conference speakers

Mark Harrison - Speaker

Mark is a Police Inspector based in the Central Police District (Palmerston North).

Mark has 40 years service with police including the Armed Offenders Squad and as a commander for the squad. 

He has been involved in police responses to Pike River, Christchurch earthquakes and terror attacks, the Whakaari / White Island eruption, parliament protests and most recently Cyclone Gabrielle.

Mark has also been a police liaison officer and member of team management for 2010 Commonwealth Games (Delhi, India), London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 and the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Mark has reviewed command and control arrangements for police and has recently established a Command Team that provides support at a national level to events that require a large, coordinated responses.

Mark will provide his insights into how teams and individuals react during times of extreme stress and also provide observations of the impact on communities during large events.

Mark was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2013.

James Oxenham - Speaker

James is an experienced business leader with a demonstrated history in operations, finance and management. He has spent 12 years working with the HRIA, EWPA and TSHA, firstly as Operations Manager, and most recently, 8 years as CEO.

With his early career firmly focused on management accounting, providing links between finance and operations for companies in Europe and the UK, James was able to implement systems of training and development and to drive efficiency across his areas of responsibility.

James enjoys learning and is passionate about developing people and growing teams through coaching and mentoring programs. Highly motivated by the opportunity to contribute towards a culture of excellence whilst providing opportunities for people to make a difference.

In his role as CEO of the HRIA, the peak representative body of the hire industry in Australia, James strives to reach the goals of the HRIA including Growing the industry, Providing direction and support to enhance successful and safe businesses as well as improve industry relations through strong advocacy.

Jeremy Shaw - Speaker

Jeremy is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Master Hire in Rocklea QLD, a position he has held since 2014.

Jeremy started out working at on Saturdays and school holidays when he was in his early teens sweeping floors and washing machines in the family hire business. In addition to his many roles, Jeremy worked at Conplant from 2005-2014 as a Client Services Manager and then QLD Sales Manager.

As a Board member, Jeremy hopes to share his knowledge and experiences gained over the last 18 years in the hire industry. His initial 5 years as QLD President in the late 2000s was invaluable for personal growth and development. Jeremy also participated in the Global Rental Exchange program in 2017 traveling to the US. Jeremy enjoys the networking opportunities that arise from being a part of this great association and feels truly honoured and humbled to have been asked to be National President for the HRIA.

When asked what he is passionate about, Jeremy says, ‘I thrive on seeing my team grow in their knowledge and skills throughout their professional journey that I played a part in. Whether that be sales processes and techniques, an increased attention to detail with contracts and pricing, networking, or conversations with customers. I am also very passionate about branding, and I love to be part of a team that work towards a common goal and where egos are left at the door. As we all have different life experiences and ways of learning, we can all contribute in different ways. 

Natalie Lu - Speaker

I’ve been in the hire industry for over 10 years, and 9 of these years I have spent working for Alfasi Hire.

Alfasi Hire was established in 2004, and provides equipment hire solutions to major players. We are industry specialists in access equipment and crane dry hire.

I started at Alfasi Hire in 2014 as an Administrator Assistant, before moving on to Service Administrator and later to a Hire Controller role. Fast forward a few years, and I was promoted to a Major Project Coordinator role. During these roles I learned the ins and outs of all aspects of our business, from service to sales.

Last year, I was promoted to Operations Team Leader, during that time I was selected to participate in Young Professionals Program. This has helped me develop my confidence, leadership skills and has given me new insight on how to best approach my role and peers.

Earlier this year, I was promoted as the NSW Branch Manager. This role mainly involves managing the day-to-day operations of Alfasi Hire. It involves both supervisory and direct hands-on activities and maintains a good relationship with clients, staff, subcontractors, and other parties.

Being part of the Young Professional Program has awoken a new passion for the hire industry and given me a clear vision of my goals. The structured program has enabled me to be a better leader and given me a new drive to always aim higher. I hope with my newfound determination and a little persistence, I will be able to help nourish and grow the team to be even more successful in the future.

Simon Webster - Speaker

Simon has over 20 years’ experience in the NZ financial services industry. His various roles have seen him develop leadership expertise in asset finance and leasing, commercial and business funding, and property-secured lending.

Simon’s successful career in the financial services industry began with ANZ before travelling abroad where he worked in project risk analyst roles for Merrill Lynch.

Returning to home soil, Simon worked for the BNZ as an Asset Finance Specialist prior to assuming an asset finance sales role with GE Capital where he developed diverse client relationships in our main cities and throughout provincial New Zealand. Progressing from his sales role, Simon was appointed National Sales Manager with responsibility for GE Capital’s commercial asset loan and lease business throughout New Zealand.

In 2015, Simon was part of the team of eight that founded Finance New Zealand. Since its conception, Simon has been instrumental in managing strategy, growth, regulatory compliance, and day-to-day operations for the business. This has seen the business grow from small beginnings into the leading Commercial & Asset Finance advisor group in the country, leading the trend towards the use of advisors in the New Zealand commercial, business and asset finance markets.

Simon enjoys working closely with the Finance New Zealand team and Finance New Zealand’s lending partners to provide the best available finance solutions to help New Zealand businesses achieve their goals. Being a part of building a successful business that continues to grow from strength to strength is something Simon and the Finance New Zealand team are proud of.

Nina Ive - Speaker

Nina Ive has spent the last 20 years working across the full range of business environments, both in New Zealand, the United States and Europe.

She has been the brand champion for many of New Zealand’s most well-known brands including Carter Holt Harvey, Mainland Cheese, Ministry of Social Development, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Wellington’s own Snapper.

Nina is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Strategy & Design at the Tertiary Education Commission.

Pete Reynolds - Speaker

As a young person Razor (Peter Reynolds) was told that he would amount to nothing. School wasn’t easy for him; he would often find excuses not to go to class and was easily distracted when he was there. He was diagnosed with Dyslexia in his teens but had already decided by then that school wasn’t for him. 

Razor was then given the opportunity to enter the British army, which consequently sc changed his life. It was in the army that Razor was given the skills and passion to invest in himself and others. Razor spent 13 years in the Elite Illustrious 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, then four years in the Royal New Zealand an Infantry Regiment. He completed ten tours of duty and visited a number of countries along the way. 

Razor left the army in 2014. Slightly wiser, now married, with two kids of his own, he realised a lot of his life had been about mentoring and being a role model. He is passionate about helping young people (who remind him of his younger self) – recognising they have a need to be given life-enhancing tools. Razor’s passion is to see young people become healthier versions of themselves and grow through life’s challenges.

Razor is now the owner of Johnson & Couzins Hire Ltd – Marquee Hire and chooses to employ struggling young people whom he can mentor and give the dignity of work. He has himself as a model – moving from a struggling youth to army Commendations and now owning his own company. It can be done!

Haydn Kerr - Speaker

Haydn is an accomplished creative leader and co-founder of Tribal Aotearoa, the award-winning digital agency within DDB Group. With a career spanning the entire digital revolution, Haydn has been at the forefront of digital marketing since the days of dial-up and has a wealth of experience producing ground-breaking campaigns.

Under Haydn’s leadership, Tribal Aotearoa has been awarded the title of NZ Digital Agency of the Year for an unprecedented five years running, thanks to their innovative and highly effective work. Their success has been recognized with hundreds of international awards, including the coveted black pencil from D&AD.

With international experience working at AKQA London in the Nike team, Haydn has a global perspective on digital marketing. He is also a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) and a judge for the renowned Webby Awards

Dr Ellen Joan Nelson - Speaker

Dr Ellen Joan Nelson is an ex-army academic business mum, with deep expertise and practical experience in leadership, well-being and the future of work. Ellen has spoken at TEDx Auckland in 2022, along with many corporate and government organisations, and her research and ideas to improve the working world have been published multiple times.

Ellen helps organisations to remove structural barriers facing women and parents, while simultaneously experiencing improvements in organisational metrics such as: wellbeing, retention, leadership, productivity, innovation and business performance.

Stephen Lynch - Speaker

Stephen Lynch is the author of the award-winning book; “Business Execution for RESULTS – a practical guide for leaders of small to mid-sized firms”. The book was judged Winner in the “Management” category of the 2014 Small Business Book Awards in the USA. He’s also written articles on strategy and management for The Economist magazine.

Stephen returned to New Zealand in 2020 after spending 12 years living in Nth America. He currently consults with NZ businesses, specializing in strategic planning, business coaching, and management training for fast-growth entrepreneurial firms.

Over the past two decades, Stephen has facilitated thousands of strategic planning sessions. He previously managed a global team of more than fifty strategy consultants and has personally coached the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to implement their plans effectively.

Cam Calkoen - Keynote Speaker

Cam Calkoen dreams of a world where everyone is inspired to embrace their opportunity and our physical being is no barrier to succeeding in our dreams and aspirations. It is dreams that have brought the world to what we see today and our aspirations that will propel it into the future.

No one can walk and talk at birth. Some people like Cam, are presented with this likelihood for the rest of their lives. He chose to defy the odds, and now showcases what can be achieved when we identify a challenge, leverage our opportunities and uniqueness, and indeed live for awesome!

Born with Cerebral Palsy, Cam was told that his biggest challenges would be the way he walks and talks, he dreamed big becoming an athletic gold medalist, highly effective charitable fundraiser, social entrepreneur and now a globally renowned inspirational speaker who ignites a connection and clarity between inspiration, dreams and people.

Through strength of human attitude and potential Cam chose to embrace the challenges he was born with, and harnesses his gifts to live in the pursuit of excellence and make life as awesome as it can be. He is a living example that life is what we make it, and the values needed to achieve awesomeness are simple – we need to believe! In doing so, we leave no stone unturned.

Through charisma, stories and artistic flair Cam’s presence sees people identify the unturned stones on the path, he ignites, inspires, enlightens and delights others by modeling what it looks like to dream big and achieve more!

Sponsored by HIANZ

Te Radar - Awards Night MC

With a string of awards, including the country’s highest accolades for television and comedy, Te Radar is one of New Zealand’s most recognised entertainers and presenters. He has an extensive career in documentary making, writing, stage and screen directing, as well as being a celebrated comedian and satirist. Some of the remarkable adventures Te Radar has embarked on include diving with sharks, plunging into the frozen Ross Sea, interviewing Yassar Arafat under the watchful eye of gun-toting Palestinian soldiers, and being stung by a scorpion (in a rather awkward place).

His passion for and knowledge of the untold stories of New Zealand history inspired his critically-acclaimed 2017 TVNZ series Te Radar ‘s Chequered Past.