Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers brought to you by:

NIWA CMYK Hor       



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Gemma Greenshields

Technical Principal - Community Engagement


Gemma’s an award-winning engagement specialist who is passionate about enabling people to get involved in shaping their place through inclusive engagement. With over 15 years' experience she has worked on one of the largest infrastructure projects in New Zealand’s history with the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team following the Canterbury earthquakes. Passionate about our changing futures, she had the privilege of working on the coastal adaptation and climate change project -Whakahekerau – Rakiātea Rautaki Tai St Clair to St Kilda Coastal Plan which won the NZPI Nancy Northcroft Supreme award, the NZPI Best Practice Consultation and Public Participation processes as well as the IAP2 (International Association of Public Participation) Australasian Core Value Awards Project of the year and the IAP2 Planning Category. Gemma has a passion for creating robust engagement strategies and strongly believes better project outcomes are achieved by working together.

 Gemma brings a lived experience to her work having to leave her home due to liquefaction issues in the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. Going through a managed retreat has provided Gemma with insight and empathy with communities facing future natural hazard challenges.

Dr. Dan Hikuroa

Associate Professor

The University of Auckland / Waipapa Taumata Rau

Associate Professor Dan Hikuroa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui, Ngaati Whanaunga) employs earth systems and environmental humanities approaches in his work at Waipapa Taumata Rau the University of Auckland. Dan is an established world expert on weaving Indigenous knowledge and science to realise the dreams of the communities he works with.

Dan is UNESCO New Zealand Culture Commissioner, AGU Council member, has key roles within New Zealand’s science research sector and is re-imagining and remembering relationships with te taiao – our environment. Dan is spearheading alternative ways of assessing sustainability, including weaving Indigenous knowledge and epistemologies with science and into legislation, assessment frameworks and decision-support tools.

In his keynote Dan will share experiences of how Indigenous knowledge of natural hazards helped Māori communities adapt to changes in the environment.