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Meet the panel choosing this year’s award winners

Neil Porteous, Judging convenor

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.

Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie

Director, Diversity Consulting

Bev Cassidy-Mackenzie has spent several years devoting her professional energy to leading change in favour of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
A former Chief Executive of Diversity Works New Zealand, she has witnessed a sea change in attitudes towards workplace diversity and inclusion and is committed to helping businesses to be better by diversity.
Bev believes that to bring out the best in diverse individuals and teams we need to cultivate a workplace culture that values difference and makes the most of everyone’s talents; an approach that values the transmission of valuable knowledge and experience from one generation to another, from one culture to another, and from one team to another.

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