Meet our Speakers

Our full Keynote Speaker programme will canvass a wide range of topics, from economics to politics, infrastructure to local government, and te ao Māori to personal reflections. As respected expert leaders in their fields, our speakers will equally inspire and challenge you to think critically and deeply about your impact and responsibilities – at home, at work, in life, for yourself and for others. 

MC and Keynote

Pio Terei

Pio Terei was long ago adopted into the Āpōpō whānau and our Congress wouldn’t be the same without him!

A friend of 10-time delegates and first-timers, Pio is our wonderful MC who brings smiles and laughter, but also reflection and careful consideration.

Pio has been a familiar face for kiwi’s, being the host of multiple TV shows. For many years Pio has worked with The Parenting Place, an organisation dedicated to supporting families by encouraging relationships built on trust, love and service.

Pio and whānau established Trust Teina, a memorial charitable trust for his son Teina Terei. The trust's vision is to save Māori and Pasifika lives through increasing bone marrow and organ donation registers in Aotearoa New Zealand. Pio’s self built tiny house, located in the beautiful Hokianga is enjoyed by whanau and friends, as well as rented out to travellers, with all profits committed to the research of cancer in adolescences.

Tama tu tama ora, tama noho tama mate – the man that stands will thrive, he who sits will perish.

Keynote

Sir John Kirwan

Sir John Kirwan, or JK, is a globally recognised mental health advocate, author, entrepreneur, and a rugby legend. He's the co-founder of Groov, a leading workplace wellbeing platform. Groov's mission is to improve the daily wellbeing of 100 million people. Groov bakes wellbeing into the DNA of a workplace and supports people to feel good and function well.

In 2012, JK was knighted for his services to mental health – an honour he strives to live up to every day. He’s long been at the forefront of public campaigns about mental wellbeing. JK was one of the first high profile athletes to help normalise conversations about mental health, and that vulnerability has paved the way for others to open up about their own experiences.

Many people also know JK as a sporting legend. He played 63 test matches for the All Blacks from 1984 to 1994 and was part of the winning 1987 Rugby World Cup team. He also played for the Warriors and had success as a rugby coach, including on the international stage with Italy and Japan.

JK is a family man who likes nothing better than to surf, cook, and make a perfect cup of coffee. He lives in Auckland with his wife, Fiorella. They have three children, now grown and pursuing their dreams throughout the world.

Keynote

Susan Freeman-Greene

Susan leads LGNZ in pursuit of the most active and inclusive local democracy in the world. She’s passionate about the power of local democracy – and about engaging more people in it. She believes that when local government is strong our communities thrive, and so does Aotearoa New Zealand.

Susan was previously Chief Executive of Engineering New Zealand, and Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority.  She’s also held leadership positions at the Human Rights Commission.  She has practised law and mediation in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom and sees them both informing her leadership style. Susan is also on the boards of Vital and Tāwhiri, the creative force behind the New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Keynote

Helmut Karewa Modlik

Helmut is an experienced director, executive, and consultant with specialist skills in implementation and change management, business, and economic development, strategic analysis and planning, public policy, and finance. Helmut has extensive consulting experience in a wide range of private and public sectors (particularly health).
Helmut’s work over the last 16 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.

Keynote

Jarrod Kerr

Jarrod Kerr is Kiwibank’s Chief Economist. Jarrod has a passion for the environment, financial markets, and everything economics.  Although born and schooled in New Zealand, he cut his teeth in US, Swiss, and Australian banks, and has spent most of his career overseas. Jarrod started off as an economist at JP Morgan in Sydney. 

He then moved into financial markets as an interest rate strategist for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, before moving to Credit Suisse in Singapore as Head of Australian and New Zealand fixed income and economic research.  After 16 years abroad, Jarrod returned home to the mighty Kiwibank in 2018.

Keynote

Julie Anne Genter

Julie Anne Genter, Green MP for Rongotai, is the Green Party spokesperson for Transport, Infrastructure, Urban Development, Economic Development, Building & Construction and SOEs.

She is passionate about making cities that enable people to live more in harmony with nature and one another. This first led her to a career in transport and urban design, before entering Parliament as a List MP in 2011, campaigning on a vision of evidence-based solutions and policies that prioritize putting social justice and the environment first. She has long campaigned for better and more affordable public transport, investment in inter-city rail, and up-zoning to enable more affordable, healthy homes and the services they need to be built in existing urban areas.

As Minister for Women and Associate Minister for Health and Transport from 2017-2020, she spearheaded the Clean Car Discount & Standard - which massively reduced the average emissions of vehicles being imported into the country, fought for and won funding increases to maternity services and midwives, and delivered the biggest annual reduction in the public sector gender pay gap in 20 years.  

She holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, a post-graduate certificate in International Political Studies from the Institut d'études politiques Paris and a MA of Planning Practice from the University of Auckland. 

Infrastructure Panel

One of the many highlights of NAMSDay will be the Infrastructure Panel – moderated by New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga Chief Executive Ross Copland. 

Our panellists will discuss challenges and opportunities facing the infrastructure sector – a conversation you don’t want to miss! 

Panel moderator

Ross Copland

Ross Copland has a background in the design, procurement, financing, and delivery of infrastructure as an engineer, an asset manager and a Chief Executive. He has worked in commercial construction and property on both sides of the Tasman, finishing up as National Operations Manager for Westfield in 2013.  He returned to New Zealand to pursue a career developing tourism infrastructure. Ross holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with First Class Honours, a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA. 

Panellist

Raveen Jaduram

Raveen was first co-opted to the Āpōpō Board in 2020.

Raveen is on the Board of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – and has been an independent director of Wellington Water, President and Chairman of the Water and Wastes Association (now Water New Zealand), Chairman of the Water Sector Senior Executives Forum, on the board of the Committee for Auckland, on the Steering Group of the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum, and chair of the Centre for Infrastructure Research, University of Auckland.

Raveen completed post graduate studies in business at Stanford, Macquarie and Auckland Universities, and has also attended INSEAD. Raveen has been Chief Executive of Watercare Services Limited and has been the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Australian private water company Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited. He has held numerous senior executive roles within the water industry in New Zealand and is regarded as a global water infrastructure leader.

Panellist

Leilani Frew

As Deputy Secretary Financial and Commercial, Leilani Frew is responsible for the Financing, Infrastructure and Urban Development;  New Zealand Debt Management; and Commercial Performance and Governance directorates. Leilani joined the Treasury in May 2021.

Prior to joining, Leilani was Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (IPFA) for the national government of Australia. The agency drives the commercial and financial ability of the Australian Government as a significant investor in national infrastructure and major industry initiatives. She has held a number of board and committee positions including currently as an Advisory Board Member of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

With a career spanning over 25 years, Leilani is a respected and experienced commercial and finance professional having held a number of leadership positions in both the private and public sectors.  Prior to joining IPFA, Leilani spent nearly five years leading NSW Treasury teams in the provision of commercial and financial advice to the NSW Government and its agencies delivering on the Government’s major infrastructure and services commissioning priorities and serving on a number of Government advisory boards and committees.

Panellist

Toby Horstead

As a Strategic Asset Management lead and Technical Executive in the Advisory Team at WSP, Toby brings more than 25 years of experience working with asset owners to develop strategic solutions to asset management challenges and opportunities. He is an outcome and service focused asset manager, developing and documenting Assurance Frameworks, Asset Management Plans, asset information and future asset strategies.

Toby is the National Chair of the Board of the Asset Management Council and actively volunteers to promote and improve asset management as a profession. Toby is a Certified Practitioner in Asset Management and Certified Asset Management Assessor (CAMA). Toby is also a Fellow and Engineering Executive of Engineers Australia.

Toby's career was initially focused on the NSW Railways and Transport for NSW before moving into advisory roles. Toby now includes the Sydney Opera House, the Art Gallery of NSW, Rio Tinto, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Infrastructure NSW and Department of Health Victoria as clients he has supported.

Keynote

Susan Freeman-Greene

Chief Executive, LGNZ

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’s 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.

Keynote

Jarrod Kerr

Chief Economist, Kiwibank

Jarrod has a passion for the environment, financial markets, and everything economics. Although born and schooled in New Zealand, he cut his teeth in US, Swiss, and Australian banks, and has spent most of his career overseas. Jarrod started off as an economist at JP Morgan in Sydney. He then moved into financial markets as an interest rate strategist for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, before moving to Credit Suisse in Singapore as Head of Australian and New Zealand fixed income and economic research. After 16 years abroad, Jarrod returned home to the mighty Kiwibank in 2018.

Photo and bio courtesy of Kiwibank