Challenge Leadership Team (CLT)
The Challenge Leadership Team (CLT) is responsible for scoping, leading and developing of the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate.
Our Kāhui Māori provides the Governing Group and Challenge Leadership Team with strategic advice and input into our science strategy and priorities, and helps with the assessment of science quality, performance and responsiveness to iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori business goals.
The Deep South Challenge aims to support decision makers at every level, by making sure you can use and apply our research. A team of wahine, Māori and tangata Tiriti, our engagement approach is to be open, transparent and always innovating. Reach out to the Engagement Team by email here.
Representative User Group (RUG)
Our Representative User Group (RUG) is comprised of key practitioners and knowledge holders from major across many of our social and economic sectors. The RUG provides the Challenge with an accessible and representative partners and stakeholders, enabling us to: identify the most relevant stakeholders for particular research within key sectors; ‘ground truth’ research recommendations and key messages; seek feedback on research prior to release; and collaborate on research promotion and engagement opportunities.
Independent Science Panel
The Independent Science Panel (ISP) provides our Governing Group with independent science advice and input into our science strategy and priorities. The panel also helps with assessments of science quality and performance.
Our independent Governance Group was appointed by the collaborative parties of the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate.
Phil Wiles (Director)
Phil began his career as an oceanographic technician at NIWA. He took this strong foundation in research to American Samoa, where he spent three years with the local Environmental Protection Agency.
Phil returned to Aotearoa in 2014 taking up a position with the Ministry for the Environment including work on guiding New Zealand’s contribution to the Paris Agreement. In his most recent role at the Climate Change Commission, he’s continued his work in the mitigation space, where he leads the agriculture, forests and waste team.
Chris Kelly (Chair)
Chris has expertise in management and the primary production sector. He is a current director of the Crown Irrigation Investment Company, Pengxin NZ Farm Management Limited and FarmIQ. Chris is also the current Chair of AgriOne (a joint venture between Lincoln and Massey Universities) and Kahne Animal Health, as well as being a former Chief Executive of Landcorp Farming Limited.
Lesley Smith (Chair)
Lesley works at Water New Zealand, the industry association for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater professionals and organisations. With changes to the water cycle on the front line of climate change adaptation challenges, her role as the chair of the representative user group provides an ideal vehicle to assist in the urgent challenge of translating climate science into on the ground action. Lesley originally qualified and worked as an electrical engineer, but has now spent over a decade working in the water sector, where she feels grateful to be able to engage her passion for climate action and healthy waters on a daily basis.
David Wratt (Chair)
David is an Emeritus Researcher, Climate, with NIWA. He has a PhD in Atmospheric Physics and has worked in the USA, Australia and New Zealand on climate and meteorology. He is a Companion of the Royal Society, A member of the society's New Zealand Climate Expert Panel, and a member of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Anne-Marie Rowe (Manager)
Anne-Marie comes to us from our sister National Science Challenge, Resilience to Nature's Challenges, and brings crucial experience navigating the relatively new, many-headed creatures that are the NSCs. Anne-Marie also has around 20 years of experience in university research management, more recently at Victoria University of Wellington, with previous research management roles at Massey University and University of Otago’s Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Ruia (Ngāti Pikiahu, Ngāti Waewae, Ngāti Tūtemohuta, Tūrangitūkua, Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngāti Whātua) is an award-winning singer, songwriter and illustrator, respected for his knowledge of tikanga and te reo Māori. He has a Diploma in Japanese Studies, and with Māori as his first language, he has taught in total immersion kura. Ruia is studying towards his Post Graduate Diploma in Business (Māori Development) at the University of Auckland Business School. He is an associate researcher with the Mira Szászy Research Centre for Māori and Pacific Economic Development, University of Auckland Business School.
Sarah Anderson is Principal Specialist for Climate Resilience and Climate Action Plan Lead within Auckland Council’s Chief Sustainability Office. Sarah leads the development and implementation of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan, a regional plan with core goals to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Prior to moving to Aotearoa with her family in 2017, Sarah was Environment Strategy Manager and Flood Risk and Resilience Manager for Kent County Council in the UK, with a focus on developing partnerships and integrated approaches for resilience and adaptation, economy, health and environment. Through her roles she has developed several climate-related EU programmes and was part of the UK Local Adaptation Advisory Panel, advising the UK Government on their national Climate Change Risk Assessment and National Adaptation Programme.
Shaun (Ngāti Porou) is a Senior Kairangahau at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research and a Theme Leader with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. Shaun’s work involves improving the incorporation of Māori values into economic decision making for collective assets. Shaun has been active supporting Māori land manage collective assets in more sustainable ways, consistent with the kaupapa Māori principles of kaitiekitanga, manaakitanga and whakatipu rawa. He is currently engaged in research and policy to help prepare iwi and hapū Māori for climate change mitigation and adaptation planning.
Nathan is Professor of Physical Oceanography at the University of Tasmania in Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies. He has a background in Earth Sciences (PhD in Earth Sciences, Australian National University). He is also a physical oceanographer, specialising in ocean climate and the earth’s climate system, with a focus on understanding the causes of change in the oceans. He was the coordinating lead author for the ocean chapter in the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report and Fifth Assessment reports. His most recent work is on documenting the decline in oxygen content of the oceans and dynamics of the Southern Ocean.
Max is the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. He also is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Studies program and is Adjunct faculty in the Geography Department. In addition, Max is a Senior Visiting Research Associate in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California-Santa Cruz and Bachelor of Sciences in Psychology from The Ohio State University.
Christopher is a member of the Strategy and Influence team at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Part of his role for the past two years has been assisting with the development of a tribal climate change response strategy for Ngāi Tahu. Christopher was raised in rural Canterbury and has a keen interest in the outdoors. His Ngāi Tahu whakapapa leads to Murihiku, and he tries to go south as often as possible.
Blair has been involved in climate change issues for over 20 years. He originally worked as a scientist before retraining in public policy and has a special interest in finding successful solutions to climate change issues, particularly the links between water management, renewable energy and climate change. Blair is currently employed to provide resource management advice to Waikato Regional Council helping Waikato communities to reduce their impacts on the climate and sustainably adapt to the opportunities and constraints of an increasingly climate-influenced environment. He also chairs the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance, Climate Change Officers Group and is the Resource Management Law Association’s Climate Change Knowledge Hub Leader.
Roger is a Civil Engineer and Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand. His career spans government, State Owned Enterprises and the private sector, including concept development, design, construction, and government policy. Roger is an internationally recognised expert on infrastructure resilience and currently leads the Strategic Resilience Project across all central government transport agencies. Roger is Chair of the New Zealand Lifelines (Utilities) Council and was a key contributor to the “Built Environment Leaders Forum Summary of Findings” publication. He is an independent consultant with Neo Leaf Global Ltd.
Erica Finnie is Co-Director of 350 Aotearoa, a climate-change campaigning organisation with the aim to strengthen and grow climate action in communities across Aotearoa. 350 Aotearoa coordinates local campaigns by providing education, practical tools, and support for community leadership. Erica believes that grassroots movements and the power of everyday people are vital to overthrowing systems of oppression and creating a fairer, and safer future for people and planet. She has an MSc in Geography and is based in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Tim became Chief Executive of the Insurance Council in November 2012. Our inaugural Representative User Group Chair, Tim has extensive experience in providing strategic, policy and communications advice to public and private sector leaders. He was an executive director of a leading market research company prior to taking up his position with ICNZ. Tim has a strong understanding of the machinery of government, having been an adviser to former Prime Ministers and Ministers of Finance as well as leading private companies. He has extensive knowledge of post-disaster recovery issues and insurance regulation.
Mike has a PhD in environmental physics and has led atmospheric research programmes at NIWA for the last 14 years. He’s had a long-term interest in improving our understanding of important environmental processes, which among other things helps us understand the efficacy of some climate change mitigation actions. Mike has been involved in the Phase 1 Clouds & Aerosols project, making targeted observations to improve the representation of Southern-Ocean clouds and aerosols in the NZESM.
Andrew is the national president of Federated Farmers. His policy responsibilities include Climate Change (except He Waka eke Noa), Local Government (Rates/Finance, Forestry, Economics and Commerce, Telecommunications, Firearms, Science and Innovation, Food Safety, Buildings and Farm Structures.
Sam is a trade union official based in Wellington. He is Strategic Researcher with E tū union, a union for nearly 50,000 workers in a range of industries across services, manufacturing, infrastructure and health, and is the former National Secretary of the NZ Council of Trade Unions 2014–2019, where he led the union movement’s work on just transition for workers and communities affected by climate change. His other governance roles include the national council of Te Pūkenga (the new unified national network of polytechnic and institutes of technology) and climate campaigning organisation 350 Aotearoa.
Aimee (Ngāi Tahu, Te Arawa, Ngā Puhi) resides in Motupōhue, Bluff, and is a strong advocate for intergenerational well-being and for regional development. Aimee is very aware of the climate impacts on livelihoods, mahinga kai, resources and our people – ki uta ki tai. She currently works for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as Regional Investment – Rūnanga Engagement Manager, and is a director and governor on a number of entities, across a range of national and regional sectors. She has a particular interest in the role science and mātauranga Māori plays in whānau and hapū well-being and their planning for their futures.
Engagement Co-Lead & Kaitakawaenga
Naomi is a researcher and environmental specialist whose background is geography, environmental planning and kaupapa Māori. A member of both our Kāhui Māori and our Engagement Team, Naomi is also a co-director of Tūānuku Ltd. Naomi’s research interests include Māori and Indigenous geographies, freshwater and iwi and hapū resource management, Māori maternities, whānau wellbeing and Indigenous methodologies.
Engagement Team Co-Lead
Alex supports our Engagement Team to plan and create meaningful, whānau-friendly communications and engagement projects. Her approach to communicating about climate change and climate adaptation is informed both by research and by many years trialling tools and tactics at the flaxroots.
Angela hails from the Deep South itself, having grown up on a sheep farm near Edendale. Angela has been the Natural Resources and Environment Manager for Horticulture New Zealand, an industry organisation representing fruit and vegetable growers. She focused on resource management issues at a regional and national level and represented Horticulture as a member of our Representative User Group.
Zoe is a researcher into science communication with a specific focus on climate change. Alongside working as part of the engagement team she is undertaking a PhD on storytelling and climate change at the Centre for Science in Society at Victoria University.
Nadine Anne Hura
Nadine (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) is a writer, kaupapa Māori researcher and engagement specialist with experience in a range of advocacy, networking and policy roles. Nadine is an active member of the Toi Māori community, particularly through her positions on the committees of Te Hā Kaituhi Māori and Te Pou Muramura/Read NZ. She values partnership, in particular in support of indigenous sovereignty, and understands the value of genuine relationships in determining the success of any Kaupapa.
Climate Change Knowledge Broker
Kate's role is support researchers and stakeholders to access and understand Challenge datasets, and to translate the bigger picture of climate data. Kate is a Fulbright scholar from Ōtepoti (Dunedin), and has most recently been working closely with the climate research and engagement community at the University of Otago. She's also spent time working with local knowledge holders on the ice in Alaska, investigating the extreme changes underway in their sea ice environment. Getting the narrative out of the data is Kate's happy place.
James has a 20-year career in the infrastructure and environmental sectors, including work within infrastructure planning, natural hazard risk and resilience, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. He leads T+Ts climate and resilience practice and has been involved in a range of significant projects over recent years. These include the recent National Climate Change Risk Assessment, Deep South Challenge research, NZTA’s Resilience Programme Business Case, LGNZ’s Sea Level Rise Exposure Survey and he was a member of MfE’s Climate Adaptation Technical Working Group.
Kathy is the Director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions (CCASS) at the University of Arizona. CCASS builds and supports climate change adaptation and assessment capacity, connects science with decision-making, and works with stakeholders to build collaborative, practical solutions to climate-related problems. Jacobs is a professor in Environmental Science and holds appointments in Geography and Regional Development and Hydrology and Water Resources. She was the director of the National Climate Assessment in the Obama Administration for four years and served as a White House water policy and adaptation advisor.
Bryan is a Professor of Weather and Climate Computing and Director of Models and Data - National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). He holds a three-way joint position between the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the University Departments of Meteorology and Computer Science. Bryan was born and studied in New Zealand, at the University of Canterbury. After roles leading the British Atmospheric Data Centre and the newly created Centre for Environmental Data Analysis at the STFC, he moved to the University of Reading to concentrate on the research and development necessary for the full gamut of modern environmental e-infrastructure (from computers to data and modelling systems).
Karen is the Acting Manager - Adaptation at the Climate Commission. She previously worked as a policy analyst at the Climate Commission.
Susan is the Climate Adviser at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Susan was also our very first Partnerships Director, holding that role from the Challenge's inception till 2017.
Rebecca is a director, strategist and entrepreneur. She has designed and launched several systems-level change initiatives both in Aotearoa and around the world. Rebecca holds qualifications in Impact Management and Measurement from Oxford Saïd Business School and a Masters in Environmental Science from Waikato University. She is founder and director of The Lever Room, which helps iwi, local and international clients make more measurable impact through their investments. Rebecca was selected as New Zealand’s first Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2013 and she played a central role in helping to establish Sir Richard Branson’s B Team.
John has been Chief Executive of NIWA since April 2007. He is a graduate of Macquarie University’s Strategic Marketing Programme and the Executive Leadership Programme from INSEAD, France. He has extensive senior executive and governance experience in public and private sector organisations covering a range of markets and activities including business, science, education and sport. John is passionate about the role science can play in transforming New Zealand's economy, environment, society and global reputation.
Olaf holds a PhD in meteorology and has worked in the UK and Germany on the development of atmospheric chemistry and chemistry-climate models. He has led chemistry-climate modelling at NIWA since 2009 and has been a Programme Leader since 2012. In addition, Olaf is a Principal Investigator of the Challenge's Capability projects, which make available, support, and coordinate the development of the New Zealand Earth System Model (NZESM).
Tina is a strong advocate for Maori in business and Maori in Agribusiness. At a Governance level she has been involved in Onuku Maori Land Trust (Farming and Honey production); Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust (Commercial, Tourism and Thermal Spa & Hot springs; Pukaingataru B12 Trust (Kiwifruit) and she is Chair of Manaaki Ora Trust. Tina is also a member of Toi EDA for the Eastern Bay of Plenty and on the Bay of Plenty Leadership Group for the BOP region.
Sandy is tribally grounded, globally informed and whānau tested against the everyday realities in which whānau exist. From 2004-08, Sandy served as President of the Asia South Pacific Association for Adult and Basic Education (ASPBAE), the largest non-government organisation on adult education in the world. She is Assistant Dean (Academic) for the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, which allows her to challenge the thinkers of tomorrow and concentrate on her research interests around Treaties, Adult Education and Indigenous Development. Sandy led the Te Tai Uka a Pia (Iwi relationships with the Southern and Antarctic Oceans) project in the Vision Mātauranga programme, and was also part of the Culture and Climate Change project.
Darren Ngaru King
Darren is a research scientist with experience spanning the earth and human-system sciences. He received his PhD from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia. Darren leads NIWA’s Māori Environmental Research Programme ‘Hazards, Climate and Māori Society’ and holds a joint-position on the Kāhui Māori for the Deep South Challenge and the Antarctic Science Platform.
Carolyn O'Brien is the administrator of the Deep South Challenge. She has worked at NIWA in various roles since 1996. Prior to NIWA, Carolyn worked in a variety of roles both here and in Australia, and on returning to New Zealand raised her family. Carolyn has been with the Challenge since 2017 and enjoys the diversity and content the Challenge provides, while working alongside a creative and talented team.
Born and raised in Hawke’s Bay, James Palmer has been Chief Executive of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council since June 2017, having previously served as the Council’s Group Manager Strategic Development. He is currently on the national Forestry Ministerial Advisory Committee and is also a Director of Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge. Prior to working at Council, James was Deputy Secretary Sector Strategy at the Ministry for the Environment and Director Strategy at both the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before that.
Sir Mark Solomon
Sir Mark is a professional director and Māori tribal leader of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kurī descent. He is the former Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, director of Te Ohu Kaimoana (Māori Fisheries Trust), Chair of the New Zealand China Council, and a former director Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Tania Te Rangingangana Simpson
Tania is a professional director with expertise across social policy, the environment, economic development and Treaty-related matters. Tania is of Tainui, Ngāi Tahu and Nga Puhi descent. She is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, and a director of Auckland Airport, Tainui Group Holdings and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Tania is also a Trustee of the Waitangi National Trust and Chair of the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge.
Grant is employed by Meridian Energy, New Zealand’s largest power generator-retailer. He's an industry expert advising management and the Meridian board in a number of areas, including the long-term evolution of the power system, particularly in response to the emergence of new renewable technologies and the increasing regulatory focus on the decarbonisation of wider New Zealand energy system. He is responsible for a wide range of business activities, decisions, and investments that underpin the company’s growth and long-term strategic direction in New Zealand and Australia.
Sharon has been immersed in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, working in civic & social organisations. With an MNZM for services to the community, her expertise is in the contribution of the non-profit sector to community preparation for and response to emergencies and disasters.
Linda Tuhiwai Smith
Linda Tuhiwai Smith is Professor of Education and Māori Development, Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori, Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development and Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and is Chairperson of NPM's International Research Advisory Board. She has worked in the field of Māori education and health for many years as an educator and researcher and is well known for her work in Kaupapa Māori research. Professor Smith has published widely in journals and books. Her book Decolonising Methodologies Research and Indigenous Peoples has been an international best seller in the indigenous world since its publication in 1998.
Anita Wreford is an economist and leader of our Impacts & Implications programme. She currently works at Lincoln University. She's experienced across many areas of climate change, including economic evaluations of adaptation and applying robust methods to deal with climate uncertainty; identifying and evaluating the effectiveness of adaptation options across sectors; mitigation options and costs in agriculture; community resilience to extreme weather events; and adaptation decision-making among various stakeholders.