Glen Bennett - Master of Ceremonies

Glen mixes in many diverse communities around Taranaki and New Zealand. Both at the coal face of community development, through to a governance and political level. Glen is committed to living out values of generous hospitality, community building and the inclusion and dignity of all people.

He demonstrates this through his work in restorative justice, social enterprise, celebrancy work, youth support, active citizenship … the list could go on. Glen's knack for stringing a sentence or three together, has seen him facilitating and presenting at many eclectic events, both corporate and community. From A&P shows, through to hospitality awards. A weekly radio slot through to facilitating challenging community forums. Glen is grounded, somewhat witty and always ready to hold a space that brings out the best in the participants and anyone within earshot. Glen has lived in Taranaki for almost 20 years and dreams that one day he'll be permitted to call the region home.  

Sarah Colcord
Friday 12.00pm

Sarah has a strong desire to connect, support and empower the young people of Aotearoa and ensure they are part of the decision-making process. In 2016 she won her Local Body Election and was elected on to the Manurewa Local Board at 20 years old. She is the youngest member of Manurewa Local Board and one of the youngest politicians in Tamaki Makaurau. She leads the Arts, Community and Events Role on the Board and is a member and representative on numerous professional working groups.

Sarah is the co-founder of the Auckland Youth Voice - a network that supports the development of Youth Voice groups/councils in Auckland. Sarah also voluntarily supports the Manurewa Youth Council within her capacity as a Youth Worker.

Sarah is passionate about events and creativity and the transformational power they can have on individuals and communities. She runs the Event Management and hire business Eventer and has delivered more than 30 events in her local community in the last 5 years, including leadership conferences, creative workshops, numerous Youth Week events and most notably the 2018 Aspiring Leaders' Forum.

Sarah sponsored by Chorus 

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Lance Girling-Butcher
Saturday 11.00am

Lance is a long serving journalist who has spent more than 50 years working in Taranaki.  He served as editor of both daily newspapers, the Taranaki Herald and the Taranaki daily news before being forced to resign in 2006 because of failing eyesight. He spent 17 months in Waikato Hospital in a failed bid to recover his sight and several months after learning to read and write without sight using accessible technology.

Once he convinced himself he could cope with the high demands of local body work he stood and won a seat on the New Plymouth District Council.
During his six years on the council he chaired the Disability Issues Working Party, the Len Lye Committee. He was one of two councillors responsible for the arts, museum, library, and community development.  During this time, he took a keen interest in the work of Community Boards and become convinced of their worth in the local body field.

After losing his seat on the council he joined a number of organisations working for or with the aged and disabled. It was as chairman of New Plymouth Positive Ageing that he was able to initiate work on an Age Friendly strategy to compliment the Disability Strategy he assisted in establishing while on the council.  He worked closely with the council's community boards during the research phase of these strategies to ensure they met the needs of the rural community as well as urban dwellers. 

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Neil Holdom 
Friday 9.00am

Neil was elected New Plymouth District Mayor in 2016. He has a background in strategic management, government relations, information technology, communications and public relations having worked for Independent News Limited, Fairfax and more recently Powerco. He has a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Victoria University of Wellington, and attended the Macquarie Graduate School of Management to complete a Strategic Management Programme and Foundations of General Management.

Neil is a member of New Zealand Institute of Directors and was an Accredited member of Public Relations Institute of New Zealand, and is the Project Manager for Rotomanu Community Dirt Jump Park.
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Ben Ingram
Friday 3.45pm

Ben is the CDEM Lead for New Plymouth District Council. He has been involved in Emergency Management since 2012 when he was working for Wellington City Council.  He has spent 3 and a half years working at the Taranaki Emergency Management Office (TEMO) where he was heavily involved in the June 2015 flood response. 

Ben has also been deployed to events such as the Kaikoura earthquake and the Edgecumbe floods in the Bay of Plenty. He has been in this new role since March 2018, and is responsible for managing the New Plymouth District Council CDEM programme at a local level.

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Natalie Jackson
Saturday 1.30pm

Dr Natalie Jackson is Director of Natalie Jackson Demographics Ltd. Previous roles include Professor of Demography and Director of the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) at the University of Waikato, and Adjunct Professor of Demography at Massey University.

Natalie has a PhD in Demography from the Australian National University, and Bachelor and Master degrees in Social Science from the University of Waikato. Her early academic work was on ethnic stratification and the role of demography in causing and maintaining those differentials. Today her focus is on regional population ageing, the subnational ending of population growth, and the consequences of these trends for all levels of government, the labour market, the welfare state, education and health care policy, housing, and business in general.  

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Caitlin Metz
Saturday 11.00am

Caitlin is Engagement Manager for the Rural Connectivity Group and is working with Councils, Iwi, community groups, land owners and government agencies to help deliver the RBI2 and MBS programmes.

Caitlin is passionate about investing in well managed stakeholder engagement to deliver outstanding results and is excited to be working on these projects to benefit rural New Zealanders. She has worked in the building and telecommunications industries for over 25 years and has led the engagement on large scale infrastructure projects including the Fibre To The Node rollout, Rural Broadband Phase 1 and the Tasman Global Access telecommunications cable.

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Darren Pratley
Friday 9.15am

If there's one thing Darren loves, it's a challenge.
Again and again, in a career spanning over two decades he has taken leadership roles in organisations facing up to the need for change.
Darren has a real business focus and drive to help make lasting and rewarding changes. His natural flare for sales and sales development gives him a unique talent for seeing opportunities, and, understanding governance, helping move businesses and communities in the right direction.
Having seen and been part of industries that are changing into professional services he has developed some unique content that helps develop roles and progression.

Darren's expertise in marketing, branding, operational management and systems implementation, in a wide range of industry sectors, has led him to fast becoming one of New Zealand's best speakers and business coaches.
Darren's sessions are always full of practical take away ideas that can be implemented tomorrow. 
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Elaine Reilly 
Friday 3.45pm

Elaine Reilly is a positive and dedicated professional with a winning combination of academic qualifications, can-do attitude and extensive governance and leadership experience in a range of sectors. With an Honours Psychology degree and an MBA from a leading Scottish Business School, she has a unique blend of people and business skills. Elaine founded an award winning business consultancy focusing on developing potential of individuals and teams.

In New Zealand, Elaine was CEO of the regional economic development agency, Vision Manawatu in Palmerston North; a Governance Advisor with NZ School Trustee Association, and Clan Coach in her own business CLAN. She joined Office for Seniors MSD earlier this year in support of regional projects. All her work is about encouraging and enhancing potential for the benefit of New Zealand, her adopted home. 
Toby Shanley
Friday 3.45pm

Toby has worked in conservation, ecological restoration and biodiversity protection for the past 10 years, with a lot of work on NZ's pest free offshore islands. He grew up in Oakura, in Taranaki and have a passion for protecting NZ's native biodiversity. 

Toby has  a bachelor of science from Massey University majoring in Ecology and has worked for the Taranaki Regional Council for the past 4 and a half years.   He is Project Manager - Towards Predator-Free Taranaki.

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Julia Tinga
Friday 3.45pm

Julia joined the Office in mid-2018 to lead the age-friendly work programme. In 2018 New Zealand became an Affiliate of the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. In this role she works to promote the concept of age-friendly cities and communities, support those who want to become more age-friendly and connect people, and communities working in this field.

Julia has extensive experience in health policy, working most recently to support the development of the Healthy Ageing Strategy in 2016, and a new model of care for home and community support services for older people. Other portfolios have included maternity services, oral health, child health, performance and planning, reproductive health, health screening for immigrants and visitors, and transfer of surplus health assets to community organisations.  Julia has a Masters in Sociology from Canterbury University.

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Puna Wano-Bryant
Friday 10.00am and 3.45pm

Puna is currently Iwi Environmental Manager Te Kahui o Taranaki Iwi. She also holds the following positions: Trustee, Te Reo o Taranaki, Ngati Moeahu Trust, Te Niho o Te Atiawa Trustee, Te Oati Trust.

Her Iwi: Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati Awa. She is interested in leadership, dance fitness, kapa haka, Maori spirituality, youth development and is involved with Te Moungaroa Kapa Haka, Team Azucar Dance Movement, professional governance and public speaking. Puna was the Chairperson of the Parihaka Papakainga Trust and lead their unique and unprecedented out-of settlement reconciliation process with the Crown in 2017.

She believes to build a community you need a heart for unity and doing so be compassionate to others but most importantly to yourself.

She will be presenting with her uncle: Wharehoka Wano.

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Wharehoka Wano
Friday 10.00am and 3.45pm

Wharehoka is currently CEO Te Kahui o Taranaki Iwi. He also holds the following positions: Deputy Chairperson Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa, Chairperson and Te Atiawa representative - Taranaki Maori Trust Board, Chairperson - Taranaki Tu Mai Trust, Ta Paora Reeves Cannon - Taranaki Cathedral, Cultural Lead - WOMAD Festival, Taranaki Maunga Representative - Te-Kau-Marua.

His iwi: Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati Awa. He is heavily involved in the community and supports and participates in marae, community, cultural activities, events, festivals and sports. Wharehoka has held various governance roles including 12 years as BOT Chairperson at Te Pihipihinga Kakano mai i Rangiatea Kura Kaupapa and on behalf of Te Atiawa locally, regionally and nationally in both tribal and civic situations.

He is committed to ensuring the voices of Te Atiawa pahake, taiohi and mokopuna are heard and has a passion for our educational, cultural and te reo aspirations.

Wharehoka will be presenting with his niece: Puna.

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Noa Woolloff
Saturday 2.15pm

Noa, 20, gained significant national and international media attention when he became head boy of his school and during the same year, became a father. Since then, Noa has become a strong advocate for young people in NZ, has worked across the social enterprise sector and now works for the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ). Noa has spoken at the Social Enterprise World Forum in Scotland, the New Zealand Youth Awards, Festival for the Future and many more conferences/events in NZ.

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Shay Wright
Saturday 9.45am and 11.00am

Shay is a Maori social entrepreneur named in the Forbes Asia list of '30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs' for his work as co-founder of two social enterprises - Te Whare Hukahuka and Nuku Ltd. Both enterprises help indigenous communities set up and grow world-class social enterprises to create community change. TWH has worked with almost 1,000 indigenous Maori leaders to develop their skills, including 130 young Maori leaders through their award-winning youth leadership programme, Ka Eke Poutama. The programme alumni now hold more than 120 governance roles between them across the community sector and have set up several social enterprises.

Shay also helped establish the teacher recruitment organisation, Teach First NZ; is a member of several Government Advisory Boards, and is a speaker, strategist and futurist, having appeared on the NZ television show 'What Next?' in 2017. He is a product of the rural Far North and his whakapapa connections are to Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi, Ngaruahine and Ngati Ruanui. Shay's particular interests and areas of thought leadership are around the connection between entrepreneurship and community, strategies to grow youth leadership in our communities and how indigenous concepts can help to reshape our relationships.
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Sean Zeiltjes
Friday 11.15am

Stratford-born Sean was raised on farms around the Mounga. As Project Manager he is making sure we are on target to secure the Mounga from predators and weeds, and then restore species to it, revitalising the ecology across the landscape.

Sean says the Project is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the community to restore ecosystems and he's keen to ensure the project outcomes are sustained in the long term by promoting involvement and ownership by iwi and the community. He is excited about the collaborative approach to deliver the project, the innovation required to solve some of the challenges, and supporting the experts on the project team. Indeed, he says the project is a 'perfect storm' of ecology, iwi, hapu and community.
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