Keynote Speakers

Listed alphabetically

Master of Ceremonies

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Mike McRoberts

One of New Zealand's most recognisable faces, Mike McRoberts graces our TV screens weekday evenings bringing us our six o'clock news bulletin with co-anchor, Samantha Hayes.

The former 60 Minutes current affairs host whose reporting career spans more than 20 years, is perhaps best known for his journalism work in some of the worlds most dangerous places, covering conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

Being booked as both an MC and to speak, word is definitely out about McRoberts. Combining his journalism skills with extraordinary anecdotes, Mike shares insight into his career, giving his audience an idea of what happened in some of those sticky situations before the camera started rolling - what it takes to get the real story.

Mike has also covered some of the world's biggest natural disasters in China, Haiti, Pakistan and South East Asia and of course the Christchurch Earthquake.

Beginning his career in 1984 as a cadet at Radio New Zealand, Mike then furthered his journalism career when he accepted a role with TVNZ in 1995 as a sports reporter. It is after this role that he moved to TV3 and progressively took up a position which saw him reporting for the current affairs programme 60 Minutes.

In his book, Beyond the Front Line, Mike expands on the events that have taken him to many of the world's war zones and disaster areas. He gives an insightful account of his experiences; the warfare, the devastation and finding humour in surprising places, as well as the fascinating people he's met getting the stories.

Mike has won numerous journalism awards, including TV Journalist of the Year in 2006 and News Presenter of the Year in 2017. A keen sports follower, Mike has also presented and reported from several Rugby World Cups and Olympics Games.

Keynote speakers

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Melissa Clark-Reynolds ONZM

Melissa Clark-Reynolds ONZM, ChMInstD, is widely recognised as an inspirational role model and business leader.

Melissa became a Futurist and Professional Director after 25 years’ experience as a technology entrepreneur and CEO of a number of Technology companies. Melissa sits on the Boards of Weta Workshop, Atkins Ranch, Alpine Energy and Daffodil Enterprises. She is former Deputy Chair of Radio NZ, Director of Jasmax Architects and Kiwi Insurance. Melissa was the first non-farmer Director of New Zealand Beef + Lamb, a Member of MPI’s Primary Growth Partnership Investment Advisory Panel, a Member of EECA’s LEV Panel and Chair of the LINZ Risk & Audit Committee.

Melissa works with companies to understand the future and become resilient while shaping the kind of world they want. She has a particular focus on sustainable business models and decarbonisation. Melissa received the ONZM for Services to Technology in 2015. She is a sought after speaker on what is coming next, new technologies and how we navigate complexity and uncertain futures.

In recent years she has keynoted for Cognizant NZ, the Plumbers Association, Flooring Xtra, Laser, NZFSG High Achievers, CAANZ, Plastics Association, BNZ, and Architectural Designers Conferences.

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Shamubeel Eaqub

Shamubeel Eaqub is an experienced economist who makes economics easy. He is also an author, media commentator and a thought leading public speaker.

Shamubeel has over a decade of experience as an economist in Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland in leading international banks and consultancy. He is on various boards of charities and commercial firms.
He has authored multiple books on issues that matter to New Zealand and gives voice to the unheard including; "Growing Apart: Regional Prosperity in New Zealand", he co-authored "Generation Rent" and "The New Zealand Economy: An Introduction".

He is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker. A regular and respected contributor to media, government and business sector discussions on economic and strategic matters.

Shamubeel lives in Auckland with his wife and son. He grew up in Canterbury and holds a BCom with Honours in Economics from Lincoln University.

Taaniko Nordstrom

Taaniko Nordstrom

Taaniko is an emerging Māori leader and media entrepreneur working to tackle one of Aotearoa New Zealand's biggest challenges.

In Aotearoa, Māori are significantly over-represented in the prison population and underlying themes behind this include a lack of understanding around identity, heritage, tikanga, whakapapa and kawa.

Taaniko co-counded, Soldiers Rd in 2013, orginally using modern media, props and photography to recreate vintage style Māori portraits. They started to notice the positive impact this had on men, women, children and whanau of all cultures and backgrounds, but particularly for Māori, and wondered if it might have an impact on people in prisons. They have since partnered with NZ Corrections in a ground breaking pilot which aims to transform prisoner cultural identity and self perception as an innovative way to approach prison recidivism rates.

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Henare O'Keefe

Henare is a humble, loving and caring man of the people proactively working against violence. He has a self-driven, hands-on approach that spearheads practical initiatives to build community, especially in disadvantaged areas; reversing negative stereotypes; all with a can-do energy and a solid belief in the goodness of people.

Henare O'Keefe is a big man with an even bigger heart. It is a heart filled with love for the afflicted, downtrodden and the needy. His approach to those in trouble is to surround them with love and to give them the support to make positive changes in their own lives.

Henare ticks all the boxes when it comes to empowering individuals, building communities and championing social growth. He does this by lobbying central government over social housing needs in his community, as well as his late-night operation of mobile BBQ Tunu Tunu and the way he battles family violence head on.

Henare knows what it is like to grow up with not many material possessions. He was raised in a low socio-economic household in Ruatoria, but his large family had strong core values that taught him what is important in life. It is these values that have given him a deep commitment to uplift and inspire his community, his people and his country. He has a thirst to reverse negative social statistics and is dedicated to combating family violence, mentoring youth and assisting in the reintegration of prisoners.

But Henare’s remarkable story does not end there. He and his wife Pam have fostered more than 200 children over a period of 17 years. He had a simple way of welcoming a new child into the home, show them love.

Many of these children have gone on to achieve their goals and aspirations, but there was one little boy from a Havelock North tinny house who has found greatness. Phillip Rhodes is now a world renowned opera singer and he credits his success to the stable and loving home Henare and Pam gave him.

For many years Henare has worked across New Zealand against violence in the family and community. This has entailed fronting the New Zealand Police Keeping Ourselves safe programme (KOS) in tandem with the Police Youth Education Service (YES).

In 2008 Henare responded to violence in his own community in a very personal way by organising the Enough is Enough hikoi with the purpose of galvanising public concern and action. Over four thousand people joined that momentous march. The hikoi sparked a number of community-generated projects and Henare has worked at the centre of most of them.

He and Pam have fed hundreds of families with their mobile BBQ TunuTunu often from midnight through to early hours of the morning. Traversing the streets of Flaxmere and throughout the region. Henare took TunuTunu to Christchurch during the earthquake and it became the drop off point for many of the families.

In 2010 he was instrumental in setting up the Flaxmere Community Garden, and to this day it has fed hundreds of families free of charge. It’s never locked, open 24/7.

In 2012 he set up the Flaxmere Boxing Academy which now has 150 registered members, consisting of men, women and children. Henare says “we are creating warriors in the ring, ladies and gentleman in the community and champions in the home”.

For over 20 years Henare has volunteered his time to visiting prisons and reintegrating inmates back into the community. He sources permanent jobs, houses them and involves them in all his community initiatives.

In 2010 Henare compiled the first of the Flaxmere Heroes Calendars. It has since gone on to become a much sort after item. Every home in Flaxmere receives a calendar free, hand delivered personally by Henare, Pam and their supporters. Henare says “for many families this is the only Xmas present they will receive”.

Henare travels the entire country visiting schools and communities spreading his message of love. Throughout the country he is known as the “International Ambassador of Love”.

  • 2010 Awarded the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust Honoured Membership. Only the second time in its 30 year history it has been awarded to someone outside of Lions.
  • 2011 Awarded the Queen's Service Medal.
  • 2012 named Kiwi Bank New Zealand’s Community Hero of the year. Chosen ahead of the Pike River Dam disaster and the Christchurch earthquake.
  • 2013 Presented with the Paul Harris Fellow award by Rotary International.
  • 2017 Appointed the official Ambassador for Hastings by the Mayor-named Keep New Zealand Beautiful Ambassador.
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Dr Paul Wood

Would you have a Doctor of Psychology present at your conference? What if he had spent almost 11 years behind bars?

As an 18 year-old, Dr Paul Wood was completely off the rails. He wasn't coping with the impending death of his mother, he was dependent on drugs, and was an unemployed high-school dropout who was committing crimes to feed his habit.

Two days after his mother died he lost control when his then drug dealer attempted to sexually assault him. Paul was convicted of murder for this offence and then spent more than a decade in some of New Zealand's toughest prisons. During this period Paul became the first person in New Zealand’s history to progress through undergraduate and Masters degrees while in prison. He was also the first person to begin a Doctorate while incarcerated. Paul's educational pursuits dovetailed with a journey of personal exploration and change, both of which gave him a profound understanding of the ingredients required to successfully strive towards our potential, deal with the challenges of change, and build the mental toughness and resilience necessary to flourish in adversity.

On his release, Paul was able to translate this knowledge into strategies for improving leadership effectiveness and organisational culture. As a result, Paul rose rapidly through the ranks to become the senior manager responsible for Training and Development within the multinational professional services firm OPRA Consulting Group. Paul now runs his own practice and has served as a committee member and advisor to a number of boards.

Paul spends most of his time facilitating leadership and emotional intelligence focused programmes across the private and public sectors. He works with everyone from the Hurricanes to Central Agencies of government. His charitable interests see him visit prisons and act as patron for START Taranaki, which helps at risk young men turn their lives around. Paul is also a regular contributor to the media. For more on Paul’s thinking visit his Huffington Post blog or watch his viral interview on the AM Show.

Paul's presentation style is dynamic, humorous, and deeply authentic. He speaks to the human experience and provides practical insight on topics such as our capacity for change, how to cope with uncertainty, how to build mental toughness and resilience, the importance of self-reflection and personal accountability in growth, how to identify and maximize our potential, and how to turn adversity to your advantage.

Dr Paul Wood – B.A. Philosophy & Psychology; M.A. Psychology; PhD Differential Psychology