 Not really. As a child I wanted to be an Air Hostess because it sounded exotic. Glad I didn’t go down that path as I would probably be out of a job now.

Q: Favourite part of your job? 
A: Helping clients and staff find solutions.  I have a lot of involvement with the Inland Revenue Department in my position as Tax Administrator and can be relentless in getting the best results for our clients.

Q: Ten-year goal? 
A: Ultimately retirement but I will be happy to ease into it as enjoy my job and the different personalities of the staff.

Q: What sporting achievement are you most proud of? 
A: 
I’m no very sporty at all so no major achievements to speak of.  My husband and I have an inflatable canoe and I really enjoy getting out in it as much as possible.

Q: When you were at school you were known for…? 
A: Being easily distracted/distracting others.  Now that I am a “grown up” I find distractions really irritating.  Is that karma at work?

Q: Who do you admire the most? 
A: My mother.  She was widowed at a young age with five children to raise on her own.  She taught us to respect others and treat people as we would like to be treated ourselves.  A strong woman and a great role model.

Q: Describe yourself in three words 
A: Caring, thorough, honest.

Q: What’s the one place in NZ you’d like to visit and why? 
A: The Chatham Islands.  I enjoy rugged, isolated places and historical sites so this would fulfil all of these.

Q: Which three people alive or dead would you invite to your ultimate dinner party? 
A: Definitely my mother and my brother Ian.  Both of them enjoyed food and entertaining as much as I do.  My third guest would be my grandfather, Mattis Svensson.  He died before I was born but he must have led a very interesting life travelling from Sweden as a young man first to Australia and then New Zealand without being able to speak English.

West Otago A&P Show, 2020

We’re proud to support the West Otago A & P Society Show this year! It’ll be another busy day no doubt... expect to see everything from horses to the South Island Tux Challenge, speed shearing, food + trade stalls and much, much more!

Make sure you head on down and support this great community event if you can. A perfect spot to pick up a few early Christmas presents, too.

Get to know... Swastika Pillay


Q: How long have you been working at Macdonald Perniskie? 
A: 
Two years 4 months 

Q: Have you always wanted to be an accountant – or when you were younger what was your dream job? 
A: 
I’m from Fiji and didn’t come to New Zealand until I was 15, but when I was a kid I kept changing my mind; at one stage I wanted to fight crime and be an agent like in NCIS. Then I went to high school and out of an accounting class of 13 everyone had to redo an internal exam except me. 

Q: Favourite part of your job 
A: 
Meeting people, having amazing conversations and helping them. Also I do like calculating. 

Q: Ten year goal? 
A: 
To get my chartered account qualification, buy a house and travel the world.

Q: What sporting achievement are you most proud of? 
A: 
I’m definitely not a sporty girl. I went bowling with my cousins and beat them once. Does that count?

Q: When you were at school you were known for…? 
A: 
Being a helping hand. In Year 12 it ended up with only two of us doing accounting, our teacher retired and we were doing it through correspondence. So I mentored a Year 11 student in accounting and prepared notes for her. 

Q: Who do you admire the most? 
A: 
My parents. They’re the strongest people I know. It wasn’t easy moving to Queenstown all those years ago.

Q: Describe yourself in three words 
A: 
Bubbly, honest, clumsy. Just ask anyone in the Queenstown office about that last one. 

Q: Now we’re being encouraged to explore our own backyard, what’s the one place in NZ you’d like to visit and why? 
A: 
I’ve lived in Queenstown and Dunedin all the time I’ve been here, but I’ve never been to Milford Sound, which is strange. I really want to see dolphins, stay in Te Anau and visit the glow worm caves. 

Q: Which three people living or dead would you invite to your ultimate dinner party? 
A: 
My best friends from Fiji because it’s been ten years since I’ve seen them. I haven’t been back since we came to New Zealand. 


Get to know... Neilson Chand


Q: Time at Macdonald Perniskie? 
A: 4 years

Q: Always wanted to be an accountant? 
A:
 I was good at numbers which helped me decide what I wanted to be.

Q: Favourite part of your job? 
A: Being able to help clients with their accounting needs. 

Q: Ten-year goal? 
A: To finish off my CA qualification and to grow my knowledge in accounting.

Q: What sporting achievement are you most proud of?
A: 
Being able to play for my local soccer club Gore Wanderers and meeting great people. 

Q: When you were at school you were known for…? 
A: “The quiet one”

Q: Who do you admire the most? 
A: My parents as they have worked hard to help me with life!

Q: Describe yourself in three words 
A: Hardworking, problem-solver and ambitious

Q: What’s the one place in NZ you’d like to visit and why? 
A: Auckland, never been there. 

Q: Which three people alive or dead would you invite to your ultimate dinner party? 
A: Donald Trump, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart

Get to know... Alice Perniskie 

Q: Time at Macdonald Perniskie? 
A: Six years

Q: Always wanted to be an accountant? I
A:
come from a family of accountants and I’ve always loved working with numbers, so it was the perfect fit. 

Q: Favourite part of your job? 
A: Working with a wide range of clients from different backgrounds. I like getting ‘inside’ the business, and getting to know the people who run it.

Q: Ten-year goal? 
A: To have ticked off my Chartered Accountancy qualifications, have greater responsibility and being a position to mentor young people like myself.

Q: What sporting achievement are you most proud of? 
A:
I used to really be into sport, representing my region at netball, hockey and tennis in my younger days. However I had to pick between school work/study and sports.

Q: When you were at school you were known for…? 
A: Being able to calculate maths equations quicker than a calculator! Everyone still talks to me about that. 

Q: Who do you admire the most? 
A: Mum and Dad, they’ve always been really supportive in helping me to achieve the best I can.

Q: Describe yourself in three words 
A: Outgoing, diligent, happy. 

Q: What’s the one place in NZ you’d like to visit and why? 
A: I’d love to go up to the Twizel canals and catch a big trout! Fishing is my favourite hobby. I love heading off to Te Anau most weekends in the summer to go fishing.

Q: Which three people alive or dead would you invite to your ultimate dinner party? 
A: That’s too hard to answer! 

Celebrating our new Queenstown office

We're excited to announce that our Queenstown office has moved! We are now operating from Level 1, Aurum House, Terrace Junction on the Frankton Road. We are loving our spacious new office with plenty of convenient parking. We look forward to seeing you there soon.

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