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Meet the panel choosing this year’s award winners

The judging process

With a record number of entries to evaluate in 2018, our expert judges set out clear criteria to ensure consistency across all categories and submissions.

Judging convener Neil Porteous says the judges were looking for initiatives that were innovative and unique, and demonstrated a clear link to the organisation’s overall diversity strategy. “There were so many high-quality entries this year, initiatives needed to be leading edge to really stand out,” he says. Entrants also needed to provide evidence of the ongoing quantifiable impact the initiative had on the business performance and employee engagement. “The winning entries made it clear who was involved in the initiative, the selection criteria and how many people benefitted,” Neil says.

“They also demonstrated how the initiative was rolled out, and acknowledged the challenges faced.” The judges expected to see support for the initiative from senior management and a broad sector of employees. It was also important that the initiative was not simply outsourced to a provider, but was co-designed with the in-house team and customised to meet the needs of the organisation and its workforce. “We also considered how organisations were able to use their brand and sphere of influence to promote awareness of the business benefits of diversity in the workplace via their initiative.”

The judges considered all material submitted by the entrants and visited a selection of entrants all around New Zealand, from Dargaville to Dunedin, covering all nine award categories.

Neil Porteous, Judging convener

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 a number of 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.

Paul Spoonley

Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University

Paul has been a major contributor to research and public debate on cultural politics and identity in New Zealand and internationally and has been the author or editor of 27 books on topics ranging from immigration and super-diversity to a biography on a prominent Maori activist.
He has been a Programme Leader for MBIE-funded projects on immigration and the changing demography of New Zealand, and is currently a Programme Leader on a project on the impacts of diversity (2014-2020, $5.5 million). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011 and granted the title of Distinguished Professor by Massey University in 2013.

Nathalie Gray

Director and owner of Authent Limited

Nathalie heads her own leadership consulting and executive coaching business. She has more than 15 years’ experience in organisational development, spanning people strategy, organisational design, culture change, leadership team development, executive coaching and talent management.
She has worked in a number of global leadership and consulting roles within the financial services, manufacturing, FMCG and educational sectors, including most recently Director of Human Capital Consulting at Kerridge and Partners and Global Manager Talent and Organisational Development at Fonterra.

Rachel Hopkins

Chief Executive, Diversity Works New Zealand

Rachel joins the judging panel for the first time after stepping into the Chief Executive position at Diversity Works New Zealand in April this year.
She has owned her own marketing business in Sydney and worked for the world’s largest law firm in London. Since returning to New Zealand Rachel has held various leadership team roles in professional services, education and training: including at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts; The Icehouse; The University of Auckland Business School; and Competenz. She has degrees in Law and Feminist Studies, is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and studied Design Thinking at Stanford University.

John Christie

Director Enterprise Dunedin

John Christie currently heads Enterprise Dunedin, which looks after the marketing, branding and economic development of Dunedin City. Prior to taking up the role with Dunedin City Council, John was Chief Executive of the Otago Chamber of Commerce. He has held governance roles in a number of organisations including Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand Chambers of Commerce, Warbirds over Wanaka Ltd, Southern Health Services Ltd, BIZ Networks Ltd, 4Trades Apprenticeship Trust, Southern PHO Community Advisory Board and the Dunedin Shanghai Gardens Trust.

Kate Daly

Kate Daly

Director, People and Communications, BNZ

Kate has a background in Human Resources and Communications leadership, having held senior roles across these portfolios since 2001. She is also a former trustee of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust (now operating as Diversity Works New Zealand). Before joining BNZ, Kate was Chief People and Communications Officer with Fletcher Building Ltd. Prior to that she was General Manager – People & Performance and Communications with Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd, Vice President, Human Resources at Deutsche Bank, London and Vice President, Human Resources at Merrill Lynch also in London. Kate has a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and International Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology, both from the University of Auckland.

Mike Styles

Mike Styles

National Specialist Literacy & Numeracy, Primary Industry Training Organisation

Mike Styles has worked in the workplace literacy field – in a range of capacities – since 2001.  He started off as an embedded workplace literacy and numeracy tutor at Formway Furniture at Seaview, Wellington, working for Workbase in Auckland.  Since then Mike has had stints working for the TEC, the Department of Labour, Literacy Aotearoa Wellington and, more recently, at the Primary Industry Training Organisation (Primary ITO).  At the Primary ITO Mike set up a programme allowing volunteer mentors from the community to assist industry trainees to complete their training.  More recently Mike has pioneered an initiative to support trainees in the primary sector who have dyslexia and other learning differences.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens

Programme Director, The Rainbow Tick

Michael is the founding Programme Director of the Rainbow Tick, New Zealand’s only LGBTTI Diversity and Inclusion programme, and a thought leader in this field. He has a long history of involvement with New Zealand’s Rainbow communities in various capacities from student activism to being Chair of the New Zealand AIDS Foundation. Along with a Masters in Sociology, he has had a career ranging from doing demolition work in New York to teaching English in Istanbul for eight years to being a lecturer at the University of Auckland. Michael has been an invited speaker at a number of conferences and has written on the topics of human sexuality, mental health, wellbeing, and public health.

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