Abe Gorrie-Naus

Delivery Manager, Potentia

Abe holds a BCom from VUW, Majoring in HR, Industrial Relations and Commercial Law. He is the Wellington Delivery Manager. Drawing on over 13 years of experience in the industry, Abe originally started his recruitment career in the Education sector and has since recruited in and around Wellington in the IT, Projects, Change, Security, Marketing and Digital spaces. He has been operating as our Wellington Delivery Manager and is moving up to Auckland in October to take on the General Manager role for the Auckland business. Outside of work you will likely see Abe singing at a community concert as a member of The Glamaphones- Rainbow Community Based Choir in Wellington.

Albany Lockie

Artist – Advocate

Albany Lockie (they/them) is an artist and advocate with care experience and a strong passion for community. They have been involved with many initiatives, including: the research being presented on the experiences of young people transitioning to adulthood from care, research on the needs of takatāpui and rainbow rangatahi in care, making and distributing greetings cards for young people in care, youth parliament, and a range of other volunteering opportunities.

Baruk Jacob

Design Lead, Whānau Tahi

Baruk obsesses about helping teams to design better products and services. He asks a lot of questions, tells a lot of stories, and draws many, many maps. Currently employed at Whānau Tahi, he is also pursuing a PhD, exploring emotional capability in innovation contexts. 

Benjamin Wylie-van Eerd

Political Candidate, Opportunities Party

Dr Ben Wylie-van Eerd is a physicist who has made a name for himself in the world of Research and Development, having worked with world-leading technology companies overseas. He returned home in 2017 and currently works as a science and technology developer for some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies. Ben has a unique talent for simplifying complex concepts and devising practical solutions that work. Ben is particularly passionate about the issues facing young people, including the cost of housing and climate change, and their effect on mental health. Ben is committed to making real and lasting change in these areas, offering young people a bright future where they can afford to live, raise a family, and save for retirement.

Charlotte Mitchell

Project Activator Assistant, Seed Waikato

Charlotte has been involved in the rangatahi space since leaving secondary school in 2019. She has worked as a Youth Advocate for the Electoral Commission and as a Youth Innovator in the Waikato Wellbeing Project. Charlotte now works at Seed Waikato, an organisation that strives for better and more equitable outcomes for rangatahi as well as championing those involved in systems change. She is currently working on a project called ‘Te Aka Matua’ which aims to build capacity and capability for Youth Workers through wellbeing and personal development.

MP Chris Bishop

Member of Parliment, National Party

Chris is in his third term as a Member of Parliament and is National’s Spokesperson for Housing, Urban Development, and Infrastructure, ranked 3rd in the National line-up. He is also National’s Chair for the 2023 Election Campaign. From 2017-2020 he was the MP for Hutt South (the first time National had ever held the seat) and is now a National List MP based in Hutt South. He is National’s candidate for Hutt South in the 2023 Election.

Dan Russell

Schools Success Lead, MyMahi

Dan Russell is one of the Schools Success Leads for MyMahi, a digital tool for young people and schools to develop self-management, career pathway planning, work readiness, wellbeing and life skills. Dan has a background in teaching, youth development and research, financial capability and careers education, and has spent the last nine years supporting young people into work experience and employment in a secondary school in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Fati Tagoai 

Design Lead, Whānau Tahi

Fati Tagoai is of Samoan descent, born and bred in the Hutt Valley. Fati is an advocate for sharing ideas and knowledge, and has a deep passion for growing and developing individuals, organisations, and communities. His background and expertise is in strategic management, social services, and youth development. Fati has multiple qualifications in social work, social services, psychodrama, and strategic management. He is often called upon to hold spaces and facilitate experiential processes as an MC, facilitator, and consultant. Fati is a strong advocate of the Hutt Valley community, and an agent for Pasifika. Fati and his wife Alicia, a local youth health nurse, are staunch supporters of their three daughters Mya, Danii, and Tia. 

Gala Baumfield

Youth Advocate – Creator

Gala Baumfield, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngā Puhi, has been passionate about young people for as long as she can remember, being heavily involved in youth spaces both in her work and personal life. Leaving school Gala worked for the Hear Me See Me campaign as a youth advocate, at this time she also balanced the weight of caring for her mother and fueling herself with passion projects such as Wozer Skate Mag, a skate and culture magazine run by her and her friends.

Gemma Turney 

Youth Advisor, Youth Inspire

I have been a Youth Advisor with Youth Inspire since 2021 – helping young people find meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities has been my dream role! Before Youth Inspire, I was living in Canada and working in the field of education, I have also worked at Family Planning which sparked my passion for working within the community and in the NGO space, prior to that I had a background in government.

MP Jan Logie

Member of Parliment, Green Party

Jan Logie is a Green Party MP based in the Mana Electorate. Jan worked for Women’s Refuge, the New Zealand University Students’ Association, the YWCA and numerous other social causes before entering Parliament in 2011. She served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice from 2017-2020 with a focus on sexual and domestic violence issues, and is Green Party spokesperson for Disability, ACC, Women, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Public Services, Children, and Workplace Relations.

Salā Henry Samia

General Manager, Partners Porirua

Henry has been with the organisation since 2008. Henry has wide-ranging experience having worked in both the education and government sector, with previous roles at the Ministry of Education, AgITO and Ministry of Social Development. Born and bred in Porirua, Henry is an active member of the community through church and networking groups. Henry is passionate about being part of the journey of helping Porirua youth realise their potential.

Hilary Karaitiana

Manager, Number 12

I am the Manager of Number Twelve, a youth organisation in Te Kūiti. My role is to oversee the programmes and services we deliver. For me, leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality whether that is for our service, for my team, our young people, and our community.  I am passionate about ensuring our young people get a good education, that they have hopes and dreams for their future, that they are resilient, can cope with life’s challenges, and that they can get a job and thrive.

Prof. Jarrod Haar

Professor of Managment and Māori Studies, Massey University

Dr. Jarrod Haar is Dean’s Chair and Professor of Management and Māori Business at Massey University. He has Māori tribal affiliations of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Mahuta. He researches employees and organisations (especially Māori). He has won industry and best-paper awards, and multiple research grants. Dr. Haar is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi and has over 490 refereed outputs (including 148 journal articles). He is a frequent media commentator and is ranked in the Elsevier World Top 2% of Scientists worldwide [by citations] and 2nd in New Zealand (Business & Management subfield).

Jedi Elemani

Programme & Facilitation Lead, South Auckland Young Entrepreneurs

Jedi is a Facilitator, Programme Designer, and Business Plan Coach with SAYE Ltd. With 10+ years of community engagement experience, Jedi served as Project Manager for the 2022 YEA conference. Outside work, he is a passionate musician and enjoys following rugby and MMA. Jedi is happily married to Priscilla and is father of Caden and Rylnn. He aspires to continually share his methods for success with his community, to lead a family with good values, and to one day compose music for movies and video games.

Jerome Tairi

Co-Founder & Lead Trainer, South Auckland Young Entrepreneurs

Jerome is the Founder of South Auckland Young Entrepreneurs (SAYE). With a robust career in banking, finance, and technology, he leverages over a decade of corporate training expertise to enable and empower youth. Jerome transitioned from the corporate world in 2019, designing innovative programs that build self-belief, resilience, and confidence in young people. A happily married family man with two beautiful children, Jerome relishes the balance of nurturing future entrepreneurs and his own growing family. His passion extends beyond work, as he enjoys witnessing not only the growth of his young ones but also the journey of those he mentors toward launching businesses and achieving career success.

Jessica Te Moananui

Kaiārahi Manager, Talent Rise, Ngāti Hako me Ngati Tamatēra ki Hauraki

Jess joined Talent RISE at the beginning of 2018, coinciding with its launch in Aotearoa. Brought on board to breathe life into RISE New Zealand, creating an accelerator work readiness programme that focuses on supporting rangatahi (youth) between the ages of 18-24 with a particular emphasis on working with NEET Māori and Pasifika rangatahi, who have experienced barriers to securing employment and uplifting their mana.  Being that Jess was once one of these rangatahi, she leads by example by sending the elevator back down. Empowering rangatahi to feel that anything is possible once they set their mind to it.

Joanna Hall

Senior Policy Advisor, EMA

Joanna is the Senior Policy Advisor at the EMA, focusing on Skills, Education and Immigration. The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) is a membership organisation which is part of the BusinessNZ network and has more than 7,000 businesses, from Taupō north. Having worked for the EMA since 2018, Joanna is passionate about building a community of capable and thriving businesses. She works with members to ensure they have a voice on policies that matter most to them while also keeping them informed and ahead of the curve.

Joe Dodd

Manager, New World Kaikohe

I’m from Whangarei and love living in Northland. I have been at New World Kaikohe for eight months, and have a long background in supermarkets. I have a Bachelor of Management Studies with double majors in Economics and Information Systems from Waikato University. I have taken every opportunity to learn and better myself with Foodstuffs that includes PAK’nSAVE, New World and Four Square. I have worked my way from filling the fruit and vegetables when I was younger, all the way to the top where I now own the New World in Kaikohe. Kaikohe is a provincial town with a huge heart, and a lot of opportunity. We generally hire on attitude and train the rest, the opportunities are huge, and we have a supportive workplace that is inclusive and flexible.

Joe Wilson

Lead Social Innovator, Seed Waikato

Kia ora e te iwi! 

Ko Joe Wilson toku ingoa,
Kei Te Waikato Wellbeing Project ahau e mahi ana
He social innovator ahau

My background in mahi is in youth development, education, and community-led development. Right now, I am contracted to the Waikato Wellbeing Project to help facilitate innovative social justice kaupapa moving between community orgs, funders, government ministries, businesses, etc. to help kick start or further support awesome kaupapa that supports rangatahi. Alongside this, I also run a video storytelling kaupapa called ‘Lots of Little Fires’ celebrating and sharing the stories of inspiring people across the Waikato.

Kia ora!

Joel Bradley

Youth Coach, Number 12

I grew up in Te Kuiti knowing that I wanted to follow in my dad’s footsteps and join the infantry in the army. I served for 11 years, and accomplished many things, one of my proudest moments was marrying my wife Deeanna and having our three children, Josiah, Elijah and Amos. As a strong leader and role model for the youth soldiers in my team, I realised that my true passion was serving others and working with youth. My wife and I took a post with the Youth Development Unit in Whenuapai and became instructors for the Limited Services Volunteer (LSV) and the Services Academies within the high schools. Deeanna and I moved back to Te Kuiti and are now the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Coordinators at Number Twelve. Here we empower rangatahi into full-time employment. I have loved seeing how capable our rangatahi are. They are seeing that with the right guidance, anything is within their reach.

Jono Craig

Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Coordinator, Jobs in Central Hawkes Bay (District Council)

Jono leads the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s Mayors Taskforce for Jobs – Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay team. Born and bred in Central Hawkes Bay, he is passionate about supporting his local community and investing in the future of our youth. Jono is also a member of the YEA Stewardship Group, he is passionate about working collaboratively to get great results for our young people and maximising their potential to contribute and enhance local business.

Joseph Tyro

Principal Advisor Workforce, Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority

Kia ora, He uri ahau nō Ngāi Tahu, Te Atihaunui-a-Papārangi, Ngāti Rangi. Ko Hohepa tōku ingoa. I was raised in Ohinehou (Lyttelton) and I currently work in a national role as Principal Advisor Workforce for Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority). I have previously held senior executive leadership roles, and for the past 24 years have worked in the health, tertiary education, and social service sector. One of my proudest achievements is the development of the Lyttelton Youth Centre where, as a 16-year-old I was a member of Lyttelton Youth council. I am grateful to be involved in this programme to this day. I remain passionate about serving our community in a variety of ways while being a change agent as a registered social worker. 

MP Karen Chhour

Member of Parliment, ACT Party

Nearly every MP says they want to reform CYFPs/CYFs/Oranga Tamariki. Karen lived it and came to Parliament to make a better world for children. Her own story of overcoming adversity to have a loved family of her own and a successful business is the embodiment of ACT values. She changed her future. Karen has been self-employed in the New Zealand made clothing industry. She is a mother of four and has lived on Auckland’s North Shore for the past 30-years. She strongly believes that, with the right tools, anyone in this country can make something of themselves. She believes that we have spent way too long trying to make a broken system work.

Kath Harrison

Senior Advisor, VOYCE

Kath Harrison (she/her) is a registered social worker who is passionate about human rights and social justice. Kath is employed by VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai as Kaitohutohu Matua (Senior Advisor) Evaluation and Research and works to amplify the voices of the care experienced community to create systemic change in the social service sector.

Kauri Tearaura 

Senior Advisor Inclusion & Diversity, Department of Corrections

At 23, Kauri (they, he, she) is the youngest senior leader for diversity and inclusion in the public service. From the age of 18, Kauri has led national movements that support diverse communities to thrive in the worlds of work, learning, and life. Kauri has been a member of the YEA stewardship group since 2021, and is an Aotearoa Youth Leader for the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

Krishan Kumar

Community Development Partner, Outward Bound

Krish is the Community Development Partner at Outward Bound New Zealand where he has worked for eight years alongside rangatahi, whānau, secondary schools, kura, employers and agencies across the motu. He is passionate about helping people realise their potential through challenges in the outdoors and believes outdoor education paves a great pathway for rangatahi transitioning into employment. In 2022 Outward Bound delivered the first of their Whakatipu programmes that have been designed to develop work readiness within rangatahi and this is a driving factor in the mahi Krish does with Outward Bound.

Lloyd Martin

Educator, New Season

Ko ngā motu o Shetland te tūrangawaewae o ōku tupuna. Tokowhitu āku mokopuna. He kite ahau i te nuinga o rātou ia rā.

Lloyd has been involved in youth work and alternative education in Cannons Creek since the 1980’s (long before the money arrived). In 2000, Lloyd developed Praxis, a tertiary education organisation that has provided qualifications in youth work throughout Aotearoa, the Pacific Islands, and Australia. At the end of 2022 he handed over the leadership of Praxis to a new generation of amazing humans. In his ‘new season hustle’, Lloyd works across a range of organisations to provide PD in youth development, ethics, and the assessment of unit standards. He has published a number of books and is currently completing a doctorate through Victoria University. The focus of his research is on how young people experience change through their involvement in alternative education.

Dr Louise Cowpertwait

Workplace Wellbeing Specialist, Mindmatters

Dr Louise Cowpertwait (she/her) is Founder and CEO of MindMatters Clinic, a team of clinical experts supporting workplace mental health across Aotearoa. Louise is on a mission to support mental health and wellbeing within workplaces. She has worked with major national and international companies to support employee wellbeing, particularly helping leaders to respond to the needs of the workforce. Louise holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, is registered with the NZ Psychologist Board, is a full member of the NZ College of Clinical Psychologists, the International Neuropsychological Society, the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the NZ Association of Positive Psychology. When she isn’t visiting a workplace or learning about new research, Louise loves introverting at home with her partner and two dogs (ask her about “Trashy Tuesdays”), or going on hikes with friends in the lush NZ landscape.

Michael Stevens

Relationship Manager, Be. Lab

Michael is a Relationship Manager in the Talent Team at Be. Lab. He works to help people living with physical or mental-health related access needs or disabilities find meaningful paid work experience, with the goal of strengthening their future employment opportunities. Michael has many years’ experience working with businesses in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space, and was the founding Director of the Rainbow Tick programme.

Michelle Lye

Manager, Youth Services, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Kia Ora!

Ko Michelle Lye tōku ingoa
Nō Kirikiriroa ahau.

I was born and raised in Kirikiriroa, Hamilton. I am currently the Manager for Youth Services at Te Wananga o Aotearoa. I lead and support three awesome teams in Youth Services, Transition to Adulthood, and Education to Employment Brokerage across Hauraki, Waikato, and Waipa. I am a teacher by trade with a Bachelor’s in Teaching & Post Grad Dip in Education. I have worked in a variety of education and social service roles with eight+ years’ experience predominantly working alongside high-risk rangatahi.

Ngā Mihi

Patrick Mckibbin

CEO, Hutt Chamber of Commerce

Patrick’s connection to education, supporting the engagement between education and the world of work, commenced when he started at the Ministry of Education (MOE) in 2017. His role at MOE was about enabling the engagement of employers, business, and industry in education. Whilst at MOE Patrick and his team established the network of Education to Employment (E2E) Brokers who help facilitate great connections between employers and schools to support rangatahi to discover, explore, connect to, and experience their possible futures. Patrick is now with the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, who are regional E2E broker for the Hutt Valley, supporting the 14 secondary schools in the Hutt Valley region.

Sam Jackman

Manager The Wairoa Star / Chair, Wairoa Business Association

With an advertising career spanning the past 47 years, Sam now leads the Wairoa Business Association while managing The Wairoa Star.  Over the past decade, Sam has held roles as President of the Havelock North Business Association, the Taradale Business Association, Economic Development Officer at Hastings District Council and connecting business with biodiversity initiatives at Hawkes Bay Regional Council. He is a passionate advertising professional working a global footprint for brands such as IKEA, YSL, Royal Copenhagen and Les Must des Cartier and launched the global Energizer brand in seven countries in seven language versions. He is a passionate brand champion for local businesses in provincial New Zealand.

Shannon Seiuli

Senior Youth Advisor, Youth Inspire

I graduated in Australia and worked in residential youth care for two years before moving back home to NZ. Youth work is my passion and purpose, and when I moved back to NZ I did some volunteer work with Youthline, running their Youth Development programme through Gateway. From there I moved to PACT NZ, working in the Mental Health Youth support team for two years before starting with Youth Inspire. I have been with Youth Inspire for the last six years facilitating the Youth Employability programme and I am now working with 15-24 year olds along with whanau engagement as the Senior Youth Advisor.

Tākuta Ferris

Political Candidate, Te Pāti Māori 

Tākuta is a descendant of Takitimu, Kurahaupō and Horouta waka. His whakapapa ties him to Kāi Tahu and Kāti Māmoe in Te Waipounamu and to Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa and Rangitāne in Te Tauihu o Te Waka a Māui and to Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou. Raised in the small coastal village of Pōrangahau, Tākuta has a close affinity to land and sea “I understand that it is that close affinity that grounds me in knowing who I am and where I come from. My identity, the land and the ocean are one in the same thing.” He tāngata marae a Tākuta. He is just as often found on the paepae as he is diving for kaimoana and serving multiple kaupapa. A leader of Tamatea Arikinui, kapa haka plays a huge role in Tākuta’s life. Grounded in whakapapa, history, kōrero tuku iho, Tākuta ensures that the vision our tīpuna have for us as mokopuna is brought to life. For Tākuta, an Aotearoa hou is an Aotearoa that is safe for our tamariki and their families to grow in. An Aotearoa where we don’t have to worry about the authorities being unfair to our children. An Aotearoa where we can all feel a deep connection and a sense of belonging to our home. A place that recognises te Tiriti o Waitangi in the betterment of the collective.
Ko te kai a te rangatira, he kōrero. Ko te tohu o te rangatira he manaaki. Ko te mahi a te rangatira he whakatira i te iwi.

Tammie Metcalfe

Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Coordinator, Horowhenua District Council

Ko Tammie Metcalfe toku ingoa. Firstly, I’m a mum to my amazingly talented identical twin girls and a wife married into a proud Atafu, Tokelau family. My whānau, along with being born and raised in Ōtaki, give me a strong sense of who I am. I work for the incredibly resourceful Mayors Taskforce for Jobs as Coordinator in the Horowhenua. My Journey here has been varied, but I’ve always focused on the care and protection of our most vulnerable. At 20, I was one of NZ’s youngest Corrections Officers and I spent ten years working across that service. I then worked for Birthright, a long-standing NGO dedicated to nurturing resilient and inspired tamariki and whānau. A few stints overseas helped develop a world view of inclusiveness. My proudest moment will be as a full-time working mum completing my Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Social Anthropology.

Tanya Pouwhare

CEO, New Zealand Ethical Employers

As CEO of New Zealand Ethical Employers (NZEE), Tanya is proud to represent an organisation adding value to families & communities, by guiding and supporting the members/employers to raise employment standards, create rights respecting environments that put people at the heart. Tanya believes together we can foster an employment environment that advances the safety, security, and welfare of all people. Tanya works tirelessly to unite and represent employers in horticulture, viticulture, and other seasonal industries through NZEE, giving them a collective voice and a platform to share their concerns and insights. Tanya is driving NZEE forward, helping to shape the future of Ethical Employment to support the primary industries sector in New Zealand.

Taylor-Rose Salanoa

Kaitiaki, Talent Rise, Ngati Porou

Taylor was a participant in the Talent RISE work readiness programme and successfully transitioned into the business. She understands some of the challenges rangatahi face and brings this perspective into the way she facilitates programme sessions and workshops.  Taylor brings a rangatahi way of thinking to the role, as she is of the same age and demographic of young people Talent RISE looks to empower. She is passionate about creating a welcoming environment for young people to be empowered to succeed and take control of the future that lies ahead for them. Taylor is a genuine advocate for long-term positive outcomes for rangatahi.

Tim Cooke

Talent Manager, Potentia

With a background in sales and customer-facing roles, Tim came into recruitment as there was a natural alignment with his skills/values, and some of the key ingredients required to be a successful recruiter. He was also curious to learn more about different areas of technology. As a ‘people person’ who loves to connect and engage with people from all types of backgrounds, Tim takes a relationship-based approach (to both work and life), and tends to focus his energy on where and how he can bring value. He has been a mentor for Big Brother Big Sisters for the past three years and has relished the opportunity to work with Youth Inspire throughout his time with Potentia to date. Aside from his innate desire to connect with people regardless of who they are, his value proposition comes in the form of doing as many of the ‘little things’ as possible, such as remembering your name, showing genuine interest in who you are, following up in a timely manner and having a smile on his face (most of the time). 

Tony Henderson-Newport

Chief Kiwi, Rebel Business School

A Kiwi to the bone, Tony spent many years living in the UK, returning to New Zealand in 2014. Tony is a coach and mentor with a specific interest in how an individual or business core message can be communicated. He also works with start-ups and stay-ups and, having worked in the IT space in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Europe, is an experienced project, programme, and portfolio manager. Tony works with Victoria University’s young entrepreneurs, and is the Founder of the Rebel Business School. In 2022, Tony has been a finalist in the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards and winner of the Highest Social Impact Small Business in the David Awards. Tony is an author, a poet, a proud dad, passionate about all things Kiwi, and has been delving into what makes up the Kiwi DNA … in other words, “what makes a Kiwi tick?”



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