Speakers


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Murali Bhaskar

Murali has been with BOON Team Architects since 1994, and in the role of director since 1999. He lives and works from Taranaki, a province that he passionately calls home, having grown up and studied in Kerala, South India.  

Murali is a lead Design Architect with an ability to maximise design potential in any project. His special interest is pursuing a unique style of NZ architecture, often blurring the boundaries between media, art, graphic design and architecture through collaborative design processes. He has worked with multi-disciplinary teams and large client organisations on various civic, community, hospitality, education and healthcare projects. He has a passion for Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD).

Murali possesses a confident understanding of ngā tikanga o Taranaki and for the past three years has been actively engaged in learning Te Reo Māori.

Murali is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and former council member. He is presently a trustee of the New Plymouth Art in Public Places Trust and the Taranaki Health Foundation both not for profit organisations with community in mind. He has recently been appointed as a board member on the NZRAB.


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Jim Boult

Jim Boult is a well-known senior member of the New Zealand business community in both Management and Governance. Jim was elected mayor of Queenstown Lakes District Council in October 2016, by a “landslide” majority.

In 2013, Jim completed five successful years as Chief Executive of Christchurch International Airport and was a government appointee to the CIAL board for six years before that. During his time at CIAL, Jim managed the airport throughout the recovery following the Christchurch earthquakes. He also oversaw the development of a new terminal, which was completed on time and on budget. In his home town of Queenstown, he has chaired several charities, council-sponsored working parties, and community groups.

Jim was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 (for services to Tourism and the community), a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management in 2012, and given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce in 2014.


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Sam Buchan

Sam is a Senior Solicitor in the commercial department in Anderson Lloyd’s Dunedin office. Sam assists clients with buying and selling their businesses (either through asset or share sales), structuring their commercial arrangements including providing shareholder and governance advice, establishing and maintaining intellectual property (trade marks, copyright, licence agreements and confidentially agreements), contracts for services (for clients providing or receiving the services), contractual disputes, financing, commercial leases and general commercial advisory.

Sam has provided advice on a large array of commercial matters including the sale of a large winery in Central Otago with overseas investment office considerations, some significant infrastructure contracts for local government, contracts for hire in relation to major venues, and  the rebranding of large tourism businesses.

Sam has a pragmatic and client focussed approach to his practise.


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Bob Burnett

Bob Burnett has worked tirelessly for over two decades to create healthy, low carbon, environmentally sound homes for New Zealanders. After designed New Zealand’s first 7 and 10 Homestar rated homes, Bob founded the Superhome Movement in 2015 to instigate open source sharing of new technologies and innovative building techniques. He also co-founded the Quakestar rating system after the Christchurch Earthquakes.

In 2017 Bob received the Sustainable Business Network, Sustainability Superstar Award, for his commitment to normalising energy efficient, sustainable homes through lectures, exemplar home tours and educational events for the public and industry. Bob is lobbying to change the New Zealand Building Code to bring it inline with other OECD countries.


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Ailsa Carroll

Ailsa is the Sustainability Coordinator at The Headwaters, a sustainability focused accommodation and retail destination in Glenorchy, 40 minutes’ drive from Queenstown.

She is the onsite lead for Camp Glenorchy's pursuit of Living Building Challenge Petal accreditation; the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings. Camp Glenorchy aims to use 50% less water and 50% less energy than traditional accommodations whilst providing a welcoming destination in harmony with one of the most beautiful places in the world.


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Andrew Eagles

Andrew is a qualified economist with more than fourteen years’ experience in the built environment. Working for consultancies, associations, government and built environment charities, he has a wealth of knowledge in housing, market mechanism, advocacy and the construction supply chain.

Andrew joined the New Zealand Green Building Council in September 2016 as Chief Executive. The New Zealand Green Building Council is the country’s leading not-for-profit for the sustainable built environment. As well as exemplary research, the NZGBC oversees Homestar and Green Star the award winning certifications for New Zealand homes and buildings. NABERSNZ, the tool for confirming performance of offices in use, is also rising in popularity.


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Amy Scott

Amy Scott has risen to being one of Australasia’s most sought after professional speakers with her dynamic delivery on the art of communication. Described by audiences around the world as being “down to earth, entertaining and real”, her ability to genuinely engage with people whilst offering practical solutions is second to none.

Now infamously regarded as “The Human Dynamo from Central Otago”, Amy is firmly recognised as an authority in the art of communication and is fully accredited in the New Zealand made “Dots” communication model. What began as a young person’s desire to help individuals transform the quality of their lives through communication, has grown into a lifelong crusade.

“I’m passionate about people playing to their full potential and tapping into the potential of those around them. Life is far too short for unnecessary stress!”

Kindly supported by Metro Glass.


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SiÂN Taylor

Siân Taylor from Team Green Architects in Queenstown and Duncan Sinclair of Blackpine Architects in Wanganui combined forces in July this year to create the climate declaration and encourage some of New Zealand’s most respected Architects to join in. The declaration lays down a set of guidelines that signatories pledge to follow in order to help prevent irreversible damage from a changing climate.

Siân has worked as an architect in Queenstown since 2005 coming directly from one of the UK’s largest architecture practices where she was a project architect on the Sustainable Education team. Siân began her NZ career at John Blair Architects. She had 4 years as project architect working on a number of local houses before moving to Warren and Mahoney Architects taking the role of project architect and their local sustainability specialist in 2009. In 2011 Siân became one of the first NZ Architects to be Passive House certified. This was a defining moment, completely changing her approach to architecture and construction. Sian and Partner Mark Read began Team Green Architects in 2012 to prove that low energy building design and strong architecture can work hand in hand.


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Claire Turnbull

Claire is a qualified nutritionist who has been working in the health and wellness industry for over 15 years.

Claire is the Nutritionist for Healthy Food Guide magazine, TVNZ Breakfast and Newstalk ZB as well as featuring in three prime time TV shows. Claire is also the owner and director of the private nutrition practice and corporate wellness company Mission Nutrition.

Claire’s passion is to help make it easier for others to eat well and live happy, balanced lives. Her approach is real, practical and very down to earth. She balances her work with two young children aged five and one, so she really knows what it is like to juggle and have to find solutions that work in the real world.

Alongside the speaking and events Claire does, she has published two best sellers with Penguin Random House: Lose Weight for Life and Feel Good for Life. Claire has also released a wellness diary called ‘It’s a beautiful day’.

Kindly supported by Metro Glass.


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Nick Tuffley

Since starting out in 1997 as an economist, it’s fair to say Nick has seen a few hair-raising moments over the years, including the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis.

One of Nick’s strengths is his ability to communicate complex ideas in a readily understandable and entertaining way.  He thrives on helping people understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life. He is proud to lead a team that has won three Forecast Accuracy Awards from Consensus Economics, and has a strong track record with their Official Cash Rate and dairy price forecasts.

Nick grew up in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury.  He learned his economic ropes at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before a long stint as a Senior Economist at Westpac. He joined ASB as Chief Economist in 2007.


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Verney Ryan

Verney Ryan is a co-leader and lead researcher for Beacon Pathway.   He has a broad background in urban planning, sustainable development, energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental resource management. Verney leads a range of applied research and demonstration projects for Beacon.  Recently, he led a team to develop a framework and assessment tools to guide good practice medium density housing in New Zealand.  These are being applied and further refined in ongoing assessments of a range of medium density developments in Auckland and Christchurch. Verney has also worked extensively on projects to identify good practice in sustainable and more affordable housing, both new build and retrofit.


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Vanessa Wells

MC, Conference

Vanessa Wells has worked in the arts industry for almost 20 years. She has a long history as a performer with the Court Theatre, and has run her own successful voice business. You may recognise her from Auckland International Airport, informing you what gate your flight departs from, or politely asking you to "remove the last item from the bagging area" at Countdown supermarkets across the country!

When Vanessa first started working with cameras in 2007 as a presenter and host with regional television station CTV, the experience triggered a passion for human interest stories, and stories from the community.  Over the last three years Vanessa has made a shift from in front of the camera to behind, with highlights being directing her debut documentary film “East to East”, and it’s official selection for the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) 2018, where it screened to sell-out houses. It has also recently screened as Official Selection at FIFO Tahiti. 

In the summer of 2018/19 Vanessa travelled to Antarctica twice, supported by Antarctica NZ’s Community Engagement Programme. She is currently creating an educational children’s play, and supporting resource material to accompany this.  While in Antarctica Vanessa also created content for Sesame Street - a short film on counting to 4!  Following on from her experience in Antarctica Vanessa has recently completed a short film "Te Whakairo", and a teaser for a feature environmental documentary currently in development.  Vanessa is also on the board of WIFT NZ (Women in Film and Television), and directs the fortnightly social media series "Braveheart Christchurch".


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Michele A’Court

MC, ADNZ Resene Architectural Design Awards Gala Dinner

Winner of Comedian of the Decade (Female) at the 2010 NZ Comedy Guild Awards, Michele A’Court is a fulltime professional stand-up comedian and freelance writer.

Michele is a regular panellist on THREE’s award-winning comedy show 7 Days, The Project, on Radio NZ National’s The Panel with Jim Mora, and 9 to Noon. She has been writing a weekly column for the Christchurch Press since 2008 and relishes the opportunity to comment on current social issues. She is also a frequent contributor to several national New Zealand magazines including Next and Her Business, and has a regular column for In-Business magazine.

Her international experience as a stand-up comedian is constantly growing with shows in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto. She has performed at comedy festivals in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Melbourne and Adelaide, and entertained New Zealand and international troops in East Timor.

Most recently Michele has become a published author. Her memoir/instructional book titled Stuff I Forgot To Tell My Daughter is based on her hour-long show of the same name. 2018 has seen Michele release her second book How We Met, a series of interviews with couples investigating how they met, and how they stay together.