Each of our 2019 judges has a track record of advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We acknowledge their commitment as volunteers, sharing their unique expertise and experience, reviewing every entry, visiting finalists and deciding our award winners.
General Manager – Housing, Tamaki Regeneration Company
Neil initially studied Civil Engineering at University and subsequently worked in the construction industry in New Zealand and overseas prior to joining Vodafone NZ in 1998, where he held several roles, culminating in his appointment as Director of Human Resources in 2004. Since leaving Vodafone in 2008 Neil has worked in senior positions for various NGOs including St. John Ambulance. His current role is General Manager – Housing for the Tamaki Regeneration Company, which is charged with leading the social, economic and physical regeneration of the Tamaki area in Auckland. A strong proponent of diversity in the workplace, Neil is also a former trustee of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust.
Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani
Head of Māori, Diversity and Inclusion, Westpac New Zealand Limited
To Fonteyn Moses-Te Kani, diversity will only flourish when we have a culture of inclusion. Her approach isn’t a box-ticking exercise focused on getting different faces into organisations, but a broader challenge to businesses to stay relevant and connected to the communities they belong to. Fonteyn grew up in rural Tairāwhiti and is now head of Māori, Inclusion and Diversity at Westpac, where she’s part of a team working to support economic, environmental and social change through sustainability – where inclusion and diversity just happen to be a vital part of the mix.
Paula Tesoriero, MNZM
Disability Rights Commissioner, Human Rights Commission
Paula is a world-champion athlete and a former senior public service manager, who is currently serving as the Disability Rights Commissioner, working to promote and protect the rights of disabled New Zealanders. She is a governance expert having served on several boards including the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, New Zealand Artificial Limb Service, Sport Wellington and Paralympics New Zealand. She is also a member of the New Zealand Sports Tribunal. A law graduate from Victoria University, Paula has worked in private practice and as a General Manager at Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Justice. Winning gold in a world-record breaking time at the Beijing Summer Paralympics in 2008, in the women’s 500m time trial, and two bronze medals, her services to cycling were recognised when she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009. She retired as an athlete in 2010. Paula says her role as the Disability Rights Commissioner enables her to make a meaningful contribution to changing the outcomes for New Zealanders living with disabilities, who make up nearly a quarter of our population.
Deputy Commissioner, Workforce and Talent Management, State Services Commission
Dale leads the work programme for diversity and inclusion in the State sector. She has a background in human resources leadership and has held senior executive roles in a diverse range of global and local industries, over the past 20 years. Before joining the State Services Commission, Dale was Executive Vice President at Fisher & Paykel Appliances for seven years. Prior to that Dale held senior roles in the Ministry of Social Development, Fonterra, the New Zealand Dairy Board, and Air New Zealand. She has led large human resources functions, both global and local, in public and private sector organisations.
Dale has a Bachelor of Laws, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy both from Victoria University of Wellington, and was admitted to the Bar as Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
People & Culture Director, Lion
Robin is passionate about helping people be the best they can be and the impact that a great culture can have on commercial outcomes and has worked at Lion in a variety of Finance and People and Cuture roles for the past 16 years. Prior to joining Lion, Robin, a Chartered Accountant, worked for Ernst & Young in several offices worldwide. Over the past three years, inclusion and diversity has been a key strategic initiative at Lion. Lion NZ has the Rainbow Tick and became one of the founding members of the Gender Tick in 2018. The company also won the Work-Life Balance category at the 2017 Diversity Awards NZ™and was the Gold/Champion winner at the 2017 YWCA Equal Pay Awards.
Executive Director, Wayfare
Wayfare is a family tourism business based in the South Island that owns and operates Real Journeys, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Go Orange. Kevin’s current role allows him to work with some remarkable people in some of New Zealand’s finest locations. He has led employers to recognition at this awards programme on two previous occasions, with NZSki in 2009 and most recently with Real Journeys, supreme winners in 2017 for their Wisdom Workers initiative. Kevin is delighted to be advocating diversity and inclusion and sharing his own experiences of the positive impact it has made on workplace cultures.
Chief Executive, Industry Training Federation (ITF)
Josh leads advocacy on skills and vocational education issues, working closely with government, education, and industry stakeholders, on behalf of all 11 of New Zealand’s Industry Training Organisations. He has worked in the education sector for 20 years, focussed on skills and qualifications issues in the schooling and tertiary sectors. He is a leading thinker and advocate for work-based education and training and connecting education with workforce development.
Josh was previously Senior Policy Manager at the Ministry of Education, leading policy for vocational and foundational education, and secondary-tertiary transitions leading the development of successful government and industry partnerships. He was formerly Principal Policy Advisor at the Industry Training Federation, Policy Analyst at the Ministry of Education and NZQA, and Private Secretary to Ministers of Education. Josh chairs the Ministry of Education’s Pathways Advisory Group, co-chairs the Greater Wellington Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Consortium, and is a member of the advisory board for Victoria University’s Centre for Labour Employment and Work.
Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) degree from Massey University.
Kirstin Te Wao
Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Vodafone New Zealand
Kirstin is responsible for the development and execution of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and programmes that focus on Vodafone’s strategic priorities. Kirstin comes from humble customer service beginnings and in 2011 led Vodafone’s inaugural celebrations for Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), which triggered the beginning of her career journey from Customer Service and Technology into Human Resources. Kirstin’s current portfolio includes developing authentic relationships with Māori, increasing gender equality and women in leadership, growing youth employment in Vodafone and visible support for Vodafone’s Rainbow community. Under Kirstin’s leadership, Vodafone has developed its own Diversity & Inclusion eco-system that leverages the talents and passion of all employees from Customer Service Representative to CEO. She has recently been humbled by her appointment as a Director for the Vodafone Foundation.
Kirstin’s tribal affiliations are to Te Arawa, Tainui and Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei. Born and raised in the Tāmaki district, Kirstin has two children and will complete a Post-Graduate Business Diploma in Māori Development at the University of Auckland in March 2019.
Owner and CEO, Sudima Hotels
A long-time New Zealand resident and property investor, Sudesh is passionate about ensuring that his business operations support the communities in which they operate – he abides by the philosophy that if his business benefits, so too should the community. It is this ethos that has driven Sudima Hotels’ success as an industry leader in setting sustainability benchmarks – the team supports several initiatives around the country. Sudima Hotels are the first, and only, carboNZero hotels in the country. Sudesh was a member of the board of the Entrepreneurs Organisation and one of Be Accessible’s Fab 50 group of business leaders, who are leading by example to create social change in New Zealand businesses and public spaces. Thrilled to be a judge in the 2019 Diversity Awards NZ™, Sudesh has an affinity for the process having received the 2018 Walk the Talk award.
Sudesh holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. Sudesh moved to New Zealand in 2001 with his wife Laxmi and children.
Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley
Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University
Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. He is a lead researcher on the MBIE-funded project Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa New Zealand (2014-2020) and previously Ngā Tangata Oho Mairangi and the Integration of Immigrants Programme. He is the author or editor of 27 books, including Ranginui Walker’s biography Mata Toa. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of California Berkeley. He has been a judge for the Diversity Awards NZ ™ for some years.
The Diversity Awards NZ™ celebrate initiatives developed by organisations to drive a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, benefit the people they employ and have a positive impact on business performance. The judges are looking for initiatives that show:
- Innovation, leading edge thinking, difficulty factor, unique approaches
- Quantifiable as well as qualitative measures of impact on business performance and employee engagement
- A clear link to strategy, real impact and opportunities identified for growth and development
- Clarity around who is involved and how widely the initiative benefits people
- Evidence of support at senior levels and broad employee-level support – more than an HR initiative, other managers are leads
- Clear co-design, in-house team engagement – more than something that is simply outsourced to a provider
- Clarity on how the initiative was rolled out, with challenges and iterations acknowledged