Check out the amazing business talent we had on our evaluation panel for 2016...

Andy Blackburn
NZ Innovation Council
Dr Andrew Old
Chief of Strategy, Participation & Improvement
Auckland DHB

Innovation is often about the extra effort you make to connect with others outside of your business, organisation and industry. It opens you up to new people, ideas, thinking, expertise…and different approaches to problem solving and value creation. Andy on Linkedin and Twitter @innovation_nz


Andrew is a Public Health Physician who is ‘passionately curious’ about what the health sector can learn from other industries and disciplines to improve health and healthcare for all New Zealanders. In his role at Auckland DHB he works at the intersection of strategy, partnership and innovation, and has played a key role in bringing design thinking into the DHB through the Design for Health & Wellbeing Lab collaboration with AUT University. Andrew on Linkedin and Twitter

Avram Deitch
Global Marketing Manager
Yealands Wine Group
Ben FaHy 
Editorial Director
Tangible Media

I have been in the wine industry for 20 years. The innovation and rapid industry change has kept me inspired and intrigued in wine itself, but additionally helped expand my interests in innovation across many types of categories and industries. Avram on Linkedin


After returning from Europe Ben started as editor of NZ Marketing and, he assisted in the relaunch NZ Retail/ in early 2015. And that year he also won the overall editor of the year prize at the Magazine Media Awards. In January this year, he took over as publisher and editorial director of all Tangible Media’s business titles; Idealog, NZ Marketing/StopPress and NZ Retail/The Register. Ben on Linkedin

Carol Chris
Managing Director
Veda NZ
Carrick Robinson
Managing Partner
James & Wells

Carol joined Veda in 2011 to head Veda’s Commercial and Property Solutions (CPS) division. Over the course of several years she transformed the CPS business, working closely with Veda’s customers and bringing multiple new products to market to help meet regulatory and market needs. In 2015 Carol was promoted to the role of Managing Director for Veda’s New Zealand business and relocated from Sydney to Auckland. Carol has extensive knowledge of the IT&T and financial services segments and in-depth experience in e-business, customer transformation strategies and process improvement. Carol on Linkedin


Carrick is the Managing Partner of James & Wells, a specialist intellectual property firm who empower and enable their clients to identify, own, and leverage their valuable intangible assets. Carrick is an advocate for businesses engaging with big picture ideas to ensure viable commercial success, and has experience working with a wide range of organisations across many industries to create and implement strategies that realise the true value of their ideas and brands. Carrick on Linkedin

Dr Chris Bowman
Head // Verticals
Spark Ventures
Chris Wong
Chief Operating Officer

Chris develops new business opportunities in verticals such as health, education and agriculture for Spark Ventures. He's equally comfortable talking business or technology and is a keen advocate for innovation. Chris has been an evaluator for the NZ Innovators Awards since 2011. Chris on Linkedin


Chris joined Paymark in March 2015. With more than 15 years experience in product, marketing and delivery, Chris has held a number of leadership roles in the telecoms and technology sector, both within New Zealand, the UK and Hungary. Prior to Paymark, Chris was head of Product Delivery at Vodafone NZ. Chris on Linkedin

Christie Murzello
Key Account Manager, Haematology, Ophthalmology
Bayer NZ
Christine Kuhtze
Senior Manager Customer Experience Transformation
Westpac New Zealand

Christie is a Senior Manager with an academic background in Chemistry and Management. He has served in senior management roles of Sales, Marketing and General Management. His passion is innovative customer solutions.


Christine is experienced in defining and executing Customer experience transformation strategies for corporates. Given the speed of change today, she considers innovation as an essential organisational capability to effectively compete and/or fend off challenges from disruptors. She believes passionate New Zealand staff that are supported to think and act like a start-up are capable of ingenious things. Christine on Linkedin

Craig Armstrong
Director Customers
NZ Trade & Enterprise (NZTE)
Darrin Bull
Chief Transformation Officer

Craig Armstrong is at New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, where he helps companies grow into international markets. He maintains a lifelong and active interest in innovation - whether biz model, product/service or individual - and indulges regularly in inspirational experiences and learning. Craig on Linkedin


Part of Sovereign's executive leadership team, Darrin is responsible for the transformation of Sovereign's business. Areas of focus for Darrin and his team include business owner for transformation, business-wide productivity, new product development and innovation. A natural strategic thinker, Darrin has in-depth experience working in product and marketing roles in the financial services sector, working for Sovereign for the past eleven years and eight years previously at Sovereign's sister company, ASB Bank. Darrin on Linkedin

Dave Coles
Growth Manager
90 Seconds
David Downs
General Manager – Services
NZ Trade & Enterprise (NZTE)

After spending 20 years in various senior positions within the television broadcasting industry, Dave recently took up the position of Growth Manager at 90 Seconds. Dave is passionate about innovation and it was for this reason that he joined the world's first cloud based video production company. He is of the belief that video is a powerful tool that is fast propagating innovation and stimulating many to dream and achieve big things. Dave on Linkedin


David is the General Manager – Services at NZTE, and author of a couple of books on NZ Innovation (including ‘No.8 Re-wired – 202 Kiwi inventions that changed the world’, to be released in October 2014). David is a passionate kiwi and believer of innovation as a driver of economic value. David on Linkedin

Dr David Grayson
Clinical Director of Otolaryngology
Waitemata DHB
Frances Joseph
Associate Professor
Auckland University of Technology

David is WDHB’s Clinical Lead for Patient Safety & Patient Experience. David has a strong interest in innovative approaches for safer care as well as the use of social media to enhance patient experience. David on Linkedin


Frances believes that while we live in a time of rapid change, there are many things we need to think and do differently. Innovation should bring positive change and new ways to address increasingly urgent environmental, social and economic problems. Frances on Linkedin

George Reeves
Marketing Manager FAP,  Animal Health
Bayer NZ Limited
Glen Kyne
Chief New Ventures Officer

George is an experienced marketer, having worked in marketing leadership roles in NZ, the UK and Australia for companies including Colgate-Palmolive, SC Johnson, Reebok and Bayer. He has a strong interest in innovation not just via products through functional design, formulation, and packaging, but also innovation via new technology, new marketing strategy & novel implementation. George on Linkedin


Glen's career has been anchored in Commercial Roles across Sales / Marketing / Advertising including business transformation projects, business start up, client acquisition projects, bringing new sales channels to market including organisational design to support new channels to market. Working across Commercial Travel, Digital Technologies, Telecommunications and Media, Glen has seen and embraced disruptive technologies to ensure mature organisations continue to adapt to the challenges and opportunities brought about through technology changes. Glen on Linkedin

Haylee Putaranui
Business Development & Relationship Manager
Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited
Jocelyn Eason
General Manager Science, Food Innovation
NZ Institute for Plant & Food Research

Haylee recently joined Fonterra as a Business Development and Relationships Manager, focussing on building Fonterra’s relationships with Māori shareholders and tangata whenua within Waikato and Northland. Prior to Fonterra, Haylee was a Senior Solicitor at Chapman Tripp and specialised in corporate and commercial law, with a particular focus general commercial advice for Māori businesses and Māori landowners. Haylee is a Trustee on the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board, a Trustee for Tainui FM and a Director for Ohaki Enterprises, a family owned private company with tourism interests at Waitomo. Haylee is from Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Aitanga-A-Hauiti and Ngāti Pahauwera. Haylee on Linkedin


I see innovation simply as the process of taking what we have now, and finding ways to make it better. As a scientist, I believe new knowledge can drive that process faster, and to new places. I work in food, an area where our understanding of what we eat and how it affects our lives is constantly evolving. Matching that growing knowledge base with ideas and products that inspire people to make informed food choices is to me the perfect example of how innovation can help us lead better lives. Jocelyn on Linkedin

John Ascroft
Chief Information Officer
Jade Software
Jonathan Miller
Sector Manager for Digital Technology
Callaghan Innovation

Since 1978, Jade has been designing, building and supporting innovative software. We work with companies all around the world to find new ways to connect people, engage customers, and enable digital business transformation. John oversees our innovation and collaboration programmes. A futurist, he’s at the sharp end of product development and client and partner engagements. Through more than thirty years with Jade, John has held a variety of technical and management roles. He is a budding aviator, rider of fast motorcycles, and a history buff. John on Linkedin


Jonathan subscribes to the idea that Aotearoa (and the world!) can prosper through harnessing creative, innovative thinking. He’s also a champion for the commercial potential of innovative ideas generated within this country’s research organisations. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonomiller

Kurt Rodgers
Network Strategy Manager
Chorus NZ
Dr Lynne Maher
Director Innovation
Ko Awatea

I have spent 20 years building fixed and mobile broadband networks in Europe and New Zealand. While there is a massive level of innovation required to build these networks, I tend to be more interested in how these platforms enable innovation in the wider economy. It’s pretty awesome to be working for Chorus - our mission to bring better broadband to New Zealander will be a key enabler for our country’s social and economic development. Kurt on Linkedin


Lynne is a nurse by profession, passionate about high quality care for all and recognised as an international leader of innovation and improvement for health services. Lynne on Linkedin

Malcolm Anderson
General Manager, Museum Experience
Museum of Transport & Technology
Mike Moran
Director of Strategy and Business Development
NZ Yellow Pages Group

He has held a number of diverse roles focused on the innovation and creative development in both the private and not for profit sectors. Malcolm is a great believer in challenging the status quo, with innovation central to the premise of developing and delivering high quality experiences that change and grow peoples (and the nations) lives. Malcolm on Linkedin


I find it truly inspiring to be in the presence of innovative minds. I believe that Innovation is the result of being able to perceive opportunities in ways that others cannot; to see what others see but to think what no one else has thought. It’s a mix of sensibility, curiosity and a mind unconstrained of prevailing social or market norms.

Innovation manifests itself in the creation of greater individual “Wellth” by way of facilitating longer, healthier, richer individual lives or through “Wealth” through new or improved economic benefits and opportunities for individuals, families, communities and businesses. Mike Moran on Linkedin

Murray Taylor
General Manager for Members
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)
Patrick McVeigh
General Manager Economic Growth
ATEED – Auckland Tourism Events & Economic Development

Murray is responsible for understanding and meeting the needs of CA ANZ’s 30,000 plus New Zealand members and preserving the pre-eminence and relevancy of the Chartered Accountant designation in New Zealand. CA ANZ is a professional body representing more115,000 members throughout the world. Murray is a strong advocate for customer experience in organisations. Murray on Linkedin.


Patrick has led the development of economic, employment and innovation strategies for a wide range of clients across the United Kingdom. He also led the preparation of London’s Economic Development Strategy during his time with the London Development Agency. Prior to moving to Auckland to join ATEED, he worked with ATEED to mold its Business Growth and Competitiveness. Patrick on Linkedin and Twitter.

Paul McPadden
National Managing Partner
KPMG Private Enterprise
Pierre Ferrandon
Regus NZ

Paul is the head of KPMG’s Private Enterprise team, leading a group of advisors working with privately-owned business, family business, innovators and entrepreneurs. Whether managing cash flow or establishing a world-class advisory board, Paul and his team have the skills to help businesses grow. With over 20 years’ experience, Paul is a highly regarded partner and is a member of KPMG’s executive team. Paul on Linkedin


Bringing enthusiasm and innovative thinking in to the corporate world has been my driver throughout my whole carrier. I thrive on providing businesses with new ways of being productive and enabling change into the way people work. Pierre on Linkedin

Richard Campbell
Senior Manager
KPMG Private Enterprise
Rob Bolus
Head of Technology
Methven Ltd.

At KPMG Richard works with innovative Kiwi companies helping to bring the power of KPMG’s global investments in innovation that help to realise the potential of good ideas. Richard believes that the heroes of innovation are those that bring ideas to life and that successful innovation lies not just buzzwords or in generating ideas but in understanding the underlying fundamentals of opportunity and how these are realised. Richard feels privileged to work with the innovators that are making things happen. Richard on Linkedin


28 years of designing Showers, Tapware and Valves at Methven Ltd. has proven the customer’s needs are at the heart of all innovation. Find the customers pain point, you will find the value to the customer, which in turn will provide the value to the business. Rob on Linkedin

Dr Rosanne Ellis
Director Research Strategy & Management
Sacha McMeeking
Head of School Maori and Indigenous Studies
University of Canterbury

Innovation is intrinsic to AUT’s diverse range of activities from teaching, research and impact, collaboration, and industry-community partnerships. As the university for our changing world, AUT’s Research and Innovation Office is at the forefront of stimulating innovative approaches to partnering, value-extraction and investment in novel technologies, new knowledge, research collaborations and ideas across all sectors. Rosanne has held various senior leadership roles across government, private sector and multinational organisations. Rosanne on Linkedin


Sacha brings a serial entrepreneurs approach to working with and for Iwi Maori. From instigating United Nations proceedings to architecting a Maori social enterprise fund and leading commercial negotiations, she is known for solution-building that meets Iwi Maori aspirations.
Sacha was recently appointed as the Head of School at Aotahi, the Department of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury. Prior to that she was the director of a boutique consultancy working with Iwi Maori in strategy development, kaupapa Maori asset management and innovation. This followed tenure as the General Manager Strategy and Influence with Te Rananga o Ngai Tahu, where she was responsible for government relations, public policy and strategy.
In 2010, Sacha was awarded the Fulbright Harkness Fellowship for emerging and established leaders, which she used to develop kaupapa Maori asset management and tribal development tools (available at Sacha has a Masters in Law (Hons) and has held a number of governance roles. Sacha on Linkedin

Sam Bejjani
Partner - Private Bank
Dr Sara McFall
Group Manager Business Innovation Programmes
Callaghan Innovation

Sam is a banker, a Director, and an angel investor. He sits across large organisation, start-ups, and community organisations. The common thread is innovation, and Sam has taken a particular interest in business model innovation as a driver of growth and new channels to market. Sam on Linkedin


Callaghan Innovation is a government agency that helps businesses succeed through technology by providing them with services and programmes to make the road from R&D to market success easier, faster and less risky. As a former anthropologist, Sara is really interested in the importance of customer insights and experience in developing new services and product. Sara on Linkedin and Twitter

Theresa sukkar
Tony Mitchell
Business Consultant

Theresa Sukkar is the ANZ Technical Manager for the Safety & Graphics and Electronics & Energy Divisions at 3M. Theresa holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and BSc in Industrial Chemistry from the University of New South Wales. She has over 18 years of experience in technical and management roles including research & development, technical service, quality assurance and manufacturing. She has worked in a range of companies including chemical manufacture, food and waste management. Theresa has a passion for research and development which also a prominent part of 3M culture. Theresa on Linkedin


Tony Mitchell is a Datamine business consultant, working with organisations to find new ways to leverage internal and external data, to unlock its value. The result of which is better information that is used for problem solving, strategic decision making, creative campaign execution, product innovation and process improvement. Outside of Datamine, Tony also holds board positions for The Marketing Association NZ, Oceania Cycling Confederation and Cycling New Zealand. Tony on Linkedin

Vanessa O'Neil
Will Barker

Vanessa is a Director of estute+ Business, and is always assessing at domestic and international opportunities with portfolio of clients at all growth stages. She has worked previously as a Venture Partner with powerHouse Ventures reviewing early stage commercialisation opportunities, as well as driving sales and marketing strategies through established businesses such The Body Shop UK, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Carter Holt Harvey, Progressive Enterprises and Sugar Australia-CSR. Vanessa on Linkedin


Will is truly blown away by the commitment and talent across New Zealand's vibrant innovation scene. There is no doubt there are many challenges developing technologies and our distance from many of our key markets could put us at a disadvantage. However, the kiwi can-do attitude turns these challenges into opportunities and he is proud to see so many NZ innovations out competing global competitors. Will on Linkedin and Twitter

We would like to thank all of our evaluators for 2016; without their time and considerable effort and expertise, we would not be able to run the NZ Innovation Awards programme.