Conference Keynote Speakers

Conference Keynote speakers:

Richard Blakeway
Deputy Mayor of London - Housing, Land and Property 

Richard is responsible for overseeing the Mayor of London's statutory housing powers.  This includes the Mayor’s statutory housing strategy, £3 billion of investment and around 600 hectares of land, including the regeneration of London’s Royal Docks, following the transfer of functions and assets from the London Homes and Communities Agency and the London Development Agency to the Greater London Authority.   

The overriding aims of this strategy are to increase the supply of housing of all tenures and to ensure that these homes better support London’s continued economic success. The strategy is not just about supply; policies range from improving the existing stock to tackling rough sleeping – but supply is at the heart of it, underpinning each of its five key priorities: 

1.      increasing housing supply to levels not seen since the 1930s;
2.      better supporting working Londoners and helping more of them into home ownership;
3.      improving the private rented sector and promoting new purpose-built and well managed private rented housing;
4.      pushing for a new, long-term financial settlement for London Government to drive housing delivery; and
5.      bringing forward land for development and accelerating the pace of housing delivery through Housing Zones and the London Housing Bank. 

The strategy is designed to ensure that there should be homes for all those who are struggling to find somewhere decent and affordable to live in the capital. It focuses greater priority on working Londoners, improving their housing offer across all tenures. It increases opportunities for them to access low cost home ownership, it does more to support them as existing home owners, it improves their private rented options and gives them greater priority for affordable homes to rent. 

Richard is also widely recognised as one of the UK’s most prominent authorities on housing and regeneration.  He has been a particularly strong advocate for high quality urban development and planning – arguing the case for new and improved housing conditions in one of the world’s leading global cities.  Richard also played a key role in shaping housing and regeneration policy during his time in the House of Commons where he spent 7 years as a Conservative Party advisor. 

Richard is a trustee of the Chartered Institute of Housing and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Dr Tim Williams
Committee for Sydney 

Tim Williams is CEO of the Committee for Sydney, ‘an increasingly influential policy forum’ (AFR). He is also a part-time Principal with global consultancy Arup where he focuses on place-making. In recognition of his contribution to and thinking about his adopted city, Tim has also been made a member of the Built Environment Advisory Council of the University of New South Wales and adjunct professor at University of Technology Sydney.

Before coming to Australia in late 2010, Tim was recognised as one of the UK’s thought-leaders in urban regeneration and economic development. Between 2000 and 2010 he wrote 400 weekly columns for the specialist professional journal, Regeneration and Renewal and was in 2003 named by his peers as the leading personality in the sector in the UK. This award was bestowed because of his formative role in developing East London as CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership, Europe’s most significant urban regeneration initiative. In this role, Tim was successful in attracting billions of investment in infrastructure in this part of the capital, helped design and deliver a new style development corporation, and played a part in securing the Olympic Games for the area. His last role in the UK was as Managing Director of Navigant Consulting Public Services’ team, in which role he acted as strategic advisor to the CEO of Lend Lease on the building of the Olympic Athletes’ Village in Stratford, East London. He also advised the key London Boroughs in the Olympics area on their strategies for obtaining a social, economic and place-making legacy from the Games. Between 2005 and 2010 Tim was also a special advisor on urban development, city strategies, local government and planning to 5 successive UK cabinet ministers, a unique record. Tim was given this key position because of his leading contribution in the Thames Gateway and because of his reputation in urban regeneration. As a special advisor he helped create a new national urban regeneration organisation called the Homes and Communities Agency with its $8b budget. He also helped develop the $25b Crossrail project which will bring major renewal opportunities to Thames Gateway. 

Since arriving in Sydney in late 2010 Tim has written some ground breaking and influential reports on housing, urban policy and the potential impact of high speed broadband and the roll out of the NBN. The latter was published as Connecting Communities which Tim launched at the National Press Club in 2011. His report on housing for the McKell Institute in Sydney, Homes for All was considered agenda setting when it was published in early 2012. 

His work for the Committee for Sydney on the Big City policy issues has seen that organisation double its membership under his management to become a key player in policy-making for Sydney. Its work with the NSW Government on developing Sydney as a Global Talent Hub has been innovative and has had impact both on public policy and private sector best practice. He has been asked for his advice on a number of key initiatives in Sydney including planning reform and the proposed WestConnex/Parramatta Road renewal project. 

Chelydra Percy
Chief Executive of BRANZ

BRANZ is New Zealand’s independent, research, testing, consulting and information company providing services and resources for the building industry. Prior to starting with BRANZ, Chelydra held a range of leadership roles with science and innovation organisations such as Callaghan Innovation, KiwiStar Optics, and Scion. Chelydra has also worked in the electricity supply and telecommunication industries. She is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and a Companion of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

Dr Helen Anderson
Chair of BRANZ and holds Board roles at DairyNZ, NIWA and FulbrightNZ  

She is a member of the National Council of the Institute of Directors and Massey University Council.  She was Chief Executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology for six years and before that was MoRST’s Chief Scientific Adviser for more than five years.  Helen has a PhD in seismology from the University of Cambridge, she is a Companion of The Queen’s Service Order, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and is a member of Global Women.  She’s never bored.

Mike Underhill
Chief Executive, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority 

Mike Underhill is chief executive of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in New Zealand. EECA is the government agency that promotes energy efficiency and renewables across key parts of the energy sector. Residential and commercial buildings consume a significant amount of New Zealand’s total energy. 

Mike has extensive management and governance experience in the gas and electricity sector in New Zealand and overseas, and has operated as a chief executive for over twenty years. 

He has a Bachelor's degree in engineering, a Master's degree in economics, has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ). 

Mike Underhill joined EECA as Chief Executive in May 2007.

Johnny McFarlane

Johnny McFarlane is a project manager from the Christchurch BECA office. He has worked on a range of projects in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and England over his 12-year career, including roles in design, project management, business development and strategic leadership. He specialises in complex projects requiring excellent management of technical risk and communication of issues.  Johnny is passionate about new approaches to project management, using creativity and integrated solutions to improve project delivery and has guest lectured for Melbourne University on ‘best practice’ project management application in the industry.  Significant projects Johnny has worked on include the Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Agency Residential Zoning, delivery of airside infrastructure at Melbourne Airport, and project management for delivery of the Port of Melbourne Capital Plan. 

Professor Diane Brand
University of Auckland 

Professor Diane Brand is Dean of the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries at the University of Auckland. Her research specialisation is the urban history of colonial cities in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Diane practises as an architect and urban designer and is currently a member of the Christchurch City Urban Design Panel. Diane has published in international journals including The Journal of Urban DesignUrban Design International, Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies and Antipodas. Her current research focuses on the urban design of waterfronts and the history of camp cities in the national development of New Zealand.

Mahi Paurini

Mahi Paurini is the Chief Advisor for Maori Housing within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). He has worked in a range of senior management and policy roles across central government for last 15 years. His roles have mainly focussed on Maori strategy for the Ministeries of Education, Health, Te Puni Kokiri, Social Development (ie Department of Child, Youth and Family Services) and the Maori Language Commission. 

Prior to his appointment to MBIE and as Chief Advisor Maori Housing Policy for the former Department of the Building and Housing, he was the Secretariate for the Whanau Ora Innovation, Integration and Engagement Fund for Te Puni Kokiri. 

Mahi has worked closely with the Associate Minister for Maori housing, agencies and stakeholders to develop the recently launched national Maori Housing Strategy. He is currently managing the development of a Maori Housing Unit. 

Jerome Partington
BA (Hons) Architecture, University of Westminster PG Diploma in Architecture (UK) 

Jerome is an acknowledged leader for sustainability in the NZ construction sector. He takes a strategic approach to ask the question 'what does success look like and how will we get there?' 

Jerome is the Sustainability Manager at Jasmax, a leading NZ architecture and design firm, with a remit for sustainable innovation, education and greening of the business. Jerome has piloted integrated design in NZ to create high performance buildings on NZ budgets. He trained as a physicist, builder and finally settling on architecture, completing his post graduate diploma at South Bank University London. 

Jerome is Chair of Living Future NZ, a not for profit aimed at accelerating the transition towards restorative communities and built environments. He promotes the Living Building Challenge as a tool for transformational change and restorative outcomes. He aims to help create restorative communities and buildings most recently facilitating Te Wharehau O Tuhoe, the first Living Building project in NZ and Pegasus School, NZ’s first Net Zero Energy School. 

Jerome is an architect, builder and educator with twenty years experience, and regularly presents at conferences to professionals and the public on a wide range of issues. He is also an NZGBC Green Star AP, Home Star Practitioner, Environmental Choice NZ Trustee and Senior Adviser of The Natural Step NZ. 

He was recently awarded the Living Building Challenge ‘Hero’ award at the Living Futures Un-conference, Seattle May 2013. 

Professor Jules Moloney
Victoria University of Wellington 

Professor Jules Moloney (BArch Hons MA Urban Design PhD) is the Head of the School of Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington. He practiced architecture in the United Kingdom in the 1990’s, where he contributed to significant urban projects including the London Docklands. He has previously held academic positions at the University of Auckland and the University of Melbourne.  

Professor Moloney’s research and teaching has a focus of digital technology, with an emphasis on how digital design environments open up new interdisciplinary approaches that can extend knowledge and transform industry. Together with colleagues and postgraduate students at Victoria, he is championing design-led approaches to research that include: disaster proofing the built environment; urban engineering systems and public ecology; prefabrication and parametric design; and medium density suburban housing.

Andrew Crisp
Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure & Resource Markets, MBIE

Andrew Crisp is the Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) of Infrastructure and Resource Markets at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).  He oversees most of the Ministry’s building and housing functions, as well as the energy, communications and minerals and petroleum sectors. 

In the building and housing space Andrew and his team are focused on well-functioning housing and construction markets that deliver safe, affordable fit-for purpose residential and commercial buildings. 

Three overarching priorities define MBIE’s strategic direction for the building and construction portfolio.  Firstly - confidence in the safety of buildings. That includes: a capable workforce; well-informed consumers with adequate protections; effective accountability for non-compliant work; a clear legal framework of roles, rights and responsibilities of market players.  Secondly – the removal of unnecessary costs and delays through the creation of smart fit-for-purpose legislation and regulatory settings and the transparent flow of information.  And thirdly - improved sector productivity to facilitate more efficient and competitive markets for construction products and services, fuelled by more innovation. 

Prior to joining MBIE in late 2012, Andrew worked at the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), where as Deputy Secretary he was responsible for its science and information function and for implementing MfE programmes such as Resource Management Act, the Waste Minimalisation Act, national environmental consenting and environmental standards. 

Andrew has also held senior roles at Treasury and at the previous Department of Labour, where he worked in various policy fields, including fiscal management, labour markets, housing and social policy.  

Prue Williams
General Manager Science Investments, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Dr Prue Williams is General Manager Science Investments for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  The Ministry advises the Government on New Zealand’s science and innovation system, oversees RS&T investment and fosters commercialisation to enhance productivity and deliver benefit to New Zealand. 

Prue has a PhD in soil science and a research career in understanding sustainable land management issues in pastoral and cropping systems.  She was General Manager Research for Crop & Food Research, one of the New Zealand Crown Research Institutes, and spent four years as Chief Science Adviser to the Foundation of Research Science & Technology and the Ministry of Science and Innovation. 

Prue has been involved in collaborative international research programmes and has been a regular reviewer of international proposals and programmes.

Harvey Perkins
Professor of Planning and the Director of Transforming Cities: Innovations for Sustainable Futures, a Thematic Research Initiative (TRI) of The University of Auckland.

He is also Adjunct Professor of Human Geography at  Lincoln University and a Fellow and Vice President of the New Zealand Geographical Society. His general fields of research interest are urban, peri-urban and rural social, economic and environmental change. His urban research has canvassed such areas as: housing and the experience of home; urban residential intensification; residential mobility; recreation, tourism, place promotion; real estate agency; and the social aspects of urban ecological restoration. 

Stuart Niven
Principal Urban Design Advisor at Department of Planning and Community Development, Victoria State Government

Stuart is a widely respected urban designer based in Melbourne but with extensive links within New Zealand.

As well as being Principal Urban Design Advisor to the Victorian State Government, Stuart has been involved in the Urban Design Champions workshops series within New Zealand, providing advice to Waterfront Auckland on the urban design of its redevelopment and in Wellington and its Regional Strategy.

Peter Fehl
Director Property Services at the University of Auckland

Peter is leading a comprehensive long-term capital development strategy to enable the University to enhance its standing as a multi-disciplinary, world ranked research institution. He has spent much of his career in the construction industry working on civil engineering and commercial construction projects before entering the University sector and has spent two periods as a director of BRANZ.  Peter is also an arbitrator and adjudicator and a Fellow of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand.

Dr Larry Bellamy
Manager of the Engineering Design and Science team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

He is a professional engineer with consulting, research and teaching experience in building and energy engineering.  Prior to taking up his post at MBIE earlier this year, he was the inaugural Associate Professor of Building Science at RMIT University in Melbourne. 

In addition he has held the position of the Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury.