Image: View over Wellington from Mt Victoria

Wānanga Speakers

This page will be updated regularly

The Wānanga Creative Panel is excited to share our speakers for 2024. We're working on creating an engaging and participatory programme of content focused on high level learning and actionable takeaways.

Thursday 16 May

Alayna Pakinui Rā

Thursday AM – Exploring Māramatanga

Dr Alayna Pakinui Rā is a Kāi Tahu landscape architect who has dedicated much of her career to social and environmental justice. The future of Aotearoa and the relationship between Indigenous communities and the planning, design and construction of the built environment is central to her current mahi. She works with communities and government agencies to explore how projects can truly achieve positive intergenerational outcomes. She considers māramatanga to be a critical aspect in this pursuit, and therefore encourages teams and clients to challenge 'business as usual' solutions and instead strive for transformative change.


Di Lucas ONZM

Thursday AM – Highlights of 50 years in practice

A Life and Registered NZILA member, Di began practice in 1974 with the Ministry of Works. In response to government mismanagement of rural landscapes in 1979 she resigned and established a rural-based practice in Geraldine to explore the potential to influence from outside. She has been variously appointed as an external advisor to government throughout the four decades since.

Frustrated at the superficial landscape assessments being undertaken by colleagues, she accepted the Lincoln University invitation to undertake the first MLA. In her thesis she explored the limits to acceptable change for high country vegetation. Her research contributed to the base methodology for the first regional landscape assessment under the RMA, for Canterbury in 1993, and the methods largely remain best practice today. The land typing method has been widely applied and is now uploaded to

Di works primarily for communities and iwi through Aotearoa by assisting in planning and management for terrestrial and marine landscapes, including guidance toward the insetting of emissions to support a transition toward carbon zero.


Marina Cervera 

Thursday AM – Urban Landscape – a Perspective from Barcelona

Marina Cervera is a highly accomplished Architecture and Landscape Architecture graduate from the prestigious Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) - Barcelona Tech. She holds a Master's in Landscape Architecture and a Master's in Urban Research. With a strong foundation in both academia and professional practice, Marina has made significant contributions to the industry. Her work spans planning, landscaping, and architecture, showcasing her versatility and commitment to design excellence.

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Haley Hooper

Thursday AM – How our world’s collide: Māramatanga, Art, Living and Play

Haley is a strategic, socially engaged urban designer and strategist at WSP. Originally from Whangarei, (of Ngāpuhi whakapapa) she now spends her time predominantly across the North Island, between Kāpiti Coast/Wellington, Tāmaki Makaurau and Northland.

Haley has diverse experience in Aotearoa and Australia across leading urban strategy, urban design and architecture, with broad-ranging skills gained in urban design, spatial planning, place-making, visioning and strategy, regenerative design and major mixed-use masterplanning. She is also a flâneuse of creative arts, culture and languages, and a design writer contributing to various industry publications, advocacy groups and events.

Haley has a particular passion for the development of public, residential, social and civic spaces that promote community, culture, economy and interaction and has strong association and working history with Landscape Architecture. She values comprehensive and integrated outcomes that stand the test of time and support the evolution of place. She grounds herself in ideas that relate to people, to community, to environment and to a feeling of comfort, beauty, inclusiveness and joy. In her everyday Haley loves good kai, nature, philosophy and dance.


Alexi Trenouth

Thursday AM – How our world’s collide: Māramatanga, Art, Living and Play

Alexi is a Brit who grew up in the Middle East, has a Masters in Persian Language and Anthropology and spent the last 15 years working in the world of partnerships and relationship management across the NGO, corporate and government sector in Dubai and New Zealand.

Much to her own surprise, she's spent the last 10 months at Sport New Zealand | Ihi Aotearoa deep in the world of skateboarding - listening to anyone that will talk to her about what good provision for skate looks like. This has involved 60+ hours of interviews with Councils, skate associations, community members, national sporting organisations, landscape architects, skatepark designers and builders, skate photographers and videographers, skateable sculptors and skate schools from across New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia. The story based approach has led to national guidelines for skate which attempts to bring together the inherently creative and non-conformist nature of the skate community with the regulation loving world of local government.

When she's not learning about the importance of the bonk (actual technical jargon for how far metal coping sticks out) or the finer points of concrete, she can be found running after her two young ragamuffins or swimming on the South Coast of Wellington.


Claire Martin

Thursday PM - keynote

Claire Martin is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), a landscape architect and Associate Director of OCULUS where she has led a range of education, health, and cultural landscape projects. Claire’s contribution to public life centres on better connecting people to their environment and to each other. Through her work with AILA, and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), she has championed knowledge sharing and Climate Positive Design and is passionate about mentorship, design advocacy, and landscape communication. Claire is a contributor to Landscape Architecture Australia, a juror, member of the Office of the Victorian Government Architect’s Design Review Panel, and guest critic and lecturer at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University.


Friday 17 May

Georgina Reid

Friday AM - Conspiring with Land: Reflections and Encounters

Georgina Reid is a writer and the editor of Wonderground print and online journal, and author of The Planthunter: Truth, Beauty, Chaos and Plants (Thames and Hudson 2018). She’s also a PhD Candidate and sessional academic in the School of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney. Her essays and poetry have been published in books and magazines nationally and internationally. Georgina lives amongst she-oak trees on the banks of Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury River.


David Godshall

Friday AM – No Dominant Mode: Gardens for the Next Civilisation

David Godshall is a landscape architect, horticultural theorist and leads the Terremoto office in Los Angeles with Jenny Jones. David’s strategic approach to design is inherently rooted in philosophy and the idea that ecology, horticulture and landscape have transformative physical and metaphorical impacts upon a person and a place. David received a Master’s degree Cum Laude from UC Berkeley after receiving a BA Cum Laude from UC Santa Barbara.


Mike Hewson

Friday AM – Backyard Brilliance

Mike Hewson is a visual artist with a background in structural engineering and heavy-civil construction. His award-winning projects pioneer new ways to merge conceptual art projects into the public realm.

Hewson works to prove we can, in fact, do things that are considered untenable in a public setting. Each project aims to catalyse fresh conversation about how the bureaucratic and managerial aspects of power are shaping our public lives, asking if we like that shape or if we’d like to explore other freer options.

He has completed five large-scale public art commissions in Australia, many of them sculpture-park-cum-playgrounds that are sensibly strange and risk-positive. Hewson received a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand, in 2007 and a Master of Fine Arts (Visual Arts) from Columbia University, New York in 2016.


Jocelyn Chiew

Friday AM – Embedding truth telling in city design

Jocelyn Chiew is an Architect, Landscape Architect and Urban Designer. As Director City Design at the City of Melbourne, she plays a key role in creating and enabling inclusive, sustainable and enduring public spaces. Jocelyn leads the city’s in-house multidisciplinary design practice. City Design plans, designs and delivers council strategies and public works, and provides design review for significant development proposals. Jocelyn also leads the city's Design Excellence Program and is Deputy Chair of the Melbourne Design Review Panel. Her industry appointments include member of the Victorian Design Review Panel, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, member of Gender Equity Victoria's Put Her Name on It Reference Group, and former State and National Councillor at the Australian Institute of Architects.   

You can follow Jocelyn on Instagram at @thecityarchitect  


Jason Eades

Friday AM – Embedding truth telling in city design

Jason is a proud Aboriginal man born and raised on Gunnai country in south-east Victoria who brings a deep passion and experience in Aboriginal affairs to his role as Director, Aboriginal Melbourne. Aboriginal Melbourne is a branch within the City of Melbourne that is responsible for working with the Aboriginal community to ensure their needs are heard, respected and influence the delivery of a wide range of Council services and outcomes. Before joining the City of Melbourne, Jason was the inaugural CEO of a tech startup that created an online marketplace to connect travellers to First Nations tours and experiences across the country and an online store of products either made by First Nations people or genuine collaborations. He is a previous CEO of the Koorie Heritage Trust, and one of four Aboriginal co-owners that founded PwC’s Indigenous Consulting.


Simon Upton

Friday PM - Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Simon Upton was sworn in as the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for a five-year term on 16 October 2017. He is now in his second five-year term. As a Member of Parliament between 1981 and 2000, Mr Upton held a variety of ministerial portfolios including Minister for the Environment and Associate Minister for Finance. After leaving politics, he worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) where he served as the Environment Director for seven years. He returned to New Zealand to take up the role of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.


Gavin Smith

Friday PM – Engaging with Under-resourced Communities to Advance Resilient Design Strategies

Gavin Smith is a Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at North Carolina State University.  His teaching and research focus on hazard mitigation, disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation and the integration of research and practice through deep community engagement.  Educational efforts focus on the oversight and teaching of core courses associated with a 13-credit graduate certificate titled Disaster Resilient Policy, Engineering, and Design. The curricula emphasize interdisciplinary coursework and includes three track options (policy, engineering, and design) developed in partnership with the Department of Public Administration, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.   

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Wendy Saunders

Friday PM – Pre-event land use planning

Dr Wendy Saunders is a Principal Advisor, Risk Reduction & Resilience, at EQC Toka Tū Ake. She is a specialist in risk-based land use planning for natural hazards risk reduction, with over 20 years experience in policy development, implementation, and development of guidance. She provides support to decision makers for all natural hazards, including the impacts of climate change. NZILA is delighted to partner with EQC Toka Tū Ake to bring Professor Gavin Smith to our shores. Dr Wendy Saunders will follow Gavin’s presentation with a look at some of the challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand and some actions to address these challenges.

NZILA is delighted to partner with EQC Toka Tū Ake to bring Professor Gavin Smith to our shores. Dr Wendy Saunders will follow Gavin’s presentation with a look at some of the challenges facing Aotearoa New Zealand and some actions to address these challenges.


Shannon Bray

Friday PM – Fast Tracking Landscape Change

Shannon has worked on a wide variety of master planning, urban design and environmental design projects throughout New Zealand. He is a principal landscape architect and director of a consultancy based near Hastings, working for various regional and national clients across the country. He has also worked in a variety of business management and strategy roles in the UK.

Shannon helps to provide integrated design solutions and mitigation strategies for developments in both urban and rural locations. He specialises in leading design collaboration and preparing design frameworks with mana whenua, particularly for larger scale urban realm, transportation and infrastructure projects. He regularly acts as lead urban designer and landscape architect, and works well with interdisciplinary specialist teams. The team at Wayfinder provide additional support as required.

In addition, he is an experienced in undertaking landscape and visual amenity effects assessments and providing peer-review support. He is an experienced and recognised expert witness and has presented evidence before Council, Environment Court and Board of Inquiry Hearings. He passed the Making Good Decisions Course with an Excellence mark and has worked as an RMA Commissioner. He’s a Registered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects and served two terms as national President. He and his team have won numerous awards for their design and engagement work.


Rawiri Faulkner

Friday PM – Fast Tracking Landscape Change

Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngai Te Rangi

Rawiri is an experienced Senior Executive Leader, having held senior roles in Local Government and Crown Agencies. Rawiri is currently employed by Ngāti Toa Rangatira as Pou Toa Matarau (Environment, Treaty Settlement and Culture) based in Porirua. He is also an experienced Hearing Commissioner having served on a number of consent hearings, plan reviews and fast track consents.

Along with his wife Linda, Rawiri has also worked with a number of iwi developing strategic plans and government procurement applications. Rawiri brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Pou Toa Matarau for the Ahurea Taiao Team at Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Inc.