Bruce Katz

Bruce Katz – Inaugural Centennial Scholar – Brookings Institute – a  nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. He founded and previously served as director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which aims to provide decision makers in the public, corporate, and civic sectors with policy ideas for improving the health and prosperity of cities and metropolitan areas.  He is also co-author of the ground breaking book ‘The New Localism”.  To read more about Bruce …


Craig Richards

Chair of International Economic Development Council.

Craig J. Richard was selected to serve as the president and CEO of Invest Atlanta in December 2014. He is a seasoned economic development professional of nearly 20 years and is regarded as a collaborative leader with strengths in marketing, business development, entrepreneurial development, workforce development, global commerce, strategic planning and managing talented teams to achieve desired results. His economic development experiences range from neighborhood-level community development and regional chambers of commerce to state economic development.  To read more about Craig …

Alan Johnson

Author of ‘State of the Nation’ Report – Salvation Army

State of the Nation is now in its ninth year, and it’s become something special. You find in our society that only things that are important to the ‘important’ people are measured and analysed. So, in our report, we’ve tried to be a witness for the issues that affect vulnerable New Zealanders by measuring things like unemployment, child poverty, people going to jail, and homelessness.

As the senior policy analyst [and interim director] for The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit, I undertake social research and policy analysis, so we can advocate for vulnerable people and seek changes to make New Zealand a better society.  To read more about Alan …

Shot by James Griffin of Edgeline Photography | www.edgeline.co.nz

Benje Patterson

Benje is a key part of the regional team at Infometrics and has a strong awareness of how macroeconomic factors affect sectoral and regional outcomes.

As part of the regional team, his key responsibilities involve writing regionally-focused economic commentaries and articles, as well as delivering presentations and workshops to clients interested in region-specific economic information.  He also has experience leading projects and writing commentaries on a range of topics including: aviation, tourism, fiscal policy, monetary policy, trade, and the international economy. To read more about Benje …


Dr David Wilson

Dr David Wilson, CEO of Northland Inc, Chair of EDNZ and Member of the PGF Advisory Panel

David has been involved with a wide variety of projects in local and regional economic development, metropolitan, business and industry sector development, corporate citizenship, governance, sustainable economic and socio-economic development.

David Wilson, who since 2007 has been director of the Institute of Public Policy at AUT University, took up his new Whangarei-based role leading the regional economic development agency and tourism organisation in September 2013.

As director of AUT’s Institute of Public Policy, Dr Wilson designed and led an academic programme dedicated to economic development professionals. He holds a PhD in regional economic development.  To read more about David …

Sir Mark Solomon

Tā Mark Solomon is committed to the betterment of his Iwi, the kotahitanga of all Māori, and the wider wellbeing of all peoples. He is a strong advocate for the Māori economy and was instrumental in setting up the Iwi Chairs Forum in 2005.

He is the elected Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, a position he has held since 1998, and he has represented his local Papatipu Rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura since 1995 and is the current chair. He was recognised in the 2013 Queen’s New Year Honours with a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and Business. In late 2012 he was named Visionary Leader of 2012 in the Deloitte and New Zealand Management magazine National Business Awards.  To read more about Sir Mark …

Mayor Dave Cull

President of LGNZ and Mayor of Dunedin City Council

Dave was appointed President of LGNZ in July 2017.  He was Vice President of LGNZ from December 2016 - July 2017 and is the Mayor of Dunedin City Council.

He was elected Dunedin City Council Mayor at the 2010 local body elections. Since 2007, Dave has been heavily involved in the Dunedin community having sat on various steering groups and committees covering economic development, technology and the environment.  Read more ...

Hon Shane Jones - Minister for Regional Economic Development

Shane Jones is a List MP based in Kerikeri. He was Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, with a particular focus on fisheries, agriculture and tourism, given the significance of these resources to enhancing economic development in the region.

Mr Jones was a Member of Parliament from 2005 - 2014. During his nine years in Parliament, Mr Jones held positions that included Minister of Building and Construction, Associate Minister of Immigration, Associate Minister of Trade, Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, and Chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. Read more ...

Minister Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under Secretary, Regional Economic Develoment

Fletcher Tabuteau has been a member of New Zealand First since its inception. He believes that New Zealand First represents common sense and has always had a forthright and clear direction for New Zealand’s future encapsulated in the party’s name.

Growing up in Rotorua, Fletcher spent years working in the tourism industry. He has worked in retail and ran his own consulting business specialising in marketing and business communications. Before entering Parliament, Fletcher was a secondary teacher in maths and social studies, and a lecturer in economics and business.  Read more ...


Julian Wood

Julian works on the Maxim Institute's economics project, primarily examining regional development in New Zealand. With a Master’s in Social Science from Waikato University, Julian brings a depth of experience from his time working as a senior policy analyst for the Department of Labour, where he focused on labour market dynamics, minimum wage and employment legislation, regional development, business dynamics, and immigration.

Dr Paul Collits

Paul Collits is a 'pracademic' with over 25 years experience working in economic development in Australia and New Zealand, in policy analysis, practice, research, teaching and consultancy. He has worked in universities, parliaments and state and local governments.

Paul has a BA (HONS) and MA degrees in political science (Australian National University) and a PhD in geography and planning (University of New England, Australia). He has written and presented widely on many aspects of economic development. His particular interests are in economic development strategies and action plans, regional governance, rural town economic development, building entrepreneurship ecosystems, creativity and innovation.

Paul currently lives in Waipukurau NZ and teaches in the Business School at Hawke's Bay Eastern Institute of Technology, where he is an Adjunct Associate Professor. He is a NZ Business mentor, a Young Enterprise Scheme mentor (a special joy) and is NZ"s point man for Purdue (Indiana) University's Agile Strategy Lab ' strategic doing' work.