Malcolm Alexander

Malcolm is the CEO of Local Government New Zealand and brings with him a combination of a legal background and commercial experience. He has a committed aim to position Local Government as a unified strong voice in the total government structure. 

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Janie Annear

In April 2014 Janie was appointed by the Minister of Local Government, as a Temporary Member of the Local Government Commission and was made a permanent member in July 2014.

Janie had previously served three terms as the Mayor of Timaru from 2004 to 2013 and in 2014 Janie was appointed as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government.

Janie has experience across a wide range of private sector, local government and central government roles. She serves on the Boards of the Lottery Community Facilities and Significant Projects Funds. She also chairs Aoraki Polytechnic Council.

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Peter Biggs CNZM

Peter is the National Chief Executive of advertising agency, Assignment Group New Zealand. He is also Chair of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA).   He is a sought-after speaker on leadership and branding.

Previously, he was Chief Executive of Clemenger BBDO/Melbourne. During his eight-year leadership tenure of the agency, it was named one of the top five agencies in the world (The GUNN Report 2014); Campaign Brief's Australian Agency of the Year for a record five years in a row; and Asia-Pacific's Most Effective Agency for the last three years in a row.

Before taking up his appointment in Melbourne in February 2006, he was Managing Director of Clemenger BBDO in Wellington. During his time at Clemenger BBDO/Wellington, the agency was New Zealand Agency of the Year in 2002 and 2004, and he was chosen as Agency Chief Executive of the Year in 2003.

Peter is Chair of the New Zealand Book Council, a Board member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (he was Chair of the Panel advising the Governments' review of the Symphony Orchestras) and a trustee of the New Zealand Arts Foundation. He is also The Prince of Wales' Charities Representative in New Zealand.

He was also Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand) from 1999 to 2006.

Peter has a first class honours degree in English Literature and Latin from Victoria University of Wellington.

A former Wellingtonian of the Year, Peter was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013.

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Eyal Halamish

Eyal has been an activist, lobbyist, political staffer, management consultant for Fortune 500 companies in banking and mining and a social entrepreneur. He is currently the CEO of OurSay, an organisation which helps leaders level with their communities with easy to use technologies. His organisation has received a Crikey Media Innovation Award and the International Association of Public Participation Core Values Award in 2013 for helping civic leaders make relevant decisions by keeping their communities close.

Eyal is faculty member at the School of Life, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Unreasonable Institute Fellow, and Center for Sustainability Leadership Fellow. He also is a director of Code for Australia.

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David Hammond

David is Director of Hammond Robertson Ltd and former CEO of Thames Coromandel District Council. David partnered with his council in 2012 to introduce the most devolved system of decision-making and service delivery in New Zealand and Australia. David used the Community Board as the cornerstone of that programme. Five years on, he regularly trains councils in Australia on creating similar models of council and is a regular speaker in the Future of Local Government Conference in Melbourne on local government innovation.

David worked as an External Advisor to Auckland Council in 2016 on the project to review the Council Local Board relationships, and also set up Kete Foundation New Zealand that year to advance New Zealand community planning, community development and place based decision-making to empower citizens.

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Sam Johnson

Sam is the co-founder of WeVisit and Adjunct Fellow in the School of Education and Leadership at the University of Canterbury. Most well known for founding the Student Volunteer Army after the Christchurch earthquakes and for his work in the international disaster risk community, Sam returned home in 2016 to develop a company that can connect generations and end social isolation in New Zealand.

WeVisit matches a young person to regularly visit elderly, on behalf of families, especially popular with expats and for older people after their spouse passes away. WeVisitors share time and help out with odd jobs around the house like fixing the computer, naming photos and building family trees.

Sam has been previously named a Young New Zealander of the Year award, Communicator of the Year and is #17 on the Readers Digest Most Trusted New Zealanders list. He is a member of the Ministry of Youth Development Partnership board, Westpac Sustainability Advisory Board and current Secretary of the International Association of Volunteer Effort.

Sam's attendance sponsored by Chorus

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Ryan Jones

Ryan is a lifelong resident of West Harbour (Dunedin) and currently serving his first term on the West Harbour Community Board as New Zealand's youngest elected community board member after being elected in the 2016 local body elections. In early 2017, Ryan was appointed to the Community Board Executive Committee as one of two youth representatives.

Ryan is currently a student at the University of Otago, studying towards a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and minoring in Maori Studies.

He is involved in a number of community and youth organisations on both a city and nation-wide level. Such as the Dunedin-based Youth Action Committee and UN Youth NZ. He has also volunteered for the Dunedin Night Shelter and a Dunedin-based foodbank. His hobbies include hiking, camping, reading, spending time with family and friends.

Darren Keenan

Darren is the Relationships Manager for IAP2 Australasia. Darren has a background as a engagement practitioner, trainer and consultant. He holds the Certificate in Public Participation, Certificate in Engagement and Advanced Certificate in Engagement.

For IAP2 Australasia, Darren manages both the Professional and Practice Development portfolios. He has previous experience in local government, information technology and business management.

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Mick Lester

Mick has been a Councillor and Community Board member at the Hastings District Council for the last fifteen years. He has sat on the hearings committee during his time as a Councillor and has been the chair of the Committee for the past nine years. Mick also undertakes independent RMA Commissioner work for other councils. He has been the Chair of NZCBEC since 2010.

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Wendy McGuinness

Wendy is the Founder and Chief Executive of the McGuinness Institute, which was established in 2004, as a way of contributing to New Zealand's long-term future. 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.

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Don McLeod - Master of Ceremonies

Don is an Otago boy who became a long-term Mid-Canterbury resident – he and wife Denise moved here in 1988, and have two adult sons and one grandson. Don was Associate Principal of Ashburton College for 6 years, and Principal of Mount Hutt College for 14 years.

He also served on the District Council for six years after that. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Ashburton and a Paul Harris Fellow, and his community service activities include chairing the local Alcohol and Drug Service Board, and the Safer Ashburton District (Community Council) Board. Other interests include playing golf (badly), biking, swimming, and spending time in the family holiday home in Clyde, Central Otago.

Mike Reid

Mike is a Principal Policy Advisor at LGNZ. He has worked at the association since 1996 and been involved in the review of local government's core legislation since that date. His role in LGNZ involves providing governance advice to elected members and officials and general advice on the LGA 2002, Local Electoral Act 2001 and other key statutes.

Mike's PhD is on the subject of community governance and he has recently published on the subject of decentralisation. He also lectures on local government in Victoria University's Master of Public Policy degree. 

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David Rutherford

David was appointed Chief Human Rights Commissioner on September 2011. Prior to his appointment, he was the managing director of Special Olympics Asia Pacific and based in Singapore.  He has held senior executive roles in building materials and agribusiness businesses operating in New Zealand and Australia, has been chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Union and has worked as a corporate, securities and commercial lawyer in New Zealand and Canada.

David has a strong history of involvement in sports and has lectured in sports law at Victoria University. He has been a volunteer Board member in rugby union, netball, Paralympics New Zealand, Special Olympics New Zealand, Special Olympics International and for the Attitude Trust.
He brings a passion for development and the inclusion of people with disability in sports.

Some priority focus areas for the Chief Commissioner are:
• Continuing work to prevent bullying in New Zealand schools (was involved with this immediately before joining the Commission). Mr Rutherford is a member of the Ministry of Education Bullying Prevention Advisory Group, which he worked to help establish.
• Working to develop better understanding of the United Nations' (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
• He is monitoring and advocating for the inclusion of disadvantaged New Zealanders particularly in education, housing and health with a particular focus on people affected by the Canterbury earthquake.
• Leads the Commission's reporting to the UN Treaty bodies concerned with the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights (ESCR) and the Universal Periodic Review, which is about New Zealand's human rights record and performance.
• Currently leading the work on the reporting to the UN Committees for the Convention against Torture (CAT) and to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
• Mr Rutherford is currently engaging on issues of protecting fundamental freedoms and democratic rights in the context of state surveillance and digital business.

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Hillmare Schulze

Hillmarè joined BERL in 2012 having spent five years working in the public sector. She has a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters in Business Leadership. She is currently completing her PhD on the value of the Maori economy.

She gained extensive experience working as the Chief Economist for Africa at the International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group. During this period she has worked with various NGO's, multinational and bilateral organisations focussed on wealth and wellbeing of the people they serve.

Her work over the past ten years has primarily focused on projects that help develop the Maori economy as well as project focused on developing our regional economies. She is passionate about economic development and believes that it is a means to an end – empowering people to be in control of their own decisions and choices.

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Anne Tolley




Ray Tye

Ray's interest and experience in public participation has been developed through a variety of communications and engagement roles in local, regional and central government over the past 15 years. Following the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes she was, she was involved in providing emergency information, and then led the Christchurch City Council's engagement and consultation team on the draft Recovery Plan for the Central City, including Share an Idea. The Central City Plan won the IAP2 Core Values NZ Project of the Year in 2012. Ray was a Core Values Awards judge in 2013 and 2014, and convened the judging panel over the next two years.

Ray has been a director of the Australasian International Association of Public Participation since 2015, and currently works as South Island Stakeholder Relations Manager for Housing New Zealand.

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Nick Williamson

For the last 20 years, Nick has forged his career working at the intersection of Planning, Surveying, Law, and Spatial Science. Much of that time has been spent in and around local government, although he spends a lot of time talking to 'ordinary people' as well. His specialist area has been acting as interpreter where lay people and technocrats collide.

Nick's current passion is growing the emergent fields of Civic Technology and GeoDesign, which are transforming the way governments engage with communities around the world. Nick's willingness to re-design local government processes was further illustrated through the Kamo Place Race town planning process. The project fundamentally altered the relationship between citizens and Council, by moving the Council's role from arbitrator to community facilitator. The project received widespread acclaim, including the award for Best Use of Social Media in Local Government. Nick spoke about the project in his talk at TEDx Christchurch in 2014.

Nick has been organiser and mentor at Startup Weekend and Global GovJam service design events. He is on the organising committee of the nationwide GovHack event, and is a regular contributor to hackathon and open data communities in New Zealand and beyond.
Nick's attendance is sponsored by Ashburton District Council

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Lawrence Yule

Lawrence has been Mayor of Hastings District for thirteen years and President of Local Government New Zealand for the last five years. He also holds the Office of President of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. A natural leader, Lawrence has fought to ensure that the voice of Local Government is heard and listened to by those in power in Central Government.  

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