About Us

About Populous People

populous people Rachel Cornwall
Rachel Cornwall

Founder Rachel Cornwall is genuinely curious about what makes us all tick and absolutely committed to seeing people and organisations adapt and grow – that filters right across the team at Populous People.


At Populous we live and breath our philosophy of Find, Keep, Grow.


While Rachel C has vast experience in search and recruitment, and loves seeing people and organisations adapt and grow. The same is to be said for People Strategy Associates Mardi Thompson – Jopling.

Mardi Thompson – Jopling
Mardi Thompson – Jopling

Together we have placed an extensive and wide range of talented New Zealanders throughout the country over the past 15 plus years. Rachel C has particular strength and reach into the executive and governance level roles, whilst Mardi is expert in searching and placing in the leadership through middle management and support levels.


Our search and appointment experience ranges from directors in publicly listed companies to executives in engineering, plant, operations and finance, sales & marketing and support specialists in some of NZ’s most understated but successful primary sector and social service businesses.


Whether it’s the hard to find people, in engineering, infrastructure and local government, or supply short accountants, finance managers and ever elusive top quality admin support people that we cannot live without – finding them, and helping them and you to develop and partner in long-term people success is what motivates  us every day.

Rachel Masters
Rachel Masters

Rachel Masters is our most recent addition to the team at Populous People.  Her expertise dovetails in strongly with founder Rachel C and with Mardi.  She is our expert in learning and organisational development, making her a hugely capable resource in the ‘Keep and Grow” offering to our clients.


Rachel has significant experience in organisational culture, performance management, people and organisational capacity, employee engagement and leadership development.

Finding people, keeping people and seeing people, organisations, communities and our economy grow – that’s what gets Populous People out of bed each day.

“Where does that come from? My good old-fashioned work ethic, and genuine desire to do good! My origins are in small town provincial NZ, and I’m a proud Otago University graduate with a career that’s exposed me to broad range of corporate, commercial and community experiences, here in NZ and abroad. I’m a long-time fan of the pace and diversity of urban NZ, but I’m also an Auckland escapee now firmly nestled in Hawkes Bay.


Over the years I’ve been tempted to detour off into leadership roles but I can’t go past the satisfaction of helping multiple businesses and communities achieve more, by partnering in people strategy. I can’t and won’t ever be able to shrug off my absolute determination to make sure small and large, start-up or established businesses, across all sectors and industries can source the talent, skills, expertise and leadership that is required to take them and their teams into the future.”


– Rachel Cornwall