Confirmed Speakers

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About the Summit

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David Benattar

Chief Sustainability Officer - The Warehouse Group 

'Outside Looking In: How the Warehouse Group are winning Sustainability'

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David was appointed to the role of Chief Experience Officer in 2016 and most recently the newly created role of Chief Sustainability Officer in 2018 for The Warehouse Group. He comes from an international background of developing innovative marketing solutions for global brands and retailers such as Sears, Kmart, Sephora, L’Oréal and The Estée Lauder Companies.


Prior to joining The Warehouse Group, David was CEO of Hyperbolic – a New York based digital agency and innovation lab. There he led all aspects of strategy and creative developments for global brands and technology start-ups. David is passionate about corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, with expertise spanning both corporate and non-profit organisations.


In his role at The Warehouse Group, David oversees the transformation the Group’s engagement methods to deliver on the TWG vision of building a sustainable and flourishing New Zealand.


Darek Koper

AT Metro Manager Bus Services, Auckland Transport, NZ

'Electric Bus and Hydrogen Bus trials'

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'Darek is leading Auckland Transport’s transition to zero emission bus fleet known as Auckland’s Low Emission Bus Roadmap. He leads the collaboration with private bus operators to facilitate greater understanding of the benefits of moving to all electric fleet and promoting greater uptake of electric buses. He also plays a key role in the development of supply chain to support transition from current diesel to electric buses and their management and understanding the cost of operating electric buses compared to diesel vehicles, their impact on the power grid and charging infrastructure and funding for their upgrades.'


Helen Jenkins

General Manager Sustainability – Fletcher Building

'Closing the loop – reusing waste plastic'

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Helen is the sustainability lead for Fletcher Building, and is currently working on a range of sustainability initiatives including how to embed circular economy principles within the organisation.  Prior to joining Fletcher Building in 2018, she spent ten years working with major infrastructure providers in New Zealand and the UK, supporting clients within the infrastructure sector to reduce carbon emissions and embed sustainable practices into major road, rail and utilities projects.


Cr. Sara Templeton

Christchurch City Council

'Christchurch: the challenges, progress and opportunities in rebuilding a 21st century low-carbon, sustainable city.'

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Sara is the deputy chair of the Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee and sees the rebuild as an opportunity to build a more liveable, connected, sustainable and prosperous city. She also sits on the Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee which has delegated decision making on the $250m CCC Major Cycle Routes programme.


Sara has been involved in this for over five years, first as a community board chair and now as a city councillor, looking at both the technical and political sides of the issues. During this time she’s also switched from the interested but concerned group to being a confident cyclist, biking to work most days.


Hon. Shane Jones

Minister of Forestry, Infrastructure and Regional Economic Development, Associate Minister of Finance, State Owned Enterprises and Transport

Keynote address

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Hon Shane Jones is a New Zealand First List MP based in Kerikeri, and as a Cabinet Minister in the Labour-New Zealand First Coalition Government holds the portfolios of Forestry, Infrastructure, Regional Economic Development, Associate Finance, Associate State Owned Enterprises, and Associate Transport. He is responsible for overseeing both the Government’s ambitious one billion trees planting programme and the Provincial Growth Fund, which will see one billion dollars spent per annum on economic development opportunities in the regions.


He was previously the Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, with a particular focus on fisheries, agriculture and tourism, given the significance of these resources to enhancing economic development in the region.


Mr Jones was also a Member of Parliament from 2005 – 2014, during which he held positions including Minister of Building and Construction, Associate Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister of Trade, Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. 


Mr Jones has a long history of involvement in the fisheries sector and New Zealand’s Māori fisheries settlement. Mr Jones was Chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana (the Māori Fisheries Commission); Chairperson of Sealord Products Limited, and has held a number of senior positions more broadly in the public and private sector.


Shane Jones was born in Awanui, Northland, New Zealand, and is of Te Aupōuri and Ngāi Takoto descent. He has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University earned on a Harkness Fellowship.


Nick Braxton

Sustainability Advisor - City Rail Link

'Carbon and the City Rail Link'

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Nick Braxton is a Sustainability Advisor on the City Rail Link project and is responsible for ensuring the project’s ambitious sustainability targets are achieved through good design and resource-efficient construction. With a Masters in Environmental and Energy Studies, Nick is excited about the myriad opportunities to not only squeeze carbon out of the construction sector, but to also help create the kind of built environment that we can be proud to leave for future generations.


Louise Aitken

CEO - Ākina Foundation

'Impact through procurement; the opportunities, risks and needs for a thriving, impact procurement marketplace in Aotearoa NZ'

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Louise is the CEO of the Ākina Foundation, New Zealand’s principal intermediary for social enterprise. Following SEWF 2017, hosted in Christchurch NZ, Ākina has been appointed the strategic partner to the New Zealand Government to further establish the social enterprise sector and to help transform the NZ economy by harnessing the power of enterprise for positive and environmental impact.


A strong advocate for social responsibility and impact, Louise leads a talented and passionate team of social enterprise and impact investment experts, providing support, capability and thought leadership both across New Zealand and internationally. Louise joined Ākina in 2016, following a successful corporate career, which included the management of New Zealand’s largest corporate social responsibility programme.


Louise currently sits on the Board of the Impact Enterprise Fund (NZ’s first impact investment fund) and has been recently appointed to the National Advisory Board for Impact Investing Network Aotearoa New Zealand. 


Audra Liubinas

Sustainability Improvement Lead - Metro Trains Melbourne

'A practical guide to the IS Operations Rating'

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Audra is an accomplished sustainability engineer with over 13 years’ experience in private, rail and water industries. She is passionate about leading the development and delivery of innovative water, energy and waste efficiency sustainability programs aligned to business needs.


Audra is currently leading the continuous improvement in the sustainable operations of Melbourne’s metropolitan train network, including being the first rail network in the world to achieve an operations sustainability rating (ISCA) and reducing water consumption across the network by 22% in 12 months.


Darcy Rodgers 

Technical Development Manager - Downer

'What a waste – redirecting plastic from landfill into roading'

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Darcy is a an expert in New Zealand for asphalt and bitumen based surfacings. He is our technical lead and is responsible for finding and delivering customer solutions. He is passionate about understanding the fundamental science behind our customers challenges and uses this knowledge to advance the industry through high integrity R&D.


Rob Bell

Programme Leader—Hazards & Risk - NIWA, Hamilton

'Coastal engineering, risk from natural hazards, and the impacts of climate change on coastal communities and infrastructure.'

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Rob has 38 years’ experience in coastal engineering, risk from natural hazards, and the impacts of climate change on coastal communities and infrastructure.


Rob is the Programme Leader for NIWA’s Climate, Atmosphere & Hazards Centre, coordinating research and consulting activities associated with weather-related and tsunami hazards and the risks they pose. He has published papers on sea-level rise, coastal hazards (including tsunami), coastal adaptation planning and risk from natural hazards and the development of RiskScape.


Rob has been the technical lead on recent coastal road/bridge and airport infrastructure projects, coastal risk exposure reports for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (2015), Implementation Guidance on Coastal Hazard Policies (Dept of Conservation), Lead Author of the 2017 coastal guidance for local government published by the Ministry for the Environment for planning adaptation to climate change. He is currently a Contributing Author for the IPCC Working Group II 6th assessment report on climate change impacts for Australasia.


Kirk Archibald

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Manager - Auckland Council

'Distributed Infrastructure'

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Kirk manages energy efficiency and sustainability for Auckland Council’s Community Facilities department. Kirk’s team is responsible for ensuring Community Facilities is achieving organisational targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste. In addition, Kirk’s team have embedded social targets from the Auckland Plan in regional facilities maintenance contracts. Kirk’s team are involved in a number of green building and infrastructure projects and are working on region wide projects to increase renewable energy generation and use in Council facilities


Mark Bowater 

Head of Parks Services - Auckland Council

'Scott Point Sustainable Park - Reinventing the future of park design'
(Joint Presentation with Kris Bird & Amanda Bryan)

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Mark is the Head of Parks Services for the Auckland Council. With over 20 Years’ experience in the parks and recreation management and senior leadership roles, he offers a strategic outlook combined with a proven track record of achievements that make a difference.


Mark is a champion and advocate for sustainability outcomes in the parks management environment, and the important contribution this makes to urban liveability.


Mark is also a Board Director and currently the Chair for the New Zealand Recreation Association, is an Accredited Recreation Professional (ARPro), and ISCA IS Accredited Professional, and is a member of the world Urban Parks Healthy Parks Heathy Cities Committee.


Amanda Bryan

Sustainability Leader - Jacobs 

'Scott Point Sustainable Park - Reinventing the future of park design' 
(Joint Presentation with Mark Bowater & Kris Bird)

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Amanda is a well-established Sustainability Consultant who endeavours to co-create and motivate a higher purpose for clients and project teams to aspire to. She aims to encourage her clients to realise the full potential of their project to give back to people, communities and nature. Amanda strives to be involved when a project idea is born. This enables her to embed and deliver regenerative design outcomes during a projects journey. She engages with clients and project teams by applying an integrated design process and regenerative framework.

Her expertise has evolved from design modelling that enables quick design decisions to improve the performance of a project, including life cycle assessment, energy use, carbon emissions, daylight performance, thermal comfort and water use. She has a deep understanding of a variety of green principles and rating tools. On many projects Amanda has provided advice, and complied formal submissions for independent third party verifications throughout New Zealand and Australia.


Kris Bird

Manager, Sports Park Design and Programme - Auckland Council

'Scott Point Sustainable Park - Reinventing the future of park design' 
(Joint Presentation with Mark Bowater & Amanda Bryan)

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Working in the Investigation and Design team at Auckland Council, Kris manages a team involved in the design and consenting phases of upgrading and creating new sports parks in the Auckland Region. Kris has been at Auckland Council for two years and prior to his current role has 10 years’ experience in the sports events industry having been involved in Rugby World Cup 2011, London Olympics 2020 and World Masters Games 2017.


Patrick Ilott

Director - Perspektiv 

'Delivering an award-winning IS Rated Project.’

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Patrick was part of the team that delivered a record-breaking As Built IS Rating score of 95.2 on Main Roads WA's NorthLink WA project. 

Patrick has class-leading knowledge regarding sustainability, environmental and social issues, and is able to draw on this to pull together disparate ideas and formulate the best strategies for complex projects and organisations. Patrick has an enthusiastic and energetic approach with the ability to engage and lead others. An open-minded and flexible person, Patrick leverages positive relationships to unlock innovation.


Samantha Hayes

Managing Consultant - Bioneering Australia

'Innovation and impacts workshops – Biomimicry in the Built Environment.'

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Samantha Hayes is a sustainability professional with extensive experience in delivering strategic organisational and project-level sustainability outcomes across multiple industries. She is a Managing Consultant with Bioneering Australia, and pursuing a PhD in Biomimetic Engineering within the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University (Brisbane).


In her previous role as Group Energy and Sustainability Manager at CPB Contractors, Samantha was responsible for establishing and leading the organisations energy and sustainability functions.


Simon Carter

Managing Director - Morphosis

'Crossing The Threshold - responsibility, ethics and sustainability as we digitalise our cities’ 

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Simon Carter is Managing Director of Morphosis, an independent corporate sustainability strategy practice specialising in the built environment. He works with property groups, fund managers, non-property corporations and governments in Australia and internationally.


Spanning almost 20 years, Simon's career with sustainability previously included leading sustainable design for a large architectural practice, and heading sustainability across Asia Pacific for a global property services group. It started in Wellington, where Simon originates from.


In recent years, his attention has turned to the sustainability of digitalisation. He authored Crossing the Threshold – a primer for sustainable digitalisation in real estate and cities, and is working across industry in Australia to help make digitalisation in the built environment responsible, ethical and sustainable.