• presenter profile thumbnail

    Amber Bremner

    • Blogger, quitegoodfood.co.nz
    • Wordage Ltd
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    Amber Bremner

    Blogger, quitegoodfood.co.nz, Wordage Ltd

    About Amber Bremner

    Professional communicator, blogger, food writer, photographer, PRINZ member

    Amber is the co-owner of Wordage, a boutique Hamilton communications agency. Her long history in website management and communications roles across the NGO, health, local government, corporate and education sectors has given her a uniquely specific skill set that combines traditional communications expertise with an innate understanding of what works in the online space.

    Growing successful food blog Quite Good Food as part of her portfolio career has allowed Amber to follow her passion for all things food and learn a few new tricks along the way. Now with a significant online and social media following, blogging is generating an income and opening new doors. Amber also writes for Nourish Magazine and is a member of Food Writers New Zealand.

    Amber believes there are huge opportunities available for comms folk to use their storytelling and writing skills to follow their passions, and that jumping in at the deep end can offer valuable learnings that apply to your day job too.

    Favorite Recipe: Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango

    This recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty is one of my all time favourite salads, from one of my all time favourite cookbooks.


    ½ cup rice vinegar

    3 tablespoons sugar

    ½ teaspoon salt

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    ½ fresh red chile, finely chopped

    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

    Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

    1 cup sunflower oil

    2 eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch dice

    8 to 9 ounces soba noodles

    1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8-inch dice or into 1/4-inch-thick strips

    1 2/3 cup basil leaves (if you can get some Thai basil, but much less of it)

    2 ½ cups cilantro leaves, chopped

    ½ red onion, very thinly sliced


    1. In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chile, and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
    2. Heat up the sunflower oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the eggplant in three or four batches. Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
    3. Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. They should take 5 to 8 minutes to become tender but still al dente. Drain and rinse well under running cold water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel.
    4. In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. You can now leave this aside for 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve add the rest of the herbs and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.

    Recipe Source

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    Arun Sudhaman

    • CEO and Editor-in-Chief
    • The Holmes Report
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    Arun Sudhaman

    CEO and Editor-in-Chief, The Holmes Report

    About Arun Sudhaman

    Arun Sudhaman is CEO and editor-in-chief at the Holmes Report.

    In this role Arun oversees the Holmes Report's global content offering, including its analysis and insight into reputation, public relations and communications trends and issues. Since joining the Holmes Report in 2010, Arun has led a comprehensive relaunch of the title’s content platform, including its digital presence and new products such as the Influence 100 compendium of key global influencers, the Global Communications Report , the landmark Creativity in PR study , and the Echo Chamber podcast .

    Arun has also played a pivotal role expanding the Holmes Report’s coverage into Asia-Pacific and other emerging markets, and has helped steer the company’s international events programme, particularly the Global Public Relations Summit — which has featured such luminaries as Sir Martin Sorrell, P&G’s Marc Pritchard, Chuck Porter and IBM’s Jon Iwata.

    He brings to the position more than a decade’s experience as a journalist and digital content specialist, most of which has been spent analysing the media, marketing and communications industries. His career has encompassed coverage and analysis of reputation and leadership issues in numerous countries across the world, including the US and UK, Russia, China, India and South Africa.

    Prior to joining the Holmes Report, Arun spent more than seven years with Haymarket Media in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. He joined Haymarket title PRWeek UK in January 2009, after covering Asia’s media and marketing landscape at sister Haymarket title Campaign Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Before Haymarket, Arun spent one year at public relations firm Weber Shandwick during its tumultuous mergers with Weber and BSMG. During his career as a journalist he has also contributed to The Guardian and the South China Morning Post, where he began his career as a business reporter.

    In 2015, Arun was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame.

    Favorite Recipe: Authentic Penang Asam Laksa


    Laksa Paste

    4 fresh red chili

    10 dried chili

    1 inch fresh turmeric

    3 stalks lemongrass

    2 slices (20 g) galangal

    120 g large shallots

    3 cloves garlic

    15 g (2 tbsp) belacan powder

    150 g fresh pineapple


    60 g tamarind soaked in 6 cups of water, squeezed and strained

    8 stalks (30 g) of laksa leaves (kesum)

    1/2 torch ginger flower

    5 sardine/ mackerel/ kembong


    1 - 3 tbsp sugar

    2 - 3 tbsp prawn paste (hae koe)

    1 tsp salt

    Noodles & Vegetables Toppings

    400 g laksa noodles, cook to softened

    100 g pineapple slices, sliced and julienned

    100 g cucumber, sliced and julienned

    1 onion, sliced

    8 stalk of mint


    1/2 torch ginger flower, sliced finely


    Step 1 – PREPARE TAMARIND WATER: Squeeze tamarind in 6 cups of water. Set aside.

    Step 2 – PREPARE INGREDIENTS FOR LAKSA PASTE: Soak all laksa paste ingredients (except belacan and pineapple) in a large bowl of water. Remove skin of galangal, turmeric, and onions. Deseed chili.

    Step 3 – BLEND LAKSA PASTE: Chop laksa ingredients, add a little water, and blend laksa paste in a blender.

    Step 4 – BOIL STOCK: Add blended laksa paste, tamarind water, laksa leaves (tied into a knot), and torch ginger stalk. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

    Step 5 – COOK NOODLES & PREPARE TOPPINGS: While stock is boiling, cook noodles in boiling water. Remove with a sieve and drain. Set aside. Slice vegetables for asam laksa toppings. Place on a plate.

    Step 6 – SEASON: When broth is ready, remove laksa leaves. Season with sugar, salt, and prawn paste.

    Step 7 – COOK FISH: Add fish into boiling broth. Cover and let it cook for another 6 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove fish, debone, and put fish flakes back into the soup. Mix well.

    Step 8 – SERVE. Pour soup over noodles. Top with vegetables (pineapple, cucumber, lettuce, onions, mint and torch ginger). Drizzle with diluted prawn paste, if you like.

    Recipe Source

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    Bernie Walsh

    • Manager
    • SmartGrowth Bay of Plenty Partnership
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    Bernie Walsh

    Manager, SmartGrowth Bay of Plenty Partnership

    About Bernadine Walsh

    Bernadine (Bernie) Walsh has more than 20 years’ experience in public policy, corporate affairs and collaborative work in government and industry. Her work history includes editing urban planning, travel and transport magazines in the UK and leading media and policy advice to government, industry and city leaders. She has been manager of the SmartGrowth Bay of Plenty Partnership since May 2016 and before that spent four years as corporate communications manager for industry body DairyNZ. She worked for seven years as a principal advisor on engagement and communications with the Ministry of Transport, based in the Auckland Government Policy Office. She specialises in politics, leadership and creating strategic clarity for partnerships and businesses wanting to engage and communicate with impact – from analysis to activation. She is a Winston Churchill Fellow who used her award to travel and study the politics of policymaking. She led the DairyNZ team that won the 2015 PRINZ Corporate PR award.

    Favorite Recipe: Pikelets

    This recipe is from a junior cookbook I got when I was 10 years old. I have been baking pikelets using this recipe for decades. I always use an old cast iron pan. Pikelets bring back warm memories of my Mum who taught me how to bake - and of haymaking afternoon teas we prepared every summer on our farm for all our workers and neighbours. It has never failed me or the family.


    ½ cup milk

    1 cup flour

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    a dash of dalt

    ¼ teaspoon baking soda

    3 teaspoons sugar

    1 egg

    1 tablespoon melted butter

    1 teaspoon vinegar


    Step 1 – Mix milk + vinegar in a cup. Set it aside.

    Step 2 – Sift flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar into a bowl.

    Step 3 – Whisk egg into milk and vinegar. Pour into flour.

    Step 4 – Beat and beat till smooth. Stir in melted butter.

    Step 5 – Heat frypan on medium heat. Rub it with buttered paper.

    Step 6 – Drop dessertspoonful lots onto the pan.

    Step 7 – Cook gently until bubbles appear on the top.

    Step 8 – Turn over and cook on the other side.

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    Brooke Howard-Smith

    • CEO
    • WeAreTENZING
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    Brooke Howard-Smith


    About Brooke Howard-Smith

    X Games Medallist and social entrepreneur Brooke Howard-Smith spent 11 years in the US founding some of action sport’s most successful companies. Brooke has spent the last 6 years working with almost every influencer in NZ while building some of the country’s largest charity engagements raising over 7 Million Dollars and generating over 17 million content views.

    As the organiser of some of New Zealand’s largest national televised fundraisers including Red Nose Day, Comedy for Cure Kids, Brooke was awarded an AFTA for his work on Rise Up Christchurch, and a Tui for his Flight of The Choncords collaboration on Feel Inside, and most recently, The official All Blacks 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign anthem “Team Ball Player Thing” featuring Taika Waititi, Joel Little, Peter Jackson, Lorde amongst others.

    Brooke prides himself on his ability to connect like-minded people and companies. It’s this skill that lead to the creation of WeAreTENZING a company that holistically manages over 150 exceptional New Zealanders from All Blacks to influencers.

    Favorite Recipe: Barbecue Tandoori Chicken, Feta & Macadamia Salad


    8 skinless chicken thighs, cut across the grain into 2 cm slices.

    Tandoori Paste

    5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    ¼ cup each: lemon juice, Greek yoghurt

    2 tablespoons oil

    1 tablespoon each: salt, garam masala, natural yoghurt, ground cumin, chilli powder

    1 teaspoon chilli paste

    ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

    Feta & Macadamia Salad

    handful macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

    1 continental cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways and angle-sliced

    ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

    ½ bag (60g) baby spinach, coarsely chopped

    ¼ small red onion, very thinly sliced

    ¼ bunch coriander, coarsely chopped

    50g feta, broken into 1 cm chunks

    3 tablespoons each: red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil


    Combine all the ingredients for the tandoori paste in a bowl, add the chicken, cover and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.

    Heat a barbecue to the kind of heat your Mrs gets worried about and cook the chicken until it’s unlikely to give you salmonella but not so cooked that it's too dry (try to avoid using the word moist – ever).

    While you're cooking the chicken, lightly brown the macadamia nuts in a dry frypan.

    Combine all the other salad ingredients, chicken and macadamia nuts in a bowl and toss to combine serving.

    Tip: You could also cook the chicken in a traditional tandoor oven or you could grill it in an oven but it's not as legit NZ as using a barbecue.

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    Carl Davidson

    • Director of Insight
    • Research First Ltd
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    Carl Davidson

    Director of Insight, Research First Ltd

    About Carl Davidson

    Carl Davidson is a Director at Research First, PRINZ’s research and insights partner. Carl was a founding member of Research First, and he has seen the company grown into one of the largest and innovative independent insights agencies in the country. Carl’s career has been spent at the intersection of ‘curiosity and evidence’. He has worked as a university lecturer; a social scientist in a crown research institution; a market researcher; a strategy consultant; and company director. Between 2010 and 2012 Carl was the Chief Commissioner of the New Zealand Families Commission; and in 2017 he was re-elected to the Board of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce. Carl regularly presents and writes about business strategy and the changing competitive landscape in New Zealand. He is the author of eight books (and is currently working on a ninth) and a regular contributor to Stuff, where he writes about ‘the social science of everyday phenomena’.

    Favourite Recipe: Shrimp & Scallop Scampi with Linguine


    Kosher salt

    1 pound linguine

    12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

    12 large sea scallops, tough foot muscles removed

    Freshly ground pepper

    3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for garnish

    1/2 cup dry white wine

    1/4 cup torn fresh basil

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook as the label directs.

    Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the shrimp and scallops dry, then season with salt and pepper. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons butter to the pan and cook the shrimp until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn the shrimp and add half of the garlic; cook until the garlic is fragrant but the shrimp are still translucent, 1 to 2 more minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

    Add the scallops to the skillet and cook until golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn the scallops, add the remaining garlic and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Add the lemon juice and wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan, then add the basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter; season with salt and pepper.

    Drain the pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with the shrimp, scallops and sauce; garnish with parsley and lemon.

    Veronica’s Notes: If you buy frozen scallops, you will not have to remove any foot muscles–they are ready to cook. I used a pound of regular sized shrimp in place of the jumbo, chicken broth in place of the wine, 1 1/2 T dried basil in place of the fresh and served with roasted asparagus on the side.

    Recipe Source

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    Daniel Flynn

    • Founder and Managing Director
    • Thankyou
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    Daniel Flynn

    Founder and Managing Director, Thankyou

    About Daniel Flynn

    Driven, resourceful and determined, Daniel Flynn is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30. He is the founder and managing director of the social enterprise Thankyou, which has given more than $5.5 million to help end global poverty. Thankyou’s 50 products are stocked by major retailers in Australia and 100 per cent of profits go to funding water, sanitation, food and child and maternal health projects around the world. In nine short years, Thankyou has directly impacted the lives of 755, 338 people in 20 countries, including Australia. Daniel is also the author of best-selling book Chapter One - a book that tells the raw and real start-up story of Thankyou and is sold using an unorthodox ‘pay-what-you-want’ method. In a challenging publishing landscape, the book defied all odds by generating over $1.4 million in sales and selling over 55,000 copies in its launch month.

    Daniel is the recipient of EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Southern Region) and Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.

    His big picture thinking is behind Thankyou’s disruptive marketing campaigns that have led to Thankyou products being stocked by Australia’s biggest retailers. Daniel has also received widespread media coverage for his unconventional approach to business and marketing. He is an engaging and thought-provoking speaker who leaves his audience challenged to take on the impossible. His talks offer a blueprint for challenging the status quo and how to turn ideas into reality.

    Favorite Recipe: Steak & Chips

    My favourite recipe is simply a good steak & chips, add some greens and seeded mustard.

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    Dave Trott

    • Author of One + One = Three
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    Dave Trott

    Author of One + One = Three

    About Dave Trott

    Born in east London. Won a Rockefeller Scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York to study advertising. After graduation, trained mainly at Carl Ally Inc on Madison Avenue.

    Came back to London to work at BMP with John Webster.

    Became joint creative director and, in 1980, left to found Gold Greenlees Trott.

    GGT was voted ‘Agency of the Year’ by Campaign and ‘Most Creative Agency in the World’ by Ad Age in New York.

    In 1990 founded Bainsfair Sharky Trott with the managing directors of Saatchi & Saatchi.

    In 1993 founded Walsh Trott Chick Smith with the managing director of WCRS.

    In 2003 this merged with The Gate, became Chairman in 2005.

    In 2004, the D&AD President’s Award, for lifetime achievement.

    In 2014 left The Gate.

    Written 3 books on creativity:

    ‘Creative Mischief’

    ‘Predatory Thinking’

    ‘1+1=3’ (to be published June 4th).

    In the 1970s, set up the ‘D&AD Creative Workshop’ course to train young copywriters and ADs.

    This ran for thirty years.

    Trained hundreds of young creatives, many of these are now top creative directors.

    Thanks to One Plus One Communications for its support in bringing Dave Trott to New Zealand.

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    David Brain

    • former CEO
    • Edelman APACMEA
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    David Brain

    former CEO, Edelman APACMEA

    About David Brain

    David has just finished 13 years with Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm where he ran Europe from London and then Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa from Auckland…which nearly killed him. Before this he was Co-CEO of Weber Shandwick in the UK and had stints at Burson Masteller and Visa International as well as in advertising and at an ill-fated start-up. He is currently on the board of The Spinoff, the on-line magazine and Parkable, the new economy business that matches people wanting to park, with those that have parking spaces. He trained as a journalist, supports Manchester City, is married with two kids and dog’! Full bio here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidbrain1/

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    David McKie

    • Professor
    • University of Waikato
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    David McKie

    Professor, University of Waikato

    About David McKie

    Professor David McKie teaches strategic communication and leadership and has co-authored six books, published more than 40 book chapters, 60 refereed journal articles, and/or spoken widely on the following areas: Action learning and research; change and leadership; creativity and innovation, emotional intelligence, futures; and strategic communication.

    For Executive Education at Waikato Management School, he teaches MBA leadership classes and does corporate training.

    He is passionate about delivering education with outcomes. David has supervised 12 PhDs to successful completion and has been a PhD external examiner for universities from Australia and New Zealand, to Spain and the United Kingdom and the United States.

    He is also CEO of RAM (Results by Action Management) International and has experience working as a change, leadership, and strategic communication consultant in the private and public sectors in China, Europe, Korea, India, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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    Denise Irvine

    • Journalist, former features editor and features writer for the Waikato Times
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    Denise Irvine

    Journalist, former features editor and features writer for the Waikato Times

    About Denise Irvine

    Journalist Denise Irvine has been a story-teller all her working life, and is a former features editor and features writer for the Waikato Times.

    She continues to freelance for the Waikato Times; she also writes for NZ House & Garden, Cuisine magazine, Nourish magazine, Waikato-Tainui’s Te Hookioi magazine, and private businesses and local government.

    Foodwriting is a specialty. She is proud of the Waikato’s culinary charms and has written many features about the region’s chefs and artisan food producers. She is restaurant reviewer, an assessor for the Cuisine Good Food Guide Awards, and a member of the Foodwriters' New Zealand. She is a three-time winner of the Foodwriters Culinary Quill Award for Journalism.

    Denise loves to cook: one of her greatest culinary pleasures is to fill a basket with local produce at Hamilton Farmers’ market on a Sunday, and – with a glass of wine in hand - whisk up a paddock-to-plate meal that evening.

    Favorite Recipe: Slow-roasted Lamb

    I was raised on a Waikato sheep farm, and slow-roasted lamb is always the taste and aroma of home for me. This is my rough guide:

    Scatter some chopped red onions and a few cloves of chopped garlic in a roasting dish and place a 1kg leg of lamb on top. Rub the meat with a little salt and pepper and finely chopped rosemary. Pour over half a bottle of decent red wine, cover the dish and cook at 160 deg C for about five hours. Take off the lid for the last half hour for a little extra browning to take place, then remove and rest the meat. Pour off most of the fat from the pan; whisk a little flour into the remaining juices and softened onions and simmer very gently (stirring constantly) for a rich, chunky gravy. Serve with lots of creamy kumara or potato mash, seasonal green vegetables, and drink the rest of the red wine. The sweet meat will melt in your mouth.

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    Duncan Greive

    • Managing Editor
    • The Spinoff
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    Duncan Greive

    Managing Editor, The Spinoff

    About Duncan Greive

    Duncan Greive is managing editor of The Spinoff, and an award-winning journalist and critic.

    Favorite Recipe: Food for thought

    Honestly I'm a shambolic cook. I only make food for thought.

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    Geoff Holmes

    • Dean of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
    • University of Waikato
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    Geoff Holmes

    Dean of Computing & Mathematical Sciences, University of Waikato

    About Geoff Holmes

    Prof. Geoff Holmes has, in the past, been head of the machine learning group at the University of Waikato and has been involved in several open source projects over the last 20 years. Waikato’s machine learning project has had a far-reaching influence on developments in the field worldwide, principally through the open-source Weka software, one of the most widely used machine learning tools in the world today (Weka software has been downloaded 6 million times since it was first hosted at the Sourceforge website for open-source software in April 2000 – currently at a rate of about 3,000 downloads a day). Academic publications (close to 400 articles) by the machine learning group can be found at http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/publications.html,

    Professor Holmes has led the applied machine learning subgroup at the University for the past 10 years. This group has particular expertise in the deployment of machine learning solutions in practice and has developed a bespoke platform for this purpose (see https://adams.cms.waikato.ac.nz/). He has attracted major funding from FRST and MBIE (for example, Development and Application of Machine Learning Techniques 1994-1998; Fielded applications of Machine Learning 1998-2001; Formal methods and Data Mining 2002-2005; Data Mining 2007-2011; BuildIT Post-Doctoral Award for Dr. A. Bifet (2010-12); Consulting contracts with BLGG Research, Holland, ongoing since 2011; MBIE subcontract with Plant and Food 2016).

    Professor Holmes has also been responsible for the development of a platform for processing very large (possibly infinite) datasets MOA (Massive Online Analysis), which is to data stream mining what Weka is to batch learning (see http://moa.cms.waikato.ac.nz/).

    Aside from software, Professor Holmes has made contributions to the major conferences in machine learning and data mining (over 120 academic publications). He is currently working on a book describing the techniques contained in the MOA software. He was part of the team that in 2005 won the SIGKDD Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery Service Award for Weka and regularly serves on senior program committees for KDD, ECMLPKDD and Discovery Science and referees articles in all the major journals in the field.

    Favorite Recipe: Choc Wine Cake

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    Helen Przygodzki

    • Head of Internal Communications
    • Facebook APAC
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    Helen Przygodzki

    Head of Internal Communications, Facebook APAC

    About Helen Przygodzki

    Helen Przygodzki is a communications professional with over 20 years experience spanning Journalism, Consulting, and Corporate Communications. She has served multinationals, including Dow Jones, McKinsey & Company, Google, and Facebook.

    Over the last 10 years Helen has specialized in employee facing communications and engagement, including communicating strategy, trusted advisor to senior executives, embedding culture and values, managing brand reputation internally and crisis communications.

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    Josh Emett

    • critically acclaimed Michelin star chef
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    Josh Emett

    critically acclaimed Michelin star chef

    About Josh Emett

    Critically acclaimed chef, Josh Emett, came from humble beginnings growing up on a dairy farm just outside Hamilton, NZ. After studying to be a chef at Waikato Polytechnic he quickly progressed to fine dining restaurants in Auckland and Melbourne and then moved to London and worked for Gordon Ramsay for over 10 years, quickly becoming head chef at the world renowned Savoy Grill (1 Michelin star) before opening restaurants for Gordon Ramsay in New York (2 Michelin stars), Los Angeles (1 Michelin star) and Melbourne.

    In 2011 Josh took on the role of judging Masterchef New Zealand making him a household across New Zealand and continued on through 5 seasons of the hit show. In 2012 Josh returned to NZ and set up his first restaurant, Rātā in Queenstown which was awarded Two Chefs Hats in the 2017 Cuisine Good Food Awards. In 2013 he opened Ostro in the Britomart precinct of Auckland’s downtown area as food director. In 2014 he opened Madam Woo in Queenstown, a casual Malaysian restaurant to huge success. Seeing how popular this was he has gone on to open four more Madam Woos in Dunedin, Takapuna, Hamilton and Christchurch. In December 2017 Josh and his team opened Hawker and Roll, a fast-casual spin off of Madam Woo in Sylvia Park, Auckland with a Queenstown site set to open in Mid February.

    Favorite Recipe: Spinach, avocado & cucumber salad with sesame dressing

    Next to the simple butter lettuce salad this is probably the dish I like best. I went all out to put all the ingredients I love in this salad – it’s outstanding. The heat from the wasabi peas really surprises your taste buds. Serve with the fish or shellfish dishes, or, failing that, some good old-fashioned sausages would work as well.


    Sesame dressing

    • 150g Japanese mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 20ml rice wine vinegar
    • 20ml mirin
    • 20ml soy sauce
    • 20g sesame seeds

    1 cucumber, peeled and seeded

    4 stalks celery, peeled

    3 cups baby spinach leaves, washed

    2 avocados, diced

    1/4 cup pistachios, crushed

    1/3 cup dried wasabi peas, crushed

    sea salt


    For the dressing, combine the Japanese mayonnaise, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, mirin and soy sauce.

    Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan and crush with a mortar and pestle. Add to the dressing just before serving.

    Cut the cucumber and celery into slices 1cm thick. Combine with the baby spinach, diced avocado and crushed pistachios and peas. Toss together with the dressing and season to taste with salt.

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    Joss Debreceny

    • Account Director
    • BlacklandPR
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    Joss Debreceny

    Account Director, BlacklandPR

    About Joss Debreceny

    Joss Debreceny is Integration Communications Manager at Fire and Emergency New Zealand. He is responsible for communications to support the integration of 40 fire services into a single unified organisation, as well as for improving public communications during emergencies, a key recommendation of the Port Hills Fire Review.

    A specialist in Change Communication, Joss has more than 20 years’ experience in public relations, working across media relations, corporate and internal communications, government relations, and technology.

    Joss led communications for Inland Revenue’s Transformation Programme, one of New Zealand’s largest change programmes, during critical design and implementation phases. During his career he has worked across government, the private sector and community organisations. As well as change communications, he has extensive media, corporate and internal communications experience.

    During the 2017 election campaign Joss was the Political Director for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. He will speak about the lessons for public relations from the 2017 election campaign, in particular from the events leading to and following Metiria Turei’s launch of a controversial benefits policy and admission of historic benefit offending.

    Favorite Recipe: Curried Cockles

    This recipe reminds me of many visits to our bach in the Coromandel, with friends and family. It became somewhat of a tradition for us, to the delight of some and to turned up noses from kids - who would later discover they actually quite liked it. The best part about it was always gathering the cockles - and occasional pipis - in the estuary.


    • 1 and a half tbsp ground coriander
    • 3 tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 onions, 1 quartered the other sliced
    • 6 large garlic cloves
    • 4 cm chunk of ginger, roughly chopped
    • 20g tamarind paste
    • 2 red chillies, chopped
    • 90g coconut cream
    • ½ tsp turmeric
    • 1.5kg fresh cockles, cleaned - in shells
    • salt to taste
    • large pinch of coriander, chopped
    • 1 lemon


    1. Blend the quartered onion, garlic, ginger and chillies to make a smooth paste.
    2. Heat oil in a large pan and add the sliced onion and cook for a few minutes until it's translucent.
    3. Stir in the onion paste and fry to cook off all the raw ingredients (about 3-4 minutes).
    4. Sprinkle in the ground spices, tamarind paste, turmeric and coconut cream until it's all melted into a sauce. Cook for a few minutes until its aromatic.
    5. Add the cockles over a high heat, add 2 -3 tbsps water. Put the lid on the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan until all the cockles have opened. Remove from the heat and discard any that haven't opened.
    6. Taste cockles before adding any more seasoning. If you want a bit more of a sauce add a splash of hot water.
    7. Squeeze over half a lemon and add the coriander to serve.

    Source of image

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    Laurel West

    • Managing Director
    • The Economist Group's Content Solutions Unit for Asia
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    Laurel West

    Managing Director, The Economist Group's Content Solutions Unit for Asia

    About Laurel West

    Laurel is managing director of The Economist Group’s Content Solutions Unit for Asia, overseeing the group’s fast-growing content business. She is based in Hong Kong but covers the region spanning from Australia to India.

    Prior to taking up a more commercial role in April 2017, Laurel was the editorial director of the Asia Thought Leadership team.

    Earlier in her career with The Economist Group, Laurel spent ten years as an India analyst with The Economist Intelligence Unit, editing the fortnightly report, Business India Intelligence and writing and editing several research reports on India, including Joint ventures in India: Structuring and managing for success. Prior to India, she covered Asean markets.

    In all, Laurel has more than 20 years experience researching and writing on Asia. Prior to joining The Economist Intelligence Unit she spent four years in Tokyo where she wrote and edited market research reports for the Japan External Trade Organization, and helped to edit the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s research on industrial sub-sector development in Asean. She is a guest lecturer at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at Hong Kong University and a judge of the Society of Publishers in Asia’s annual awards for editorial excellence.
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    Leigh Catley

    • GM Communications & Marketing
    • Federated Farmers
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    Leigh Catley

    GM Communications & Marketing, Federated Farmers

    About Leigh Catley

    Wellington-based communications and advocacy specialist Leigh Catley has spent more than 10 years working in the engine room of the New Zealand economy – its primary sector - first with Horticulture New Zealand and more recently with Federated Farmers. Leigh started her career with a decade in journalism, including working for Radio New Zealand, before moving into news media sales, business development and marketing roles with both the New Zealand Press Association and the Australian Press Association in Sydney. She has significant experience working for associations, including the Employers Association, and understands the power of communications to engage and grow membership.

    Favorite Recipe: Gin & Tonic

    You’ll need –

    A decent shot of Tanqueray Rangpur Gin

    Soda Press Co ‘Classic Indian Tonic’, freshly made in your SodaStream with chilled water

    The juice from a fresh hand-squeezed New Zealand lime

    Home-grown mint to garnish

    Mix together gently in a tall glass over plenty of ice. Put your feet up. Done.

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    Margalit Toledano

    • Senior Lecturer
    • University of Waikato
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    Margalit Toledano

    Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato

    About Margalit Toledano

    Dr. Margalit Toledano, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRINZ lectures in Management Communication and Public Relations at the University of Waikato. Inducted to the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2007 and to the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) in 2012, she practiced PR for over 20 years and served as President of the Israeli Public Relations Association 1993-1996. Her academic work has appeared in leading PR journals, and Routledge published both her co-authored book, Public Relations and Nation Building: Influencing Israel (2013) and her co-edited book, International Public Relations: Perspectives from Deeply Divided Societies (2017) that won the 2017 National Communication Association’s PRIDE Book Award.

    Dr. Toledano’s research focuses on issues of professional ethics, dialogue and dialogue facilitation, public relations history, the impact of social media on professional communicators as well as topics related to legal communication.

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    Mark Stevens

    • Editorial Director
    • Stuff
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    Mark Stevens

    Editorial Director, Stuff

    About Mark Stevens

    Mark was appointed Stuff Editorial Director in November 2017; a critical role for the company as we aim to serve New Zealanders through excellent local and national journalism across all platforms.

    The Editorial Director is responsible for leading our journalists around the country and for the delivery of a successful editorial strategy across all of our publications and platforms. It sets the editorial vision for the group. Mark oversees our news media flagship site, Stuff, and the group’s 60 national, regional and community newspapers.

    Mark previously held the role of Group Editor Digital and Visual and has spent most of his career in Wellington at various Fairfax-owned titles, both as a reporter and an editor, since the late 90s.

    Favorite Recipe: Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

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    Ngaire Crawford

    • Head of Insight
    • Isentia
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    Ngaire Crawford

    Head of Insight, Isentia

    About Ngaire Crawford

    Ngaire Crawford, Head of Insight – New Zealand, Isentia.

    As Head of Insight, NZ, Ngaire runs a media research division at Isentia that includes a large portfolio of clients from blue chip corporates, government departments to small NGOs. She is also the Chair of the Global Young Leaders Group for AMEC, the International Association for the measurement and evaluation of communication, and the New Zealand insights team are one of the most recognised in the world by AMEC for their work. Ngaire holds a Masters degree in media, and taught students in her specialised areas of cultural identity, and the New Zealand media landscape.

    After working in such a dynamic and evolving field for more than a decade, she is a passionate advocate for research and measurement and can regularly be found speaking to the communications industry and students about how the right data is critical to business success.

    Favorite Recipe: A mocha. In any format. At any time.

    Mocha Coffee Drink


    • 8 ounces freshly brewed coffee (or instant)
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk
    • 1 tablespoon (15 g) cocoa powder
    • 1 tablespoon (15 g) warm water or warm milk (milk makes the mocha richer and creamy)
    • Sugar (optional)
    • Whipped cream and cocoa (optional, for topping)


    1. Brew as much coffee as you want.
    2. Make a cafe-style chocolate syrup with warm water and sweetened cocoa powder.
    3. In your mug, combine the chocolate syrup with your coffee.
    4. Steam some milk or heat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
    5. Fill your mug with heated milk
    6. Top with whip cream, a sprinkling of cocoa powder, and enjoy!


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    Rachel Taulelei

    • CEO
    • Kono
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    Rachel Taulelei

    CEO, Kono

    About Rachel Taulelei

    Rachel (Ngati Raukawa, Ngati Rarua) is an award-winning entrepreneur and business woman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability, and support for the establishment and growth of other people and companies.

    As founder and CEO of sustainable seafood company Yellow Brick Road Ltd, Rachel was described as having led change in the New Zealand fishing industry, developing an innovative, provenance-based supply of responsibly caught fresh premium seafood to hundreds of establishments across the country. She has taken this demonstrable commitment to kaitiakitanga into her current role as CEO of Maori food and beverage company, Kono NZ LP.

    With an infectious passion for the primary sector, Rachel has created values-based business models focused on the sustainability of the country’s resources - this is the hallmark of her leadership.

    Rachel’s directorships include NZ’s largest iwi-owned fishing company Moana NZ, Wellington Regional Stadium Trust, The Sir Peter Blake Trust, Young Enterprise Trust, New Zealand WineGrowers, and Aquaculture New Zealand. Rachel was formerly NZ Trade Commissioner In Los Angeles, in 2012 received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership award and in 2015 was honoured by becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit: For services to the food and hospitality industry.

    Favorite Recipe: Whitebait Fritters


    500gms whitebait, drained

    5 eggs, separated

    Parsley, finely chopped


    1. Whisk whites until peaks form
    2. Beat yolks with a little finely chopped parsley (very little) and a pinch of salt
    3. Add whitebait
    4. Gently fold in whites to keep air in the mixture
    5. Fry in clarified butter/oil
    6. A squeeze of lemon, and sandwich between two slices if buttered white bread
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    Rob McCann

    • Campaign Manager
    • White Ribbon Trust
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    Rob McCann

    Campaign Manager, White Ribbon Trust

    About Rob McCann

    White Ribbon’s goal is to end men’s violence towards women and recently White Ribbon has been promoting respectful relationships and respectful sexual relationships between men and women. Respect is the behaviour we want instead of violence and is seen as a protection against violence. Rob has been the White Ribbon Manager since late 2009 and has been instrumental in the creation of the Ambassador’s Programme, the introduction of the White Ribbon Riders, the establishment of a month long campaign that raises awareness and educates rather than raises money, and most recently Workplace Accreditation to assist businesses to take an active role in eliminating violence in the workplace. Graduating with a Law and Drama degree, Rob has worked extensively in event management and communications.

    Favorite Recipe: My mother's lasagna

    My mother Joan was an amazing cook. Before I headed off flatting in Otago University she bought me an Alison Holst Cook Book and made a folder of recipes she thought I was capable of cooking. The folder is full of helpful hints and reminders for students such as cleaning up the pots. It was also a little optimistic assuming there would ever be leftover wine for cooking!

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    Robyn de Villiers

    • Chairman and CEO
    • Burson-Marsteller Africa
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    Robyn de Villiers

    Chairman and CEO, Burson-Marsteller Africa

    About Robyn de Villiers

    Robyn is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Africa. She has been engaged in public relations and corporate communications both in South Africa and across the continent for over 25 years. Through Burson-Marsteller Africa, the unique network of indigenous, in-country communications consultancies she founded, Burson-Marsteller provides local and international clients with market relevant communications services in over 50 African markets.

    The Burson-Marsteller Africa network is recognised locally and globally as the premier Communications network on the continent and in 2016 Robyn was recognised by the Holmes Report, the PR industry’s most highly regarded trade publication globally, with an EMEA SABRE Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement. In 2017 she was invited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations International (CIPRI) to deliver the Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture in the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster – her presentation was on Communications in Africa.

    Robyn’s experience includes issues and reputation management, communications strategy development, crisis communications, public affairs and investor relations. A respected communications practitioner, Robyn is called upon by business associations and local and international communications associations to address, and facilitate training for, communications professionals, public relations and corporate communications students and corporate audiences on a range of topics including reputation management, issue and risk management, crisis communications management and working across Africa.

    Robyn holds a BA (Languages) degree and is a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP). She holds full membership of PRISA (the Public Relations Institute of South Africa), IPRA (the International Public Relations Association), the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators and the IMC (Issues Management Council. Robyn is the Vice President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA) where she is also the Chair for Training. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Business Initiative (NBI), a voluntary group of leading national and multi-national companies, working together towards sustainable growth and development in South Africa through public private partnerships, practical programmes and policy engagement. She is on the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce for Southern Africa and she serves on the Steering Committee for the 30% Club of Southern Africa. Robyn represents Africa on the Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa Leadership Team and is on the Global Advisory Board for Burson-Marsteller’s Advantage Women Initiative.

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    Scotty Morrison

    • Author and Presenter – Te Karere and Marae
    • TVNZ
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    Scotty Morrison

    Author and Presenter – Te Karere and Marae, TVNZ

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    Te Radar

    • MC
    • the 2018 PRINZ Conference
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    Te Radar

    MC, the 2018 PRINZ Conference

    About Te Radar

    With a string of awards to his name, including the countries highest accolades for comedy, and one of New Zealand’s most recognisable hairstyles, Te Radar is one of New Zealand’s most recognized comedians and personalities. Under his trademark strawberry -blond mop lurks an astute mind that has created award-winning comedy shows, and TV documentaries for the past two decades.

    Witty, friendly and well-informed, Te Radar is a sought-after speaker, and MC, with an ability to host incredible diverse events, ranging from 100, 000 people at the Red Bull Trolley Grand Prix, to Stormwater and Age Care conferences, and a myriad of functions across the Agricultural, Engineering, Science, Arts, Medical and Academic sectors.

    A self –titled 'opinionist', Te Radar is a political and current affairs junkie. He's been a regular on National Radio's Nine to Noon for more than a decade, providing a satirical review of the week, and he won two Qantas Media awards for his columns in the New Zealand Herald.

    No coward when it comes to confrontation, in 2000 Te Radar managed to convince the UN to fly him to East Timor at the height of the conflict to produce an award -winning documentary, and shortly after that faced up to gun-toting soldiers in the Middle East, before interviewing the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for a TV documentary and radio series.

    Used to roughing it, he turned Spartan for his top-rating TV series Off the Radar, where he camped in a field for 10 months to experiment with living off the land. The book he wrote about this was also adapted for radio by Radio NZ. He returned to the screen and smaller-scale sustainability in Radar 's Patch, which won a Qantas award for Best Information/Lifestyle Programme. His television shows Radar Across the Pacific and Global Radar won Best Factual Series and Best Information Series respectively at the New Zealand Television awards. Documentary work has seen him travel across the world, to locations as far flung as Kiribati, Rwanda, Cuba, Antarctica and Timbuctoo. During these trips he dived with sharks, raced a Formula 3 car at over 200kph, plunged into the frozen Ross sea in just a skimpy pair of togs, and was stung in a rather awkward place by a scorpion.

    The patron of the New Zealand Galloway Cattle Association, Te Radar also represents local comedians on the New Zealand Comedy Trust board. He directs and acts in theatre, (including the lead role of Mr Twit in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of the Roald Dahl classic The Twits). He had the great pleasure of touring with the Royal NZ Ballet Company as the narrator in their production 'Peter and the Wolf'.

    2017 sees him as the new Compere and Quizmaster for the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Regional and Grand finals, which has him once again travelling throughout the provinces.

    His latest TV series, Te Radar’s Chequered Past recently screened to critical acclaim on TV One. Based on his stage show Eating the Dog, which he has performed over 120 times across the country, it was a celebration of some of the most colourful characters from New Zealand history. He recently received an honorary Master of Arts degree from Wintec for his contribution to Media and Entertainment.

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    Tim Watkin

    • Executive Producer
    • RNZ
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    Tim Watkin

    Executive Producer , RNZ

    About Tim Watkin

    Tim Watkin has worked in journalism for over two decades, including at the New Zealand Herald, as deputy editor for the Listener, and more recently as a producer for TVNZ’s Q+A and TV3’s The Vote and The Nation. He has written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, blogs at Pundit.co.nz and is currently executive producer for podcasts and series at RNZ. He produced the hit podcast, documentary and book, The 9th Floor, and oversees the wide range of podcasts RNZ is now producing.

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    Ally Garrett

    • Client Experience Director
    • Isentia
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    Ally Garrett

    Client Experience Director, Isentia

    About Ally Garrett

    Across her multi-disciplinary career Ally Garrett has eight years of experience in media intelligence, as well as a profile as performer, freelance writer and social commentator. Her writing has appeared The Guardian, the Sydney Morning Herald and in New Zealand she has blogged for The Wireless and been published on Stuff.co.nz. Ally’s writing and performance work often touches on body positivity. Currently based in Sydney, Ally is the current CX Director at Isentia where she focuses on client research and client enablement. Having recently rolled out Mediaportal, Isentia’s flagship website to Korea and Taiwan, Ally is currently working on new product development across social media data and Analytics BI software. She’s very excited to be visiting New Zealand to catch the tail end of feijoa season.

We would like to thank our wonderful conference partners