Superdiversity Leadership Council

The Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business has formed a Superdiversity Leadership Council, which will guide the future work of the Superdiversity Centre. The Council is comprised of top ethnic leaders who are committed to the success of New Zealand Inc with established and well-recognised market credentials as deliverers of successful business outcomes.

The inaugural members of the Superdiversity Leadership Council are senior Maori, Pasifika and Asian leaders Sir Tipene O’Regan, Mike Pero, Naomi Ballantyne, Mark Tume, Adrian Orr, Graeme Wong, Lisa Li, Tarun Kanji, Parekawhia McLean, Mitchell Pham, Mavis Mullins and Caren Rangi. Curricula vitae for each of the Council members are set out below.

These 12 leaders were appointed because they embody the future face of business leadership in ethnically superdiverse New Zealand. Each member is recognised in their field and has established credentials of success. They lead by example, and show the contribution that ethnically diverse New Zealanders make to this country every day at the coalface of business and their communities. They show what leadership with cultural intelligence looks like and the Superdiversity Centre will benefit from their experience and wisdom.

Council members (in alphabetical order)

Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, Patron

The Patron of the Superdiversity Centre is the former Governor-General, Judge and Ombudsman, the Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand. He was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal and made a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.

Mai Chen, Chairperson

Mai Chen is the Managing Partner of Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment law Specialists, Australasia’s first specialist public law firm which she co-founded in 1994. Mai is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland School of Law; a Director on the Board of BNZ; Founder and Chair of New Zealand Asian Leaders; Founder and Chair of Superdiversity Centre for Law, Policy and Business; Inaugural Chair, NZ Global Women; and Co-founder, Cultural Bridge, a joint venture between Chen Palmer and NZME. Mai was a top 10 finalist for the 2014 New Zealander of the Year Awards.

Naomi Ballantyne

Naomi Ballantyne is the Managing Director, and one of the founders, of Partners Life. She has over 30 years of experience in the New Zealand life insurance industry. She started her career as a founding employee of Sovereign, rising to become Chief Operating Officer with direct responsibility for over 600 staff. She later founded Club Life, which is now owned by the ANZ. Naomi is also a sought after motivational speaker and has competed at Masters Level in both hockey and table-tennis.

Tarun Kanji

Tarun Kanji was the Chairman and Independent Director of the Bank of India (NZ), where he established full banking operations in New Zealand. He currently holds a range of other governance roles including Independent Board member of the Inland Revenue PGA which oversees its $1.9b business transformation, Chairman of Tomizone, an ASX listed wifi business, Chairman of Noske Kaeser, a German based engineering company and Director Fairway Resolution, a SOE providing bulk dispute resolution services. He is also involved in the commercialisation of a number of internationally focused ventures, primarily in the US and Asian markets. Tarun is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & NZ, and is a member of CPA Australia, the NZ Institute of Directors and the Australian Institute of Directors.

Lisa Li

Lisa Li is the Managing Director of China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd. China Travel Service (NZ) Ltd was awarded the #1 CTS Overseas Branch of 2010, which Lisa accepted on behalf of her NZ team at the annual CTS Management Meeting in Beijing. Lisa was recently recognised by China National Tourism Administration (Australia & New Zealand) for “Outstanding contribution promoting tourism exchange between New Zealand and China. She is active in Auckland’s business and Chinese communities, having served as Secretary General of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand for the past 10 years.

Parekawhia McLean

Parakawhia McLean is the CEO of Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc. Parekawhia has over 20 years of public policy and public sector management experience. She has been a strategic advisor to three New Zealand Prime Ministers – Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark. Her governance experience includes serving on the boards of Mighty River Power, Te Mangai Paho and Te Wananga o Aotearoa. Parekawhia was presented with the University of Waikato’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014.

Mavis Mullins

Mavis Mullins is a director of Paewai Mullins Shearing Ltd, a Dannevirke based family business that handles in excess of 1 million sheep per annum and has achieved ISO 9002 certification. Mavis was named Business Woman of the Year at the AUT Business School Aotearoa New Zealand Maori Business Leaders Awards this year. Mavis has held numerous directorships and received widespread recognition for her services to the agricultural industry, including membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2002 Queens Birthday honours.

Sir Tipene O’Regan

Sir Tipene O’Regan is the former chair of the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board. He led the claims, negotiation and settlement process for Ngai Tahu from 1985-1998. He was the principal architect of the Treaty Fisheries Settlements in 1989 and 1992 and the founding Chairman of Te Ohu Kai Moana, the Maori Fisheries Trust. Sir Tipene is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the University of Auckland. He was the first University of Canterbury Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori) and remains an adjunct professor. He holds three honorary doctorates. In March 2009, he was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes of Christchurch, and a bronze bust of him was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre. Sir Tipene is Upoko (traditional head) of the Awarua Runanga of Ngai Tahu.

Adrian Orr

Adrian Orr is the Chief Executive of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown Entity that manages the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Adrian joined the Guardians in 2007 from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand where he was Deputy Governor. He has also worked for Westpac, National Bank, The Treasury and the OECD based in Paris. Adrian is Chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Board member of the Pacific Pension Institute and a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the World Bank’s Treasury. He is also a Board Member of the Emory Center for Alternative Investments at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Mitchell Pham

Mitchell Pham is a business and technology entrepreneur, who originally came to New Zealand as a refugee from Vietnam. He co-founded and co-directs the Augen Software Group, which now operates in both countries. Augen helps NZ businesses accelerate the development of software innovation for both domestic and international markets. Their achievements have been recognised by NZ ComputerWorld Excellence, NZ Innovators, international Red Herring Top 100, and Vietnam IT Excellence awards. Mitchell is a Trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and an Advisor to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. He is also recognised internationally in leadership – as an Asia 21 Fellow by the Asia Society, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Mike Pero

Best known as the founder of Mike Pero Mortgages. Today Pero is the Chief Executive of Mike Pero Real Estate Limited and continues to front all brands under his name, including mortgages, insurance, KiwiSaver and more. Mike has won a number of Pacific Island Business Awards; Franchise and general business awards. Today Mike’s main interests are based around the real estate company of which he is the CEO. Outside of business Pero is a motivational speaker; has an interest in aviation (previously employed as an airline pilot) and is passionate about motorsport.

Caren Rangi

Caren Rangi is an experienced governance practitioner, whose roles include board member of the Broadcasting Commission, the Arts Council of New Zealand, the Charities Registration Board, and Chair of Pacific Homecare Services. She also serves as a director of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation, chairs the Cook Islands Broadcasting Corporation and is currently the National President of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. As well as her governance roles, Caren is a chartered accountant and auditor. She has her own consultancy business, specialising in facilitation and organisational development. With her fellow P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A members, Caren has been active in developing community understanding of and engagement with Pacific peoples in New Zealand.

Mark Tume

Mark Tume is a director serving on boards both in NZ and Australia including NZ Oil and Gas Limited, the New Zealand Refining Company Limited, and is Chairman of Infratil Limited. He is also a member of the board of the Guardians of The New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Mark has a background in infrastructure and investment, and is a former director of KiwiRail, Transpower New Zealand Limited and Ngai Tahu Group Holdings.

Graeme Wong

Graeme Wong has an extensive background in stock broking, capital markets and investment and is a highly regarded director with a broad range of governance experience. His current directorships include Southern Capital Partners (NZ) Limited, which provides investment banking and transactions for clients in China and New Zealand; and Tourism Holdings Limited, one of New Zealand’s leading tourism companies, Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited, New Zealand’s largest owner of CBD office buildings. He is also Chairman of Harbour Asset Management Limited, a leading retail and wholesale investment funds manager.

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