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Nikki Iuli,

HR Manager,


Nikki is an energetic and commercially astute business leader with a breadth and depth of experience gained in a variety of industries such as FMCG, Manufacturing, Wholesaling and Retail. She has over 27 years’ experience in Payroll and HR gained in Private equity, NZ owned and Multinational organisations.

Nikki decided to gain a tertiary qualification later in life which has been a tremendous achievement and she now has the bug. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Business, then went on to do the Strategic GM HR programme through Auckland University and is now in progress with a Post Graduate Diploma majoring in Maori Business. Nikki finds learning inspiring and finds it challenges her views which she says is always good in the later stages of life – “keeps you on your toes”.

Nikki will be on our panel sharing her HR career and tips for HRA’s.

Susan Lowe,

General Manager HR, Repco

Susan’s 19 year career has spanned Operational Management, Generalist HR Management as well as Learning and Organisational Development Management roles across the diverse FMCG, Retail and Trade sectors both here in NZ and the UK.

Susan is fervent about all things people but specifically growing capability, managing talent, having innovative approaches to career and development as well as future proofing organisations through learning and culture.

Heading up the Learning, Talent and OD function at Noel Leeming, Susan and her team were recognised for their innovative work integrating technology with learning, part of which was introducing social learning to produce outstanding business results.

Susan will be on our panel sharing her HR career and tips for HRA’s.

Aaron McIntosh,  Consultant & People Concierge

Aaron McIntosh is a qualified, highly skilled and operationally focused Business Consultant providing a broad range of services to businesses across the disciplines of Employment Relations, HR, Health & Safety, ACC (including the ACC WSMP and WSD programs) Quality, Training & Development and general Business Management.

Key roles include Service Compliance Manager with Prestige, Capability Development Manager with Unison and HR Manager with Adcock & Donaldson. He has also worked with McDonalds, Fastway Couriers, Craggy Range and ESITO.

Aaron will be presenting on how to grow a wellness mindset and share some of the amazing work he has been doing with NZ companies around the new H&S at Work Act.

Troy Hammond, TalentArmy

Troy is the founder of Talent Army and you might know him from his cartoon avatar online. He is a lover of social and modern sourcing and is passionate about the industry as a whole and his part in this industry. He really digs sourcing and innovation in the recruitment industry to find talent, and you can usually find him in front of a macbook with headphones on listening to sweet sourcing beats entering search strings into LinkedIn, Facebook graph searching or scouring the web with x-ray sourcing to search the web for talent.

He loves social and is active on all mediums but mostly found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and is happy for you to connect with him on all platforms. Previous to Talent Army, Troy was with successful global start-up Vend as their global Talent and Innovation Manager where he helped Vend to grow headcount by 200%, develop innovative talent strategies, educate and train hiring managers and re-design their careers page. Previous to Vend, Troy was a highly successful agency recruiter including executive roles as Country Manager for leading recruitment agencies, one in particular he increased revenue by 280% in year one by teaching the team how to source for talent instead of interviewing available candidates. He has worked with many public and private organisations and assisted them acquire talent by designing and executing on modern recruitment strategies.

Over the last 7 years, Troy has worked hard to lift the profile for recruitment in New Zealand, he writes a highly followed
blog, is a highly sought after key note speaker where he certainly speaks his mind and he also runs a Meetup (#WellyRecMeetup) for 100’s of recruiters where he encourages them to get together, network and share ideas in order to lift the profile and integrity of the recruitment industry. The WellyRecMeetup has now grown from Wellington to Auckland, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. 

Lisa McCarthy,

HR Expert,


Lisa is fascinated by the way leading edge organisations around the globe are able to achieve so much, with so little, so fast - and be a magnet for the very best and brightest talent. 

This fascination has led her to work with organisations with between 15 and 2000 employees to help them become more innovative, resourceful, and adaptable. Her experience has shown her that the greatest gains come from focusing on three pillars - mindset shift, growing capability, and adjusting organisational design. Most importantly, she has discovered that the most significant and overlooked factor of these is "mindset". It is typically fear that holds people back from being curious, challenging the status quo, thinking and behaving expansively, experimenting, collaborating, and letting go of control - and it's this space that Lisa and her collaborators at adiact dive into boots and all. This explains her mantra which is "Provoke thought, inspire action - and release value from the inside-out." 

Lisa created adiact to address these three pillars and feels privileged to collaborate with some of New Zealand's top Executive Coaches and Psychotherapists, CahootLearning, and the Stanford Center for Professional Development. Prior to creating adiact Lisa had a varied work history which included a stint as part of the Senior Leadership team for a bank, GM for a high growth business incubator, Marketing Manager for a finance company, business coach, and three businesses of her own. In 2000 Lisa completed a Master of Commerce Degree at the University of Otago which explored why people do and don't adopt new ideas and technologies. 

Andre Lubbe, Head of Employment Relations, Auckland Council

Andre spent the first 10 years of his career as a Senior Solicitor at Russell McVeagh.

He then spent 9 years as Manager Employment Law and IR at ANZ while also working as a Barrister and Solicitor for his own practise.

For the last 5 years Andre has been Head of Employment Relations at Auckland Council.

Through his roles at ANZ and Auckland Council, both unionised environments, he has worked closely with the unions involved. He will be sharing how you can work effectively with unions, whether bargaining or on an individual basis.

Penelope Barton, Chief People Officer, Vend

Penelope started her HR career at Save the Children. She then spent several years as HR Manager for Chorus. In this role she co-led the people aspects of the Chorus/Telecom demerger - the largest Private Public Partnership initiative in NZ’s commercial history, turning Chorus into one of the top ten publicly listed companies in New Zealand.

She then spent a year at Xero as HR Business Partner for Global Marketing, and the NZ Sales and Education functions - 200+ (and growing) employees across four regions, overseeing talent and succession, workforce planning, organisational design, engagement initiatives, remuneration and performance management, employee relations and supporting culture and change management. She is now at Vend and is joining our panel to share her HR career story.

Kylie Telford, Recruitment & Employee Brand Lead, NZME

For the last 7 years Kylie has been in HR roles providing a generalist HR service to sales teams within APN Media and NZME. Her current role oversees the strategic talent acquisition and workforce planning initiatives for NZME including management of the complete lifecycle recruitment process, induction, on-boarding and employer brand management.

She is driven and focused and particularly interested in the areas of recruitment & induction, organisational culture, productivity, performance and engagement. She continually strives to increase her knowledge in her chosen field, exploring new avenues and initiatives to best serve "the end client" both now and into the future.

Angela Atkins, People & Learning Director, Elephant

Angela has worked in HR and Learning & Development for 20 years within the local government, retail, tertiary and financial services sectors.

She has been with Elephant for 8 years and co-founded the copany. Over this time she has worked as an HR Manager for SME’s, trained thousands of HR people and managers and launched Elephant globally!

She is also the best selling author of Management Bites, Employment Bites and Training Bites. She is currently working on the HR Game Changer book and Safety Bites.

Angela Evans, Senior Associate, Langton Hudson Butcher

Angela has wide commercial and litigation experience across a range of matters including fair trading, regulatory and advertising law, as well as general commercial law issues. This gives her a broad perspective on how employment law fits with the wider commercial issues facing an organisation.

She can advise on all employment law issues including both contentious and non-contentious matters. She previously practiced as a commercial litigator, and has appeared in the Employment Relations Authority, District Court and High Court.

Angela worked for almost three years with a leading UK firm in London and while there was promoted to manage a comprehensive global regulatory monitoring service for a consumer product client.

Megan Applegate,

Independent HR Consultant

Megan is a self-employed HR Contractor who has worked in a wide range of HR roles in Wellington, working across both the public and private sectors. Predominantly working in the change management area she was involved in the merger of the Wellington College of Education into Victoria University, the merger of MAF and the Ministry of Fisheries to form the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), and also the creation of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Megan has also led or been involved in many smaller organisational change projects and enjoys the challenge of working with managers to improve the way they do business.

Megan also has a broad range of experience across all areas of HR built on the foundations of strong relationships and excellent customer service.

Rebecca Armour,

GMS National Leader,


Rebecca is a partner in the Auckland tax practice of KPMG and National Leader for the New Zealand global mobility services (GMS) tax practice.

As GMS National Leader, Rebecca has significant experience in advising on the cross border issues that arise for individuals and employers with expatriate employees, including employment taxes, global mobility policy and planning, and international tax planning. 

Rebecca also regularly advises on the national and international tax aspects of executive remuneration and equity compensation.

Bridget Romanes,

Principal, Mobile Relocations

In partnership with HR and executive teams, Bridget helps develop, implement and manage the global mobility function in companies and organisations throughout New Zealand. 

Bridget and her team at Mobile work with individuals and families at all stages of their move to New Zealand - giving them the knowledge, contacts and confidence they need to establish themselves here, finding houses and schools, taking care of initial logistics and resettling them into local communities. 

Bridget also advises HR partners on relocation policy, cost optimisation and international assignment management.

Tash Pieterse, Senior People & Performance Advisor, Intergen

Tash is a passionate and enthusiastic HR Generalist, she brings with her a talent in relationship building, innovation and has a proven track record of producing great results. Tash has also built an international name for herself as an advocate of social media tools for professional development.

After graduating from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Business Management Studies in Human Resource Management and Strategic Management, Tash has spent her career navigating a variety of complex HR issues and initiatives in both public and private sector and is now working as a Senior People & Performance Advisor in the IT industry.

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