Michael Barnett is Chief Executive of the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and a Director of both the Auckland Chamber and NZ Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Michael is Chairman of Diversity Works New Zealand, the Auckland Children’s Christmas Parade Trust and the Auckland Business Forum.
Michael was recognised by the Queen in the 2011 New Year’s Honours with a NZ Order of Merit for his services to Business.
John is a senior management executive with previous director, CEO and project manager experience at several high-profile New Zealand organisations. In his role as Director of Enterprise Dunedin he is a member of Dunedin City Council’s executive leadership team. His governance experience includes roles with Otago Polytechnic, South Canterbury District Health Board Audit Committee, Warbirds Over Wanaka, Taieri-Strath Taieri PHO and New Zealand Chambers of Commerce.
Chris Litchfield is the first Kiwi appointed as Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand, a position he has held since 2014. His career at Amatil began in 1993 whilst he was completing his BComm in Accounting and Economics from The University of Canterbury. He is dedicated to leading diversity and inclusion and ensuring Amatil is a leading force for change in the New Zealand FMCG sector.
Under his leadership Amatil NZ has been recognised as one of the Best Employers in Australasia by Aon Hewitt for three years in a row, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The business is a signatory to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS), a sponsor of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards and has received the Rainbow Tick since 2014 when it became the first FMCG business accredited.
Amatil NZ actively shares its diversity and inclusion journey and learnings with other businesses, supporting the continued focus on creating a more inclusive Aotearoa.
Chris’ leadership qualities and his personal commitment to diversity have made him a valued board member of Diversity Works New Zealand.
Adrienne is an experienced senior executive and legal counsel, having previously held roles running the New Zealand legal function at Downer New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey (Woodproducts NZ) and Waste Management New Zealand. She currently sits on the Women in Infrastructure Board, the Infrastructure New Zealand Advisory Group seeking to further gender diversity in the infrastructure industry, and is active in her local community. In her current role at Watercare she is the General Manager responsible for the people, technology, health and safety and legal functions. She is a keen advocate both in her professional and private life for diversity and inclusion and lends her voice to related causes.
A former partner at Ernst & Young Limited, Susan has devoted her career to raising awareness of equity issues and promoting change. Along with a corporate career spanning 25 years, she has been the director and co-owner of two businesses. Susan is the President of YWCA Aotearoa and a current Board member (and immediate past President) of the Auckland YWCA, and led the design and launch of the YWCA Equal Pay Awards in 2013. She remains a judge on the awards programme and is a sought-after speaker and commentator on equal pay issues. She also worked alongside EY Tahi and Global Women to develop the business case for TupuToa, an internship programme creating pathways for Māori and Pasifika students into careers in the corporate and professional sectors.
Ranjna has spent four decades growing Nirvana Healthcare from a family business to 34 clinics with more than 1000 staff. As well as Ministerial appointments to NACEW, the Lottery AK Distribution Committee, and the Ethnic Communities Development Fund, she is also a Trustee of the Kootuitui ki Papakura Trust, Director of the Bank of Baroda, Executive Trustee of Total Healthcare Otara and a member of the Global Women and Co. of Women Boards.
Helene Quilter, a career public servant, has been Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defence since assuming this role in December 2012. During her time as the Secretary of Defence, she has led a programme of change across all aspects of the organisation and the way it partners with other defence and security agencies. She is currently leading an ambitious transformation programme of military capability management.
Ms Quilter has over 38 years’ experience in the Public Service. Immediately prior to her appointment as Secretary of Defence, she was a Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission where she provided leadership to chief executives to improve agency performance. Ms Quilter was responsible for managing the performance of chief executives in the justice, defence, intelligence and foreign affairs agencies on behalf of the State Services Commissioner and was part of the central agency team responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Defence White Paper 2010.
She was previously a Deputy Chief Executive with the Ministry of Social Development.
Ms Quilter has a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from Victoria University and as part of her research spent time as an intern for the then United Kingdom Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit in London to learn about strategy formation at the heart of Government.
Ms Quilter serves as Public Sector Trustee on the Diversity Works NZ trust.
Outside of work Helene enjoys collecting 17th and 18th century art, reading, and cooking for friends and family.
(Ngati Pou, Rongowhakaata)
Michelle Hippolite, Waikato, Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki is the first female Toihautū – Chief Executive to lead Te Puni Kōkiri, it’s a position she’s held since 2012.
During this time she has led a transformation of Te Puni Kōkiri to an inspirational new way of working to achieve long term outcomes for whānau, hapū and Iwi Māori.
With over 20 years of experience in the Public Service and wider State sector, Michelle has held several senior roles. A personal career highlight was providing leadership in government for the establishment of the Māori Television Service that opened in 2004, and constructing strategies for Te Reo Māori.
Michelle is currently the Chair of Te Kura Māori o Porirua; a member of the governing council of Te Wānanga o Raukawa; a board member of Museums Aotearoa; an advisory member to the Victoria University Council and serves as a Public Sector Trustee on the Diversity Works NZ Trust.
Naomi Ferguson took up her position of Commissioner and Chief Executive of Inland Revenue on 21 July 2012. Naomi is an experienced public sector executive with more than 25 years’ experience working in revenue agencies in the United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand. She has successfully delivered major transformational change projects and built effective teams to deliver results. Prior to coming to New Zealand, Naomi was the Director, Business Customer and Strategy at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK. Naomi also completed a secondment with Inland Revenue New Zealand from 2003-2006 in the Deputy Commissioner, Service Delivery role. In 2016 Naomi won the Women of Influence Award for Public Policy. Naomi has a Master of Arts in English Literature and Sociology from Glasgow University.
Debbie was appointed as the statutory Deputy State Services Commissioner and Chief Executive of the State Services Commission in 2015, moving from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) where she was Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery.
As the Deputy Chief Executive of Social Development Debbie was in charge of 6,000 staff and responsible for $20b of government spending. During her time at MSD she oversaw the implementation of Welfare Reform – the biggest change to the welfare system in 50 years – and the movement of social housing needs assessments from Housing New Zealand to MSD.
Prior to that, Debbie was in the role of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Office of the Chief Executive at MSD. This role worked closely with the Chief Executive and the rest of the Ministry’s Leadership Team.
Debbie has had extensive experience working for over four years as a Senior Private Secretary in Parliament where she oversaw the interface between the Department and Ministers between 2007 and 2010.
Her previous experience includes a years’ secondment to the United Kingdom, regional leadership experience in Northland and she has a Masters in Public Administration.