Governance NZ

Conference Speakers 2023

Governance Leadership Conference - Speaker Bios

(In order of appearance)

Katheren Leitner

With over 30 years corporate and business ownership experience, Katheren has developed a strong array of governance, leadership, strategy and business growth expertise.

She is currently the Chief Executive of Asthma NZ, Director of the Performance Improvement Company TrainingPlus and an active investor with Flying Kiwi Angels.

Katheren has worked on a number of boards facilitating strategic, board and executive alignment. She has Chaired several boards, sat on audit, risk and remuneration committees. With 15 years governance experience she brings a wide breath of knowledge.


Rob Campbell

Rob is one of New Zealand’s leading professional directors, with more than 40 years’ experience in capital markets and as director and advisor to local and international businesses and organisations.

He is committed to seeing Aotearoa take a leadership role in the field of emissions lowering energy innovation and commercialisation, and is passionate about improving diversity and inclusion, promoting sustainability as a core value, and creating equality in the organisations he is involved with.

Trained as an economist and holding degrees of BA (Hons)(1st) and M.Phil. (Economics) Rob joined the union movement in the 1970s and became a member of the Federation of Labour and Labour Party executives.

Rob is the Chancellor of Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau (Auckland University of Technology), Chair of Ara Ake, Chair of NZ Rural Land Co, and Advisor to BBM.

He has served as the Chair of various private companies and public organisations including Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand, SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd, Summerset Group Ltd, Tourism Holdings Ltd, and WEL Networks Ltd.

In 2019, Rob was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors (CFinstD). He was recognised as a Distinguished Alumni of Victoria University (Te Herenga Waka) in 201

Navigating the Challenges of the Future

Kenneth Weldin

Ken is a Partner and joint head of Audit & Assurance at PKF in Australia where he also Chairs PKF’s national Integrity business.

Ken’s interests are in challenging and enhancing the thinking, strategies and actions around risk and governance, particularly in the Education, Healthcare and Innovation sectors and how these will drive growth and prosperity.

Outside of PKF, Ken serves as Chair of East Grampians Health Service and as a Director and Audit Committee Chair of Housing First Ltd and the Governance Institute of Australia. Ken is also an Adjunct Professor (Department of Accounting) at Monash University and a member of the Sustainability Panel of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Emerging Global Trends in Governance

Elsamari Botha

Dr. Elsamari Botha leads as MBA Director at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, is an Extraordinary Associate Professor at South Africa's University of Stellenbosch Business School, and also teaches critical subjects such as Digital Transformation and Technology Preparedness. Her doctorate in Industrial Economics and Management from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and her 15 years of hands-on consulting experience and successful EdTech entrepreneurship make her an authority on technology adoption and digital strategy, bringing a global perspective to her work. As a guest speaker and avid researcher, Elsamari's insights are regularly published in internationally acclaimed business journals, most notably in digital transformation and AI in retailing.

AI Pitfalls & Opportunities for Boards

Jennie Vickers (Risk NZ)

Announced late in 2021 as the inaugural Supreme IFSEC Global Security Influencer of the year 2021-22, Jennie is currently focused on risk & opportunity, alongside internal assurance, with Tuatahi First Fibre and continues keynote speaking on all aspect of organizational security, from cyber and HSW through to assurance and legal compliance.

Jennie made New Zealand her home over 25 years ago having forged a successful career in the UK as a commercial/business/IT lawyer and company secretary with organisations like Slaughter & May, EMI Music, Pace Microtechnology, Comshare and Synthomer.

In New Zealand, a long spell in the utility sector covering electricity, gas and telecommunications, gave Jennie a deep understanding of OT and IT enterprise risk management and related Board responsibilities.

The last 8 years saw Jennie in the association space, as a Defence Industry CEO and an ANZ Business Development Director for World Commerce and Contracting Association. The common thread was thought leadership and connecting people in the Defence, Security and Infrastructure Sectors in both New Zealand and Australia and further afield.

As a result of the IFSEC win, initially as the top Influencer in the Category- “Associations and Thought Leaders” and then as the Inaugural overall winner, Jennie has been using her position of influence to connect people and businesses and governments to secure better security and business outcomes for others.

A former board chair of a sports governing body, chair of a technology business and director of a CCO, Jennie has had a number of different seats around different tables. Jennie now chooses to have only one Directorship and that is for RiskNZ.

A lifetime and constant learner, Jennie has a Masters of Management, a Degree in Law, is admitted to practice law in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, was made a Fellow of WorldCC and is now studying towards a Masters in Digital Transformation, Cyber Security Professional quals and Art Appreciation.

Managing Risk in a Changing World: How Boards Keep Ahead

Angus Ogilvie

Angus is an accountant in public practice. He holds a Master of Business Studies (Hons) degree in Management from Massey University, a Master of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Auckland and a Bachelor of Business Studies (Accountancy) from Massey. He is currently the President of the New Zealand branch of CPA Australia, one of the largest accounting bodies in the world. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Chartered Management Accountant.

Angus chairs the Education and Professional Standards Committee (EPSC) of Governance New Zealand and is a member of the Audit, Risk & Finance Committee.

He is a strong advocate of advisory boards for SMEs and coordinates several in his professional role. He serves on a number of boards himself including the General Trust Board of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland. He is an honorary life member of the Auckland Business Chamber.

Angus was elected as a Fellow of Governance New Zealand in April 2023.

The Challenges of Not for Profit Governance - Panel Discussion (facilitator)

Racheal McDonald

Rachael McDonald is the CEO of Trust Management, a specialist professional services provider to for-purpose organisations, including charities, not-for-profits, trusts and foundations. Services include property and asset/investment management, PIE funds, accounting and governance services.

Highly regarded for her leadership and innovation overseas, as well as being an internationally experienced corporate and finance lawyer, she sat on the global Management Board and Risk Committee of Mourant Ozannes, an international legal and professional services business and was a founding director of BVI finance, a public/private partnership between the government of the British Virgin Islands and the private sector. She also received international recognition by featuring on the IFC Powerwomen list from 2017-2020 and the IFLR1000 Women Leader ranking in 2021.

Since returning home to NZ, she has been appointed to the Board of the Life Education Trust (North Shore), an organisation that inspires children and young people to make positive choices in the areas of obesity, substance use, mental health, well-being, and bullying.

The Challenges of Not for Profit Governance - Panel Discussion

Craig Fisher FCA

Craig is a board member for a variety of organisations and a governance consultant. He spent the bulk of his career being the bad cop and professional sceptic as an audit partner, as well as chair of accounting firms for his last 20 years in public practice. He has a long history in audit and professional standard setting and specialist expertise in charities and for-purpose organisations.

As well as a strong interest in governance and transparency of reporting, especially service performance reporting and other forms of impact reporting, Craig is a late onset surfer, lives in either Raglan or Auckland, and grows macadamia nuts.

You can find him on LinkedIn.

The Challenges of Not for Profit Governance - Panel Discussion

Jo Cribb 

Jo is an experienced consultant who has led a variety of projects and assignments. She is regularly asked to facilitate strategy sessions with leadership teams, coach emerging leaders and lead substantial policy, strategy and gender projects. Recent assignments include evaluating Sport NZ's gender equity in governance policy, leading sessions at APEC 2023 on gender equality in customs and border agencies, working with the New Zealand Defence Force's leadership team on the gender diversity of the forces, and completing a gender analysis of immigration policy.

Jo was the previous Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women. One of the youngest Chief Executives ever appointed in the New Zealand Public Service, she has invested her time and energy in advancing the cause of the vulnerable in society, spearheading some of the most difficult issues of our time, including child abuse, child poverty, family violence and vulnerable women.

Formerly the Deputy Children's Commissioner and leader of the Commissioner's Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, Jo is a director on a number of Government and NGO boards (including the New Zealand Media Council, Royal New Zealand Navy Leadership Board, Literacy Aotearoa and CORE Education Ltd). She has a Doctorate in Public Policy that investigated the contracting relationship between governments and NGOs.

Following her move to a portfolio career, Jo extensively researched the future of work and the result was the 2018 co-authored book Don't Worry About the Robots: How to Survive and Thrive in the New World of Work which provides an accessible synthesis of the trends in technology that are impacting on work and practical tools for future-proofing careers. The book has been re-printed multiple times.

In 2020, she co-authored the book Take Your Space: Successful Women Share their Secrets; the aim of which is support women and girls to advance themselves. All proceeds from the book will be donated to The Aunties and Otara Blue Light programme to support young women leaders.

In 2016 she was a finalist in the New Zealand Women of Influence Awards and in 2014 was one of three recipients of a Westpac Leadership Fellowship. In 2021 she won the Women in Governance Community Award from Governance New Zealand.

Jo is the proud mother of two and provides them with excellent taxi services. She also distills her own gin.

The Challenges of Not for Profit Governance - Panel Discussion

Kieran Seed (Lexis Nexis)

Kieran Seed is the Head of Content at LexisNexis Regulatory Compliance, supervising and coordinating the development of complex compliance data sets locally and internationally. Kieran’s expertise lies at the nexus of compliance, law and content, to help organisations understand and monitor their compliance requirements in an accelerating and ever-changing regulatory landscape. Kieran’s team of subject matter experts manage a wide content set across Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia, and also collaborate closely with content teams across the globe to bring the Regulatory Compliance solution to new markets and jurisdictions.

Navigating RegChange in the New Zealand Legislative Landscape: Your Board’s Path to Compliance

Imelda Curtin

Imelda’s background is steeped in counselling starting from when she was living in Ireland. She is trained in coaching, neurolinguistic programming and hypnotherapy.

She is a founding member of Mind Coach Academy which empowers business professionals to thrive in their personal and professional lives.

Imelda’s experience of governance is via coaching directors and business owners who despite being at the top of their game difficulties are presenting themselves. They often feel like they are responsible for everyone and everything and their usual strategies and drive are no longer getting the results they want. They are ready for a fresh perspective resulting in a renewed sense of freedom and passion for life.

Taking Care of Mental Health & Well-Being

Christopher Russell

Christopher Russell LLB, Dip. Corporate Management, MBA, FCG FGNZ has been a full-time consultant specialising in State-owned Enterprise (SOE) reform, public private partnerships (PPPs) and corporate governance reform since April 2007.

Prior to commencing full-time consultancy, Chris was Chief Executive of a New Zealand Local Authority Trading Enterprise holding company, the Auckland Regional Services Trust (ARST) from 1994 to 1998; Executive Director of the New Zealand Crown Company Monitoring and Advisory Unit (CCMAU), responsible for SOE ownership monitoring; and Chief Executive of the Marketplace Company Limited from 2001 to 2006. The Marketplace Company operated the New Zealand electricity market.

In his SOE reform, governance and PPP consultancy roles Chris has provided advice to SOEs and governments throughout the Pacific, Bangladesh, Georgia, Latin America, Pakistan, Viet Nam, and Ethiopia working with the Asian Development Bank, World Bank and Tony Blair Institute. Chris has provided governance training for SOE directors in New Zealand and in many Pacific Island countries and has developed an e-Governance director training program. Chris has co-authored six studies on the comparative performance of SOEs in participating Pacific and non-Pacific Island countries. The most recent report was published by the ADB in 2023.

Chris has served on several private sector and SOE boards in New Zealand and the Pacific and is a Chartered Fellow of Governance New Zealand and The Charted Governance Institute.

Diversity & inclusion; Why boards should care - Panel Discussion (facilitator)

Ziena Jalil

Ziena is an award-winning business and public sector leader, focused on deepening New Zealand’s engagement with the Asia Pacific, and improving outcomes for those with diverse cultures, abilities and experiences.

She holds several governance roles across public, private and charity sectors, including: Toka Tū Ake Earthquake Commission, Education New Zealand, Asia New Zealand Foundation, DNA, and the Cancer Society of New Zealand. Ziena trains boards and directors in effective governance and inclusion, and also consults on strategy and stakeholder engagement. She is a keynote speaker and commentator on Asia business, leadership, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Recognised by Campaign Asia Pacific as part of its 2020 Women to Watch, a group of 40 outstanding women in the Asia Pacific, Ziena has received several international awards for her work promoting New Zealand trade and education in Asia, where she was based for 10 years. She is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, Global Women and Asia 21. Ziena holds a Master of Arts (First Class Hons) in International Relations and Politics, a Bachelor of Communication Studies, and Diploma of International Trade.

Diversity & inclusion; Why boards should care - Panel Discussion

Meleane Burgess

Professional Director / Accountant

Meleane is an Associate of Governance New Zealand and The Chartered Governance Institute. She is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

A Professional Director having won the Rising Governance Leader and Pacific Governance Leader Awards at the 2022 Women in Governance Awards.

Meleane is currently an Independent Director on the Board of Public Trust New Zealand, Council Member of the University of Waikato, member of the Pacific Reference Group for the Ministry of Social Development and Director of Mapu Maia Ltd. She instigated the new Future Director role at NZ Post, a role that she recently completed.

Meleane is also Managing Director of Dynamic Advisory Ltd providing business advice and services to multiple range of clients both in New Zealand and abroad

Diversity & inclusion; Why boards should care - Panel Discussion

Lesley Slade

Lesley Slade has a long history in leadership development working with individuals, organisations and communities. Lesley began her adult life by training to be a teacher and has worked as a community worker - initiating and setting up community programmes. In her other experiences, Lesley has also held senior human resource and organisational development roles.

She was the inaugural Chief Executive of Leadership New Zealand between 2005 and 2008, was co-Director of the Be. Leadership Programme from 2011-2021, and the Leadership Lead on the 2021 Possibility Leadership Programme at the Global Centre of Possibility @ AUT. Lesley remains working in the leadership development space, as a consultant on leadership, people and organisational development. In 2022 she has developed a new leadership offering at Be, the Be. Leadership in Governance Programme.

When not at work Lesley loves spending time with friends and family, especially her fabulous grand-children, and two very beautiful cats.

Diversity & inclusion; Why boards should care - Panel Discussion

Rikki Stancich

Emissions modelling | climate risk assessment, scenario analysis and disclosure​

Rikki has 19 years of operational experience in sustainability, climate change risk and resilience and GHG emissions reduction in the private and public sectors. She also has practical experience preparing third-party verified GRI, CDP and C40Cities reports.​ Prior to joining Deloitte, Rikki led Auckland Transport’s regional climate risk assessment and prepared its TCFD report. She now regularly supports Deloitte’s public and private sector clients to undertake climate-related disclosures and climate risk assessments, aligned to NZCS1, IFRS S2 and ISO14091 standards. ​Rikki has launched, led and delivered sustainability programs and low carbon solutions for public listed companies in APAC and Europe across a range of sectors, and is experienced in embedding sustainability principals across complex organisation structures.

The Risk of Greenwashing Environmental Reporting

David Seath

Operational and climate change risk exposure and governance​

David’s experience spans 25 years helping clients manage both risks and crises, from operational risk and forensic perspectives. ​

He has extensive experience in helping clients identify the risks that matter to them and then assisting them to address those risks in an effective manner.​

More recently he has been supporting clients to manage their climate risk exposure, addressing both climate risk mitigation, adaptation and governance. David has a particular interest in how climate change risk management procedures can be effectively integrated to enterprise risk management frameworks.

The Risk of Greenwashing Environmental Reporting

Jodie Becker

Jodie is the current Branch Chair for the Canterbury branch of GNZ and has been part of the local branch committee since 2020. Jodie has over 7+ years experience in roles which support good decision-making and governance structures.

Ethical Considerations in Governance - Panel Discussion (facilitator)

Lola Toppin-Casserly

Lola holds over 20 years’ experience in government settings in the UK and NZ, across a wide policy portfolio. Evaluating government spend and organisational performance has become central to Lola’s career. Starting in the UK Parliament and National Audit Office, then in NZ to Office of the Auditor General, Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Labour, WorkSafe, MBIE and Ministry of Social Development. Across these roles she managed and led groups of people, and realised that leadership is the crux to successful, thriving and ethical organisations, hence her PhD topic.

Lola has been simultaneously growing her governance experience across the arts, music and currently forestry sectors.

Ethical Considerations in Governance - Panel Discussion

Alanna Chapman

Alanna Chapman and her husband are the founders of 27seconds, a wine brand that donates 100% of its profits to organizations working in the area of modern slavery.

The name 27seconds is derived from a Unicef statistic that estimates 1.2 million children are forced into slavery every year. When you break those numbers down it works out to be one every twenty- seven seconds. To date, 27seconds has donated $200,000. They love the idea that business can be a vehicle and a lever towards good change.

Ethical Considerations in Governance - Panel Discussion

Sophie Meares

Sophie Meares is a Senior Legal Counsel at the Christchurch City Council. She is new to the governance space, having been elected to Committee positions for the In-house Lawyers Association of New Zealand, and Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc. Sophie is interested in the way ethical decision making drives an organisation’s response to climate and sustainability issues.

Ethical Considerations in Governance - Panel Discussion