The Monkeys Aotearoa establishes planning department with three key appointments

The Monkeys Aotearoa establishes planning department with three key appointments

The Monkeys Aotearoa is bolstering its strategic offering announcing the arrival of three new hires, head of planning Tom Sykes, strategic planner Haley Hetherington and senior planner Craig McLeod.


With a career spanning social media, digital, brand and communications strategy, Sykes has worked across a diverse range of local and global brands including SKY, Westpac, Heineken, Farmlands, Lexus, KiwiRail and Pet Refuge.

Before landing in New Zealand, Sykes brought blockbuster films and Marvel shows to South Africa with Netflix and helped to launch telco ‘rain’ along with TymeBank, all whilst finding the most beautiful sunset on earth for Corona.

As a planner in Clemenger Group agencies, Hetherington has spent the past five years at Proximity NZ and justONE, working on brand, direct and retail projects for clients including ANZ, Spark, George Weston Foods and Kiwi Property. She’s excited to work across integrated accounts and to use data, creativity and technology to do impactful work.

McLeod joins The Monkeys from his position as strategic partner at Pitchblack Partners. Win over ten years’ experience working at agencies DDB, GPY&R and Y&R New Zealand, across brands Speights, Public Transport Victoria, Countdown, Burger King and Air New Zealand, he has won over 20 effectiveness awards from Cannes Lions to APAC Effies.

On the new planning department line up, Sykes says: “Looking forward, it’s the promise of helping put creativity on a bigger platform that’s just absolutely thrilling. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but to do it with a couple of weapons in Haley and Craig, we couldn’t have asked for a better start.”