M2woman believes in diversity in the workplace.

The world is heading in the direction of true authenticity. People want everything in their lives to be a true expression of themselves – their jobs, brands and relationships. Alignment of values has never been more essential to doing business, attracting and retaining the best people to your workplace.


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Following on from our successful events last year, this 6th Journey to Excellence forum will be another immersive event where a panel of successful business people will discuss issues and solutions to creating greater diversity in the New Zealand workplace.
The panel discussion will be followed by audience questions, then a networking opportunity where attendees can expand on the discussion over cocktails in a more intimate and casual setting – perfect to make invaluable connections!

18th October 2019 Panel:

Ngapera Riley

Deputy CEO of Figure.NZ

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Ngapera is the Deputy CEO of Figure.NZ, a technology company that believes in the democratisation of data, and exists to enable everyone in New Zealand to make sense of data and see Aotearoa clearly.

Ngapera has spent most of her professional career working in the United States developing business opportunities for NZ companies. On her return to New Zealand she spent several years working with tertiary providers and Universities with a focus on inspiring, supporting and developing programmes that contribute to Maori and Pacific success in education. Previously she has worked for NZTE, the Ministry of Health, and several Universities. She also runs her own entertainment company and is a professional vocalist.

Her future goals are to continue developing international opportunities for New Zealand and to contribute to New Zealand’s prosperity through economic, social and cultural activities. Outside of work, Ngapera is passionate about spending time with her family, youth development and the pursuit of excellence amongst Māori.

Akerei Maresala-Thomson

Co-Founder, MYRIVR

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Akerei is a social architect, award winning leader and Co-Founder of the multi award winning free community app MYRIVR, the largest in app directory in NZ with the goal of becoming the largest enabler of community services in the world. Previous to taking on this role, he was the former General Manager of the Village Collective, an innovative Pacific NGO based in Auckland, New Zealand that delivers sexual health prevention programmes across New Zealand.

He also served for 12 years in the New Zealand Police Service as a ranking Senior Sergeant where he managed the Pacific, Ethnic, and Asian portfolios for Counties Manukau District and coordinated the Police National Radio Language Programme. Akerei also held a strategic international position for nearly 10 years as a Technical Advisor training local police of small island nations across the South Pacific region and advocating on pre-migration issues. As a former youth gang member and child sexual abuse survivor,he is passionate about prevention advocacy roles and innovations for positive social outcomes. In 2018 he became a White Ribbon NZ Ambassador and also launched a global child sexual abuse prevention project in partnership with America.

Alexandra Allan

CEO at The FoodBowl, NZ Food Innovation Auckland.

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Alexandra is the Chief Executive of The FoodBowl, a government funded
accelerator enabling companies to manufacture, commercialise and export new food and beverage products. Based near Auckland Airport, it’s the only place of its kind in New Zealand where established companies, start-ups and entrepreneurial chefs can all test, refine and validate their productionprocesses in a low-risk environment before commercialisation and export.

Alexandra is part of a growing focus on innovation to not only create addedvalue export opportunity for the New Zealand economy but for people fromall walks of life to create products and businesses that reflect the diverse make-up of New Zealand.

Previously, she developed confectionery products at Cadbury, early life
nutrition products at Nutricia New Zealand, and worked as Technical Managerfor Horleys sports nutrition.

Nurain Janah

Business Advisory Accountant | Social Entrepreneur

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Nurain is an Accountant specialising in Tax & Business Advisory Services at William Buck Christmas Gouwland. After moving to New Zealand from the island country of Maldives at a young age, she grew up in Auckland as a proud Kiwi Muslim. Nurain is an advocate for young people, particularly women of colour in the context of work, entrepreneurship and leadership. Recently, she initiated “She4She” – a platform connecting young women in New Zealand to support services and organisations according to their needs.

Nurain was recently recognised as a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards. She was also awarded the Waitematā Local Board Good Citizens Award for her work establishing the Waitematā Youth Collective. Nurain represented New Zealand at the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women advocating for young women of colour in the workplace.

21 June 2019 Panel: (Sold Out)

Rebecca Thomas

Founder and CEO of Mint Asset Management


Rebecca founded Mint in 2006. She has a strong pedigree in funds management, with a career spanning 30 years, both in New Zealand and offshore. Her previous executive positions include Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Johnson Fry, a London-based funds management firm, acquired by Legg Mason, where she went on to hold the position of Group Chief Executive Officer. On moving to New Zealand she became Chief Investment Officer for ING (NZ) Limited.  Rebecca has been a Director and Chair of the AFRC of KiwiRail Holding Limited and an Associate member and AFRC Chair on the Board of the Financial Markets Authority from 2011-2016. 

Kristen Lunman

FinTech Innovator & Founder of Hatch


Kristen is a senior strategy professional with over a decade of experience running product teams at a wide range of organisations in North America. With interests in innovation and startups, she directed New Zealand’s first FinTech accelerator, preparing startups to compete on a global scale. More recently as Kiwi Wealth’s Director of Innovation, Kristen validated a financial platform concept using proven startup processes. This led to the launch of Hatch, an investment platform that provides easy and affordable access to world-class investment opportunities. An active mentor, Kristen is passionate about women in leadership, governance, and founder roles.

Kaye-Maree Dunn

Director of Indigital Blockchain Limited


Māori Entrepreneur and Facilitator Kaye-Maree has been working in the space of Māori and Community Development, public relations, and communications, with a particular talent for strengthening cross-cultural relationships. Kaye-Maree is fascinated with family, community and technology, and works with Māori groups, especially at a grassroots level to build capability, and identify risks and possibilities for development.

Sam Stubbs

Managing Director, Simplicity

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Sam was most recently the CEO Of Tower Investments, a KiwiSaver default provider. Before that he was Managing Director of Hanover Group, and spent 10 years working for Goldman Sachs in London & Hong Kong. He previously worked for Natwest Markets, Fay, Richwhite and IBM New Zealand. He has been a Board Member of the Financial Services Council, and a member of the Government Taskforce on Financial Services. He has an MA (Hons) from Auckland University, is a father of two children and dreams of simplicity and sailing around the world!
Your host: Carly Flynn

Broadcaster Carly Flynn is a New Zealand journalist, presenter, MC and host, who’s worked in the industry for more than 20 years. A former Nightline, Sunrise and 3News presenter and journalist, Carly is more recently known for her role as presenter of TV3’s flagship consumer affairs programme Target, reporting and hosting 60Minutes, as well as lifestyle shows Cook the Books and the Healthy Food Guide. Carly gained a Bachelor of MediArts in the late 90s and has worked in the industry ever since, she also writes on a variety of topics for newspapers and magazines, all while juggling a busy family life.

“By sending selected key male Managers within our business (along with selected female Leaders) we have seen real value. We want them also to become strong advocates for gender diversity, so their insight from attending is positive”.
Dana Toeke
“An amazing afternoon listening ton inspirational female leaders from NZ business. Thanks @m2woman for a great event! The lemon meringue pies were good too”
“Feedback from both our tables was overwhelmingly positive. All of the women really enjoyed the event and the panel session kicked off very intresting conversations after. It was a great customer event.”
Michelle Herlihy (Custom Fleet)
“I very much enjoyed the discussions and the event planning was excellent. My clients and I had some very good conversations carrying on from the themes brought up by the panel members.”
Jo Cheeseman (ASB Bank)

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Don't Miss Out!

Our Next Live Forum: Friday 18 October 2019, Auckland


Each Table Includes:

8 seats per table
8 x 12 Month M2woman Subscriptions posted free every issue including topics from the event featured throughout the year
8 x Luncheon including desert options, served on the table
8 x Goody Bags, one per seat
After the panel there will be a cocktail event, drinks and nibbles for a Networking function