In order of appearance in the programme
Founder, Eat My Lunch
After 15 years working in large FMCGs, marketing some of the country’s biggest food brands, Lisa decided to put her corporate experience towards doing something that would make a positive impact in the community. As a mother of young children, Lisa couldn’t fathom that in a country like New Zealand, 28% of children live in poverty and thousands go to school everyday without lunch.
With a mission to ensure no children go to school hungry and the belief that clever business solutions can solve big social issues, Eat My Lunch was launched in June 2015. For every lunch you Buy, Eat My lunch Gives a lunch to a Kiwi kid in need.
In just 18 months Eat My Lunch has made over 650,000 lunches, with 325,000 Given to kids in 39 low-decile schools in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington.
Their efforts haven’t gone unrecognised as they won three Westpac Auckland Business Awards in 2016, The Rising Star - One to Watch, Deloittes Fast 50, and Lisa was awarded the 2016 Women of Influence Award in Business Enterprise.
Dr Fleur Francois
Director, Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand
Fleur Francois is the Director of the Measurement Standards Laboratory, New Zealand’s national metrology institute, where she leads a group of approximately 30 physicists and engineers.
She has a PhD in Biochemistry and worked as a scientist at Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York City on drugs to treat diabetes and prevent HIV transmission.
She has worked in the public sector for over 14 years in a range of policy and operational leadership roles: including the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Health, and Callaghan Innovation. Her policy work has spanned regulation of genetically modified organisms, marine environmental management such as developing the Exclusive Economic Zone Act, establishing the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), childhood obesity, and developing New Zealand's first social impact bond.
You can follow her on Twitter @DrFleurNZ
Business Information Manager, the Treasury
Janet is the Business Information Manager at the Treasury. Janet joined the Treasury in June 2016 and is responsible for all aspects of information across the three Central Agencies. She is supported by leads in data, web and publishing, records management and information services. Janet is a part of the Chief Information Officer’s leadership team.
Janet’s background is predominantly in libraries, having worked in public and academic libraries and at the National Library of New Zealand. She moved into Information Management five years ago and has a particular interest in information strategy and data governance.
Janet has a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in geography from the University of Waikato and a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from Victoria University of Wellington.
Working Group Member, Government Women’s Network and Work Programme Coordinator, Inland Revenue
Jill is an experienced project and programme management expert. She moved to New Zealand from the UK in 1989 settling in Wellington which has been her home ever since.
Jill has been involved with the Inland Revenue Women’s network since its inception in 2012 and has served as a committee member for that network helping it to evolve from an informal staff driven group to a formally recognised network with Executive Leadership backing. The IR network now links women from the many IR offices around the country and wherever possible opens up its events to other GWN affiliated networks.
Jill is also a founding member of the Government Women’s Network (GWN) which officially launched in early 2016 and is a current working group member for that network.
Jill is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion. Especially in the areas of how we can better share resources and innovation, link networks and provide support and momentum for forward progress across the public sector. New Zealand has always been a trailblazer for gender equality – let’s keep that moving!
ICT Assurance Director, Department of Internal Affairs
Alison Schulze was appointed to the role of Director ICT Assurance in November 2013 to support the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) to lead delivery of ICT 'system-wide' assurance across government.
This includes building the assurance capability - both within the GCIO’s ICT Assurance team and across the state sector - to ensure risks are identified and managed appropriately.
Alison brings extensive experience in business change management, governance, programme and risk management. As the Director of ICT Assurance at the DIA, Alison is revolutionising the way we use information to make good decisions – particularly through using data visualisation to help identify risk in complex systems. She returned to New Zealand in 2006 after more than 10 years working in the United Kingdom and Europe for a number of major banks and insurance companies, and prior to joining the GCIO team, she worked as a Change Governance Specialist across New Zealand private and public sector organisations.
Alison is one of the co-creators and thought leaders for the DIA Women’s Network. As a mother with two wonderful daughters, Alison is highly supportive of empowering women to lead from where they stand.
Director, Strategic Performance at the Ministry of Justice
Karin is the Director, Strategic Performance at the Ministry of Justice. She has worked at the Ministry for 8 years undertaking a number of roles. Karin characterises her career as a series of unplanned, but exciting, opportunities.
She started her career in London's West End theatre industry, and then spent time in academia, before joining a consultancy firm in London. She continued her consultancy career in Sydney, before coming to Wellington and joining New Zealand’s public service.
In 2015, Karin established the Ministry of Justice’s Women’s Network, which now has over 400 members. With the Ministry’s 2,500 women dispersed across 120+ courts and offices, the Women’s Network working group continues to explore ways to engage everyone in its activities.
Karin has a 6 year old daughter and a 3 year old son and is also interested in how we can promote a gender equal world to our children. She has recently challenged her son’s pre-school and her daughter’s school to undertake a ‘gender audit’ of their resources and practices.
Station Officer & National Advisor Women's Development
Angela joined New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) in January 2003. On completion of her rookie’s course, she was posted to the Counties/Manukau Fire District, Auckland. She moved through the firefighter ranks, before joining the NZFS training department in 2008 as a trainer based at the National Training Centre in Rotorua.
In August 2009 Angela was promoted to Station Officer and returned to operational duties as OIC back in Counties/Manukau.
In September 2016 she was offered a developmental opportunity to work at NZFS National HQ in Wellington. Angela was seconded to a National Advisor Women’s Development role in the diversity and inclusion space. Part of Angela’s responsibilities is implementing a Women’s Network (WFENZ) through the whole organisation, to help the women on the ‘shop floor’ connect, share ideas and advice. The Network is in its very early stages.
NZFS has a low number of women in its ranks – 3% career and 14% volunteer. It is not uncommon for one woman to be on station and the network provides an opportunity to reduce this isolation. Looking after our existing staff is a priority for Angela, but she is also committed to looking at ways to attract and recruit more women to a very rewarding profession.
Chief Advisor, Pasifika, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
Matalena Leaupepe is the Chief Advisor, Pasifika, at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Matalena is responsible for leading the development and supporting the delivery of the Pacific Economic Strategy and Action Plan at MBIE. Matalena was born in Samoa and migrated to NZ when she was 10 years old. She is married to Geoff Rahari and is the mother to 3 amazing girls. A graduate of Victoria University, majoring in Politics and Pacific Studies, Matalena has worked in the public sector for over 10 years starting out as a policy advisor at the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs (now Pacific Peoples), then Careers NZ, Department of Labour which included a short stint as Private Secretary for Hon. Minister Tariana Turia.
Commissioner and Chief Executive, Inland Revenue
Naomi Ferguson took up her position of Commissioner and Chief Executive of Inland Revenue on 21 July 2012.
Naomi is an experienced public sector executive with more than 25 years' experience working in revenue agencies in the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand. She has successfully delivered major transformational change projects and built effective teams to deliver results.
She is currently leading Inland Revenue through a transformation programme, which is one of the largest change programmes in New Zealand at present. Prior to coming to New Zealand, Naomi was the Director, Business Customer and Strategy at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK. Naomi also completed a secondment with Inland Revenue New Zealand from 2003-2006 in the Deputy Commissioner, Service Delivery role. In 2016, Naomi won the Women of Influence Award for Public Policy.
Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry for Women
Natasha is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ministry for Women, and has also worked in the International Strategy team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Before returning to Wellington, Natasha was a legal and policy consultant at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in New York and Bangkok. She has a Master of Laws (Distinction) in International Law and Gender Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She remains deeply committed to diversity and gender equality in the workplace, having been involved with the MFAT Ethnic and Women’s networks, and the MBIE Women in Leadership Committee and Asia Literacy Network.
Natasha is also passionate about human rights, and is a board member of ChildFund New Zealand and the UN Women National Committee of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Policy Advisor, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Ema Hao’uli is a policy advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). She's a recent BA/LLB(Hons) graduate from Auckland University, and is two years into her policy career.
In her current role, she gets to do cool stuff like representing New Zealand at the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva in discussions on the protection of traditional knowledge — which she finds particularly interesting as a New Zealand-born Samoan/Tongan. She likes her job so much that she likes to spend her spare time trying to convince Pasifika students to think about joining the public sector and working in policy.
Team Leader, Tax Strategy Team, the Treasury
Suzy is an experienced senior manager and policy professional in tax and gender. She moved to New Zealand from Australia in 2008 and spent time in Christchurch before moving to Wellington in 2011.
Suzy started her career as a Chartered Accountant and since moving into policy she has maintained her tax specialism while also focusing on gender issues.
While at The Treasury, Suzy has undertaken research into child care and parental leave and has presented at the 2014 and 2016 Labour, Employment and Work Conferences, as well at the 2015 NZ Labour Law Society Conference.
She was invited to speak on gender bias within GST policy for a recent Symposium at the University of Auckland and is a co-founder of the Government Women's Network. Suzy holds a Masters in Applied Taxation from UNSW and is currently undertaking PhD research into tax policy and gender issues (paid parental leave) through VUW.
Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry for Women
Maria has worked at the Ministry for Women since 2011 and has been involved in a number of projects during that time mainly working towards improving the numbers of women in leadership. This includes contributing to the Ministry’s research into the barriers to women career progression included in Realising the Opportunity (2013) and Inspiring Action (2014). Maria presented a paper to the Labour and Work Conference (LEW 2014) on this topic in Issues for Women’s leadership pathways (2014).
Currently Maria is working on understanding the experiences of women returning to work and the effect of career breaks on women’s pay and progression through the leadership pipeline.
Maria also holds a Masters in Social Science in Employment Studies from Lincoln University.
Dame Patsy Reddy
Governor General, New Zealand
Dame Patsy grew up in the Waikato and graduated from Victoria University with an LLM (First Class Honours). Before becoming Governor-General, she had a career in law, business, and the public sector.
Dame Patsy was the first female partner in the law firm Watts and Patterson. She spent 11 years at Brierley Investments, and co-founded Active Equities Limited. Dame Patsy had governance roles at several leading New Zealand companies.
Her public sector work has included work on pay equity, and reviews of New Zealand Intelligence and Security and the performance of several government agencies. She also acted as Chief Crown Negotiator of Treaty Settlements for Tauranga Moana and Te Toko Toru.
Dame Patsy’s passion for the arts is reflected in her past governance roles at the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, the Victoria University Foundation, the Victoria University Art Collection Trust, the Spark Art Trust, the Wellington Jazz Festival Trust, the Symphony Orchestra Foundation, and the New Zealand Film Archive.
As Governor-General, Dame Patsy’s focus is on support for the arts, innovation, diversity and leadership.
Dame Patsy is married to Sir David Gascoigne.
Dr Farah Palmer
Maori Representative, New Zealand Rugby
Dr Farah Palmer (ONZM) was elected to the Board in December 2016. The former Black Fern (35 Tests, 1996-2006) captained the team to three consecutive Rugby World Cups, was inducted to the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2014 and has served on the New Zealand Maori Rugby Board since 2007.
Palmer is a senior lecturer in Massey University's School of Management and Director of the University's Maori Business & Leadership Centre (Te Au Rangahau).
Secretary and Chief Executive, the Treasury
Gabriel Makhlouf is the Treasury Secretary and Chief Executive. He is the Government’s chief economic and financial adviser, and leads the Treasury’s work to help raise living standards for New Zealanders through a stable, growing economy, and a high performing public service.
Gabriel’s career was previously in the UK civil service where his responsibilities ranged from policy development on domestic and international tax and welfare policy issues through to large-scale, customer-focused, operational delivery. He was Chair of the world’s main tax rule-making body – the Committee on Fiscal Affairs – at the OECD in Paris between 2000-2004 and was also responsible for the UK’s Government Banking Service. He led the UK team that negotiated the current US/UK double tax treaty and served as Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Gabriel has a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Exeter and a Master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of Bath, and is an alumnus of international business school INSEAD’s Advanced Management Programme. The son of UN diplomats, Gabriel grew up in the Pacific and speaks French and Greek. He is married with one adult son.
Commissioner, New Zealand Police
Mike Bush’s initial three-year term as Commissioner of New Zealand Police commenced on 3 April 2014. He was recently reappointed for a further three years until April 2020.
As Commissioner, Mike is committed to Police's Prevention First operating model, which puts preventing crime and reducing victimisation at the centre of everything Police does. Prevention First underpins the Policing Excellence strategic change programme, which has transformed New Zealand Police making it more mobile,
visible, effective and efficient than ever before.
One of Mike's top priorities as Commissioner is for Police to have the trust and confidence of all New Zealanders and for everyone to not only be safe, but to feel safe too. As part of this work, Police has expanded its core values, adding Empathy and Valuing Diversity to the existing values of Professionalism, Integrity, Respect and Commitment to Māori and Treaty.
These new values underline Police's commitment to meeting the needs of victims and ensuring the inclusiveness of the many different communities that make up New Zealand.
Mike joined Police in 1978 and has held a range of national and international roles during his career.
Dr Sharon Rippin
Dr Sharon Rippin is a Director of PsychforLeaders and a registered psychologist.
Over the last 25 years Sharon has specialised in the areas of leadership assessment and development, talent management and coaching Chief Executives and leaders at various levels across the public and private organisations.
Prior to establishing Pscyhforleaders Sharon was one of the founding directors of Cerno. Sharon established Cerno in 1996, along with Dr Dave George and Russell McMurray, and the business was sold in 2016. Before founding Cerno she was as a Director at KPMG, and before that spent three years in prison (as a psychologist).
Sharon trained both as a clinical and organisational psychologist. Her PhD in Psychology identified the decision making model senior leaders, across the private and public sectors, use to make decisions about the effectiveness of their managers.
Independant consultant, Designer, Facilitator and Coach, Maxine Walker Consulting Limited
Maxine is an independent consultant, designer, facilitator and coach specialising in leadership development. She is passionate about enabling leaders to reach their potential for the good of themselves, their organisation and the New Zealand state sector system.
She provides leadership development programmes and coaching for individuals and teams underpinned by the Leadership Success Profile, and runs a range of training events covering topics such as strategy development, facilitation skills and communicating with impact. She specialises in performance improvement frameworks, change management and team development.
She facilitates the Building Capable Managers programme for a number
of agencies and has recently developed a senior leader programme for
She works with a range of leadership teams across the state sector, and also provides coaching and facilitation services for the Leadership Development Centre.
Chief Executive, Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki
Gráinne Moss’s career spans over 25 years in the public and private sectors across three countries, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and New Zealand. Most recently Gráinne worked at Bupa Care Services NZ for nine years. Her most recent role was Managing Director, and before this she spent five years as General Manager Rehabilitation and Care Services.
Gráinne was awarded an MBA (Hons) in 2003 from IMD Switzerland where she was recognized as one of the top five students and presented with the prestigious Gillian Welshe Award for the outstanding female graduate.
Prior to studying for her MBA she worked at Carter Holt Harvey Forests as the Human Resources Manager and then moved to the Central North Island as the Regional Operations Manager for Forests.
Gráinne holds a BSc (Hons) in in Human Anatomy and Biology from the University of Liverpool and spent the early years of her career in the United Kingdom National Health Service prior to emigrating to New Zealand at the end of the 90s.
Originally from Ireland, Grainne is an accomplished long-distance swimmer. She is the first Irish woman to swim the English Channel at age 17 in 1987 and Cook Strait at age 31.
Head of State Services, State Services Commission
“I strongly believe in the ideal of public service and I have devoted the whole of my working life to it. It is a privilege to serve as State Services Commissioner.”
Peter took up the role of State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services on 4 July 2016.
He has had a career spanning more than thirty-five years in various roles across the state sector. Before joining the State Services Commission he served as Secretary for Education for three years from 2013. Prior to this he was Professor of Public Management and Head of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington from 2011.
Peter has worked in a number of areas during his public service career. These have ranged from providing policy advice to successive governments through to working in the field to make sure the very best services are delivered for the people using them.
He started out as a clerk with the Department of Social Welfare and by 2001 was Chief Executive of its successor organisation, the Ministry of Social Development.
Before the role at MSD, where he led the country’s biggest government department for ten years, Peter was Secretary for Internal Affairs, Chief Executive of the Health Funding Authority and Deputy Director-General of Health.
Peter has been named Government Department CEO of the year four times by TransTasman Magazine. In 2012 he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State and in 2013 was voted Wellingtonian of the Year in the Government category.
Peter holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business and Administration from Massey University and a Bachelor of Arts degree (English Literature) from Victoria University of Wellington, and is a former Harkness fellow.
He is a fellow of both the New Zealand Institute of Management and the New Zealand Institute of Public Administration, and is also a chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors in New Zealand (CMInstD).