2024 Speakers & panelists

Keep an eye out for our 2024 speakers - to be confirmed soon!

2023 Speakers & panelists

Below are the speakers from our 2023 event.  

We had a great line up of industry leaders, experts, and decision makers. 

Thank you to all of our speakers at Constructive 2023.

Hon Dr Megan Woods
Minister of Housing, Minister of Building and Construction

Hon Megan Woods is a Christchurch local, and has been the Member of Parliament for Wigram since 2011. Under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership, Megan held the ministerial portfolios for Housing, Energy and Resources, Building and Construction, Greater Christchurch Regeneration, and Research, Science and Innovation, as well as being Associate Minister of Finance.

Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Megan worked as a Business Manager at Plant & Food Research. She holds a PhD in New Zealand history from the University of Canterbury. In between a busy schedule, Megan enjoys watching cricket, rugby and spending her free time with friends and family.

Chris Bishop  
Opposition Spokesperson for Housing, Urban Development and Infrastructure

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. 

Philip Aldridge
CEO, Waihanga Ara Rau

With an extensive background in commercial enterprises, NGOs, and government organisations.  Prior to joining Waihanga Ara Rau has held leadership roles with Infratrain NZ, Telecom, AgITO, NZ Treasury and a Govt Research and Development fund.

Having led initiatives to improve the Canterbury Rebuild’s labour supply, in conjunction with the infrastructure and construction industry, education providers and Government agencies, Philip understands the challenges and opportunities involved with transformational programmes of work involving many different Tangata Whai Mana (stakeholders). Philip has a strong passion and vision for Waihanga Ara Rau and has rapidly recruited a motivated team to help move the organisation from the establishment start-up phase to full operation in a short space of time.

Nate Alley
Managing Director, Sentinel Homes Waikato

Nate is a builder by trade and now steers the ship at Sentinel Homes Waikato, one of NZs fastest growing group home builders.

Nate is passionate about people and culture, as well as promoting diversity within the industry.

Cameron Bagrie 
Bagrie Economics 

Cameron Bagrie has been an economist for 20 years. For over 11 years he was the Chief Economist at ANZ. He has also worked as an economist at the National Bank, Treasury and Statistics New Zealand. A mainlander at heart, Cameron’s approach to economics is non-ideological and pragmatic. 

Dr Terri-Ann Berry
Professor, Unitec

Dr Terri-Ann Berry (MSc, PhD, CChem, CEnv, FRSC) is Director of the Environmental Solutions Research Centre and Associate Professor in the School of Construction and Engineering at Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.  She is an environmental engineer with significant expertise in environmental chemistry and the management of sensitive environments. Her key research interests include effective waste management for the Construction and Demolition sector and managing and mitigating risks associated with asbestiform minerals, such as asbestos. 

To’osavili Nigel Bickle
Chief Executive, Hastings District Council

Nigel describes himself as a “boy from Porirua” and is certainly proud of his roots.  He started his working life as a 20-year-old, processing benefit applications in the local welfare office.

He worked in the public sector for 30 years including eight as Deputy Chief Executive of Immigration.   Other previous roles include Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Labour and Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Building and Housing. Nigel was the head of the Government’s Provincial Development Unit, which managed the Provincial Growth Fund.  Nigel took up the role as Chief Executive of the Hastings District Council in February 2019.  

Jehan Casinader

Jehan Casinader is one of New Zealand’s leading storytellers.

As an award-winning journalist and speaker, he helps to shape conversations about issues that matter.

Jehan is a familiar face to members of the building and construction sector, and is hosting Constructive for the fifth year in a row. Using his sharp interviewing skills and pacy style, he’ll create a framework for meaningful dialogue at Constructive, and help our speakers to shine.

Ross Copland
Chief Executive, Te Waihanga / NZ Infrastructure Commission

Ross Copland is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission (Te Waihanga).  

Prior to joining the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Ross had a career in construction and tourism infrastructure development.  He is passionate about renewables and sustainable building and has taken part in development engineering and disaster relief assignments across the Pacific.  Ross has degrees in civil engineering, commerce, and an MBA. 

Shamubeel Eaqub
Partner, Sense Partners 

Shamubeel Eaqub is an experienced economist who makes economics easy. He is also an author, media commentator and a thought-leading public speaker. He has over two decades of experience as an economist in Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland in leading international banks and consultancies. He is a partner at Sense Partners – a boutique economic consultancy.

He holds a BCOM with Honours in Economics from Lincoln Universityand is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. He lives in Auckland with his wife and two sons.  


Mike Greer
Executive Director, Mike Greer Homes

Mike is a trained carpenter and successful businessman who started his career immediately after leaving school.

Initially working as a sole trader he eventually established Mike Greer Homes in 2006, where he quickly became known for his quality workmanship and ‘can do’ attitude.

Mike’s ability to read the market and motivate his team has facilitated consistent growth over the last thirty years throughout the nation. 

With the recent Market slow down and the strong capitalisation of the Mike Greer group of businesses, Mike is poised to further reinforce his position as the market leader, dynamic developer and a visionary businessman.



Sally Grey,
Manager Building Consents Team, Auckland Council

Sally Grey is a manager in the Building Consents team at Auckland Council.  Earlier this year she worked in Emergency Management responding to the extreme weather events that hit Auckland. She and her colleagues Lee Ah Ken and Daniel Sansbury from Resource Consents and Development Engineering are all contributing to the Recovery Plan of Auckland as it builds back resilience into its communities.

David Hall
General Manager, Building System Performance - MBIE

David Hall is the General Manager of Building Performance at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – New Zealand’s building regulator.

David has a strong background working in local Government, including as CEO of Otorohanga and South Waikato District Councils. More recently, he has worked as the General Manager, Policy at the Infrastructure Commission, and as Technical Director at Mott MacDonald, a multi-national civil engineering consultancy.

Quin Henderson
Executive Director, Southbase Construction Ltd

Quin Henderson is the Executive Director of Southbase Group. He has been a business leader in the industry for 40 years, having led teams to deliver game-changing projects for New Zealand.

In his 10 years leading the Southbase team, they have delivered $1.75bn of revenue. Under Quin’s leadership, Southbase have a vision to transform the construction industry for good, through technology and a drive to reduce industry carbon emissions.

Most recently, this included the purchase of an off-site manufacturing plant in a joint venture with one of New Zealand’s largest building merchants with a shared vision for the future.

Tony Hird
Director, N Cole Construction 

A Director of N Cole Construction, Tony Hird (BConst(CE), DIPMEEC, MNZIQS) has a real passion to help improve a sector which has become mired through boom & bust cycles. He believes to achieve this we have to shift our mindset to be innately aware of our Social License to Operate.  

N Cole is a fourth generation NZ owned Commercial Construction company, having held membership with the Registered Master Builders for 94 years.  

Priding itself on ethical values, dependability and genuinely collaborative relationships, N Cole has forged a reputation delivering sophistication in <$30M projects. 

Mark Holland
Partner, Hazelton Law

Mark Holland is a Partner at Hazelton Law. The Association has partnered with Hazelton Law for over seven years with Hazelton Law providing advice and services to Members, including the free referral service. 

Mark advises client’s on contract negotiations and carries out contract reviews in relation to the commonly used standard form contracts and bespoke contracts.   

Mark’s litigation practice encompasses adjudication, arbitration and court proceedings. He also has experience in alternative dispute resolution including negotiation, mediation, and judicial settlement conferences.  He also advises clients on claim preparation for variations and extensions of time. 

Sam Jack
General Counsel & Company Secretary – Rau Paenga Limited (formerly Ōtākaro Limited)

Sam is a leading New Zealand construction and commercial lawyer, with 20 years’ experience in New Zealand and the UK. He has acted for principals and contractors on a wide range of construction and infrastructure projects and disputes, as well as health and safety, competition law and M&A matters. In November 2022 Sam joined Rau Paenga Limited as its new General Counsel & Company Secretary, leading the Legal & Risk team as the company transforms into a Central Crown infrastructure delivery company with a remit to support Government agencies nationwide to efficiently construct major new assets. 

Jon Johannson
Political scientist

Jon has had a very successful and diverse career. He was a political scientist at Victoria University of Wellington for 15 years, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a published author of several books on political leadership in New Zealand and the United States.

Jon now consults to Acumen following three years as Chief of Staff in the Office of Deputy Prime Minister during the last term, placing him at the centre of decision making in that government. Jon’s deep experience in government and domestic politics provides specialised political knowledge on how we can best navigate New Zealand’s political and economic issues.

David Kelly
Chief Executive, Registered Master Builders

Prior to taking up his current role, David was a Deputy Chief Executive for the Department of Building and Housing and subsequently Director of the Canterbury Recovery Programme for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. In those roles,

David was extensively involved in the Government’s response to the Canterbury earthquakes from day one, including establishing the technical investigation into major building collapses, which provided key technical information to the Royal Commission. He also led the Building Act changes that were part of a package of reforms in the construction sector.

Amanda Long
International Construction Leader

Amanda is an inspirational leader in the construction sector. During her career Amanda has received recognition as a champion for ethical and responsible business and consumer protection. 

Previous roles include Chief Executive of important national schemes for the built environment industry including the Considerate Constructors Scheme.  Amanda successfully transformed the scheme to include full digitalisation, a more effective monitoring service and delivery. She also developed the core code alongside mechanisms to achieve  effective public and construction client support and engagement.  

Amanda also led the development and set-up of two new national schemes which are playing an important role in addressing some of the key issues raised by the Grenfell Tower tragedy:  Building a Safer Future Charter and Code for Construction Product Information. 

Amanda also has substantial experience setting up and delivering national schemes and driving ground-breaking change in the UK and working internationally.

Dr Chris Litten
General Manager Research, BRANZ

Chris Litten is the General Manager of Research at BRANZ, a position he has had since 2015. He leads a group of 40 research and knowledge dissemination professionals that are supporting and driving improvements in the building system through actionable and accessible knowledge. 

He has a strong background in leadership, business development, knowledge transfer and building relationships and partnerships with industry leaders, Government officials and science providers.  

A research chemist by training, Chris has led a number of teams in Europe, and in New Zealand both within Government and Crown Research Institutes. 

The BRANZ role is his first experience with the building industry – he enjoys the challenge and sees the huge potential for research to continue to underpin a building system that delivered better outcomes for all. 

Dan McGuiness
Director, LT McGuiness

Dan McGuinness is a Director of LT McGuinness. He has a Bachelor of Construction (QS) from Massey University, is an NZIQS fellow and an NZIOB member. Dan is also involved in the wider community including St Mary’s College Wellington Board of Proprietors, a Trustee of The Star Boating Club Preservation Committee and various construction-industry related groups.
Dan has led several major initiatives, such as building community partnerships with groups including the Home of Compassion, clubs and schools, and with local iwi throughout the North Island.

LTM is a third-generation family construction company with a 70-year tradition of quality, on-time and cost-effective performance across many landmark and major commercial construction projects. It employs more than 350 permanent staff and has its own internal training school with over 20 current apprentices.
LTM are also committed to social procurement and under his stewardship LTM is on track to become one of the country’s first zero-carbon certified building contractors.

Ceinwen McNeil
President, ACE

People person Ceinwen began her stellar career in the public sector at the Victorian government. It was her considerable experience during this time working with global professional services organisations that really lit her fire for the world of business.

With a unique skillset developed over the last 25 years, Ceinwen is passionate about cross-sector collaboration designed to create value for our communities.

Previously the CEO of Brevity, a specialist interior engineering firm, Ceinwen is now Head of Strategy and Clients at Harrison Grierson, where she plays a key role with the Executive Leadership Team, working closely with the Board to deliver exceptional experiences to clients and people.

An active leader across our industries, Ceinwen’s love of learning and contemporary industry practice recently saw her complete the Owner President Management course at Harvard Business School.
In addition to her role at HG, she is President of ACE New Zealand where she champions diversity and inclusion in all aspects of life, and especially across the engineering and architecture sectors.

Helmut Karewa Modlik 
Chief Executive, Tumu Whakarae

Helmut is an experienced director, executive, and consultant with specialist skills in implementation and change management, business, and economic development, strategic analysis and planning, public policy, and finance. Helmut has extensive consulting experience in a wide range of private and public sectors (particularly health). 

Helmut’s work over the last 16 years has focused on executive leadership of mergers, turnarounds, and business improvement initiatives, including inaugural CEO of the education sector’s largest systems integrator (TTS Limited), a post-merger industry training organisation (Connexis), the CEO of health sector IT companies (Patients First & Conporto Health), and now CEO of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira.

Brigitte Morten
Director, Franks Ogilvie

Brigitte Morten has over a decade of experience working in politics across Australia and New Zealand. She has a Bachelor of Law from Victoria University, a Masters of Law from the Australian National University, and a Graduate Certificate in Counter-Terrorism from Interdisciplinary Center (Israel).

Brigitte spent three years providing political and media advice to the Embassy of Israel in Australia, whilst dealing with a number of high profile events. She worked as a Senior Advisor in state politics and worked on a number of Australian state and federal election campaigns. Brigitte was a Chief of Staff to an Australian Senator, before returning home to be the Senior Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of Education in the last National Government.

Russell Mulder
Project Director, LT McGuinness

Russell Mulder, a member of our senior leadership team, hails from Perth where he was a carpenter and holder of an Australian Builders’ Registration Diploma. As a senior building estimator for a major construction company, he oversaw successful tender bids for numerous multi-million-dollar contracts. Since arriving in New Zealand in 2013, Russell has gained both a National Certificate in Carpentry and a reputation for outstanding skills as a commercial manager. He is an excellent driver of both people and projects. Attention to detail, tenacity and a commitment to high standards have been the hallmarks of his approach across many of our major projects including the Bowen campus and the Archives Building. 

Mark O'Regan 
General Manager Government Relations – Rau Paenga Limited (formerly Ōtākaro Limited)

Mark O’Regan’s career has centred on the public sector. As a management consultant in Ireland, the UK and Canada, Mark served a range of public sector clients in the health and utilities sectors. Since moving to New Zealand, Mark has worked in central government agencies, including the Treasury where he was responsible for several infrastructure-focused entities. Mark led the Treasury’s work on the repurposing of Ōtākaro Limited, the Crown’s Christchurch regeneration agency, to become Rau Paenga Limited; the central Crown infrastructure delivery agency established in October 2022. Mark now leads the Rau Paenga Government Relations and Policy teams. 

Debbie O'Byrne
Circular Economy Principal, BECA

Debbie has been involved in the Circular Economy (CE) space for a decade working with a range of organizations to integrate CE principles into redesign of business strategies with a keen interest in low carbon and circular transitions for the built environment. She’s involved in the World GBC Circularity Accelerator, the NZGBC Products and Materials Expert Reference Panel, MBIEs College of Assessors, an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Waikato and recently attended the World CE Forum in Helsinki. She’s a Circular Economy Principal at BECA and has recently taken up a Co-Founder role at an emerging tech organization, Planet Price, to further develop digital tools to support future-fit decision making.

Kim Pickering
Professor, School of Engineering

Professor Pickering has been involved in materials related research for over 30 years after receiving her first degree from Imperial College. Prior to her current role, she was an industrial researcher at Plessey.

Kim is the director of the Waikato Centre for Advanced Materials and Manufacture and leads the Polymers and Composites Research Group, University of Waikato (since 2000). She was elected Fellow of Engineering New Zealand in 2008 and awarded Chartered Engineer Status in 2005. She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and has 6 patents and more than 10,000 citations. She has received the Royal Society RJ Scott Medal.

Ronnie Tan 
Founder and CEO, Creditworks

Ronnie Tan founded the CreditWorks Group in June 1998 and is a pioneer in New Zealand Commercial Positive Data Credit Reporting. Through Creditworks innovative products and services, Ronnie has provided New Zealand businesses with credit management tools for improving their credit management. Ronnie has spent 40 Years in the credit industry at management levels including at American Express, Leasing, Finance and trade organisations. Ronnie is also a voluntary mentor and an avid golfer.  

Denita Wawn
Chief Executive, Master Builders Australia

Denita was appointed as Chief Executive of Master Builders Australia in March 2017. She has 20 years’ experience as a leading advocate for industry and employers in the nation’s capital, around Australia and internationally.  
Her previous roles include CEO of the Brewer's Association of Australia and New Zealand (Brewer's Association), Deputy CEO of the National Farmers’ Federation and Executive Director of the Australian Hotels Association (Tasmanian Division).

Denita is a Director of Cbus Super Fund and Canberra Grammar School. Her previous corporate governance experience includes roles as Chair of the Worldwide Brewers Alliance, Chair of the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) Scheme and as a director of Hostplus industry superannuation fund. 

Denita was born and educated in Hobart, Tasmania. She has Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Tasmania.

Sarah Walker
Head of Advocacy and Strategy

Sarah is Head of Advocacy and Strategy at the Registered Master Builders Association. She is an experienced private and public sector management consultant and strategist working at Executive and Board level, with considerable additional experience as a human rights and constitutional lawyer and strategic communications and government relations consultant.

Her background affords her extensive involvement in organisational strategy best practice, organizational performance and development, strategic planning and management, law, strategic communications, regulatory practice, the machinery of government, risk management, and the operational application of legislation.

Brought in to assist organisations in their quest to be “high performing”, she has worked across a diverse range of clients from New Zealand's biggest corporates to human rights groups. She has also worked on a range of high-profile issues including key legal appeals to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Solicitor General, Royal Commission of Inquiries, Treaty of Waitangi claims, and leading political campaigns during her career. 

Ben Whaanga
Project Manager, LT McGuinness

Ben Whaanga holds a Bachelor of Design degree and a National Certificate in Carpentry. From his early jobs as site manager he moved on to project management, notably on major refurbishments and big commercial jobs such as Pastoral House and Mayfair House on The Terrace. In 2019, Ben and Nick Morris won the NZ Building Industry’s supreme award for their work on the Charles Fergusson Tower. The award citation noted that from the judges’ perspective, “Ben and Nick are young guns who smashed this project out of the park.” Ben is an exceptional leader and a good ‘people person’, with his talent for thorough planning one of the keys to his calm and unflustered style. He is now project managing the Archives Building, one of the biggest and most complex jobs in the country.