Conference Speakers





























Ali Houpapa

Cultural Advisor, Te Ara Tupua Alliance

Ki te taha o tōku Pāpā, Ko Te Arawa Waka, Ko Te Whakatōhea. Ki te taha o tōku Māmā, Ko Taranaki Maunga, Ko Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa hoki.

Ahi kaa o te rohe nei, Te Ātiawa Taranaki Whānui ki Te Ūpoko-o-Te-Ika. Kaikaranga o Te Tatau o Te Pō Marae, Waiwhetu Marae, Pipitea Marae.

Kaiwhakahaere/kaiawhina/kaikaranga o Portnicholson Block Settlement Trust. Kaitohutohu Ahurea o Te Ara Tupua Alliance.Kaitohutohu Ahurea/Pou Kuia o Te Whare Wai Paranuku. Pou Kuia o Te Hā Wahine Māori Leadership Course for DOWNER CONSTRUCTION.

Ko Ali Houpapa taku ingoa.

Tēnā rā koutou katoa.

My name is Ali, I come from Rotorua, Opotiki, Taranaki, Wairoa & Wairarapa. My educational background is focused on Te Ao Māori, where I hold a tohu in Māori Performing Arts, Mau Rakau Māori Weaponry, Kairaranga, Māori Leadership Programs, Mixed Media Arts & Kapa Haka Performance.

My late husband and I have four adult children, ten whāngai (Māori adoption) & thirteen mokopuna, one of whom we have brought up since birth and who has a support dog named Mr. Bean. Currently, I serve as the Cultural Advisor for Te Ara Tupua Alliance working on the shared cycle pathway going up near the rail corridor of Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One through to Tupua Horo Nuku (Days Bay/Eastbourne). I provide support to my nephew Nate Rowe in his role as the Senior Cultural Advisor (Pou Kuia) to Te Whare Wai Para Nuku (Sludge Project), where an electrical boiling system will in the future turn human waste into non-smelling, ecologically friendly dust. I have just been appointed through DOWNER CONSTRUCTION to the position of Pou Kuia (Senior Cultural Advisor) of Te Hā Wāhine Māori Leadership Course & administrate/coordinator & deliverer as a kaikaranga for Taranaki Whānui under the umbrella of Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust & sit on the paepae of my three marae Te Tatau o Te Pō, Waiwhetu & Pipitea.

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Amy Gildea

Managing Director, Tetra Tech International Development

As Managing Director of Tetra Tech International Development, I lead the lndo Pacific
team to design, deliver, evaluate and transform projects in more than 100 countries
around the world to deliver vital aid projects and provide the tools to enable people,
communities and the planet to thrive. Together with my team, I lead the acquisition and
delivery of high value technical solutions that deliver results.

As part of Tetra Tech's global international development services, I have overall
responsibility for leading and growing Tetra Tech's international development business
across the lndo Pacific. Working with governments and donors across the region,
including the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Asian
Development Bank and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the
United States Agency for International Development, and the UK Foreign
Commonwealth Development Office.

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Audrey Aumua

CEO, The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

Dr Audrey Aumua joined The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ as Chief Executive Officer in January 2021. As a Pacific woman of Fijian descent, Dr Aumua has focused most of her career as a public servant on improving the livelihoods of Pacific people and communities, working in more than 20 countries in the Pacific. Her passion has always been in public health, workforce development, and supporting sustainable solutions for the communities served.

From end of 2015 until March 2021 Dr Aumua led The Pacific Community (SPC) Suva office as Deputy Director-General. SPC is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, owned and governed by 26 country and territory members. As Deputy Director-General, Dr Aumua has been responsible for the executive leadership and management of all SPC Suva operations, including over 600 staff and technical divisions whose primary focus is on sustainable development challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Prior to her appointment, Dr Aumua served as the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Solomon Islands, United Nations Office and was responsible for shaping the public health development dimensions of the United Nations in that role.

She currently serves as the Ministerial appointed Chair of Pacific Women Lead the largest global initiative focused on Gender Equality in the Pacific, the Policy Advisory Council for the Australian Centre for International Research and she is member of the Governance Board for the new established Center of Global and Pacific health at Auckland University.

She has also held positions with the University of Queensland, and Curtin University, Western Australia. She served as Chief Advisor for the Pacific, within the Ministry of Health of the Government of New Zealand from 1999 – 2003. She holds a PhD in Public Policy from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, and a Master of Public Policy from Massey University, New Zealand. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in International Health, with Distinction, from Curtin University, and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership program Columbia University. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Business and Bachelor of Education from the University of Auckland.


Barbara Dreaver, ONZM

Pacific Correspondent, Television NZ

Barbara Dreaver has worked for Television NZ as it's Pacific Correspondent for the last 20 years, specialising in the region across print, radio and television for more than three decades.

Of I-Kiribati, Cook Islands and NZ descent, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)  in the 2024 New Years Honours list, for Investigative Journalism and Services to Pacific People

Her work has exposed major fraud, drug smuggling, corruption and human trafficking, leading to multiple arrests and changed laws and policies both in New Zealand and around the Pacific. Barbara has done many developmental stories across the region raising awareness in climate change and other important issues. She's won multiple awards  including Reporter of the Year at the 2022 NZTV awards.

In 2020 she created and delivered a two-year training programme through the  Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Ltd to support  journalists across the region.

In 2022 she was appointed as a member of the Establishment Board for the Aotearoa NZ Public Media body.


Beth Eggleston

Co-Founder, Humanitarian Advisory Group

Beth, a co-founder of HAG and co-director alongside her trusted co-conspirator Jess Lees, has braved the acronym filled world of large international NGOs and the United Nations. Now, she revels in the dynamic energy of a nimble team, relishing the ability to make quick decisions and tackle humanitarian challenges head-on as they surface.

In an unforeseen turn of events, Beth found herself immersed in the world of humanitarian civil-military coordination which she got to learn about in several countries. This journey extended to working on humanitarian reform in the wake of the Humanitarian Response Review in 2005.

It was her passion for humanitarian civil-military coordination that saw Beth awarded a Fulbright Scholar in 2019 allowing her to spend three months at the US Naval War College with the Humanitarian Response Program team (where she sampled a diverse array of doughnuts). Beth has co-authored a range of publications including protection of humanitarian personnel, peace and development in Iraq, the role of women in countering violent extremism, From Principle to Practice: Protecting civilians in violent contexts and was involved in drafting the Australian Guidelines for the Protection of Civilians.  

Beth is the host of HAG’s podcast ‘I Think You’re on Mute’ which elevates voices from the Indo-Pacific and shares insights and findings from the Humanitarian Horizons Research Program.  Beth is a member of the Board of Trustees of Community Systems Foundation and as she Beth takes localisation of response seriously, is currently the Team Convenor for her local Macedon Ranges Australian Red Cross Emergency Services Team.

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Blake A. Chrystal

Senior Development Counselor (SDC)

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Blake A. Chrystal entered USAID’s Foreign Service in September of 2005. Prior to beginning as SDC in August of 2021, Mr. Chrystal served as the USAID/Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director and before that as the Director of the USAID/Afghanistan Office of Infrastructure.  In addition to Afghanistan, Mr. Chrystal has served overseas with USAID in Botswana, South Africa, and Moldova.  Before joining USAID, Mr. Chrystal worked for Catholic Relief Services in Albania and Macedonia, serving as Chief of Party on a number of different USAID funded projects.  He also served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay from 1996 to 1998.  Mr. Chrystal has a B.S. in political science from Arizona State University, an M.A. in international policy studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and an M.S. in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.  Mr. Chrystal is accompanied in Canberra by his three daughters: Arami, Fiorella, and Belen.

Carlos Calderon

Carlos Calderon

Head of Partnerships and Humanitarian, OXFAM Aotearoa

Carlos has worked in international cooperation, humanitarian and disaster management for over 24 years. He has led, implemented and managed programmes and projects in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, The Pacific and Aotearoa. Delivered humanitarian strategies and programmes, policies, influencing strategies, relationships and institutional representation, at local, regional and global levels.

Currently working for a second period in Oxfam Aotearoa as Head of Partnerships and Humanitarian, Carlos also worked for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Oxfam Spain, UNRWA Spanish Committee, Red Cross Spain and UNICEF, among others. He currently Chairs the Council for International Development Humanitarian Network, the peak body for the cooperation sector in Aotearoa.

Carlos studied for a Master’s degree in Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Aid at the University of Comillas – Madrid and graduated in Social Communication from the University of Lima, with a major in Communication for Development.

He has 26 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter and medical first responder in Peru, Spain and New Zealand.

Donald Mann

Don Mann

CEO, Pacific Media Network (PMN)

Ngāti Kahungungu, Ngāi Tūhoe, Vava’u – Kingdom of Tonga.
Don is the 3rd son of Don and Elaine Mann, born and raised in Kelston, West Auckland with his five other brothers.   Don resides in South Auckland with his wife Louise and daughters Sarah and Olivia.

Don was appointed Pacific Media Network CEO on 1 July 2020 and has led the transformation of PMN from a traditional linear radio broadcaster to a global pan-Pacific multimedia entity.  Don was previously CEO of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and prior to that established the corporate partnerships team for Auckland Council.

 Don is a former General manager of the NZ Warriors NRL franchise and served in the NZ Police for 13 years. Don is a member of the Institute of Directors, is Co-Chair of Literacy Aotearoa and on the Boards of Sky City Community Trust and The Rising Foundation.  

Don has a Bachelor of Business from Massey University and has completed postgraduate study in strategic management and international business. 


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Emeline Siale Ilolahia

Executive Director, Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO)

Siale is a Tongan civil society leader, women’s advocate and activist, working and base in Suva, Fiji.

As Executive Director of PIANGO, she represents the interests of Pacific civil society in a range of regional and international fora specifically in areas of human rights based approach, governance and institutional building, effective and informed participation of citizens in decision making to ensure that interest of Pacific peoples are safeguarded.

She has brought her experiences from her previous role as Executive Director of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga to the region in the area of coalition building on issues as diverse as ethical leadership, women’s access to finance, women’s leadership and political participation, humanitarian localisation and locally-led development. Siale was awarded an inaugural Jose Edgardo Campos Collaborative Leadership Award in Washington DC in 2016 in recognition of her contributions to local leadership efforts in Tonga.


Heike Alefsen

Regional Representative Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Regional Office for the Pacific

Heike Alefsen has almost 30 years of human rights, legal, political and development work experience with the United Nations, the Council of Europe and civil society. Until 2020, she was Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN Country Team in Bangladesh and to the UN Development Group Asia-Pacific in Bangkok.

As Deputy Head of the OHCHR Regional Office for South-East Asia, she established a country programme for Myanmar and coordinated policy and information of the Human Rights Council’s special procedures at OHCHR Geneva. She also served with the UN Division for the Advancement of Women and the UN Development Fund for Women in New York, as Council of Europe Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with Amnesty International’s Legal Office in London.


Hema Sridhar

Strategic Advisor for Technological Futures, University of Auckland

Hema has nearly 20 years of experience in government, primarily in the defence and national security sector. In her previous role as the Chief Advisor for Industry and Science at the Ministry of Defence, she worked together with industry, research and science entities, government agencies and international partners to provide strategic advice to inform policy formulation, governance and capability decisions.

In her former capacity as the Chief Science Advisor for Defence, she worked closely with the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor (PMCSA) and other Chief Science Advisors to contribute to government strategic thinking and decision making.

Hema has a strong background in emerging and disruptive technologies with a focus on risk, governance and impacts.

Hema has a Master of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Technology in Opto-electronics from the University of Auckland.


James Renwick

Professor of Physical Geography, Victoria University of Wellington 

Professor James Renwick is a leading climate scientist with a strong national and international reputation, and four decades of experience in weather and climate research. His appointment as a Lead Author and Coordinating Lead Author on three Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demonstrates his expertise. He has also been involved in the governance of the World Climate Research Programme for the past eight years. He was awarded the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Communication.



José Sousa-Santos

Senior Fellow, Australian Strategic Policy Institute | Joint Centre for Disaster Research, Massey University

José Sousa-Santos specialises in security and defence issues in Southeast Asia and the Pacific regions including transnational crime, non-state security actors, state-condoned illicit disruptors, and irregular warfare. He is a research scholar with Massey University and holds affiliations with the Macmillan Brown Pacific Studies Centre, Canterbury University, and as a senior fellow with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. In 2021 Sousa-Santos was appointed to the Global Initiative against Transnational Crime panel of experts and consults with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.

He has previously held positions as Senior Lecturer and Senior Fellow with the Australian Pacific Security College, served as a senior subject matter expert on transnational crime and terrorism nexus in Asia with U.S. Indo-Pacific Command / Special Operations Command Pacific and was the lead analyst on non-state security actors and spoilers with the United Nations Joint Mission Analysis Cell (UNMIT) in Timor-Leste where he was nominated for the United Nations Sergio Vieira de Mello Human Rights Award for achievements in the area of community conflict mediation and dispute resolution during the Timor-Leste 2006 crisis. He has also received numerous commendations from the United Nations Police for investigative work on transnational crime (human and drug trafficking). He has published widely and his work has appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Policy Forum, East Asia Forum, amongst others, as well as multiple book chapters and commissioned policy research for the Lowy Institute for International Affairs and the United States Institute for Peace. He has presented his research on transnational crime and the intersection with foreign interference in the Pacific to U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific, Chatham House, U.S and UK Governments and regional organisations. he was nominated Sousa-Santos is Managing Director of Strategika Group which has offices in Wellington, Honolulu and Monterey.  Sousa-Santos previously served with the Australian Defence Force.


H.E. Lawrence Meredith

Ambassador of the European Union

H.E. Mr Lawrence Meredith arrived in New Zealand in January 2024 as the European Union Ambassador. He has built a career in international relations and development cooperation. With a strong foundation in modern languages, holding a First Class Honours B.A. in Russian and French from The Queen's College, Oxford, Meredith is multilingual with proficiency in English, French, Russian, Spanish, German, and Italian.

Starting his career in 1993, Lawrence Meredith focused on economic and development cooperation with nations formerly part of the Soviet Union. He was involved in programmes aimed at supporting independent media, human rights, and rural development, fostering democratic values and social progress.

In 2000, Lawrence shifted his focus to the European Union's external relations sector, focusing on global partnerships within the former USSR & Balkans Directorate and subsequently for Training & Youth within the DG Education.

His trajectory within the European Commission is marked by leadership positions, including serving as Assistant to the Director-General of DG Enlargement. As Head of Unit for Policy & Strategy, he led efforts in shaping the EU's enlargement strategy.

From 2015 to 2023, Lawrence Meredith served as the Director for Neighbourhood East & Institution Building at DG NEAR, managing relations and cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries. He also initiated the Young European Ambassadors programme, significantly enhancing the EU's engagement with 900+ youth across the region. Lawrence enjoys biking, birdwatching, and supporting Bradford City.

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Mark Laurence

Founder, Ten Past Tomorrow

Mark Laurence, a trained futurist, is the founder of Ten Past Tomorrow. His objective is to align with human-centric, NZ organisations.

“I believe AI is about to become a major force in helping organisations balance profit with purpose, as long as it is deployed knowledgably, skillfully, and ethically. My mission is to guide human-centred businesses to understand what AI means for them in their evolution.

The change AI is bringing will likely be the biggest we will see in the lifetime of our organisations. I want to help NZ be ready and to lead the way in the ethical application of it AI. Through partnering with the right businesses and organisations, I think there’s an exciting opportunity to set a ‘tone’ for how businesses can embrace AI to ‘do more with less’ and use it to the benefit rather than the detriment of their people.”

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Martin Wikaira

Pou-Matua, Ohorere Consultancy

Martin Wikaira, of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngapuhi, is a known Iwi leader and trusted former senior public servant. He has over 20 years’ experience working in the Māori Crown space, building and maintaining effective relationships between Māori/Iwi and the Crown, and key sector groups.

Martin is a skilled people leader who specialises in diverse teams within complex settings and leads confidently in te Āo Māori, te Āo Pakeha and government settings.

He has experience in negotiating key government policies at national and international levels; including indigenous matters, trade negotiation issues, Māori business growth and development opportunities. He has an extensive engagement network across Aotearoa and the globe.

As a former educationalist, a senior public servant and Iwi business leader, Martin is proud to join Toitū te Waiora in creating pathways and opportunities for our communities to build their futures.


Mena Antonio

CEO, Caritas Aotearoa

Mena serves as Chief Executive of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand (Caritas) since April 2022. Mena brings 25 years+ track record of supporting capability building and governance frameworks in Aotearoa New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji across multiple sectors. Mena trained as lawyer with a special interest in Constitutional Law.

She is a child of the Pacific migration to NZ, a first-generation New Zealander, and traces her family history back to the early missionaries who were sent to establish faith in Samoa and Tokelau.

She grew up in a multi-generational home in Porirua where the family were deeply involved with the large Pacific community there. Mena is a sibling of nine, a mother of two and is married to Richard and lives in rural Wairarapa.

“Faith, family, social justice are integral to my world.”

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Michelle Sharp

CEO, UNICEF Aotearoa

Michelle Sharp is CEO of UNICEF Aotearoa, leading the organisation to raise funds for UNICEF's work globally and advocating for children's rights here in New Zealand. With proven commitment to business excellence and social change, her personal mission is to create a more inclusive society where no one is left behind.

Michelle’s extensive career spans leadership roles in both the UK and New Zealand, including as Vodafone’s Head of Digital Innovation, CEO of Kilmarnock Enterprises, Board appointments at City Harvest, Inclusive NZ, and Akina Foundation as well as Diversity and Inclusion work at Bank of New Zealand. She is currently Vice Chair of Kilmarnock Enterprises, an Edmund Hillary Fellow, Treasurer at the Council of International Development, and a proud mother of two teenage children. 


Nate Rowe

Kaitohutohu, Te Whare Wai Para Nuku (New Zealand’s first Sludge Minimisation Facility)

He uri ahau nō te hunga o te Kāhui Mounga a Taranaki, ka tae mai a tōku iwi ki Pukeatua ki Te Whakapuare te Waha o te Ika i ahu mai i te wai manga te papatakaro a Ngake rāua ko Whataitai. Ka karanga ahau Te Hau o Te Tonga ko tōku hau kainga i ngā rā nei.

Nā ngā takutai o tō mātou awa ahau i whakatipu ana, ara ko te awa o Tū Urenui i te rohe o Ngāti Mutunga. Ko Urenui he wai herenga taniwhā, nō runga, nō raro, nō wai ahau anō hoki.  

He uri anō ahau nō te tipuna matua ko Uenuku Whakarongo, ka heke iho ki Rongowhakaata, katahi anō ki Kaipoho, nō reira Ko Ngāti Porou, ko Rongowhakaata ōku iwi hoki. Ko Kaipoho, Ko Hinerupe ngā tangata.

ko Nate Rowe tōku ingoa.

Nō reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā anō rā koutou katoa.

Nate Rowe is a descendant of Te Rangipūahoaho and Hine Pua Whakairi of Ngāti Mutunga iwi where he grew up in Puketapu (Bell Block) and Urenui under the old pā Te Urenui next to his ancestorial river Urenui. On his mother’s side, he is a mokopuna of the eponymous tīpuna, Kaipoho and Hinerupe of Ngāti Porou iwi and Rongowhakaata. Nate works as a Kaitohutohu for Te Whare Wai Para Nuku which is New Zealand’s first Sludge Minimisation Facility which will introduce new leading technology that will enable biosolids from waste water to be cycle managed. A kaupapa that forms part of Wellington City Council’s Te Atakura climate action plan and strategy. He is also a kairuruku with Port Nicholson’s Trust’s cultural services where he delivers a variety of mana whenua kaupapa that manaaki people that request Te Āti Awa Taranaki Whānui presence. Nate is a previous student of Te Awamutu and Te Aute College, and is a kaihaka with Wellington’s regional winning group Ngā Taonga Mai Tawhiti. He has had an extensive career in training, development and management where he has been a senior Operations Manager with a Private Training Establishment and has worked in Ministerial Services in culture and capability.  Nate also has his own small pākihi as a kairaranga (weaver), where is under the mentorship of tohunga kairanga Sarni Scott of Te Arawa and Tūhoe.


Peter Rudd

Executive Director, Council for International Development

Peter is a strategic-minded, impact driven and outcomes-oriented leader, with a deep set of skills and experience accumulated over 25+ years working within the private sector (local and multi-national companies) and public sector, including international government agencies in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. 

Peter is a results-oriented executive with a particularly strong professional background in strategic leadership, international development, economic development and global trade & investment. He has worked with New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE), the New Zealand government’s export and investment agency and in leadership roles with multi-national organisations including the Institute for International Research (IIR). He has experience as a Founder and Chief Executive with New Zealand based companies and has extensive governance experience.

Prior to joining CID, Peter was appointed by DT Global (on behalf of Australian Department Foreign Affairs & Trade) to lead the transition, establishment and operations of the Pacific Island Food Revolution (PIFR) to a stand-alone Non-Government Organisation (NGO) and registered Charity in New Zealand to continue their innovative development programmes in the Pacific. Before this, Peter was responsible for the establishment, management and sustainable growth of the inaugural Fiji Trade Commission to New Zealand on behalf of the Fijian Government.

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Ramola Duncan

Consultant - Engagement Specialist

Ramola Duncan has extensive experience in community projects, international development, and strategic communication. A true relationship builder, she values nurturing connections and elevating projects with fresh ideas. Recognized with the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International awarded by Rotary District 9940 for her dedication to service and fostering global understanding, Ramola has enhanced community engagement and excellence in roles such as Social Media and Branding Chair for Rotary, President of the Rotary Club and Rotaract Club in New Zealand. 

In her various roles, she has managed large-scale events and strategic initiatives focused on community spirit and participation. Currently, she is the lead organizer of first ever TEDxPalmerston North and is driven to showcase local voices on the global stage. 

Her mantra is: "Do what makes you happy, Sets your heart on fire, Makes you get up and go, Brings your soul alive!" She seeks opportunities to push boundaries and give back to the community through innovative and strategic approaches.

Rebecca Lineham

Rebecca Lineham

Manager Partnerships Unit - Pacific and Development Group, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)

Rebecca has around twenty years’ experience working on Pacific and development issues including postings with Foreign Affairs to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea twice. She took a few years out of MFAT to be Deputy Representative for UN Women in Papua New Guinea.  Rebecca started her career in the arts for social inclusion sector and then Amnesty International New Zealand. She holds a Masters in Strategic Studies from Victoria University of Wellington and a Masters in History and Sociology from Massey University.

Robert Patman

Robert Patman

Professor of International Relations, University of Otago

BA(Lanc) MA(Warw) PhD(S'ton)

Dr. Robert is one of the University of Otago's inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chairs and his research interests concern international relations, global security, US foreign policy, great powers, and the Horn of Africa. He served as an editor for International Studies Perspectives (2010–14) and Head of Department of Politics (2013–16).

Dr. Robert is the author or editor of 12 books. Publications include Strategic Shortfall: The 'Somalia Syndrome' and the March to 9/11 (Praeger, 2010), co-edited books titled China and the International System: Becoming a World Power (Routledge, 2013); Science Diplomacy: New Day or False Dawn? (World Scientific Publishers, 2015) and New Zealand and the World: Past, Present and Future (World Scientific Publishers, 2018).

Dr. Robert is currently writing a volume called Rethinking the Global Impact of 9/11 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

He is a Fulbright Senior Scholar, an Honorary Professor of the New Zealand Defence Command and Staff College, and provides regular contributions to the national and international media on global issues and events.

Rosanna Maualaivao

Rosanna Maualaivao

Regional Director, Tetra Tech International Development

Rosanna Maualaivao MacDonald, who joined Tetra Tech International Development Indo-Pacific as Regional Director, Pacific. Rosanna lives and works in Kaurna Country, Adelaide. With extensive experience in the banking sector, Rosanna has proven skills in people and sales management across commercial, industry specialisation, and indigenous business banking. Rosanna is widely recognised as an authentic and inspirational leader, acknowledged as a woman of influence for her role in leading change.

At Tetra Tech, Rosanna is aiming to fully leverage her life skills and professional experiences to effect meaningful positive change on a larger scale. Rosanna's objective is to contribute to the prosperity and growth of Pacific communities.


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Steven Ratuva

Pro-Vice Chancellor, Pacific, University of Canterbury

Currently Pro-Vice Chancellor Pacific, Director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies and Distinguished Professor at the University of Canterbury, Ratuva also holds the position of Chair for the International Political Science Association (IPSA) Research Committee on Climate Security and Planetary Politics. He was Fullbright Senior Fellow at University of California (LA), Duke University and Georgetown University. With a diverse background in sociology, anthropology, political science, and more, he has conducted research globally and authored nine books, including a significant work on ethnicity.

Prof Ratuva has received prestigious awards for his contributions, including the University of Canterbury Research Medal in 2019 and the Metge Medal for research excellence in 2020. As a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, he has made notable contributions to global knowledge. Prof Ratuva's expertise extends beyond academia, as he has advised and consulted for esteemed organizations such as the UNDP, ILO, World Bank, and Pacific Islands Forum.

Tim van de Molen

Tim van de Molen

MP for Waikato and Chairperson - Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade Select Committee 

Born and bred in the Waikato, Tim van de Molen has been the Member of Parliament for Waikato since 2017.

Tim was educated at Matamata College and gained a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Waikato. Following his formal education, he worked as a dairy farmer then ran his own rural construction business before joining the commercial sector, as a rural bank manager. Tim has served as an Officer in the New Zealand Army and has ongoing interests in several small businesses.

With a strong passion for the primary industries, Tim was proud to be named the 2012 Australasian Rural Ambassador. In 2013 he won the prestigious New Zealand Young Farmer of the Year Award. Tim is also a graduate of the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme.

Alongside his commitment to the role of MP for the Waikato electorate, Tim is the Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Select Committee. He has held this role since the formation of the coalition Government following the 2023 general election.

In previous parliamentary terms, Tim has held the roles of Opposition Spokesperson for Defence, Veterans, Building & Construction, Animal Welfare, Biosecurity, Horticulture, Oceans & Fisheries, and ACC.

Tim’s local priorities include extending the Waikato Expressway to Tauranga, improving rural connectivity, and developing a Great Walk in our Kaimai Ranges.

A keen outdoorsman, Tim relishes every opportunity to enjoy New Zealand’s natural environment, particularly scuba-diving, fishing, and getting off-the-beaten track exploring forests, ranges, and National Parks. Tim lives rurally in Tamahere with his wife and two children. 

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TJ Grant

International Partnerships Director, World Vision New Zealand 

TJ Grant is a nonprofit executive dedicated to empowering people and fostering positive change, with nearly 20 years of experience in humanitarian and international development work. Currently serving as the Associate National Director at World Vision New Zealand, TJ drives cross-functional initiatives, ensuring strategic alignment and impactful outcomes in the field. With a master’s degree in international development studies, TJ's tenure at World Vision spans over 17 years, encompassing diverse roles globally.

Passionate about making a positive global impact, TJ brings a unique blend of strategic vision, powerful communication, and leadership to his work. In addition to his role at World Vision, TJ is deeply engaged in the New Zealand sector, serving on the CID Board since 2019 and currently holding the position of Deputy Chair. Residing in Maraetai, Auckland with his wife, two teenage boys, and their golden retriever Harvey, TJ extends his commitment beyond his day job to volunteer as a basketball coach at both the college and competitive representative levels.