Keynote Speakers

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern,

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
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Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand & Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was born in the city of Hamilton, New Zealand, and grew up rurally. She attended high school before graduating from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Politics and Public Relations.

Post-university, she worked as an advisor in the office of then-Prime Minister Helen Clark, in London for the Government Cabinet Office and as an Assistant Director in the Department for Business and Enterprise, and on a review of Policing in England and Wales.

The Prime Minister joined the New Zealand Labour Party at age 18 and entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008. Over her twelve years as a representative she has been a strong advocate for children, women, and the right of every New Zealander to have meaningful work.

She became the MP for the Auckland electorate Mt Albert in early 2017, and the Leader of the Labour Party in August 2017. As well as Prime Minister, she holds the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, an issue particularly close to her heart. She is also the Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Professor Ian Goldin,

Professor of Globalisation and Development
University of Oxford

Ian Goldin
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Ian Goldin is Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford, Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford University, and from 2006 to 2016 was the founding Director of Oxford University’s interdisciplinary Oxford Martin School.

He currently leads the Oxford Martin research programmes on Technological and Economic Change, Future of Work and Future of Development.

From 2001 to 2006 Ian was Vice President of the World Bank and the Group’s Director of Policy and Special Representative at the United Nations. From 1996 to 2001, he was economic advisor to President Mandela and the Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), transforming it to become the largest investor in infrastructure and over 500 municipalities in the 14 countries of Southern Africa. Previously, Ian served as Principal Economist at the EBRD and the Director of Programmes at the OECD Development Centre. He has an MSc from the London School of Economics, and an MA and Doctorate from the University of Oxford.

Hon Grant Robertson,

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Infrastructure

Grant Robertson
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Grant Robertson joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1997 where he managed the New Zealand Overseas Aid Programme to Samoa. He was then posted to the United Nations in New York, working on global environment and development issues.

On his return to New Zealand, Grant became an advisor to former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Grant’s belief in social justice and a desire to see every New Zealander achieve their potential led him to politics, and he has been the Member of Parliament for Wellington Central since November 2008. In Opposition, Grant held a range of portfolios, including Finance from 2014 to 2017.

After the 2017 election, Grant was appointed Minister of Finance, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

After the 2020 election, Grant became Deputy Prime Minister and retained the Finance and Sport and Recreation portfolios. He was also appointed Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Racing.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles,

Associate Professor
The University of Auckland

Siouxsie Wiles
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Siouxsie has been recognised many times for her amazing contributions to science and society in New Zealand.

In 2019 she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to microbiology and science communication. Prior to this, she had been honoured as a Blake Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Trust as well as winning both the Royal Society Te Aparangi Callaghan Medal and the Prime Minister ’s Science Media Communication Prize.

Most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Siouxsie became one of the primary faces, communicators and educators in NZ, helping ease the public’s anxiety through lockdown and beyond. This led to Siouxsie being named the supreme winner of the Stuff-Westpac Women of Influence Awards 2020 and most recently Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year 2021.

Hon Stuart Nash,

Minister for Economic and Regional Development

Hon Stuart Nash
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Hon Stuart Nash first entered politics in 2008 as a list MP, and was elected Labour MP for Napier in 2014.

In his maiden speech Minister Nash described himself as first and foremost a public servant, employed by the people of New Zealand; and as a social democrat committed to sustainable economic development and growth. In 2017, he was sworn in as Minister of Police, Revenue, Fisheries and for Small Business.

In the 2020 Labour Government, he was given a suite of portfolios focused on supporting economic activity in our regions, as Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Tourism Minister, Forestry Minister and Minister for Small Business.

Prior to entering politics Minister Nash worked in senior management in small and large organisations in both the private and public sectors. His wide-ranging career has included roles in IT, sales and marketing, business strategy, resource planning, strategic planning and general management.

Minister Nash completed a Bachelor of Arts (History) at Victoria University before moving to Canterbury University where he gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry and a Masters in Forestry Science. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Business Management and a Master of Law.

Hon Nanaia Mahuta,

Minister of Local Government

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
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As a mother, and a constituent MP with 20 plus years’ experience who has come from ‘flax-root’ politics, Hon Nanaia Mahuta remains connected to the aspirations of people from all walks of life. Those who work hard for a living so that their children can do better, kaumatua, tradespeople, those who aspire to own their home, those who own small businesses and those who lead a range of services and organisations and huge iwi entities.

During her time in Parliament, Nanaia supported policies and initiatives that built the capacity of communities, especially social service organisations, greater investment in education, employment and training opportunities particularly for young people, supported the continuation of the Treaty settlement process and supported specific initiatives that lift the wellbeing and opportunities for young mums and those who are vulnerable and victims of abuse.

Nanaia is a tribal member of Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Manu and her parliamentary experience has enabled her to contribute to the collective aspirations of Maori and all New Zealanders.

In the 2020 Labour Government, Nanaia became the first woman to hold the Foreign Affairs portfolio. She is also Minister of Local Government, and Associate Minister for Māori Development.

Frances Valintine CNZM,

Futurist
Tech Futures Lab

Frances Valintine
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Frances Valintine CNZM is dedicated to pushing Aotearoa ahead as a global leader in innovation to build a stronger, more resilient future for all New Zealanders.

A leader in her own right as an innovator, emerging technologies futurist and disruptor of traditional education, Frances founded Tech Futures Lab in 2016 to foster the capabilities and skills needed to develop a culture of innovation and agility critical to NZ businesses and individuals to thrive in this fast-paced technological advancement era.

Prior to this, in 2013 Frances founded The Mind Lab to empower students and educators to develop applied digital knowledge and capability.

She is a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her lifetime contribution to education and technology (2018) and is driven by a strong sense of purpose to support positive growth for Aotearoa.

She holds a Master of Education Management from the University of Melbourne.

At Building Nations, Frances will speak to the role of disruptive technology and the STEM pipeline within the broader context of the key themes covered on day two of the conference.

Professor Paul Spoonley,

Honorary Research Associate, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Massey University

Prof Paul Spoonley
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Distinguished Professor Emeritus Paul Spoonley was, until 2019, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Massey University. He retired from Massey University in April 2021.

He is the author or editor of 28 books. The most recent is “New” New Zealand. Facing Demographic Disruption, published in late 2020.

He was a Programme Leader of a research programme on the impacts of immigration and diversity on Aotearoa (MBIE, 2014-2021, $6 million). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2011 and was granted the title of Distinguished Professor by Massey University in 2013.

Awarded the Science and Technology Medal by the Royal Society in 2009, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of California Berkeley in 2010, and since 2013, he has been a Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany. The Auckland War Memorial Museum made him a Fellow in 2015. He is currently a member of the Marsden Fund Council, and a Senior Affiliate of Koi Tū : The Centre for Informed Futures. He has been a long-time participant in the Metropolis network and recently became the Co-Chair of this international network of those interested in migration.

Hon Dr Megan Woods,

Minister of Housing, Minister of Energy and Resources

Megan Woods
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Hon Dr Megan Woods is a Christchurch local, and has been the Member of Parliament for Wigram since 2011. Following the 2017 election, Megan was sworn in as a Minister of the Crown with portfolio responsibilities including the Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Energy and Resources, and Research, Science and Innovation.

In the 2020 Labour Government, Megan was appointed Minister of Housing, Minister of Energy and Resources, and Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, alongside Associate Minister of Finance.

Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Megan worked as a Business Manager at Plant & Food Research. She holds a PhD in New Zealand history from the University of Canterbury.

In between a busy schedule, Megan enjoys watching cricket, rugby and spending her free time with friends and family.

Andrew Bayly MP,

Infrastructure Spokesperson and Shadow Treasurer (Revenue)
National Party

Andrew Bayly
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Andrew Bayly is the National Party Member of Parliament for Port Waikato, elected in Hunua, in 2014.

Andrew holds the Portfolios of Shadow Treasurer (Revenue), Infrastructure and Statistics. Prior to the 2020 election Andrew had been Spokesperson for Revenue, Commerce, State Owned Enterprises, Small Business and Manufacturing, and Associate Spokesperson for Finance. He had been a Member of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee since his election to Parliament in 2014.

A trained accountant, Andrew had worked with merchant banks in New Zealand and London, before co-founding Cranleigh, a merchant bank which had offices in NZ, Australia and, more latterly, Singapore. With teams working in Infrastructure, Health, Property. Agriculture and Food, Cranleigh offered advisory and capital markets advice to a range of government entities, local authorities and corporate clients.

Formerly an Officer in the New Zealand Territorial Army and British Parachute (TA) Regiment, Andrew has a long career in endurance events. His mountaineering ascents include Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt. Aspiring in New Zealand, and four mountains in Antarctica..

Andrew graduated from Massey University, is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the former NZ Institute of Management, Fellow of Governance NZ, Fellow of the NZ Chartered Institute of Corporate Management and the UK Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Hon Michael Wood,

Minister of Transport

Michael Wood
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Hon Michael Wood is the MP for Mt Roskill, Minister of Transport and Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety. He is also Deputy Leader of the House.

Michael was first elected to Parliament at the 2016 Mt Roskill by-election. In opposition he was Labour’s spokesperson for Transport, Revenue, and Consumer Affairs and after the 2017 election he was appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities and became Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. He became Labour’s Senior Whip in mid-2019.

As MP for New Zealand’s most diverse electorate, Michael is closely connected to New Zealand’s vibrant and growing ethnic communities and is focused on ensuring that every person regardless of background has the ability to flourish and reach their fullest potential in our country. He also has a particular interest in Auckland’s urban development and is a keen supporter of more high-quality affordable housing, and rapid public transport in his electorate and across the city.

Michael is driven by the core belief that people do well when living in strong, fair, and supportive communities. He believes that an economy and public institutions that are focussed on people’s wellbeing will lead to a society that is both more prosperous and just.

Professor Nicola Shadbolt,

Commissioner
Climate Change Commission

Professor Nicola Shadbolt
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Professor Shadbolt is a farmer, forester, director and academic. As the recently appointed Chairperson of Plant and Food Research and former Director of Fonterra Cooperative Group and Transit New Zealand, Professor Shadbolt has a strong understanding of implementing sustainability in businesses and a keen appreciation of how environmental management fits alongside social and economic imperatives.
Hon Dr David Clark,

Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Hon Dr David Clark
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Hon Dr David Clark was first elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Dunedin North in 2011. He came to Parliament via a circuitous route – having run a University of Otago residential college, worked as a Presbyterian Minister, and worked as a Treasury analyst. David is Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Minister for State Owned Enterprises and Minister of Statistics.

He is also the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission. One of the key reasons David stood for Parliament was because he was concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor, which he sees as limiting New Zealand’s social and economic potential.

Inequality featured strongly in his maiden address to the House of Representatives in 2012. He believes we can, and must, achieve a fairer society where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

David has twice lived in Germany and is a former competitive cyclist and Ironman. He is married with three children.

Dr Catherine Ball,

Scientific Futurist
The Australian National University

Dr Catherine Ball
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Associate Professor, Dr Catherine Ball is a scientific futurist, speaker, advisor, author, founder, executive producer, executive director and company director working across global projects where emerging technologies meet humanitarian, education and environmental needs. Catherine also likes to create businesses and champion movements, collaborate with peers, and advise game-changers.

A sought-after voice across the start-up, futurist and tech world, Catherine works globally across a wide range of projects from creating documentaries and world leading conferences and events, to advising on the use of novel approaches (e.g. drones) across environmental and humanitarian projects. Catherine is a proponent of community engagement with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), and likes to demystify emerging tech.

Speakers

Otene Reweti,

Matanga Tikanga me Te Reo – Maori Outcomes & Relationships
Auckland Council

Otene Reweti
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Otene currently works at Auckland Council as Matanga Tikanga me Te Reo – Maori Outcomes & Relationships and has been with the council since the start of the Supercity amalgamation in 2010.

Previously employed by Ministry of Primary Industries / Ministry of Fisheries as an Iwi Relationship Manager from Whangarei to Taupo / East Cape to Mokau (New Plymouth area).

Otene has also worked in remote indigenous communities in South Australia – APY Lands as the Essential Services Officer for Pipalyatjara and Kalka Communities that looked after the power generation (Diesel), water (subterranean) and wastewater (sewage) supply.

He is also an ordained Anglican Priest (Minita a Whanau with the Haahi Mihinare – Mihana Maori Tai Tokerau / Te Tapuwae o Te Atua), Kaikorero at Orakei / Reweti and Pehiaweri marae, supporter / Kaumatua for Hatea Kapa Haka roopu kaitonotono, and Kaumatua for Auckland City Mission.

Richard Waiwai,

Poutiaki Tikanga Māori (Principal Advisor)
Watercare

Richard Waiwai
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Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu
Margaret Devlin,

Chair
Infrastructure New Zealand

Margaret Devlin
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Margaret is the Chair of Infrastructure New Zealand having been elected at the 2021 AGM.

Margaret has been an active member on the Board for a number of years and is a professional company director, working primarily in the infrastructure and service sector.

She is currently Chair of Watercare, Lyttleton Port, Hospice Waikato and Infrastructure New Zealand’s Women’s Infrastructure Network.

Margaret is also a director of Aurora, Hamilton Airport and IT Partners Group. She is Ministerial appointee of Waikato University Council and Deputy Chair of Wintec.

Antonia Watson,

Chief Executive Officer
ANZ Bank Limited

Antonia Watson
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Antonia Watson is Chief Executive Officer, ANZ Bank NZ Ltd.
She has over 25 years’ experience in the professional services and financial services sector in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia and Hungary.

Antonia is responsible for overseeing the running of ANZ Bank NZ Ltd, which includes our network of retail branches, contact centres and banking specialists who take care of over two million consumer and business customers. Prior to accepting this role, Antonia was Managing Director, Retail & Business Banking.

Antonia joined ANZ from Morgan Stanley, where she was General Manager of their business services and technology centre in Budapest and held various Finance roles in Sydney and London. She qualified as a chartered accountant at KPMG.

She has a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from the University of Otago.

Andrew Wear,

Author and City Economist
City of Melbourne

Andrew Wear
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Andrew Wear is a policy expert and author who is passionate about searching the world for policy solutions that work. With degrees in politics, law, economics and public policy, Andrew is a senior Australian public servant who has worked for national, state and local governments as well the OECD. A graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Andrew’s first book “Solved. How other countries cracked the world’s biggest problems and we can too” examines what has worked around the world and how we can apply the lessons at home. His latest book, “Recovery. How we can create a better, brighter future after a crisis” (published in September this year), explores how we recovered from past crises and shows how these lessons can help us create a better future after COVID-19.

Sharon Zollner,

Chief Economist
ANZ New Zealand Limited

Sharon Zollner
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Sharon grew up on a farm near Methven, and holds a Master of Commerce from the University of Canterbury.

She started her career at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1998, and has also worked at the central bank of Norway. She moved to the New Zealand banking sector in 2006.

She joined the ANZ economics team in 2010 and became Chief Economist in late 2017. Sharon manages a team of six sector experts around New Zealand.

Richard Yetsenga,

Chief Economist
ANZ Group Limited

Richard Yetsenga
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Richard Yetsenga is Chief Economist and Head of Research at ANZ, based in Sydney. He leads the Bank’s global research team, which focuses on Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Richard joined ANZ in 2011 from HSBC in Hong Kong, where he was Managing Director of Emerging Market Strategy. Prior to his seven years at HSBC, Richard held economics roles with Deutsche Bank and the Australian Government.

Richard publishes on issues of broad economic relevance, including climate change, technology, inequality and the benefits of diversity.
The ANZ Research team has been recognised with more than 40 top-three rankings in major industry surveys across Australia, New Zealand and Asia in the past six years, alongside numerous industry awards.

Richard regularly appears on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and other regional media, his work has been published by the Lowy Interpreter, and he is an editorial contributor in the Australian Financial Review, The Australian newspaper, The Wall Street Journal and the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Raymond Yeung,

Chief Economist
ANZ Greater China

Raymon Yeung
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Raymond leads an award-winning China research team based in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The team has been recognised by KangaNews as the #1 Asian Research Pool in 2020, 2018 and 2017, and #2 Best Team for Asian Macroeconomic Research in 2016 by Asiamoney. He is the author of China’s Trump Card Cryptocurrency and its Game-Changing Role in Sino-US Trade published by John Wiley & Son.

Raymond has garnered a strong following for his intellectual offering to ANZ’s institutional clients, including asset managers, central banks and treasurers of multinational corporations. He successfully timed the major changes in China’s growth momentum several times and hence the shifts of monetary policy well ahead of the market.

Raymond regularly speaks in industry conferences and shares his view on Bloomberg, CNBC, Di Yi Cai Jing. He is often invited to participate in consultative meetings with the Chinese authorities, representative offices of foreign governments and supranational organisations.

Raymond earned a Ph.D. in economics at Queen’s University, Canada, a holder of Financial Risk Manager (FRM) and a Steering Group Member of China Chief Economist Forum. He started his career in 1997. Prior to joining ANZ in 2010, Raymond was Deputy Head of Asia Economic Research at Swiss Re.

Brad Olsen,

Principal Economist and Director
Infometrics

Brad Olsen
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Brad is a Principal Economist and Director at Infometrics with a focus on local economies examining the outlook for the New Zealand economy, and the economic impact of COVID-19.

As a leading economic commentator across New Zealand, he focuses on informing key decision makers and the wider public about emerging and changing trends and getting useful and understandable insights to a wide range of groups.

In March 2021, he was named 2020 Young Wellingtonian of the Year.

Susan Freeman-Greene,

Chief Executive
Local Government New Zealand

Susan Freeman-Greene
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Susan leads LGNZ after nearly six years as Chief Executive of Engineering New Zealand where she led the transformation of the organisation into a modern inclusive outward-facing organisation dedicated to engineering better lives for New Zealanders.

This LGNZ role excites her as local government is at the heart of our communities, and she’s clear that when local government is strong our communities thrive – and so does Aotearoa.

Before Engineering New Zealand, Susan was Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority. She has also held leadership positions at the Human Rights Commission, as Chief Mediator and Strategic Policy Manager.

She has practised law and mediation in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom and sees them both informing her leadership style. She sees the harder-edged legal, compliance, analytical skills and softer-edged relationship, influencing and advocacy skills as two sides of the leadership coin.

Susan is also on the Board of Vital and Tāwhiri, the creative force behind the New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Amelia East,

Establishment and Transition Director
Department of Internal Affairs NZ

Amelia East
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Amelia East is the Transition Director, heading the work of the National Transition Unit (NTU), that is tasked with executing the Government’s three waters reform decisions in a way that successfully creates four water service entities whilst ensuring the implementation approach is efficient, effective and minimises disruption to communities and consumers.

Amelia has strong private sector international experience in M&A, infrastructure, transport and commercial projects. She started her working career at DLA Piper before qualifying as a solicitor and then working for companies such as Shell in their global supply chain and downstream business. Since moving to New Zealand she has held senior roles in both local and central government, working on major projects such as Infrastructure Funding and Financing (IFF), Auckland Light Rail, Three Waters Reform and LGWM.

Nick Davis,

Chief Strategic Advisor, Three Waters Programme
Department of Internal Affairs NZ

Nick Davis
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Nick is an experienced economist and public policy expert who has advised governments on a wide range of economic, regulatory and machinery-of-government issues. His key skill is breaking down problems to their essence, drawing on evidence and analysis to identify the best solutions, and packaging advice to decision-makers in ways that enable them to make confident decisions.

Nick has specialist skills in public policy analysis and evaluation, public sector financial management, and economic and financial analysis. Before joining MartinJenkins in 2004 he held senior policy roles at the New Zealand Treasury and Ministry of Economic Development, and worked as a regulatory analyst at Merrill Lynch International in London.

Since joining us Nick has led an extensive portfolio of high-profile public policy and evaluation assignments across a diverse array of sectors, including business and regional development, science and innovation, building and construction, education, justice, and international development. Recent examples of Nick’s work include:

• managing the education sector budget process for the Ministry of Education
• leading policy development on the establishment of Callaghan Innovation as a new Crown Entity
• leadership of machinery-of-government advice to support the Department of Internal Affairs to focus on its ICT functional leadership mandate
• undertaking high-profile evaluations for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

David Norman,

Executive Advisor, Economics and Strategy
GHD

David Norman
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David Norman is an Executive Advisor in Economics and Strategy at GHD. Immediately prior, he spent 4.5 years as Chief Economist at Auckland Council, providing independent, contestable economic advice to elected members and senior staff.

Most of his economics career has been in the private sector, including Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL), PwC and Westpac. He has also worked at the Building Research Association of NZ (BRANZ), giving him greater insights into the challenges faced by the construction and infrastructure industries. He is currently building his third family home in New Zealand, so he understands supply chain issues all too well.

David spent seven years working in Taiwan and China before embarking on his economics career. He has a Post-graduate diploma in Business Administration, a B.A. in Economics and Mandarin, and a B.Sc. in Psychology and Genetics.

Alan Sutherland,

Chief Executive
Water Industry Commission for Scotland

Alan Sutherland
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Since his appointment in 1999 Alan has driven substantial improvements in efficiency and service for Scotland’s water and wastewater customers. He also put in place a competitive non-household retail market in 2008, a world first at the time.

Unswervingly committed to a customer-centric approach, Alan is working with sector stakeholders to engender greater candour, transparency and collaboration. This approach will help Scottish Water to meet the challenges for the future that it faces, including climate change.

Alan believes in sharing experience and expertise and, through the Scottish Government’s Hydro Nation initiative, supports international capacity-building projects that facilitate the development of economic regulation and of more sustainable water industries.

Alan’s previous roles were in management consultancy and in the investment banking industry.

Richard de Cani,

Global Planning Leader
Arup

Richard de Cani
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Richard leads Arup’s Global Planning and Cities business.

As an urban planner and transport planner, he brings over 25 years’ experience of all aspects of planning and transport in cities including leading and supporting some of the major urban regeneration projects in the UK. This included 15 years at Transport for London (TfL) where Richard was involved in all aspects of TfL’s long term strategy development, planning and project delivery leading the development and delivery of the transport strategy for London.

Richard brings extensive experience in integrated land use and transport planning, with a track record of delivering some of the major transport projects in London of the last 3 decades.

Dr Alia Bojilova,

Partner
Propel Performance Group

Dr Alia Bojilova
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Described as insightful, inspiring, energetic and restlessly committed to ‘better – always’, Alia has specialised in resilience and leadership for over 15 years as a leader, consultant and a coach.

As a registered psychologist, Alia has coached, consulted and facilitated at the highest levels of complexity. She has served as an enabler to thousands of leaders and teams, in some of the most intricate environments, globally and in New Zealand.

Alia’s deepest passions are in making bold ways to build, broaden and nurture the resilience of individuals, teams and organisations; in strategic alignment and commitment, and in fuelling curiosity and insatiable appetite for growth and contribution.

As a leader, Alia has worked in a wide range of sectors including government, Venture Capital, peak performance sports, the commercial sector, creative industries, education, health and the not-for-profit.

Geoff Cooper,

General Manager, Strategy
New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga

Geoff Cooper
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Geoff Cooper has a background in global policy having worked for the United Nations, the United States Treasury and the Federal Reserve. He is a former Chief Economist for Auckland Council, where he worked on infrastructure, housing, regulation and financial policy.

More recently, as Chief Economist at PwC, Geoff has contributed to the economic appraisal of a range of large infrastructure projects, including Wellington’s Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme, Auckland Light Rail, Hamilton to Auckland High Speed Rail and Queenstown’s Way to Go programme.

Geoff holds a Master of Economics with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University.

Shane Ellison,

Chief Executive Officer
Auckland Transport

Shane Ellison
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In his 4 years as Chief Executive at Auckland Transport, Shane has transformed the organisation, developing and executing core business strategies to increase safety for road users and quality of service for customers, while considering the socio-economic, environmental and cultural expectations of Aucklanders.

Utilising his authentic style of leadership, he has led the uplift in both financial capability and the commercial culture of AT while increasing reputation and employee engagement and reducing death and serious injuries on the Auckland transport network.

His focus going forward is to expand on the reduced carbon emissions from AT operations, and support Aucklanders reduce carbon emissions by changing the way they travel, while continuing to influence a reduction in serious injuries and further improve the experience Aucklanders have as customers of AT.

In addition to his responsibilities at Auckland Transport, he holds governance positions on the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit and ATAP. More recently he has been appointed as a director on the Dunedin International Airport board.

Victoria Johnson,

Social Value Practice Leader for Strategic Consulting, Americas
Jacobs

Victoria Johnson
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Victoria leads a Social Value Solutions practice within Jacobs providing expertise in Strategic Planning, Program/Project Management, Capital Improvement Planning and Urban Economic Development in conjunction with large infrastructure programs nationwide.

Victoria is a highly accomplished practice leader with 18 years of experience in the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industry and a Multi-functional Equity Expert with demonstrated expertise in developing strategic partnerships with stakeholders, including municipal, state and federal agencies, businesses and community-based organizations to champion economic vitality and drive inclusive growth across diverse geographies in the U.S.

Victoria was recently appointed to serve on a national Industry Recovery Panel to advise the Biden Administration and 117th Congress on federal recovery policies in the coming months. Victoria works with clients daily to advocate for social value in federal legislation, including the $7T Build Back Better infrastructure plan, the $2T American Jobs Plan, and Biden’s Racial Equity Plan. Victoria will now advise senior leaders in the Biden administration and Congress on how infrastructure investment can be used to create and deliver enduring social justice through job creation and inclusive economic development.

Dr Ganesh Nana,

Chair
New Zealand Productivity Commission

Ganesh Nana
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Ganesh is a first-generation New Zealander, born, bred, and educated in Te Whanganui a Tara. His interest in economics originally emanated from his love of numbers, which in turn arose out of his passion for cricket.

Ganesh took up the position of Chair of the Productivity Commission Te Kōmihana Whai Hua o Aotearoa after 22 years at the consultancy Business and Economics Research Limited (BERL). His work at BERL covered a broad range of projects. His highlight was efforts in strengthening relationships with Māori entities and organisations and building an understanding of te ōhanga Māori.

In 2018 he was appointed a member of the Government established Welfare Expert Advisory Group, which reported back in 2019 with Whakamana Tangata – Restoring Dignity to Social Security in New Zealand.

Ganesh believes economics is fundamentally about people and is best reflected in our collective role as kaitiaki o taonga.

Claire Edmondson,

General Manager
Infrastructure New Zealand

Claire Edmondson
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Leading the Infrastructure New Zealand team, Claire has over 18 years’ experience as a consultant specialising in central and local government public policy advice and has worked on some tough policy issues – most recently the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Resurgence Support Payment.

She held several roles in Christchurch following the earthquakes, including Chief Advisor to the CEO of CERA, Acting Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Christchurch, Strategic Advisor to the Crown Manager of Christchurch City Council following the loss of their accreditation, Establishment Lead for communications and governance in the crown company Otakaro, and Senior Advisor on the Canterbury Royal Commission. Claire was also Senior Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of Education. Claire has also worked as a management consultant for both PwC and MartinJenkins.

Claire’s qualifications include: LLB (Hons.) (UK) and she is currently completing a PhD in law and criminology through AUT.

Facilitators

Graham Mitchell,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Graham Mitchell
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In Graham’s current role as CEO of Crown Infrastructure, he is responsible for delivery of the successful PPP Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout, the continuation of various telecommunication infrastructure initiatives, oversight, and delivery of the COVID-19 $3Bn Shovel Ready Infrastructure, the 3 Waters Reform Infrastructure funding of local Government and Infrastructure Funding and Financing of local government infrastructure programmes.

Graham has a comprehensive understanding of the infrastructure sector, the importance of infrastructure in adding economic value, infrastructure delivery, contracting and financing, and a good grasp of risks and engineering concepts across the key infrastructure sectors. He has worked with Government over 10 years on infrastructure initiatives gaining insights into central Government drivers.

Having operated the Australian and US markets, Graham also brings an international perspective and is focused on delivering infrastructure that benefits New Zealanders now and into the future.

Josh Cairns,

Partner, Banking and Finance
Simpson Grierson

Josh Cairns
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Josh is a finance and projects lawyer with specialist expertise in infrastructure funding and financing. He acts for companies, local authorities and government agencies on all types of infrastructure-related engagements.

Josh’s recent work includes leading the team advising the Crown on the design and implementation of the Infrastructure Levy Model, and advising the Crown and major local authorities as shareholders of the Local Government Funding Agency on the restructuring of its debt programme to facilitate access to council-controlled organisations.

Ian Purdy,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Ian Purdy
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Ian is the Head of Direct Property and Infrastructure Investment for Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). He has been responsible for ACC’s property and infrastructure investments for over a decade, which have grown from $50 million to over $1.2b during this time. He has negotiated and structured the purchase of approximately $1.2b of assets for ACC, employing a number of different transaction structures across a wide range of property and infrastructure assets in both the public and private markets.

Ian has led ACC’s PPP team through three successful PPP bids. Ian has also structured a number of innovated transactions in the property space. Prior to working at ACC, Ian worked in the equity research team at UBS, where he focused on researching companies listed on the New Zealand share market in the transport, infrastructure and property sectors.

Dr David Wilson,

Managing Director
Cities and Regions NZ

David Wilson
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David Wilson is balanced, smart and pragmatic. He likes to get things done and is not afraid of taking on the big issues. He is also positive, visionary, compassionate, and authentic. He cares about family, about people, about prosperity, and the communities we live in. David’s blend of business and public sector experience, backed up by strong qualifications, means he connects with people on a personal level but can also influence at the highest level.

David’s professional career includes:

  • Managing Director, Cities and Regions Ltd
  • Independent Advisory Panel for the Provincial Growth Fund (a $3Bn provincial development fund),

Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

  • Director, and immediate past Chair, Economic Development New Zealand,
  • Chair EDNZ and Royal Society of Arts Inclusive Growth Steering Committee,
  • Learning Facilitator for EDNZ World of Learning professional development programme
  • Board member of social enterprise The “Be.Institute” incorporating the Be Lab and Global Centre of Possibility at AUT
  • CEO, Northland Inc, Northland’s Regional Economic Development Agency (2013 -2019)
  • Deputy Director then Director, Institute of Public Policy Auckland University of Technology (2003-2013).

David has a BA in Psychology and Social Policy, Master’s in Public Policy (1st class Hons), and PhD in Governance and Regional Economic Development.

Daniel Minhinnick,

Partner – Environment, Planning and Natural Resources
Russell McVeagh

Daniel Minhinnick
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Daniel’s practice specialises in resource management and environmental litigation, and providing advice to major development projects. His expertise has led him to assist on a variety of projects including residential, retail, commercial and industrial, energy and infrastructure projects, mining and hazardous waste facilities.

Daniel is the firm’s National Practice Group Chair for Environment, Planning and Natural Resources. Daniel has a wide range of experience in contentious and non-contentious environmental and planning matters. He has appeared before all levels of New Zealand’s court system and is recognised in the New Zealand market as a talented litigator. Daniel offers advice for a range of clients on district and regional planning matters and legislative reform, local government matters and Public Works Act issues.

Rory Bishop,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Rory Bishop
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Rory is an owning Partner at Alta Consulting and has worked in the infrastructure sector for over 20 years.

Having been involved in the delivery of major projects in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific and the UK, these projects have included railways, pipelines, tunnels and marine works.

He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist with the Institution of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and Institute of Civil Engineers UK.

Rory was a past Chair of the Australasian Tunnelling Society NZ Branch and held a seat on the Worksafe Mining Board of Examiners which has given him broader industry governance and regulatory insight.

Noriko Wynn,

Futures Research Leader
Aurecon

Noriko Wynn
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Noriko leads the Futures Research area in Aurecon’s Futures Team, a dedicated service helping clients use strategic foresight the navigate uncertain futures and anticipate new opportunities for innovation, products and services.

As Futures Research Leader, Noriko works with clients using strategic mapping, systems thinking and technology foresight to help clients develop situational awareness to anticipate future operating environments. She draws on strategic thinking and foresight capabilities to help clients navigate complexity and ambiguity and deliver innovative solutions.

An experienced facilitator, Noriko has a background in economic development, innovation, digital strategy and public policy. She joined Aurecon from the public sector, where she worked at the highest level of two Australian state governments specialising in economic development, innovation policy, digital economy, investment attraction, defence and precinct development.

Karen West,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Karen West
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Karen West is the Chief People & Communications at the engineering and design consultancy, Harrison Grierson, with dual responsibility for people, culture and marketing across the company. She is a highly experienced senior executive with global experience in marketing, brand, communications and employee and client experience.

In 2017 Karen became the first non-engineering executive director to be appointed to the Harrison Grierson Board. This appointment reflects Karen’s abilities, particularly strategic planning and leadership. Karen has played a major role in the company’s transformation over recent years, leading the focus on clients and service delivery, with a culture change to people-directed values and practices.

Karen is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

Debbie Kirby,

General Manager Corporate Social Outcomes
Downer

Debbie Kirby
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Debbie Kirby is the GM Corporate Social Outcomes and has led this function across Downer for several years which includes building a talent pipeline with external partners such as the Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kōkiri and the Department of Corrections.

Debbie’s early career was spent in social services and learning & development before moving into the generalist HR space. She is passionate about supporting people with challenges in gaining and maintain employment into the workforce and is very proud of the work Downer does in this space.

Debbie also holds the role of GM People & Culture for the Downer Transport business.

Karl Nicholson,

Executive Director, Resources, Energy and Infrastructure
ANZ

Karl Nicholson
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Karl is responsible for the Resources, Energy and Infrastructure business at ANZ and has played a central role in ANZ’s support for the infrastructure sector, including being premier sponsor to the Building Nations Conference since 2011.

He is responsible for financing a diverse set of companies from electricity, construction, telecommunications, water, education, PPP’s, central and local government, and oil and gas.

ANZ’s breadth across the New Zealand business community provides Karl with a unique position to participate in, and contribute to, insights-led solutions for New Zealand infrastructure on a broad pan-sector basis.

Andrew Kittle,

Director – Loan Product, Corporate & Structured Finance
Westpac Institutional Bank

Andrew Kittle
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Andrew has been at Westpac for 11 years and is responsible for the origination and execution of structured lending for Project and Acquisition Finance.

Whilst at Westpac, Andrew has been part of a number of high-profile project and acquisition finance transactions including:

  • Junction Road Peaker Plant
  • Acquisition of First Fibre,
  • Acquisition of First Gas,
  • Puhoi to Warkworth PPP,
  • Auckland East Prison PPP,
  • Schools 2 PPP, and
  • Central Plains Water irrigation scheme.

Prior to joining Westpac Andrew worked in corporate finance roles at Vector Limited and Genesis Power Limited.

Grant Hodges,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Grant Hodges
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Grant previously led the EY Transactions and Infrastructure Advisory team in New Zealand, and was a member of EY New Zealand’s management board.

He brings 20 years’ of experience with social infrastructure business cases and transactions, for both public and private sector clients.

In New Zealand, Grant has advised on major infrastructure business cases and procurements including the Auckland Prison and the Prison Capacity Programme for the Department of Corrections, and the current Hospitality Accommodation, Messing and Dining Modernisation Programme for the New Zealand Defence Force. He also led the successful consortium bidding on the Wiri Prison PPP and has advised on the Christchurch Convention Centre procurement.

Overseas, Grant has advised on a number of housing transfers and regeneration programmes. He had a key role developing and building upon the standard UK PPP model to create new and innovative delivery and related funding structures that helped leverage private sector capital alongside government funds. Grant is vastly experience in leading teams to deliver successful client outcomes.

Phil Gurnsey,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Phil Gurnsey
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Phil Gurnsey is General Manager Estate Strategy with the New Zealand Defence Force responsible for estate and infrastructure strategy, investment, planning, strategic asset management, the real estate footprint and workforce culture. Phil’s group leads the development of the Defence Estate Regeneration Programme, a $1.7 billion recapitalisation of the Defence Estate, and has substantial programmes for Defence housing and modernisation of camp and base accommodation, messing and dining.

Trained as a planner, Phil has over 25 years experience in central and local government and consulting, including as a manager coordinating the NZ government climate change programme, instigating Resource Management Act reforms, leading town centre redevelopments, and developing infrastructure business cases.

Phil has previously been on the board of the Wellington Conservation Board, was member of the National Committee for the Resource Management Law Association and had three years as Private Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Issues.

Mayurie Gunatilaka,

Group Leader NZ
Arup

Mayurie Gunatilaka
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Mayurie is the Group Leader of design and engineering consultancy Arup New Zealand. She has more than 20 years’ experience in senior management within New Zealand Regional and Central Government and the Australia and NZ consulting sector.

She is a highly respected infrastructure and urban planning leader with a vision and passion for creating sustainable solutions for clients and communities.

Known as a strategic and collaborative executive, she is a former Board member of Infrastructure New Zealand, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Science.

Katrina Van Houtte,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Katrina Van Houtte
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Katrina is a Partner in Dentons’ Construction & Major Projects team and advises clients across the wider infrastructure sector. Before that she was one of Fletcher Building’s senior legal counsel, where she advised all the business units of Fletcher Construction and was closely involved in supporting the Building & Interiors business through significant challenges, including sitting on its Senior Leadership Team during the recovery phase. She was a member of the project governance teams for some of Fletcher Building’s most significant projects.

Katrina is a leader in the infrastructure and legal communities, having worked as an inhouse lawyer and external adviser on some of the most challenging projects in the sector. She has a deep understanding of the whole industry and what drives good outcomes on projects, as well as insight into the structural problems in the way major projects are procured in NZ. She believes those problems are holding NZ back from delivering world class infrastructure. She enjoys engaging in thought leadership about contentious issues, such as the role of the Engineer to the Contract and provisions in NZS3910 that need improvement.

Fran O’Sullivan,

Editorial Director – Business
NZME

Fran O'Sullivan
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Fran is a leading business commentator who writes a regular column in the NZ Herald and appears frequently on television current affairs shows.

As Executive Editor of the Herald’s Business Reports she launched an annual Infrastructure report in the Herald more than a decade ago.
This report is published annually to coincide with Infrastructure NZ’s Building Nations Summit.

Fran was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to journalism and business.

Dean Kimpton,

Transformation Director
Construction Sector Accord

Dean Kimpton
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Dean is currently leads Tūhura and Partners, a specialist consultant providing support to the public and private sector in addressing the unique challenges of growth, infrastructure strategy and delivery.

He is also the Transformation Director for the NZ Construction Sector Accord (www.constructionaccord.nz), a partnership of public and private sector executives and Ministers of the Crown committed to lifting construction sector performance. It is in this capacity today that he facilitates the Beacons Awards.

He holds several current or former governance roles across the public and private sector, including Eastern Busway Alliance for Auckland Transport, NZ Upgrade Programme for Waka Kotahi, MBIE Building Advisory Panel chair, and previously the Americas Cup 36th defence advisory board, President of Engineering NZ, Infrastructure NZ and the Parenting Place charity.

In September 2019 he was appointed by Cabinet to the RM Review panel.

Until May 2019, Dean was Chief Operating Officer for Auckland Council, Australasia’s largest local authority.

Prior to joining Auckland Council, Dean was Managing Director of AECOM NZ for 8 years.

Hon Poto Williams,

Minister for Building and Construction

Hon Poto Williams
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Hon Poto Williams is the Labour Member of Parliament for Christchurch East, where she lives. Poto became the MP for Christchurch East at a by-election in November 2013. She is now the Minister for Building and Construction, Minister of Police, Associate Minister for Children and Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing).

After gaining an MBA and Graduate Certificate in Research Methods from Manukau Institute of Technology and Southern Cross University, Poto has worked in and managing community health and community mental health services, residential disability services, working with single parent families, youth services, family violence and refuge. Working in mental health provided the opportunity to engage in strengths based, recovery focussed and client centred work, which has guided her practice ever since.

Poto is the very proud mother of Terai, grandmother of Bodhi and a member of a very large extended family in New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands.

Pip Best,

Climate Change and Sustainability Services Leader
EY New Zealand

Pip Best
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Pip has worked with both the public and private sector in understanding the impacts of climate change and other sustainability issues such as emissions trading, green bonds, sustainable finance, impact, as well as outcomes measurement.

She has assisted in the development of sustainable financial products across the Asia Pacific region, and has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the UK within capital markets and sustainability roles.

Pip is building a better working world by helping organisations understand that polluting the air, dumping waste or underpaying a person has a cost beyond what is currently valued, and by not valuing these costs, society will eventually stop supporting your business. Her clients most value that she understands both the financial and sustainability angles.

Pip has a Bachelor of Engineering and Finance from the University of Melbourne.

Tracey Ryan,

Board Member
Infrastructure New Zealand

Tracey Ryan
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Tracey is the Managing Director, New Zealand for international engineering, design & advisory company Aurecon, responsible for the leadership and performance of approximately 850 people across five locations. This includes health and safety, client engagement, staff engagement and project, financial and operational performance to meet Aurecon’s strategic and operational business goals for New Zealand.

Tracey’s career to date has been focused on business growth, leading enterprise-wide multi-disciplinary teams and creating inclusive and engaged cultures. She has held senior leadership roles and directorships in several global professional services companies, including Beca, where she was the Transport and Infrastructure Clients and Markets Director; EY where she was Director for Sustainability and Climate Change, and ERM, where she was Managing Partner.

She has also undertaken leadership positions with not-for-profit foundations providing technical, fundraising and pro-bono support for social enterprises committed to creating a more sustainable and equitable world. Tracey’s technical STEM background and 25 years international professional services experience makes her incredibly passionate about getting more young women and girls to choose STEM careers.

Juliet Woodward,

Executive Director, Sales
Jacobs NZ

Juliet Woodward
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Juliet Woodward is a chemical and process engineer with post-graduate qualifications in environmental management. Juliet currently leads the client relationship teams across New Zealand (NZ) in all sectors including water, transport, power, health, pharma, cities and places and environmental.

She is a Director and Board Member of Jacobs New Zealand, and has been with the company for over 27 years. She is also a Board Member of the Eastern Busway Alliance and recently became a Fellow of Engineering NZ. With experience across NZ, Australia and the U.K., Juliet’s roles have included governance and organisational leadership, as well as leading multidisciplinary environmental and engineering teams to deliver significant transport and water infrastructure projects. Today, she serves as Executive Director of Sales, NZ.

Steve Webster,

Chief Infrastructure Officer
Watercare

Steve Webster
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Steve Webster is a civil engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles, predominantly in the infrastructure sectors in New Zealand and Australia, delivering projects and maintenance services to government, local authority and private asset owners.

He is Watercare’s Chief Infrastructure Officer responsible for Watercare’s delivery of infrastructure projects from servicing strategies, through planning to construction and for supporting external developer services to enable growth in Auckland.

Steve is the executive sponsor of climate change for Watercare, plus the sponsor of both the 40:20:20 vison and Enterprise Model for the delivery of Watercare’s infrastructure programme. Steve is a member of the Construction Sector Accord Steering Group and the Construction Strategy Group.

Manea Sweeney

Discipline Manager, Horizon Planning
Tonkin+Taylor

Manea Sweeney
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Manea Sweeney is an Executive Director of Tonkin + Taylor Group and is Pou Arahi of engagement and environmental. She works across New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Canada with indigenous peoples. Manea currently supports iwi development and opportunities across several large infrastructural and emergency management projects and is leading research in Māori aspirations within the sector. She has worked with a number of organisations on developing integrated frameworks of Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākehā to understand climate risk and adaptation possibilities.

Manea is a contributing author to “What Kind of Ancestor do you want to be?”, a compilation of indigenous voices from around the world published by the University of Chicago Press. She is a Geographer by training, a graduate of the NZ Leadership Institute and, after time spent living in Switzerland, remains an active supporter and advisor of Capacity Zurich, an organisation that incubates talent and start-ups for entrepreneurs with refugee or migrant backgrounds.

Panellists

Natalie McClew,

Partner
PwC

Natalie McClew
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Natalie is a Partner in the Infrastructure and Merger and Acquisitions team at PwC and offers a broad range of advice and transactional experience, with a focus on infrastructure and complex situations.

With over 15 years’ of corporate finance, banking and advisory experience, Natalie brings an extensive expertise in advising both Crown and private-sector clients. Natalie has a deep understanding of the challenges faced in the infrastructure sector in New Zealand, particularly on pathfinder transactions.

Natalie also has strong international experience in restructuring, turnaround, and structured financing across the leveraged, mergers & acquisitions, and project finance spectrum.

Christoph Vojc,

Investment Director
Morrison & Co

Christoph Vojc
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Christoph is an Investment Director at H.R.L. Morrison & Co, the New Zealand founded global infrastructure investment company.

He has worked in banking, investments and development finance in the US, UK, the Middle East and India and is now based in Auckland working on social infrastructure and PPP transactions.

Sean Wynne,

Deputy CEO – Infrastructure Funding and Financing
Crown Infrastructure Partners

Sean Wynne
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Sean is the Deputy CEO of Crown Infrastructure Partners and has responsibility for the company’s Infrastructure Funding and Financing activities. Prior to this, Sean was the CEO of INL where he was responsible for selling the company’s publishing interests to Fairfax Media and for the company’s merger with Sky Television.

Sean was previously with Saturn Communications and later TelstraSaturn where he held the positions of Director Corporate Development, Managing Director Residential and Director Sales and Marketing. Prior to this Sean was with a national law firm.

Sean has a Bachelor of Law from Victoria University.

Wei Lu,

Head of Investment Banking & Asset Management
China Construction Bank

Wei Lu
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Wei leads the Investment Banking and Asset Management team in China Construction Bank NZ. He brings over 14 years of banking experience in both New Zealand and China across corporate banking, investment banking and markets.

Prior to his current role, Wei was a Director in Corporate & Institutional Banking in CCBNZ with one of key focuses in Infrastructure sector and infrastructure projects. He has been involved in NZ PPP projects, project finance and corporates in the sector.

For several years, Wei headed the Asset Management & Capital team for China Merchants Bank Tianjin. He has been leading multiple M&A projects and Fund programs includes setting up and financing a major government infrastructure fund in China.

Prior to this, Wei worked at ANZ managing treasury finance and traded interest rate risk.

Boyd Warren,

General Manager, Innovation & Business Growth
ChristchurchNZ

Boyd Warren
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Boyd Warren is ChristchurchNZ’s General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth, leading the economic development team striving to increase the resilience and competitiveness of local businesses and retaining and growing high-value jobs in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

“I’m immensely proud to lead a team of highly-skilled economic development professionals who embody bold-ambition for our City every day”.

Boyd brings considerable previous business and commercial experience including owning and operating businesses in e-commerce, communications technology, retail and adventure tourism. His most recent role prior to joining ChristchurchNZ saw him manage large and complex business units in a large trans-Tasman business, Fairfax Media (now Nine), through periods of significant disruption.

Pam Ford,

Director, Investment and Industry
Auckland Unlimited

Pam Ford
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Pam is leads the Investment and Industry rōpū at Auckland Unlimited, the region’s cultural and economic development agency. This includes industry transformation, skills and workforce, attraction of business, investment, visitors, screen and talent.

Pam has worked in economic development and international trade and investment since 2001, at central and local government roles. Prior to this, she worked as an international marketing professional in private and not for profit sector.

Pam received the Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Commendation for Distinguished Service Award in 2018 and since June 2019 has been the Chair of EDNZ, the body representing all New Zealand economic development agencies.

Auckland joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2017, and Pam co-chairs the Auckland City of Music steering group.

Nigel Tutt,

Chief Executive
Priority One

Nigel Tutt
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Nigel Tutt is the Chief Executive of Priority One, the economic development agency for Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty, which was established by the local business community.

He has a strong private sector background including previous roles in commercial management, media, product development, data strategy, digital marketing and supply chain and logistics. Nigel takes a strategic approach to encouraging investment and the attraction of new business, as well as supporting the growth of design-led innovation to stimulate business growth.

Nigel drives the economic development of the Tauranga/Western Bay sub-region through the delivery of the Priority One strategy for economic growth.

He achieves outcomes through visionary strategic planning with the Executive Board, robust financial performance, functional delivery of outcomes, inspired leadership of the Priority One team, and valuing relationships with members, partners, and key stakeholders.

Nigel draws on significant commercial experience in chief executive and senior management roles in digital marketing and media, supply chain management, export planning and sales, and operations in the private sector.

Hon Anne Tolley,

Commission Chair
Tauranga City Council

Hon Anne Tolley
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Anne Tolley has had a wide experience in local and national politics over the last 30 years.

Elected to the Napier City Council in 1986, she was quickly appointed a Standing Committee Chair, and was then Deputy Mayor for six years. She was also elected to the inaugural Hawkes Bay Regional Council for one term.

In 1999, Anne was elected to Parliament as a National Party List MP based in Napier. She then moved to Gisborne and successfully contested the election for the East Coast Electorate in 2005. She held the seat until her retirement from national politics in 2020, moving to Ōhope as the growing electorate’s boundary reached the edge of Te Puke. During that time, she has been a vocal advocate for the development of both Kawerau and Ōpōtiki.

Anne served for nine years as a Government minister, holding the portfolios of Education, Police, Corrections, MSD, Children and Local Government. From 2017 to 2020, she served as Deputy Speaker and as part of that role, chaired the committee which developed a Code of Conduct that covered everybody working in the NZ. She was also the Parliamentary representative to the International Parliamentarians Union.

Mayor Sam Broughton,

Selwyn District Council

Mayor Sam Broughton
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Sam was re-elected as Mayor of Waikirirkiri Selwyn in 2019, he has been part of local government since he first became a councillor in 2010.

Sam has a vision for Local Government that builds on the solid foundations that he acknowledges has been laid by those that have gone before him. He has a passion to engage with people to understand their aspirations and to support their growth and wellbeing.

When he was elected Mayor in 2010 he said ‘the way that we get face to face with people is really important’ and he continues that philosophy today.

With his rural and youth work background Sam has a strong environmental focus and has been instrumental in leading his council through the approval of its first formal climate change policy.

Sam is also the leader of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, the chair of Takiwā Tuarima (Zone 5, the Local Government body representing eighteen Councils across the South Island, and one of twelve Mayors who sit on LGNZ National Council. In these roles Sam is pursuing his desire to see New Zealand prosper and to influence Government decision making surrounding issues that affect the daily lives of all those that live in Aotearoa.

Sam lives in Darfield with his wife Liz and daughter Elliott. He enjoys friends’ road trips on his motorbike, playing the guitar and spending time with his family. He has a passion for cricket and has dabbled in lawn bowls and loves 1990’s pop.

Mayor Neil Holdom,

New Plymouth District Council

Mayor Neil Holdom
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Mayor Holdom’s core competencies are in energy and infrastructure at scale with experience in the private and public sector across both New Zealand and Australia over the last 20 years.

As principal of an independent management consultancy he provides advice to boards and executive teams in the regulated utility sector across New Zealand focused on maturing asset management processes within the relevant regulatory frameworks.

During the last five years at New Plymouth District Council, the Mayor and his team have delivered a step change in the Council’s asset management maturity culminating in the approval of our 10 year plan 2021-31 covering 16 different service lines and multiple utilities where we are ramping up investment in renewals and growth.

LGNZ appointed him to the Government’s Three Waters Steering Group contributing to the development of reforms for $60 billion of public water, waste water and stormwater infrastructure.

Further, his experience working with Mana Whenua dates back to 1997 with INL. He has continued to grow his reo and understanding of Māori culture building strong relationships with Iwi and Hapu leaders and through them delivering a range of positive outcomes including the Waitara Lands Bill, Rotoz Dirt Jump Park, the new airport terminal and >$240m of discretionary regional investments from Government over the past five years.

The Mayor’s key governance responsibilities include chairing Council, chairing Ngā Kaiwhakatere O Taranaki (Taranaki’s regional economic development governance entity) and he is also a member of NPDC’s Finance Audit and Risk committee.

In reflecting on his experience, the Mayor notes that New Zealand is going through a period of rapid change underpinned by significant uncertainty around decarbonisation, the increasing influence of Tangata Whenua and a realisation huge investment is required over the next three decades to address growth and renewals of our core public infrastructure.

Mayor Paula Southgate,

Hamilton City Council

Mayor Paula Southgate
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Paula Southgate was elected Mayor of Hamilton in October 2019 after serving a term as Chair of the Hamilton City Council’s Community and Services Committee.

Prior to her election as City Councilor, Paula chaired the Waikato Regional Council where she led the development of major policy initiatives including the Lake Taupo and Healthy Rivers Wai Ora Plan Change. She negotiated and collaborated alongside local, regional and central government to develop the Lake Taupo Plan Change and Geothermal Variations of the Waikato Regional Plan and led the completion and adoption of Variation 6 for water allocation.

Paula is currently a member of MBIE’s IVL Advisory Group and the LGNZ Governance & Strategy Advisory Group.

In late May 2020 she was appointed by the Crown to the Board of the Waikato River Authority.

Dr Roger Blakeley,

Councillor
Greater Wellington Regional Council

Dr Roger Blakeley
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Dr Roger Blakeley is a Councillor of Greater Wellington Regional Council and Chair of the Transport Committee; elected member of Capital and Coast District Health Board and Chair of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee; and Board member of Transpower NZ Ltd.

He was Chief Planning Officer, Auckland Council from the start of the governance reforms in 2010 until 2015; Chief Executive, Porirua City Council from 2000 to 2010; Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs and Secretary for Local Government from 1995 to 2000; Secretary for the Environment for New Zealand and Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment from 1986 to 1995, and District Civil Engineer, Whanganui and Wellington Districts, Ministry of Works and Development, 1982-84. He is a past chair of the Paris-based OECD Environment Committee, one of the top eight committees of the OECD. He has served on numerous boards in the government, local government and not-for-profit sectors.

Dr Blakeley has a PhD in Civil Engineering from University of Canterbury and a business management degree from Stanford University. He received the Queen’s 1990 Commemoration Medal 1990, Harkness Fellowship of the Commonwealth Fund of New York 1980, and Sloan Fellow, Stanford University Graduate School of Business 1980. He is a Distinguished Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.

Amelia Linzey,

Group Director – Advisory and Chief Planner
Beca

Amelia Linzey
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Amelia is a planner with over 20 years’ experience in her field. Her extensive knowledge and leadership in this space saw her invited to join the six person government appointed panel for the comprehensive review of the resource management system in 2019.

A geographer by training, Amelia is a Senior Technical Director at Beca, a member of Beca Group Board and the Board sponsor for sustainability. She has directed many community-changing strategic and policy planning, infrastructure planning, statutory consents and consultation projects. Amelia is passionate about the growth and development of communities and places and particularly enjoys working with communities in collaborative problem solving. She has worked with a diverse range of clients, including infrastructure clients, to deliver transformative change through projects across New Zealand.

Amelia has been a member of the Advisory Board for the New Zealand Sustainable Business Council and is the Editor for Planning Quarterly, the NZ Planning Institute’s official journal. She is a full member of NZPI and is an alumni of the Global Women Breakthrough Leadership Programme.

Alistair Cross,

General Manager, Environment Management Group
Greater Wellington Regional Council

Alistair Cross
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Al is currently General Manager Environment Management at Greater Wellington Regional Council. He has oversight of the Council’s Environmental and Resource Management Policy setting, science monitoring and investigations, regulatory implementation, as well as the Region’s regional parks and forests network and Harbour navigation and safety management.

Prior to this he managed the Council’s Environmental Regulation Department – looking after the region’s consent processing, compliance, enforcement, environmental incident response service, and business pollution prevention functions.

Al has managed relationships and processes for some of the region’s most significant infrastructure developments including major state highway constructions, the development of Wellington’s water front, wind farm development, and water supply.

Al has also worked spent several years developing the region’s floodplain management plans. Before coming to Greater Wellington Al previously worked in research and consulting roles.

Matt Paterson,

Chief Advisor – Policy and Programmes
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Matt Paterson
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Matt is currently Chief Advisor Policy and Programmes to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Rt Hon Simon Upton. In that role, Matt coordinates and provides policy input into, the Commissioner’s extensive work programme, which aims to maintain or improve the quality of New Zealand’s environment.

Matt has over 20 years of public policy experience working in and around government. He was the Stakeholder and Policy Director for Crown Research Institute Scion, and prior to that Head of Advocacy for Property Council New Zealand.

He has also worked for the Ministry for the Environment, the Minister for Climate Change Issues and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in various climate change, environment, and diplomatic roles.

Helmut Modlik,

Chief Executive Officer
Ngāti Toa

Helmut Modlik
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Helmut Modlik is an experienced chief executive, director, businessman and consultant with specialist skills in business and economic development, including new venture planning and establishment.

Helmut commenced his professional career in 1984 in various accounting and corporate finance roles. In 1989 Helmut left the world of corporate finance to pursue personal business opportunities, commencing full time study towards a Master of Business Administration degree at Victoria University in 1991.

Graduating in 1993, Helmut was engaged as the Chief Executive Officer of the Poutama Trust (national Maori economic development agency). After three and a half years of intensive work in the field of economic development, advising entrepreneurs nationwide, Helmut branched out on his own as a management consultant in late 1996. Helmut worked for public and private sector clients for over 12 years on a variety of significant establishment, change management, performance improvement, and strategic policy projects.

Helmut’s work over the last 14 years has focused on executive leadership of mergers, turnarounds and business improvement initiatives, including inaugural CEO of the education sector’s largest systems integrator (TTS Limited), a post-merger industry training organisation (Connexis), the CEO of health sector IT companies (Patients First & Conporto Health), and now CEO of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira.

Kumeroa White,

Water Site Engineer
Downer

Kumeroa White
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Kumeroa first joined the industry in 2017 as a general worker with Infrastructure Alliance working on a maintenance contract between Downer and Hamilton City Council. In 2018 she joined Downer’s cadetship programme giving her the opportunity to rotate between all Downer’s Transport divisions over a three year period.

Highlight of her cadetship included:

  • Three months volunteering in the Solomon Islands through the Downer and VSA partnership (April – July 2019).
  • Seven months in Maintenance with the Central Waikato NOC in Taupo. During this rotation she worked with the crews, identified defects in the roading corridor using Pocket RAMM, preparing work packs for the crews, liaising with the client and doing site inspections / reviews (Jun 2018 – Jan 2019).
  • Three months in Kaikoura (earthquake rebuild) with Road Science as part of her lab rotation testing aggregate, concrete and the compaction layers of roads / trenches (Feb 2018 – April 2018).

In February 2021 she joined the Water Construction team of Downer in Tauranga as a site engineer where she is involved with the Elizabeth St Utilities Upgrade and the Meadowlands Pump Station Upgrade. Soon she will start working on the Cameron Rd Upgrade in Tauranga.

Stephen O’Neill,

Director of Asset Management
Department of Corrections NZ

Stephen O'Neill
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Stephen leads the Asset Management function (Property) at the Department of Corrections. This covers a $6B asset portfolio spanning 160 corporate and community facilities and 18 prisons.

His current team oversee all areas of the Asset Management realm including long term strategy, regulatory and compliance, strategic asset management, as well as a capital delivery program and the largest Facilities Management outsourcing contract in NZ.

It involves complexity and some demanding customers, but really is about trying to change peoples lives for the better. His leadership history in the public and private world spans medical, aviation and project roles and probably don’t help too much, but he tells lots of stories about them anyway.

Alice Bray,

Senior Procurement Advisor
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Alice Bray
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2020 CIPS Australasia & Supply Management Awards – Young Talent winner Alice Bray (MCIPS) is the Senior Sustainable Procurement Advisor at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

She is responsible for the implementation of the social/sustainable procurement programme “broader outcomes”, a programme to enable the sector to achieve greater positive impact for communities.

Blair Walter,

Renewable Energy Leader
Aurecon

Blair Walter
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Blair Walter is an experienced mechanical engineer with specialist skills in project management and advisory services on renewable energy projects in the international energy sector. International experience includes projects in Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Europe, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Blair has led due-diligence exercises on over 20 GW of renewable energy projects to support acquisition and financing, with a focus on wind energy and solar PV, and broad exposure to other technologies including hydropower, biomass, concentrating solar power, batteries and hydrogen.

Blair supports clients in all stages of project development from site identification and concept design through to approvals, procurement and construction, and provides a wide range of technical and strategic advisory services to private and public sector clients.

Blair is a technical director at Aurecon where he has led the growth of the renewable energy business since 2005. He is currently Chair of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association and a member of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s Advisory Panel.

Nigel Clark,

Chief Operations Officer
Genesis Energy

Nigel Clark
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Nigel joined Genesis Energy in October 2016 as EGM of Customer Operations and was responsible for driving exceptional customer experience across the Retail and LPG distribution portfolio.

In July 2019 he then became Chief Operations Officer looking after the power generation operations within New Zealand as well as Genesis’s substantial interest in the Kupe JV based in the Taranaki region.

Nigel has extensive executive experience gained with Alcoa, TXU, Energy Australia and was Managing Director of Momentum Energy in Australia.

Nigel also was a Non-Executive Director of Snowy Hydro Limited a large and diversified generating and retail business in the Australian NEM from 2015-2019.

He is passionate about the energy industry and the ongoing and exciting transition we face and ensuring we keep a balanced focus on the energy trilemma of affordability – energy equity, security of supply and environmental sustainability.

Gary Holden,

Managing Director
Lodestone Energy

Gary Holden
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Mr. Holden is a founder and Managing Director of Lodestone Energy. Lodestone Energy is currently implementing a 400 GWh utility-scale solar program, across five North Island farm locations. This project is expected to begin in 2022 and become fully operational by 2024.

Gary has over 30 years of experience in the Energy and Utilities Industry; including, CEO positions at TransAlta New Zealand, AltaGas, Enmax and most recently, as CEO of Pulse Energy.

Mr. Holden led the development of New Zealand’s first two large-scale, independent power stations in the 1990s and spent his career developing and operating gas, coal, wind and hydro power plants in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

He has been a long-standing advocate for deregulation and participated in the early stages of electricity market formation in both New Zealand and Canada.

Cathy Clennett,

Executive Director
Hiringa Eenrgy

Cathy Clennett
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Cathy is chair and co-founder of Hiringa Energy, a next generation energy company founded in 2016 and a leader in the growing green hydrogen industry. Hiringa develops green hydrogen infrastructure using renewable energy to displace the use of fossil fuels for transport and industrial feedstock. The company is building one of the world’s first high capacity hydrogen refuelling networks across New Zealand, due to come on line in 2022. The open access stations will lower the barriers for adoption of green hydrogen applications in multiple sectors including road transport, aviation, rail, marine, materials handling, off highway and remote use.

Cathy has a broad technical and commercial background with over 27 years’ experience covering engineering, project management, technology commercialisation, business development, corporate development and investment.

Malcolm Smith,

Australasian Cities Leader
Arup

Malcolm Smith
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Malcolm Smith, Australasian Cities Leader and Arup Fellow in Masterplanning and Urban Design at Arup, who is responsible for guiding design strategy for master planning projects across the world. His work not only centres around the physical issues of places, it also encompasses systems integration, resource efficiency, cultural strategy, meaningful infrastructure, risk and resilience, and social value.

He is regularly invited as a keynote speaker on contemporary urban places, and has recently led a research programme on the role of open space in cities in a post-COVID context. Recent commissions include the Human Genome Campus in Cambridgeshire, UK, and the new Mahindra World City Jaipur, Asia’s first and the world’s largest project to receive C40 Climate Positive Development (CPDP) Stage 2 Certification.

Adrienne Young-Cooper,

Chair
Auckland Transport

Adrienne Young-Cooper
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Adrienne Young-Cooper has a background in strategic city planning and has been an independent director on resource, transport, housing and urban development companies for almost 20 years.

Adrienne’s driving passion as a professional director is to support the creation of sustainable, beautiful, and diverse communities that are well connected by transport networks and services. It is her view that transport investment must support and incentivise sustainable
urban development and position New Zealand for a net zero carbon future.

In Adrienne’s previous governance roles at Auckland Regional Transport Network Limited and Auckland Regional Transport Authority (which both precede Auckland Transport) Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, she has overseen the delivery of major capital projects including Britomart Rail Station, electrification and double tracking of the Auckland commuter rail system, the Northern Busway and the Waterview tunnel.

Adrienne holds a Master of Science from Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Rebecca Hollett,

Rail Client Leader / Principal, Infrastructure Advisory
Aurecon

Rebecca Hollett
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Rebecca is Aurecon’s Rail Client Leader and Principal Infrastructure Advisor with 20 years of industry experience in infrastructure project definition, planning, design and delivery across Australia and New Zealand.

She has recently collaborated with Auckland Transport, KiwiRail and Waka Kotahi on rail level crossing removals and related works to enable the realisation of benefits of recent investment in the Auckland Rail network and led the development of ‘Delivering the Goods – Auckland’s Freight Plan’ in collaboration with various agencies and industry to navigate the critical challenges for road and rail freight networks in Auckland and the Upper North Island.

Rebecca is passionate about the future of NZ Rail & Mass Rapid Transit systems, where rail travel is part of the city’s national connections, ensuring the safe, reliable and efficient delivery of everyday essentials, and supporting industry to create economic, social and environmental benefits.

Tommy Parker,

Project Director
Auckland Light Rail

Tommy Parker
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As Project Director for the Auckland Light Rail Group, Tommy leads New Zealand’s largest ever infrastructure investment and transformational, multi-agency urban and transport project.

Australasian Consulting Lead for global firm Arup, Tommy’s leadership in sustainability, resilience and the environment has seen the delivery of challenging infrastructure projects that respond to complex problems both in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Tommy has held senior management and governance roles with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport.

Nicky Smith,

Business Development Manager
HEB Construction

Nicky Smith
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Nicky is a Chartered Professional Engineer with nearly 30 years of experience in civil construction and maintenance. She has a diploma in both Civil Engineering and Business Studies, as well as a Master of Engineering Studies.

She is passionate about increasing the number of women in engineering and is currently completing her PhD through the Department of Engineering at the University of Auckland on this topic. She has been working on this research for many years, and has undertaken qualitative and quantitative studies to increase her understanding of why women leave the profession, and what we can do to stop them leaving.

In her current role as Business Development Manager at HEB Construction she is responsible for strategy, new business, and client relationships in HEB’s growing maintenance business. She strongly believes in team diversity, and creating an environment where everybody has a voice, and where constructive challenge is welcomed.

Peter Reidy,

Chief Executive
Fletcher Construction

Peter Reidy
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Peter Reidy joined Fletcher Building as Chief Executive – Construction in October 2018. Prior to joining Fletcher, he was Chief Executive of KiwiRail, the national freight and passenger rail business in New Zealand.

Peter has brought to Fletcher Construction a successful track record of leading and growing customer intensive infrastructure-based businesses in the transport, tourism, energy and construction sectors in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom.

Prior to KiwiRail, he held a number of senior leadership roles with Downer Group in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore and before that, senior roles with Todd Energy and Freightways New Zealand.

Peter also co-chairs the NZ Construction Sector Accord, a partnership between the New Zealand Government and the construction sector to lead transformation within the New Zealand construction industry.

Amy Barrett,

General Manager, New Business and Commercial
Downer

Amy Barrett
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Amy Barrett is the General Manager New Business and Commercial for Downer’s Utilities business. She is responsible for growth, retention, strategy, commercial advisory, standards and systems across the water and automation, telco, power, gas, and engineering services sectors.

With eight years in leadership roles at Downer and over 20 years’ experience across the infrastructure sector internationally, Amy is passionate about a sustainable, whole-of-life focussed approach to infrastructure development.

A strong advocate for diversity in the industry, Amy is part of Ngā Kaitiaki O Te Ara Whanake which sets Downer’s strategic direction for Māori cultural development and the development of Māori leaders.

Amy also chairs Infrastructure New Zealand’s Women in Infrastructure Advisory Board which works to grow both the visibility of women and the number of women in leadership roles in the sector.

Megan Main,

Business Development Manager
HEB Construction

Megan Main
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Megan is very excited to have commenced on Monday 15 November as Chief Executive of ACC. ACC is an organisation of 4000 people that provides no-fault accident and injury insurance to New Zealanders and visitors to New Zealand at work, at play and on the roads, as well as managing a large investment portfolio to fund claims now and into the future. Megan is very motivated by ACC’s purpose to help people to get back on their feet quickly and, increasingly, to be active in injury prevention.

Until last month Megan led Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) from when it became a new business group within the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) in July 2020. From not existing in March 2020, MIQ quickly became a key part of New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, with 190,000 returning travellers going through MIQ and an increasing role in supporting community cases of COVID.

Megan’s previous role within MBIE was Deputy Chief Executive of the Corporate, Governance and Information Group, working in partnership with other business groups to support the operation and governance of the Ministry.

Megan was previously Chief Executive at NZ Health Partnerships which is owned by New Zealand’s 20 District Health Boards. It delivers national programmes and services. She was also Chief Executive of Health Purchasing Victoria for eight years.

Before joining the health sector, Megan held senior line management and consulting roles in a range of industries including fast-moving consumer goods, manufacturing and professional services.
Megan holds degrees in electrical engineering and science (with a maths major) from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from the Melbourne Business School. Megan has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Directors Course and Harvard Business School’s Leading Change & Organisational Renewal.

Gracen Luka,

Chair
Emerging Talent Network

Gracen Luka
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Gracen is the chair of the Emerging Talent Network and has been involved with the network for just under 5 years. She works as an Associate Development Manager at Fletcher Living where she thrives in complex and challenging project situations.

Gracen strives to bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to any challenge she is faced with. She continues to create value and deliver sustainable outcomes with both a social license and an environment outlook.

She has experience working on the successful Schools PPP2 & PPP3, as a project manager on several infrastructure projects and now currently works in the land development team at Fletcher Living delivering communities in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Simon Dyne,

Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure
Fulton Hogan

Simon Dyne
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Simon attended the University of Canterbury, where he studied engineering – a profession that runs in his family’s blood. With a keen love of the outdoors, he was soon working in the forest industry for Carter Holt Harvey after leaving university in 1998.

Simon’s quickly progressed through management roles and ended up running the Northern Region, with over 100,000ha of forestry and 50 staff under his guidance. As regional manager he was responsible for forestry operations, engineering, harvesting, and trucking from Tairua up to Cape Reinga. After helping with the sale of Carter Holt Harvey’s Northern forest assets to Rayonier, Simon moved on to self-employment and project management, before signing up with Fulton Hogan in 2006.

Simon is now the Chief Operating Officer for Infrastructure. As the COO, Simon is responsible for all Regional based operations across New Zealand.

He is a charted professional engineer, with significant governance experience including as a current board member of Allied Asphalt, Rodney Aggregates Ltd, Stevenson Aggregates Ltd, Stevenson Concrete Ltd, Auckland Harbour Bridge Alliance, Coastline Markers Ltd, Auckland System Management (ASM) contract and the Capital Journeys NOC contract.

Simon has a strong commitment to sustainability, including attending the Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme and spearheading key initiatives, including the implementation of GreenFuels biodiesel in Auckland, recycled asphalt and concrete production facilities, and the conversion of Fulton Hogan’s Auckland laboratory to solar power.

In 2015, Simon was awarded the IPWEA young engineer of the year award. He also has a keen in interest in the Infrastructure Skills Centre, a Fulton Hogan initiative developed with the Ministry of Social Development. He has a strong focus on encouraging diversity into the construction industry and champions looking after the true skilled workers who keep New Zealand moving.

Hon Julie Anne Genter,

Spokesperson for Finance, Transport, Infrastructure, Urban Development, Energy and Local Government
Green Party

Hon Julie Anne Genter
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Julie Anne was born in the United States and graduated with a BA from UC Berkeley. She spent several years in France and received a scholarship for post graduate study in international affairs with concentrations in political theory and economics at Sciences Po in Paris. Turning her attention to the more concrete problems of town and city planning, she came to New Zealand as a scholar at the University of Auckland, where she gained a Masters of Planning Practice with first class honours.

Before entering politics, Julie Anne worked as a transport consultant in Auckland. Much of her professional experience centred on ground-breaking research in transport economics and urban design.

Julie Anne entered Parliament in 2011 as a Green Party MP. She is currently the Green Party spokesperson for Finance, Transport, Infrastructure, Urban Development, Building & Construction, Energy and Local Government. Julie Anne was the Minister for Women, and Associate Minister for Transport and Health in the previous coalition Government. Julie Anne lives in Wellington with her 2-year old son Joaquin, and her partner, Peter.

Simon Court MP,

Spokesperson for Transport, Climate Change, Energy and Resources, Infrastructure, Environment…
ACT Party

Simon Court MP
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First term ACT MP, Simon is a Civil and Environmental Engineer with 20 plus years’ experience in roles for the private sector and local government. This includes 10 years leading engineering, planning, tendering, and construction teams primarily in Auckland, Wellington, and Fiji.

Simon has three teenage boys, all different physically and intellectually. His youngest son has Down Syndrome which influences his perspective on accessibility.
Simon worked in the waste industry, in landfill construction and operations, hazardous waste remediation, and on infrastructure and transportation projects.

In local government Simon managed a portfolio of 200 closed landfills, many in the coastal area, with aging and failing infrastructure. This experience led to a change of direction, and eventually to Parliament with ACT, where Simon sits on the Environment Committee, and on the Transport Committee and Health Committee when required.

Portfolios include Transport, Infrastructure, Local Government, Energy, Resources, Environment, and Climate.

David Bennett MP,

Spokesperson for Transport, Horticulture and Biosecurity
National Party

David Bennett MP
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David is a Member of Parliament and represented the Hamilton East electorate from 2005 to 2020. He is the current National Party spokesperson for Transport, Horticulture and Biosecurity. David sits on the Transport and Infrastructure Select Committee.

David’s priority in his role as transport spokesperson is to engage with stakeholders within the transport industry and set out how Central Government can improve New Zealand’s transit needs. Kiwi’s deserve a transport system that is fit for purpose for a growing country and sees strategic investment in the ways that count. David believes the current system has become too aligned to political plans and is not about what is in the best interests of the nationwide transport infrastructure. David want to see a government that genuinely values all Kiwi’s transport needs, from those battling congestion in Auckland City to those utilising our rural road network in Southland.

David is looking forward to engaging further with those in the transport sector in the coming months and is passionate about delivering a transport system that is in the best interests of our people.

Rhyl Jones McCoy,

Technical Director for Social Value and Engagement, Social Value Lead
Jacobs Asia Pacific

Rhyl Jones McCoy
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Social value leader, Rhyl Jones McCoy is driven to create meaningful legacies in communities and sees infrastructure as a catalyst to achieve more equitable outcomes for society.

Rhyl values collaboration as a pathway to create innovative solutions. She works with clients and communities in New Zealand and Australia to facilitate engaging processes and workshops where solutions are co-designed to achieve local and national social and wellbeing outcomes.

Rhyl studied a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and applies her training in wellbeing science and coaching to her work in social value creation. Rhyl is a mentor, a diversity and inclusion advocate, and a keen ocean swimmer.

Monica Bennett,

Director, Thought Leadership
Global Infrastructure Hub

Monica Bennett
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The GI Hub is the G20’s only dedicated infrastructure entity. Their role is to support G20 governments to drive an ambitious agenda on sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure. With offices in Sydney, Australia and Toronto, Canada the GI Hub team brings data, though leadership, innovation and best practice to policymakers and practitioners in infrastructure, with the objective of helping to achieve global infrastructure priorities.

As part of the GI Hub team, Monica leads the development and delivery of the GI Hub’s strategic and innovation-focused programs of work, including work streams on InfraTech, Infrastructure Futures, Circular Economy and Transformative Recovery Post-COVID. She ensures that these programs address emerging trends within the industry and that the resulting knowledge products are developed using strategic and user-centric approaches, with the aim to create impact for G20 governments and industry stakeholders.

Sarah MacCormick,

Associate Planner
Beca

Sarah MacCormick
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Sarah is an Associate Planner in the Tāmaki Makaurau Environments team at Beca with 9 years’ experience. Sarah is the People Leader for Beca’s National Communication and Engagement team. She has held leadership stakeholder engagement, planning and social impact roles for a range of infrastructure projects across New Zealand.

Sarah is passionate about good communications and engagement and its power to deliver impactful social outcomes. She won’t hesitate to speak up on the value this has in fostering buy-in, building strong and lasting relationships and driving behaviour change. Sarah is most proud of her work with ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, young people and community groups.

Sarah has previously sat on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Panel and COMET Auckland’s Board of Trustees.

Caroline Hope,

Process Engineer
Beca

Caroline Hope
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A process engineer who works across a variety of fields, Caroline is passionate about meaningful work that contributes positively to all pillars of society.

An advocate of integrated, multidisciplinary thinking, Caroline leads work across sustainability, carbon and artificial intelligence. She helps clients to understand the carbon impact of their operations and projects, and works with them to find engineering solutions that can contribute to a Net Zero Carbon future for New Zealand, while addressing potential unintended consequences of carbon tunnel vision. In another avenue, she strives to engage in empowering ways, which drew her to involvement with Beca’s start up FranklyAI for which she delivers projects that enable clients to execute multicultural AI engagement solutions.

Internally at Beca, Caroline leads the Water Business Sustainability Specialist Services and the company wide Carbon Handprint Project. She draws on her previous experience with Engineers Without Borders and the UNESCO Imagining Decolonised Cities urban design competition to inform her approach.

Connon Andrews,

Market Director: Climate Resilience and Adaptation
Beca

Connon Andrews
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Connon is Beca’s Market Director for Climate Adaptation and Resilience. In this role he is focused on sustainable infrastructure management and development. As a specialist in coastal and climate science he enjoys demystifying the impacts of climate change and developing practical solutions to manage current and future climate risk.

With over 25 years of experience, he has worked globally providing services from infrastructure strategic planning through to detailed engineering. His work with multi-development agencies delivering climate resilience projects has given him a unique perspective of the complexities associated with adaptative design and management.

Connon also serves as a climate change and infrastructure development advisor for the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) that supports infrastructure development and maintenance in twelve Pacific Island countries.

John Blyth,

Māori Business Advisory Lead
Beca

John Blyth
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From Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi and Pakeha descent John has over 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in both Local Government and Private Practice. Through his career John has held various Leadership roles in local government geospatial services and technology, application development, Geospatial Strategies and Project Management.

Additionally, John leads the Beca wide strategy for engagement with Māori across Aotearoa and is the Client relationship Manager with Ngai Tahu. John has been successful in leading the inclusion of Beca Ltd on a multi-disciplinary Services panel with Ngai Tahu and within the panel has led multiple projects. At the same time John is one of a small number of Māori staff in Beca who formed Te Kākano He Tōtara with a longer-term strategic goal of establishing Beca as a NZ based large Professional Services company practicing services within a Māori context.

Rod Oram,

Columnist
Newsroom NZ

Rob Oram
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Rod Oram has more than 40 years’ experience as an international business journalist. He has worked for various publications in Europe and North America, including the Financial Times of London. He contributes weekly to Newsroom, Radio New Zealand, and to Newstalk ZB. He is a deep thinker on sustainability, business, economics, innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, in both the New Zealand and global contexts.

Rod was a founding trustee and the second chairman of Akina Foundation, which helps social enterprises develop their business models in areas of sustainability. Rod and his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1997, when he was appointed editor for the Business section of the New Zealand Herald – a position he held until 2000.

Rod is the only New Zealand journalist attending COP 26 in Glasgow, which brings together countries to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is committed to justice for people and nature, and extremely deeply attached to people and place. Rod recognises that our symbiosis of mātauranga Māori and mātauranga Pākehā will be a powerful and distinctive contribution to the world’s knowledge and practice.

Dr Jim Mather,

Managing Director
Mather Solutions

Jim Mather
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Dr Jim Mather has led two of the most high-profile Māori organisations over the last 14 years – as Chief Executive of Māori Television and as Chief Executive of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, with a focus on Māori Development. Currently, Jim holds Director and Chair roles of Radio New Zealand, Auckland Transport, MBIE and Te Puni Kōkiri, among many others.

Jim’s current work focuses on Māori Development, which he defines as ‘a kaupapa Māori framework of interconnected cultural, community and commercial objectives designed to achieve transformative change, with benefits for all stakeholders”. He is a former New Zealand Army officer, and was awarded the Sword of Honour in recognition of his distinguished achievements in Officer training.

Dr Jim Mather holds a PhD in Māori Economic Development, a Master of Business Administration from the Henley Business School in England, and a Bachelor of Business Studies. In 2008 he was awarded a scholarship to attend an advanced management program at Queens College, Cambridge University. He has also completed a Diploma in Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi.

Kohe Ruwhiu,

Manager, Strategy and Transactions
EY

Kohe Ruwhiu
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Kohe believes in the inherent and unique power of communities to identify and solve their own challenges, and catalyse transformative and intergenerational impact.

Practically, this translates into a different way of thinking through and solving some of New Zealand’s ‘gnarly’ social challenges, and reoreinting our systems, processes, infrastructure, and policy to better serve and reflect our communities and their aspirations.

Her work lies in the intersect between community and Māori organisations, businesses and government, helping to develop mutually beneficial solutions based on mātauranga Māori and innovation.

Kohe has been involved in significant government transformation supporting both government and communities facing multifaceted and complex social challenges, and supply side capability and capacity building.

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