• 04 472 1202
  • letstalk@acenz.org.nz
  • Christchurch, New Zealand


Home // Speakers

    MC David Downs

    Chief Executive of NZ Story

    David has had a successful career in the private and public sector, with senior roles at organisations such as Microsoft and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. He is a published author on New Zealand innovation with two highly successful books – No.8 Re-wired and No.8 Recharged.

    He’s a former comedian, TV and radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, and a genetically modified organism who documented his battle with cancer in his book A Mild Touch of the Cancer. David co-founded sosbusiness.nz, a not-for-profit initiative to help cafes and other small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. It quickly became a huge hit and has sold over $2 million in vouchers for more than 2,500 small businesses.

    David is now Chief Executive of New Zealand Story, an ambitious organisation marketing New Zealand to the world.

      Kemi Nekvapil

      Author and leadership coach

      Kemi is one of Australia’s leading coaches for female executives and entrepreneurs, an author and a highly sought-after international speaker. She has studied leadership and purpose at The Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan and trained with Dr Brené Brown to become a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, working with teams and organisations to create daring leaders and courageous cultures. Kemi is a facilitator for The Hunger Project Australia and a regular interviewer of industry icons including Elizabeth Gilbert, Martha Beck and Marie Forleo, and she hosts the popular podcast The Shift Series and is the author of The Gift of Asking and Power – A woman's guide to living and leading without apology.

      With a level of compassion and wisdom only gained through extraordinary life experience, Kemi is a powerful advocate for connected, value-based living.

        Blair Enns

        Founder of Win Without Pitching

        Blair is the author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour. He lectures throughout the world on how creative professionals can win more business at higher prices and lower cost of sale. Blair co-hosts the popular podcasts 2Bobs: Conversations on the Art of Creative Entrepreneurship along with David C. Baker, and 20% The Marketing Procurement Podcast with Leah Powers.

        Blair is an advocate of integrity-based selling and value-based pricing, serving those who sell ideas and advice.

          Anton Matthews

          Director of Hustle Group

          Anton is the owner of Hustle Group, a whānau-owned business in Christchurch, New Zealand. Hustle Group encompasses a range of hospitality businesses, including Joe's Garage Wigram, Fush, and Tātou Tātou Catering, as well as Hustle Education, which offers training and workshops on te reo Māori, Māori culture and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Passionate about normalising te reo Māori, Anton aims to inspire his community and build generational wealth for his whānau. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his three tamariki and wife Jess, and staying fit and strong.

          Brought to you by Waihang Ara Hau


          Navigating disruption

          • Phoebe Moses, Beca: Building a deep bench in a shallow pool
          • David Symons, WSP: Putting engineering at the heart of solving future challenges
          • Dan Forster and Katy Cottingham, Dam Safety Intelligence: Dam safety for generations
          • Gavin Shaw, Navig8 Construction Advisory: Embracing disruption – the path of courageous pragmatism

          People leadership

          • Christopher Maguire, Stantec: Am I the problem? Reflections on diversity
          • Christina Taylor and Tina Coombes, GHD: Beyond compliance: Building an authentic and measurable supplier diversity roadmap
          • Kim Thaker, AECOM: Millennial at the table
          • Tamsyn Fenton, Tonkin + Taylor: Why Gen Z keeps ghosting your phone calls – howto attract and engage with the TikTok generation effectively

          Client experience – Brought to your by Beaton

          • Aimee Matiu and Hamish Jones, Pattle Delamore Partners: He moana pukepuke e ekengia e te waka – our journey embracing te ao Māori
          • Juan Balza, Mott MacDonald: Navigating turbulence at Aotearoa’s largest infrastructure project
          • Theresa Wells and Juan Martinez, GHD: Navigating transformation – redefining client-consultant dynamics
          • Samantha Fernando, Aurecon: Topic TBC

          Technology and innovation

          • Steve Abley, Abley: The tide is rising on professional services – swim or drown
          • Matt Bishop, Brevity: Engineering in the age of AI
          • Maria Mingallon, Mott MacDonald: From code to culture – a people-centric approach to AI
          • Courtney McCormick, Beca: Encouraging technology adoption