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Four senior directors from the Pacific community will share their journey and insights on steps to starting in governance.
Keynote speaker, Caren Rangi will speak and then facilitate a panel discussion with Mele Wendt, Sir Michael Jones and Peter Fa’afiu. Diversity on New Zealand boards is paramount and the Pacific community have much to offer. If you are interested in governance, but are not sure what you can do to move down this path, then join us to hear these experienced directors share their stories.
This event is aimed at those from the Pacific community, but all are welcome.
This event is supported by the Institute of Directors and the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.
Caren Rangi ONZM, FCA of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand is a very proud Cook Islands Māori and an experienced governance practitioner. Caren is Acting Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand. She is also a board member for Radio New Zealand and Pacific Co-operation Broadcasting Ltd, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Pacific Homecare Services, and Pacific Inc Ltd. Caren is a Board director of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation in Rarotonga, and in this role is leading work to develop professional board directors in the Cook Islands.
In 2015, Caren was conferred as a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. In 2016 she was awarded a New Zealander of the Year Local Hero Award for services to governance. In 2018 Caren was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to governance and the Pacific community, and was named as the Linden Estate Hawke’s Bay Business Leader of the Year.
Mele Wendt has 17 years of leadership/management experience and 23 years of governance experience. Her roles have included being a high school teacher, the founding Pacific Islands liaison officer and manager of the student recruitment office at Victoria University of Wellington, and then the executive director of Fulbright New Zealand for 10 years. In the last few years, Mele has been doing a mix of consultancy work and governance.
Mele currently serves on the boards of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (The NZ Correspondence School) and the Wellington Community Trust. She also currently chairs the Steering Group which developed and launched the National Action Plan for Community Governance in 2020, and is overseeing its implementation. In the recent past Mele served as chair of Massey University's Pacific Student Success Working Group, and chair of the Pasifika Education Centre in Auckland.
Mele is a member of various professional and community groups and she is a White Ribbon Ambassador. In January 2019, Mele was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to governance, the Pacific community and women.
Mele is Samoan (Malie, Vaiala, Lefaga) and palagi (NZ, Britain), and lives in Wellington. She is married to Eteuati Ete and they have four grown-up children and three grandchildren.
La’auli Sir Michael Jones has a wealth of public and private sector experience having worked in tertiary education and Pacific economic development. Currently Director Strategic Development at Matson South Pacific, a regional shipping company servicing the Pacific, La’auli is passionate about economic and social development for Pacific people both in the Pacific and here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Much of Michael’s time and energy is spent in Pacific youth and community empowerment programs, particularly in his role as founder and Chairman of the Village Community Trust and Pasifika Advance Secondary school, the first Pasifika Secondary school in Aoteraoa.
In 1997 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the Pacific community and a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017. In 2003 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame recognizing his considerable commitment and achievements in rugby as an All Black and as a coach and player.
La’auli Sir Michael currently serves on a number of public and private boards including the New Zealand Rugby Union and Pasifika Futures, the Whanau Ora commissioning agency for Pasifika Peoples in Aotearoa NZ.
Peter’s current and previous governance roles have covered diverse structures: private company, international organisation, Crown organisation, Schedule 4 (Public Finance Act) entity, regulator, charity and community organisations.
Peter is a UK registered Board director of Amnesty International Limited and is currently the Chair of Pacific Media Network (PMN). Peter is a Non-Executive Director of CORE Education Limited and a Board Member on Monte Cecilia Community Housing Trust.
His volunteer governance roles include the Board of Trustees for his children’s school and the Board for Bledisloe Park Society, which owns and manages a large multi-sport centre and sport park in Pukekohe.
Peter’s executive roles include being Interim Chief Executive and GM Corporate Affairs for the Tamaki Regeneration Company, Aotearoa’s first urban regeneration entity. He was also Head of Government and Community Relations for NZ Post Group.
He co-founded business consultancy, Navigator Limited, which provides strategic and operational advice to organisations across a number of sectors in New Zealand and the Pacific region.
Previously a New Zealand diplomat and trade negotiator, Peter was born in Samoa and raised in Glen Innes / Panmure areas. Peter’s time in Indonesia saw him cover issues such as the post-tsunami recovery, peace process between Aceh and Indonesia, de-militarisation of Aceh province, and human rights abuses in provinces such as Papua.
Peter is married to Paige who is also a small business owner and have a blended family of six kids. They are parishioners of St Patrick’s Catholic Church Pukekohe.
Peter has law and history degrees from the University of Auckland and executive education from Mt Eliza Melbourne Business School. He is an IoD member and was mentored into his first governance role (as Chair of First Foundation) by Chartered members, Susan Huria and Paul Cook.
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Auckland Branch Manager
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The Auckland Branch acknowledges the generous support of