About Us

Welcome to Thirsty Camel. We pride ourselves on being a leading premium importer and distributor of exceptional spirits, liqueurs and mixers. We source quality products, both locally and from across the globe, and bring them home for New Zealanders to enjoy and savour.

Our Story

Thirsty Camel began in 2004, and since then has firmly established itself as the market leader, representing many of the world’s finest and most exciting brands.

No other New Zealand importer is able to match the range and quality of our brand portfolio, which has been built over many years through strong relationships with suppliers, meaning we can offer our customers a full and seamless supply service.

Our complete complementary portfolio of premium brands at Thirsty Camel ranges from major international suppliers to craft producers. We're dedicated to creating an environment where these brands can be given the focus and brand building support required to succeed.

Meet the team

Titch Hay


Titch spent years in a global role with the Francoli company, based in the UK and Italy, discovering premium brands and working with some of the biggest names in the industry. Titch has a strong network and deep knowledge of the premium spirits, liqueurs and mixers sector. A firm believer in empowering staff, Titch has always chosen to hire the very best people, give them the tools they need and support them to flourish. As a result, we’ve been able to attract an incredible team who take truly excellent care of our customers.

Scott Fairbairn

Marketing Director

Scott’s unique skillset makes him a small-batch, limited edition member of the team. He’s worked in senior roles within the FMCG, sporting, retail and drinks sectors overseas and in NZ, and his years with Lion Nathan, Magner’s and Pernod gave him incredible insight. He’s a community-minded family man who spends his spare time as a cub leader, chair of his kids’ school board, director of Team Skoda Racing and trustee of the Velodrome in Cambridge. If you’re wondering how he finds the energy for all this… apparently it’s one long black & cream after another.

Marie Batty

Finance Manager

Marie has distilled her many talents into 3 words: driven, dynamic and dedicated. An experienced financial analyst and accountant, she honed her skills at Coca-Cola Amatil, Constellation Brands, Carter Holt Harvey and abroad. As the analytical and numerical brain on the team, she keeps us all nicely organised with an impressive array of spreadsheets and probably has her whole family embedded in Excel too. Marie loves adventure sports and the only thing she enjoys more than skiing is the refreshing gin and Fever-Tree tonic she treats herself with afterwards.

Lorin Keech

National Key Accounts

With 25 years instilled in the industry, Lorin’s navigated his long career with the belief that “the man at the top of the mountain did not fall there.” and we love that he always goes the extra mile for our customers. Lorin’s currently playing to a handicap of 18 and keeps chasing his elusive second hole-in-one – something he’ll no doubt celebrate with a signature Long Island iced tea.

denise higgins

national key accounts manager – grocery

With over 20 years of liquor industry experience already down the hatch, including stints with Pernod Ricard and in the NZ wine industry, Denise has barrel-loads of valuable knowledge. Her “make-it-happen” approach and warm, collaborative style make her a crowd-pleasing addition to the Thirsty Camel team and she’s an expert in her field. Denise serves as Club Secretary at her local boating club and enjoys a good G&T whilst cruising and exploring the Hauraki Gulf. After a fast-paced work week, she likes to recharge by tending to her vege garden while listening to her favourite 80’s hits.

Matt Jamieson

Brand Manager

Recently returned to NZ after living in Europe for 16 years, Matt brings a decade of drinks marketing experience to his role. His previous job at a Scottish distillery left him with a keen appreciation for single malt whisky and the ability to speak fluent Highlander. Matt loves fast cars, enjoys music and is a bit of a sports fan. Before marriage and kids, he was a qualified snowboard instructor and he reckons he can still pull off an inverted backflip on his trusty Burton snowboard.

Nick Bowes

North Island Sales Manager

Nick spent years at Maxxium, Lion and Independent Liquor, and also ran his own bar, so he’s kinda like our very own Premium Spirits Wikipedia. A full-time family man and parttime adrenalin-junkie (the guy’s hidden talent is fire breathing), Nick loves heading out with his 3 boys to hit the mountain bike tracks. Sometimes the tracks hit back, but although he’s often shaken, he’s never been stirred into giving it up.

Mark Tarres

South Island Sales Manager

Mark’s been infused in the trade for over 25 years and knows just about everything and everyone in the business. When he’s not serving our fabulous South Island customers, you’ll find him out surfing or hanging at the beach to recharge. Back in his heyday, Mark played soccer for Canterbury and was once junior light heavyweight champ at Chricton Cobbers Boxing Club. The gloves and boots were hung up long ago and these days he’s a big family guy, saying he loves the way being a parent keeps getting better every day.

Shelby Cowley


A peppy glass-half-full type, Shelby’s the ultimate multi-tasker, taking care of HR, IT, admin and whatever else pops up in the running of Thirsty Camel. She’s completely unflappable and approaches every problem the same way: looking for the silver lining and always moving forward. Shelby recharges by retreating to the beach with her family and her go-to tipple is a moody dark & stormy.

Megan Turner

Territory manager Northland

A true Northland gal with strong ties to her local community, Megan has some serious love for life in the Winterless North. Her strong work ethic and approachable, down-to-earth style make her a real client fave. A busy mum to three teenage lads, this wallbanger loves to blow off steam with good game of squash, or chill with a rod and reel at the shore.

Philip Fouche

South & West Auckland

Distinctive and mellow, like a good single malt whisky, Philip handles his client work with a sense of calm capability. Hailing from Cape Town, the outdoors life is embedded in his DNA and you’ll find him at the braais, enjoying good music with his family and mates, rain or shine. Philip finds woodwork relaxing and enjoys the satisfaction of making things with his hands (both of them – he’s fully ambidextrous).

Chris Simpson

On Premise Auckland

Like his favourite Negroni, Chris’ career in the Hospo industry was built over the years from glassie to pouring exquisite cocktails for discerning customers. Working in bars to owning his own gave Chris a deeper empathy with knowing what works. When not in the big smoke, Chris heads to Northland, kicking back to his favs on Spotify or he can be found entertaining friends with gourmet meals, he is quite the chef we are told.

Tim McCartney

North Shore

Like his favourite quenching G&T on a hot summer’s day, Tim balances his knowledge and experience in the liquor industry with the thrill and vibe of Auckland city, not bad for a born and bred Southerner. His passion for the industry is equally blended with his obsession for Indie Rock, savouring the time he performed on the main stage at Big Day Out. As a new dad, Tim doesn’t have much time for that now and is keen to pass down the art of ‘walking on his hands’ to his youngster. Hopefully he doesn’t do that when out on the golf course near an ocean – his happy place to unwind and recharge.

Sarah Bull

Territory Manager Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Sarah’s a certified expert in premium liquids and fancy bottles, having started out in the prestigious perfume market before moving to spirits. She assures us she’s never taken so much as a sip of Chanel number 5. This Caramilk-nibbling, netball-playing lady likes to start the day with an energizing family dance party and finish it with a full-bodied Barossa Shiraz while staring at the stars.

Kelly Paskwietz

Territory manager Central North

With a strong background in FMCG and Liquor sales, practical and loyal Kelly is a real smartie and often brings clever, fresh ideas to the customers she supports. Her boundless energy for work and life is possibly fuelled by her greatest guilty pleasure, chocolate. Dedicated to her family and happiest in the sunshine with a drink in her hand, this festival-going, nature-loving, animal advocate is a free-spirited gem.

John Ridley


John fancied himself as a bit of a Tom Cruise back in his cocktail bartending days and he has years of experience with premium spirits and hospitality. He likes to hang with friends and family and spin some late-night yarns over a drink. A big outdoorsman, John’s hidden talent is packing massive amounts of gear into the car boot. You say it won’t fit? Mission Impossible challenge accepted.

Mark Austin

Territory Manager Christchurch/Nelson & Marlborough

Well-structured and refined, Mark’s had a varied career and has valuable hospitality experience on both sides of the bar. He credits his father for instilling in him kindness, generosity and tenacity – values we appreciate here at Thirsty Camel – and is proud to have passed those on to his own kids. Mark’s a huge water-lover and is happiest waaaay out on a boat when he can no longer see the shore (must have been a handy trait when he did the Sydney to Hobart).

Briar Windelburn

territory manager christchurch

Mastering her craft as an Agent in NZ and Oz and travelling the world solo are just a few of the many boxes Briar has ticked off her list. Briar’s exquisite customer relationship skills looking after our customers in the South is the garnish to this well accomplished lass. And to relax, she scales the dizzying heights of mountains with her loyal canine companion by her side. She balances this powered up energy with a quiet tv binge watching session, all with bubbles in hand.

Clark White

Territory Manager On Premise Christchurch

Smooth and extra-dry, Clark has a wealth of experience in hospitality, having managed pubs and restaurants and worked with Hancocks and Pernod Ricard. A keen surfer, mountain biker and skier, he’s happiest on the ocean, in the snow, or at the bar with good mates. He has history on the decks, so be warned: if you ever invite him to your party, he’s almost guaranteed to take over as DJ.

Mel Fowler

Territory manager Dunedin & Otago

With an extensive and impressive background in the liquor industry, Mel appreciates that balance is key to a well lived life and this mantra is what this proud family man lives by. The only one not to have donned the silver fern in his immediate family, Mel’s solace in watching and supporting from the side-line is garnished with an immense sense of pride. With a measured blend of adrenaline and relaxation, Mel gets his kicks from jet boating and mountain biking, then balances this with the serenity and flow of the river, indulging in his passion for fly fishing. Mel admits that his guitar skills are only really appreciated by the family dog, despite many legendary campfire singalongs.

Alina Paveluc

Accounts Assistant

With her detail-focused approach, Alina is a safe pair of hands, bringing a calm, collected air of serenity to our busy office (even when she’s hyped up on her favourite frappuccinos).  When she’s not busy dreaming up new ways of making accounting processes even more efficient, Alina gets her kicks from reading edge-of-your-seat paperback thrillers, and relaxes with long nature walks and trips to the beach with family and friends.

Kim Riley

Customer Service

Kim’s all about the details. Her organisational and time management skills ensure orders run smoothly and this certainly sparks joy with our team and our customers. Those skills also come in handy at home, where she manages two busy teenagers.  Kim loves the beach and if you add a couple of good books, her family and a frozen margarita to the mix, you’ve found her happy place.

Hannah Jensen

customer service

Self-motivated, bright and breezy like her favourite chilled Margarita on a hot summer’s day, Hannah always strives for excellence and likes to challenge herself, proven in the Marketing degree she picked up from Otago and conquering her Masters. Her precision and accuracy for ensuring our valued customers are well looked after, may be down to her stealth clay bird shooting days. An eco-warrior and with positivity to boot, Hannah likes to shake things up at the end of the day with her fav disco tunes.

© 2024 Thirsty Camel Limited