Hon David Parker

Born in Roxburgh in 1960, David grew up in Dunedin and has a BCom (Acctg) and LLB from the University of Otago.
He was a litigation and managing partner in law firm Anderson Lloyd and was a co-founder of the Dunedin Community Law Centre.
David is an experienced CEO and company director in a range of industries and has experienced both success and failure. He was involved in a number of start-up businesses in the agri-biotechnology field including A2 Milk, and BLIS Technologies which he managed from start-up to the main board of the NZX.
He held various Ministerial portfolios in the last Labour-led Government including Attorney-General, Energy, Climate Change, Transport, Land Information and State Services. In 2008 he was named by the Listener magazine as Environmentalist of the Year for his work as Minister of Energy and Climate Change. He pioneered New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, then described by many as the most significant environmental reform in NZ for decades.
In opposition his roles included Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and spokesperson on Finance, Trade and Export Growth.
After the 2017 election, David was named a minister in the Jacinda Ardern-led government. He was appointed Attorney-General, Minister for Economic Development, Environment, Trade and Export Growth, and Associate Minister of Finance but Minister Phil Twyford assumed the Economic Development role in a minor reshuffle in July.
He maintains strong interests in the protection of civil liberties, as well as economic and environmental policy.
David pursues policies which both enhance economic growth and address the growing extremes between rich and poor in New Zealand, while protecting the environment.
David is a keen tramper and skier.


NEXT:  Thriving in the Decade of Disruption.  Matt Church

The next 10 years are expected to be some of the most challenging we have experienced across every industry and sector. From robots to outsourcing and disruptive business models our world is changing rapidly: how schools are run, money is made and teams of people work together is all up for grabs. Massive technological and social shifts are demanding that we all turn up as the best version of ourselves. This session explores the imperative for all of us to be more human in a world technology is turning upside down.  Matt’s presentations are high energy, interactive and top-rated.

Matt, leadership expert, founder of Thought Leaders and author of ten leadership books so far.  He communicates with deep focus, commercial clarity and a razor sharp wit on three things: removing fear and replacing it with confidence, removing confusion and replacing with certainty and mobilising people in pursuit of a better future.  His presentation will be smart, funny and thought provoking.

In 2014 he was inducted into the professional speaker Hall of Fame having received the service, education and excellence awards from the professional speaker’s association. Globally the International Federation of Professional Speakers recognised him as one the top 21 most influential people in the industry on the planet. E-Speakers, the largest industry marketplace puts him as one of the Top10 motivational speakers globally.

Update on the Economy.  Kevin Stirrat

What you need to know…

Kevin  joined Forsyth Barr in 2005. He has over 35 years of experience in the areas of money market research, trading and sales, liability management, fixed income distribution, balance sheet management and asset management.

Kevin is the Director/Strategy, Wealth Management Research for Forsyth Barr. He provides dedicated research on global macro themes for New Zealand based investors including key asset allocation implications. He has specific responsibilities for firm wide tactical asset allocation and currency hedging decisions. He also leads the investment strategy discussion within the Forsyth Barr Investment Committee. 

Please click here for Forsyth Barr disclosure statement.

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Update on the NZ Infrastructure Commission.  Jon Grayson


Jon will provide an update on the NZ Infrastructure Commission

Jon Grayson took up the role of Chief Executive after serving as Deputy Secretary Commercial and Financial at the New Zealand Treasury, responsible for Treasury’s debt management, the Crown’s commercial portfolio, and advice on infrastructure and housing policy. He has a strong background in capital markets and major infrastructure investment management. Jon has held senior executive roles within the public and private sectors in New Zealand and Australia.



How Science, Engineering and the Community can work together to deliver on climate change.  Professor Juliet Gerrard

NZ, through its science community has invested heavily in understanding climate change causes and potential responses.  Especially in combination with our international links, it provides a tremendous resource of expertise and knowledge.

The infrastructure engineering sector is also heavily involved in devising and delivering climate change strategies, responses and physical work.  This is particularly on behalf of Local and Central government.  In this regard, this is where significant amounts of funding are made available.  So this sector provides real-life full scale projects that incorporate the science, and brings considerable expertise and funding to implement them.

There is an increasingly developing body of people expert in stakeholder engagement and communications.  These people help us connect to our community. The community is the reason why we do anything, so we must listen, understand and educate.

Professor Juliet Gerrard trained at Oxford University, where she completed a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry and a DPhil in Biological Chemistry.  In 1993, she moved to Aotearoa New Zealand, as a research scientist at Crop & Food Research. She was appointed as a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Canterbury in 1998, where she became Professor and Co-Director of the Biomolecular Interaction Centre. 

In 2014, she moved to the University of Auckland as a Professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Chemical Sciences and later the Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Science. Juliet’s research covers a broad base and is interdisciplinary, cutting across biochemistry, chemistry, health, agricultural and food science and biomaterial design. It also incorporates a full spectrum of fundamental and applied research.  She has held an Industry and Outreach Fellowship with Callaghan Innovation and founded a start-up company. 

Juliet has over 150 publications, as well as three books. She won a National Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching in 2004 and played an increasingly governance role in the research sector, including as Chair of the Marsden Council and a Director for Plant & Food Research, prior to her appointment in 2018 as the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.


Panel | Our Future Workforce.  Jon Grayson, Pete Hodgson, Peter Silcock, Susan Freeman-Greene


Jon Grayson took up the role of Chief Executive after serving as Deputy Secretary Commercial and Financial at the New Zealand Treasury, responsible for Treasury’s debt management, the Crown’s commercial portfolio, and advice on infrastructure and housing policy. He has a strong background in capital markets and major infrastructure investment management. Jon has held senior executive roles within the public and private sectors in New Zealand and Australia.




Peter Silcock is the chief Executive of Civil Contractors New Zealand or CCNZ the organisation representing over 600 companies that build and maintain New Zealand’s Infrastructure. He has been a strong advocate of the need for a more reliable pipeline of work and improved procurement practices to enable contractors to build their capability and capacity. Peter has also been involved in the rollout of CCNZ Civil Trades Apprenticeship Scheme and the development of CCNZ’s EPIC Careers in infrastructure campaign.



Hon. Pete Hodgson is a retired veterinarian and politician. He was a Cabinet Minister from 1999 –2008. His portfolios included Climate Change Policy, Commerce, Economic Development, Education (tertiary), Energy, Fishing, Forestry, Land Information, Health, Science and Innovation, Statistics and Transport. 
He chairs the Southern Partnership Group for the Dunedin Hospital project, is chair of Callaghan Innovation Ltd, and is on the board of Otago Innovation Ltd and two biotechnology start ups. He is the NZ independent Chair of the Australia and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART).




Susan Freeman-Greene has been Chief Executive of Engineering New Zealand since February 2015. She is transforming the engineering professional body into an outward-facing organisation dedicated to engineering better lives for New Zealanders. Engineering New Zealand changed its name from IPENZ in October 2017 and at the same time introduced a revamped membership pathway appealing to a broad range of engineering professionals. Membership is 22,000 and growing. Before starting at Engineering New Zealand, Susan was Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Susan is also on the Board of Vital and a Board Trustee of the New Zealand Festival.