Hon. Paul Goldsmith MP

Paul Goldsmith is a National Party List MP who is currently Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Associate Minister for ACC. He holds an MA in history from the University of Auckland. After working in Parliament as a speech writer and press secretary for three cabinet ministers, Paul returned to Auckland and the public relations industry. Before entering Parliament in 2011, he worked as a business historian and biographer – his two most recent books are biographies of well-known New Zealand businessmen Alan Gibbs (Serious Fun) and Sir William Gallagher (Legend). He has written widely about our country’s history, the development of its economy and its place in the world. Paul also has experience in working in local government, serving as a councillor from 2007–2010 at Auckland City Council.


Richard Louv
Keynote Speaker

Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. His book The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (2011) offers a new vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology. This future, available to all of us right now, offers better mental, physical and spiritual health for people of every age.


Mark Baxter

Mark Baxter is the owner and a director of Storyshed, a Wellington information design agency.  Mark has worked on complex information engagements around the world and will share his experiences around constructing authentic information that supports and provokes productive conversations. Information design – what’s that? Clear thinking, made visible. It’s not rocket science, it’s just about making sense, and more importantly making sense to specific people.  Conversations, not sermons.   We’re intuitively good at our own narrative; we just need to remember that information, to be useful, has to be simple, well designed and purposeful. And that the stories from New Zealand regions, its edges, are the most authentic of all.


Jim Callaghan

Jim Callaghan was born and raised in Wanganui. He completed a PhD in physics and subsequently taught physics and mathematics at several secondary schools in New Zealand. He was instrumental in the introduction of computers in education in the 1980s. Today he is retired in Wanganui and is involved with several community organisations in the city. He takes a special interest in the development and promotion of his home town.


Helen Craig

Councillor Helen Craig holds the art portfolio at Wanganui District Council. She is also a board member of Visit Wanganui (marketing Wanganui’s tourism industry), a member of the Wanganui’s Tree Advisory Group and an RMA qualified practitioner. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Whanganui UCOL, of which she is currently the director of community relations. Helen spent 20 years as a senior account manager for insurance and corporate risk management firms in Auckland and Singapore.


Toby Cooper

Toby Cooper is a Principal Advisor of Organisation Development at the Treasury. He works with things that help increase the performance of the Treasury, through changes to how people work to the way in which work happens. Organisation Development draws on ideas and practices from fields such as psychology, behavioural science, leadership and management theory and practice, complexity and neuroscience. It’s all about finding answers to questions like ‘How do we make this organisation a better place to work?’ and ‘What changes should we make to unlock more of people’s potential and capability?’


Professor Charles Daugherty

Charles Daugherty is a professor of ecology and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Charles has been Director of the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE). His research focuses on the conservation of native birds and reptiles. Charles is a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to conservation and biology.


Shamubeel Eaqub

Shamubeel Eaqub is the principal economist at NZIER, a private economic consultancy firm. He advises senior leaders in the private and public sectors. Expert knowledge and evidence based contrarian views make him a valuable advisor. Shamubeel is also an author, media commentator and a thought leading public speaker. This year he wrote the book Growing Apart: Regional prosperity in New Zealand. He has over a decade of experience as an economist in Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland in leading international banks and consultancy. Shamubeel lives in Auckland with his wife. He grew up in Canterbury and holds a BCOM with Honours in Economics from Lincoln University.


Peter Hardy

Peter Hardy is the manager of the Whanganui Riverboat Centre. He states:

‘We, at the Whanganui Riverboat Centre, are dedicated to the preservation and operation of the paddle steamer Waimarie and the memory of Alexander Hatrick, the man who put the Whanganui River and the town on the world map in 1890. The PS Waimarie was first launched in 1900; she serviced the river for 50 years and then sank in 1950 and was underwater for 40 years. As a Millennium project for the town, she was located, re-floated and refurbished over the next 10 years by an army of volunteers and sympathetic professionals. She was re-launched on 1 January 2000 at one minute past midnight and has again plied the river since. The museum holds an untold wealth of information on the river and the riverboats over the last 150 years.’


Kim Hill

Kim Hill is the host of Saturday Morning on Radio New Zealand. In 2012 Kim won the International Radio Personality of the Year (Association for International Broadcasting). Born in Shropshire, England, Kim was just 15 when the family emigrated to New Zealand, arriving in Otorohanga. Kim’s career has taken her to many New Zealand towns. She has worked for RadioNZ in Gisborne and Greymouth and then wrote for the Nelson Evening Mail. Kim then moved to Wellington to work on the current affairs show, Checkpoint. Next came Morning Report, where she quickly gained a high profile for her probing, persistent style of questioning. In 1993, Kim was host of the daily morning programme Nine to Noon in 1993, and in 2002, the Saturday Morning programme. This programme gave her the opportunity to interview a wide range of guests – be they scientists, historians, theologians, psychiatrists, novelists, or just characters or high achievers – while also taking in some leisurely interests: food, classic literature and poetry, children’s books and music. Kim recorded a series of interviews with Sir Paul Callaghan which were subsequently published as a book. On Saturday Morning, Kim Hill will be broadcasting from the Royal Opera House, Whanganui, in advance of the A Place to Live conference. On Wednesday she will be skyping from Wanganui with the participants in Wellington – sharing their reflections from the workshop.


Clodagh Jolly

Clodagh Jolly is a senior analyst at the Treasury. She works with Treasury staff to help achieve the Treasury’s goals of becoming a more collaborative, outward focused and productive organisation. Clodagh is interested in how creative thinking tools can be applied to generate innovation and improve organisational performance. She recently completed her Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt accreditation and has been involved in running continual improvement projects in the Treasury.


Dr Girol Karacaoglu

Dr Girol Karacaoglu is Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomic, International and Economic Research at the Treasury. As both Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary, Girol oversees the Treasury’s research and advice on broad economic policy issues aimed at raising the living standards of New Zealanders. He has extensive experience in the financial sector and came to the Treasury from The Co-operative Bank where he was Chief Executive for nine years. His previous roles include General Manager at Westpac NZ and Chief Economist at the National Bank of NZ and he was a lecturer in economics at Victoria University of Wellington. Girol has a PhD in economics from the University of Hawaii and a Master’s degree in business administration from Robert College (now Bogazici University) in Turkey.


Chris Laidlaw

Chris Laidlaw is a councillor for the Greater Wellington Regional Council. He is the regional plan development portfolio leader responsible for revolutionising the regional planning process. He is also a member of the Capital and Coast district health board and a number of other boards. Chris is a former Rhodes Scholar and All Black, NZ’s first ambassador in Africa, Race Relations Conciliator, Human rights commissioner and member of Parliament. He also hosted Sunday Morning on National Radio for more than a decade.


Justin Lester

Justin Lester has served as a Wellington City councillor for three years and currently holds the position of deputy mayor. He chairs the Governance, Finance and Planning Committee and the Performance Review Committee. He is on the Tawa Community Board, the Council-controlled organisation Wellington Waterfront Ltd, the Council advisory group alternate Safe and Sustainable Transport Reference Group. He is also an external committee alternate representative for the GWRC Wellington Regional Strategy Committee and Local Government New Zealand Zone 4.


John Niko Maihi

Mr John Niko Maihi MNZM (pictured left) is Chair of the Kaiwhaiki Land Trust and kaumātua for the Otoko Marae in Wanganui. He is Executive Chair of Ngā Tai o Te Awa, which is a broker for Māori Health Services, Chair of Te Puna Mātauranga o Whanganui, which is the Iwi Education Service and the Honorary Kaumatua for Whanganui UCOL. He has been a member of the Wanganui River Māori Trust Board since 1988 and is currently Vice Chair. He is the past Chair of the Wanganui Māori Sports Association. He has had an on-going advisory role to the chief executive officer of the Wanganui District Council and has been a member of the Safer Communities Group. He is a cultural advisor to the Wanganui District Health Board, the Wanganui Regional Museum and Wanganui Corrections/Prison Service. He was one of nine people selected by the Ministry of Education to represent Māori at the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference. Mr Maihi is an acknowledged leader and rangatira of Wanganui.


Wendy McGuinness

Wendy McGuinness is the founder and chief executive of the McGuinness Institute. Originally from the King Country, Wendy went on to study at Manukau Technical Institute (gaining an NZCC), University of Auckland (BCom), University of Otago (MBA), Massey University (completing a range of environmental papers) and Harvard (completing the Executive Programme on Driving Corporate Performance). Since then she has, with her team, published a range of reports under the title Project 2058, written the book Nation Dates: Significant events that have shaped the nation of New Zealand and attended four World Futures conferences. She continues to be fascinated by the development and implementation of public policy, in particular how New Zealand might secure its future in the long term, and in doing so, how New Zealand might become an exemplar for the world.


Bill Moran

Bill Moran joined the Treasury in 1985 and over the last eight years has led its work across macroeconomic and fiscal policy, tax strategy and state sector management. In 2013 he was appointed Deputy Secretary of Strategy, Change and Performance. Bill led a wide-ranging public engagement programme to test the assumptions and analysis for the Treasury’s 2013 long-term fiscal statement: Affording our Future.


Ben Parker

Ben is part of the Treasury’s Natural Resources team, with a particular focus on the reform of New Zealand’s fresh water management system. Previously he has worked at the UK’s Treasury, Cabinet Office and Department for Energy and Climate Change, during which time he covered a range of policy issues including climate change and emissions negotiations, public sector reform, nuclear power and negotiations over the EU’s Budget.


Lyn Provost

Lyn Provost became Controller and Auditor-General in October 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand. She joined the Audit Office as an assistant auditor in 1978 before a stint in the United Kingdom and South Africa. She returned to New Zealand in 1985 as Director of Professional Services and became an assistant auditor-general in 1990. Her career included senior roles within the State Services Commission and Archives New Zealand before serving eight years as Deputy Commissioner of Police. Lyn is Secretary General of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions and is a member of the governing board of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.


Mike Reid

Mike Reid is Principal Policy Advisor at Local Government New Zealand where he leads advice on issues such as local governance, central government relationships, decentralisation, funding and reform. He worked in the NGO sector before joining Christchurch City Council for 10 years as a community advisor in 1985. Prior to starting with LGNZ in late 1996 he worked as a policy manager at Creative New Zealand. Mike completed his PhD in public policy at the School of Government in 2010 and has published widely on the topic of local government and community governance.


Professor Jacqueline Rowarth CNZM, CRSNZ, FNZIAHS

Jacqueline is the inaugural professor of agribusiness at University of Waikato. She is a trustee for the Kathleen Spragg Agricultural Trust and Immediate Past President of the New Zealand Grassland Association, and she writes weekly columns for National Business Review and monthly columns for Rural News, the Waikato Times, North King Country Farmer and Pundit. Jacqueline obtained a PhD in soil science from Massey University, worked in plant improvement with AgResearch for six years and taught plant science at Lincoln University for six years. She received the Zonta Award for excellence in science in 1994. In 2008 she was awarded Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to agricultural science and in 2012 she was listed in the top 50 most influential women in New Zealand in the Westpac/Fairfax Awards.


David Rutherford

David Rutherford is Chief Human Rights Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission. His thematic portfolios include: education, human rights mainstreaming, civil and political rights, business and human rights and Treaty of Waitangi. Prior to this David was Managing Director of the Special Olympics Asia Pacific based in Singapore. He has been CEO of the New Zealand Rugby Union and Chairman of the Special Olympics in New Zealand, and he was on the Special Olympics International Board. He has also worked as a sport and commercial lawyer at Bell Gully, Gibson Sheat and Toronto firm Goodmans.


Dame Anne Salmond
2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year

Anne Salmond is a distinguished professor of Māori studies and anthropology at the University of Auckland. For many years she worked closely with Eruera Stirling and Amiria Stirling, noted elders of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Ngati Porou. Their collaboration led to three prize-winning books about Māori life, and a deep and abiding interest in Maori philosophy. Dame Anne has also written a series of books about European voyaging and cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific that have received much international recognition. In 2013 she was recognised as the Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year and was awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Rutherford Medal.


Jonathan Streat

Jonathan is Manager of Environmental Policy at Greater Wellington Regional Council. He holds a BSc, Master of Natural Resources and Master of Science degree and has 15 years of experience in natural and water resource project management and policy development. Having worked in both Australia and New Zealand, he has experience in the practical application of resource management policies – in particular, integrated water resource management, regional planning, implementing national policy statements and national environmental standards.


Tania Tapsell

Tania Tapsell is one of the youngest councillors in New Zealand local government, having been elected onto the Rotorua District Council at 21 years old. She is also a current member of the Ministry of Youth Development’s national youth advisory group and has been involved in various youth development projects and initiatives at a local and national level.


Hon. Tariana Turia

Tariana entered politics in 1996 as a Labour List MP and went on to become the founder and co-leader of the Maori Party in 2004. She held this position for 10 years, retiring in October 2014. Her most recent positions were MP for Te Tai Hauauru, Minister for Whanau Ora and Disability Issues and Associate Minister for Social Development, Housing, Health, Tertiary Education and Skills and Employment. The change in party was a direct response to the then Labour Government’s proposed Foreshore and Seabed Bill. Before entering politics, she had considerable involvement with a number of Māori organisations, working with Te Puni Kōkiri (the Ministry of Māori Development) and a number of Māori health providers. She also had associations with the Te Kura Kaupapa and kohanga reo movements. Tariana’s Iwi affiliations are Ngā Wairiki/Ngāti Apa, Te Awa Tupua o Whanganui, to Ngā Rauru-ki-tahi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.


Mayor Celia Wade-Brown

Celia Wade-Brown was born in London and graduated with an Honours degree in philosophy from Nottingham University. She began her IT career at IBM UK. Celia immigrated to New Zealand in 1983. With her husband, Alastair, she set up an IT consultancy business, working around the world specialising in banking software. Celia was elected to the inaugural Council of the Internet Society of New Zealand and was the founding Chair of 2020Trust, set up to bridge the digital divide. Celia founded Living Streets Aotearoa, a voice for pedestrians. She was successfully elected as a councillor five times and is in her second term as Mayor of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Alastair & Celia have two adult sons, a dog and five chickens. They live on the south coast of Wellington and enjoy walking, cycling, kayaking and scuba diving as well as the capital’s cultural delights of film, theatre and Māori performance. As Mayor, her top priorities are: active and public transport choices; good jobs especially in creative high-tech sectors; connecting citizens with nature;and support for local communities. Above all, she works with many partners to make Wellington ‘a city where talent wants to live’.