Meet our facilitators

EquiP » Meet our facilitators

EquiP facilitators

EquiP facilitators are well-known leaders in their professions, areas of expertise and regional communities because they are people who have a proven record for getting things done.  Every workshop has a facilitator with direct experience of local government – either on the political or administrative side of the fence.  They also bring well-practiced presentation and facilitation skills.

(Alphabetical by first name)

  • Paul Beverley2

    Paul Beverley

    Paul leads the resource management and Māori law team in Buddle Findlay's Wellington office.

    He specialises in RMA consenting and processes, Māori law, Treaty settlements and conservation law. 

    Paul is a leading external adviser to the Crown and local authorities on obligations to Māori and Treaty settlement negotiations. He is part of the core Crown negotiation teams on a number of Treaty settlements including in relation to the Waikato River, Whanganui River, Te Urewera National Park, Te Hiku (Northland) and Te Tau Ihu (Top of the South Island).  Paul currently advises the Auckland Council on its obligations to Māori under a wide range of legislation and on the current Tamaki Makaurau collective settlement over Auckland's maunga (volcanic cones).  He also advises on building constructive relationships and dialogue with Māori. 


    Understanding Te Ao Māori

  • Bonita

    Bonita Bigham

    Bonita Bigham is a current councillor on the South Taranaki District Council, in her second term. She is also serving again on Te Maruata, LGNZ’s national council of Maori elected members for the second time.

    Bonita is actively involved in her community, serving on marae committees, whanau trusts, iwi and hapu organisations, sports clubs and school boards of trustees during the past 20 years. She is managing director of Taniko Communications which specialises in cross-cultural communication, public relations and project management. She is engaged to the lovely Kevin, is a loyal daughter and the mother of a busy, sporty, teenaged son. In her spare time Bonita is studying art and is an exhibiting artist.

    Additional expertise – Bonita is an accredited RMA commissioner, sits on the Environment and Hearings Committee in the South Taranaki District Council and is Council’s appointee to a local community board and Sport Taranaki, the region’s sports trust. She has extensive governance experience and is currently involved with her iwi’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. Bonita is also a trained facilitator, qualified journalist and former newspaper editor.


    Understanding Te Ao Māori

  • Jo Brosnahan cropped 2

    Jo Brosnahan

    Jo Brosnahan is a professional director with an extensive background in governance and leadership, and in local government.  She started her career in the logistics and transport industry, eventually becoming the Commercial Manager at the Northland Port.  She was subsequently appointed CEO of the Northland Regional Council in 1991, and then CEO of the Auckland Regional Council until 2005.  

    As a Harkness Fellow and Aspen Scholar, Jo researched leadership in the US from 1995 to 1996.  She now develops and facilitates leadership and governance programmes with clients including NZIM, IoD, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ.  Jo is a passionate New Zealander who believes that good leadership and governance are a key to success.


    Institute of Directors' workshop series

  • Michael Brown

    Michael Brown

    Michael is a senior trainer with Skillset.  Skillset trains people from large organisations in the so-called soft skills - skills that help people to be more effective at work.

    He is a leading authority on training in presentation and news media skills in New Zealand.  He has special expertise in how to present emotionally charged topics to challenging audiences.  Michael has trained thousands of New Zealanders and worked with people who speak on behalf of some of the country's largest organisations.

    Michael is a prolific author and his books on speaking and working with the media are in their fourth editions.

    Speaking Easy: how to speak to your audiences with confidence and authority

    Media Easy: how to handle the news media with confidence and authority

  • pete pp

    Pete Burdon

    Pete Burdon is founder and head trainer of Media Training NZ, and author of ‘Media Training for Modern Leaders’. His focus is preparing leaders to master media interviews and face journalists with confidence in any situation. Pete’s training is unique because it includes the many changes leaders must make in their dealing with the news media in the age of social media and other technology.

    Pete is a former daily news reporter and government press secretary. This puts him in a unique position, having worked on both sides of the media interview.

    All of Pete’s training is focused on learning by doing. The necessary theory is covered before participants are asked to put it to the test. He has Masters Degrees in both Communication Management and Journalism.


    Media training

    For more on Pete and Media Training NZ, visit www.mediatrainingnz.co.nz

  • Brendan

    Brendan J Duffy JP

    Brendan has had 21 years as an elected member on the Horowhenua District Council and served as mayor for 12 years. 

    He has chaired the Provincial Sector of Local Government NZ for six years and acted as Zone 3 chair for nine years.  Furthermore, Brendan held the position of vice president of LGNZ for three years.

    Brendan is a director on the Board of MITO.  He was appointed by the minister as deputy chair of Mid Central District Health Board and has recently received a second ministerial appointment as a temporary commissioner on the Local Government Commission for a 12-month term.

    He has a no-nonsense, but engaging approach to helping elected members to appreciate their responsibilities, and relishes the chance to facilitate Code of Conduct and Meeting Procedures workshops.

  • Riki Ellison2

    Riki Ellison

    Riki began his career with the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre working primarily on Resource Management and Māori land issues for the local runanga.  This included establishing the Kai Tahu Ki Otago Ltd iwi resource management consultancy and the Kai Tahu ki Otago Natural Resource Management Plan. 

    Riki has subsequently held a number of senior and executive management roles within central and local government as well as the private sector.  This includes Pouwhakarae at Greater Wellington Regional Council; Māori Development and Policy Manager roles with Aquaculture New Zealand; Tumuaki of Maruwhenua at the Ministry for the Environment; Project Manager at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage; and a range of management and senior advisor roles at Te Puni Kōkiri.  During his time at the Ministry for the Environment, Riki also served, for a time, as the Environment Private Secretary to the Minister for the Environment.

    Riki has previously been a member of the Board of Directors for the Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation, is a past fellow of the First Nations Futures Institute at Stanford University, and an alumni of the Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue.

    Since establishing his own consultancy Riki has undertaken projects for a number of central government and iwi clients, including Te Puni Kōkiri, Ministry for the Environment, Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Ministry of Justice (Office of Treaty Settlements) and Raukawa Charitable Trust.  Riki is also an advisor to the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group.


    Understanding Te Ao Māori

  • Laurie

    Laurie Gabites

    Laurie Gabites has 35 years of experience as a sworn Police Officer with the New Zealand Police including 10 years managing projects associated with alcohol harm reduction and community safety at Police National Headquarters. From 2001-2010 he worked for Wellington City Council as the Manager City Safety. The role included managing all the community safety initiatives in the city with reducing alcohol related harm a significant part of that work. Laurie has experience in managing city wide campaigns and interventions aimed at reducing alcohol related harm which includes evaluating data to determine a way forward. He is a member of the Local Government Alcohol Reference Group and has been called on to provide advice to Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer; Local Government NZ and Wellington City Council in relation to the Law Commission’s review of alcohol and the subsequent development of the Alcohol Reform Bill which recently became the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

    Laurie is well versed in the provisions of this new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and understands the role of local authorities and other statutory agencies in both enforcement and administration.  He has good written and verbal skills having worked in a variety of roles requiring a close working relationship with communities and key stakeholders. Laurie is a CPTED practitioner and a qualified site assessor for WHO International Safe Communities. Laurie is also a Regional Advisor for Safe Communities Foundation of New Zealand.


    District Licensing Committee (DLC) workshop

  • Philip Jones

    Philip Jones CA

    Philip uses his financial and asset management expertise to advise a number of councils across New Zealand. He regularly speaks at and facilitates workshops run by LGNZ, SOLGM and NAMS.

    A Chartered Accountant, Philip worked for 14 years as Chief Financial Officer at Western Bay of Plenty District Council, where he was a member of the Society of Local Government Mangers (SOLGM) Financial Working Party. He was also their financial representative on the National Asset Management Steering Group (NAMS).


    Financial governance 101
    Financial governance 201
    Specialised financial workshops
    Audit and risk committees - roles and functions

  • andrew stevenson

    Andrew Stevenson

    Andrew Stevenson is a consultation specialist. He is an ardent advocate for involving the public in projects as he believes they have a powerful role to play in helping elected representatives make better, more informed decisions.

    Andrew has 17 years experience in the market research industry including eight of those in public consultation. He worked for Heylen Research, AC Neilson and Vodafone, NZ and was the Research and Consultation Manager for Auckland City Council before setting up his own consultancy practice – Tasman Research and Consultation.


    A practical guide to public consultation

  • Sue Wells

    Sue Wells

    Sue has served five terms as a Christchurch City Councillor and six as a Christchurch Community Board member.  She is an accredited RMA Commissioner with Chair’s Accreditation, and runs her own consultancy business.  As an elected member, Sue’s “been there, done that”, made the mistakes and earned her stripes.  

    She is a very experienced chair, who led complex committees during difficult times, including the Planning and Regulatory committee of the CCC throughout the earthquake period.  The New Zealand Planning Institute gave her an award in recognition of her chairing. 

    Sue understands how to contribute effectively at the council table, and how to get the best out of committee members.  She understands the real-world pressures faced when you are on a council or community board, and is a passionate advocate of upskilling local government elected members.

    "My aim is to have active sessions where people participate. I'm not a fan of PowerPoint karaoke.  If you're not engaged in what's going on chances are you aren't learning much." 

    On-demand webinars presented by Sue Wells

    The 1991 Resource Management Act
    Engagement and consultation
    Stewardship – looking after your assets

    Workshops presented by Sue Wells

    Political Decision Making
    RMA (Resource Management Act) - The Dark Art of Town Planning 
    Customer Complaints and Constructive Conversations 
    Effective Meetings
    Elected Member Induction Refresher 
    - Chairing Meetings