Conference Speakers

Thank you to our lineup of expert speakers. We appreciate your continued support to improve the quality and performance of the built environment. Please note there are speakers to be added to this lineup. 



After 20 years in construction, Lance spent 22 years as a cop becoming the lead crisis negotiator. Qualifying in NZ, Australia, and the FBI, he was described as “The most qualified and highly skilled negotiator within NZ Police”, training with the elite tactical units of Police, Corrections, Fire, Military, and the FBI.

Qualified as a Personal Protection Officer, Lance oversaw the protection of the Prime Minister and those on the witness protection programme.  He was the principal security officer at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the London Olympics. Lance was also responsible for recruitment and training at the Police Emergency call centres.

Lance has a Master of Arts Degree, (Terrorism, Safety & Security major), a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies, a Diploma in Policing and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Management.


My early career began as a builder in Wellington doing residential and light commercial work. I have run my own construction and Joinery business before embarking on tertiary study culminating in a completion of  PhD.

In 2011 I started work at the Department of Building and Housing, which transitioned into MBIE. 6 years ago I took the Infrastructure, Services and Regulatory Mangers role in Carterton District Council. I have since returned to MBIE as the Manager Building Performance and Engineering with the primary function of overseeing the upkeep of supporting documentation to the building code.

Martin Pratchett is the Engineering Practice Manager at Engineering New Zealand.

He works to provide good practice guidance for engineers and previously worked as a structural engineer.

Peter has been a member of the Institute for 21 years, actively involved with several branches and activities, including Conferences, and SBCO forums. Currently BOINZ President.

Peter's extensive industry expertise is underscored by his tenure as Manager of Project Assessment at Auckland Council and as Chairman of the IANZ BCA Professional Advisory Committee over recent years.

His previous roles include:
  Manager Building System Controls for MBIE, where he oversaw the Building Code and Consenting Systems in collaboration with BCAs.
  Building Services Manager at QLDC for 13 years.
  22 years in the building supplies industry with Carters.
  He also completed a BCom degree while working in marketing and computer system roles.

Sam Alavi has more than 30 years of experience in the tertiary education sector. He has focused on second-chance education in South Auckland, higher-level tertiary training in construction and built environments, as well as graduate and postgraduate tertiary education in Management, IT, and Construction for international learners coming to New Zealand for tertiary studies. 

Sam founded Future Skills Academy in 2000. Over the years he has grown the academy to include higher tertiary level programmes at Diploma levels. He partnered with Otago Polytechnic in 2012 to establish the Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus, catering to international learners wanting a New Zealand tertiary qualification.

Sam serves as the Future Skills Academy Group Chief Executive, responsible for Future Skills Academy domestic education and the Otago Polytechnic Auckland International Campus. He also serves on the Boards of Auckland International Campus, Future Skills Academy, and IamCapable. 

Sam has a governance role for the delivery of building surveying to Building Control Authorities for regional councils with the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand (BOINZ) and the Skills Organisation.

Simon is a director at Rice Speir, and a local government specialist. Simon acts on building and civil claims for councils around New Zealand and also assists councils with regulatory enforcement and compliance related issues. He is passionate about helping councils address issues in an ever-challenging environment. Simon was a Crown prosecutor in a former life, and has extensive trial experience.

Neil Savery is the Managing Director of ICC Oceania, an arm of the International Code Council, a global provider of building safety solutions, including model building codes and a suite of practical solutions for regulators, practitioners, and manufacturers involved in the building sector.

Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive of the Australian Building Codes Board for nine years, having been a Board member for eleven. Neil has been the Deputy Commissioner of the Victorian Building and Plumbing Industry Commissions and served as the inaugural Chief Planning Executive for the ACT Planning & Land Authority for eight years.

Neil has been the Chair of the Interjurisdictional Regulators Collaborative Committee, is a board member of the International Building Quality Centre and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. He holds qualifications in town planning, urban design, and ecologically sustainable development, is a Registered Planner, a former National President of the Planning Institute of Australia, and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



I am a trained engineer with over a decades experience working in the water sector. My experience and interests are focused on water efficiency, climate change and environmental management issues as they relate to water service delivery. I work to see urban water services transition into the circular economy and a healthy component of our natural water cycle.

Jayson is the Building Manager at Timaru District Council and a long term BOINZ member. Jayson’s huge contributions to professional development were recognized in last year’s Excellence Awards, earning the Mitek NZ Training Commitment Award and, with the Technical Advisory Group, the BRANZ Outstanding Commitment to Information, Skills Development and Training Award.

As a member of the Technical Advisory Group, Jayson provides valuable advice to The Training Academy so that it can better meet the needs of BCOs and the industry generally.

Kirsty is BOINZ’s Professional Development Manager and runs The Training Academy. After six years of managing the Information and Education team in BSP at MBIE and time in teaching, education and change, Kirsty is now applying her knowledge of training development to BOINZ and the establishment of short form Advanced training for senior BCOs.

Anthony is a Professor of Architecture of Ngati Awa descent. His academic qualifications include a Masters from The Bartlett at University College London and a Ph.D. from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He is a registered architect in the Netherlands, the UK, Australia, and NZ.

In 2002 Anthony founded his UK practice, WHAT_architecture, where he practiced for over 20 years and which won the 2021 NZIA International Award for Costa Street, a build-to-rent CLT housing project in central London. WHAT_architecture also acted as the main contractor, while Anthony’s development vehicle, GoA acted as developer-investor and today retains the property.

Anthony focuses on the circular economy of forest to factory housing here in Aotearoa. This includes designing and delivering mass timber-engineered medium-density affordable housing and papakainga through the development vehicle Ngarchitecture. Recent notoriety came with his use of ancient Maori construction techniques to build seismic resilience.

Chris Ross, Allco’s Product Specialist has over 20+years of experience as an Architectural Draughtsperson, liaising with architects, engineers, builders, and contractors. His vast experience in the construction industry and the building code, combined with his in-depth product knowledge are key to providing outstanding technical support across our product range and solutions, from assessing Geotech reports, and specifications, reviewing project documentation, and producing site-specific CAD detailing Chris’s knowledge is indispensable.

Varun Bharti has 25 years of extensive experience collaborating with multidisciplinary teams in roles such as Senior Structural Engineer, Technical Manager, and Project Manager. With a background in structural engineering, he excels in risk management, structural analysis and design, as well as research and development of innovative building products and solutions.

Currently, he leads the R&D division at MiTek Australia as the Director of Technology Development Asia Pacific. He also has significant international experience, having worked in heavy industrial and infrastructure sectors abroad.

As a Chartered Professional Engineer recognized by Engineers Australia, an International Professional Engineer, and a Chartered Member of New Zealand Engineering, Varun comprehensively understands building compliance, regulatory standards, and the buildability environment on both sides of the Tasman.

Claire Falck was appointed as BRANZ Chief Executive Officer in mid-2023. Claire joined as General Manager System Transformation in February 2021. In that role, she oversaw the successful development of system transformation capability within BRANZ and was responsible for the investment of the Building Research Levy.

Claire has a wide-ranging career in both the public and private sectors, specialising in system design and complex transformation assignments. She has held senior roles with New Zealand Police, Te Manatu Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development and the former Housing New Zealand Corporation. Most recently, Claire was practice lead at MartinJenkins.

Greg Simmons is the founder and CEO of Insol Ltd, a privately held company widely recognised as the experts in bespoke architectural facades and screening.

Hailing from a family with roots in the construction industry going back over half a century, Greg grew up around tools and construction sites, before founding Insol in 2003. Today, he leads a highly experienced team of designers, engineers and project managers. They are uniquely positioned to use their combined knowledge of construction methodology, facade engineering and manufacturing, in the development of iconic buildings and landmark developments.

This includes use of the Insol Wind Tunnel, a facility unique in the Southern Hemisphere, which has been instrumental in advancing our understanding of how wind can affect the design and use of facades in the built environment.

Greg has presented at a number of international forums and Universities regarding the wind-loading of facades and Insol are a regular contributor to industry groups and professional training bodies.

Guy is a registered architect & certified Passive House designer based in Wellington. He has worked extensively on Passive House projects in the UK and NZ.

Lesley is a Senior Advisor Building Performance at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. He is part of the embodied carbon technical requirements workstream within the MBIE’s Building for Climate Change Programme. He is a trained architect with demonstrated knowledge of green building consultancies, research, and a history of working in higher education.

Lesley has qualifications in Architecture, Adult and Tertiary Teaching and Government Regulatory Compliance, including a PhD in overheating of green public library buildings. He is passionate about developing and implementing strategies for transforming the built environment.

With over 20 years in the engineering sector, Matt Bishop has transitioned from conventional consulting engineering to becoming a software platform entrepreneur focused on Commercial Interiors. His extensive experience in the construction industry and credentials from multiple regions including Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and New Zealand, serve as a solid base for transforming engineering practices.

As the founder of Brevity, Matt has significantly influenced the field of Interiors Engineering. His commitment is evident in Brevity's international expansion and a more diverse workforce. Further broadening his expertise, Matt completed courses from Harvard Business School that concentrated on the intersection of technology and business, solidifying his commitment to digital transformation in engineering.

His career trajectory embodies his philosophy: "It's not what we do, it's how we do it," underscoring the importance of innovative approaches in engineering technology platforms for Commercial Interiors.

Patrick has 48 years’ experience in the building and teaching industries first serving a carpentry apprenticeship in the New Zealand Army before working on different construction projects in New Zealand.
Over the years Patrick has been a Clerk of Works, Facilities Manager, Carpentry Lecturer at Taranaki Polytechnic, Hotel Manager, then Patrick worked in various positions for different Council BCA’s including:
1. the Far North District Council
2. Christchurch City Council working over the Canterbury Earthquake event period.
3. Tauranga City Council
4. Building Manager role at Nelson City Council.

Since February 2020 Patrick has taught as a Lecturer and now HOD at the Future Skills Academy, teaching on the NZ Diploma in Building Surveying programme.
Patrick holds.
• Trade Certificate in Carpentry.
• Advanced Trade Certificate in Carpentry.
• NZ Certificate in Building.
• Diploma in Building Surveying for both (small and large buildings).
• Certificate in Adult Education & Training.
• Bachelors in applied management.

Ross Wakefield is the Senior Advisor for Plumbing and Hydraulic Services in MBIE’s Building Performance and Engineering team. His focus is on developing and maintaining the parts of the Building Code system which support plumbing and drainage work in New Zealand.

Ross trained as a Plumber, Gasfitter and Drainlayer in the Royal NZ Army Engineers, and since packing up his tools he’s worked as a Plumbing and Drainage Inspector, Industry Training Assessor and Hydraulic Services Design Consultant.

I established Farsight in October 2011 in association with the Holmes Group of specialist consulting businesses. Now with over 30 years of industry experience, including over eight years with Wellington City Council, I provide our clients a unique perspective to regulatory challenges.

In my role as the key interface between building projects and Councils I take a pragmatic approach to my clients’ projects and ensure compliance is clearly mapped to include all consents, stages, processes and challenges.

My experience also includes assisting multiple Local Councils in NZ. Working with Central Government on the development of Risk Based Consenting, and in 2011 I was the regulatory stream leader for the Wellington City Council for the Rugby World Cup.

I have extensive ‘hands-on’ knowledge of the Planning and Building legislation and how these are applied, and can easily translate the language of design into the language of Council in the framework of regulation, and vice versa.

I have previously been a member of the Board, and Technical Chair, of the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand.

Thomas McLaughlin is an accomplished professional with an extensive background in the building and construction industry. Starting as a plumber and gasfitter, Thomas built a solid foundation of technical knowledge and hands-on expertise. This served as a springboard for a successful transition into the role of a Quantity Surveyor, where he developed skills in cost estimation, project management, and contract negotiation.

The last decade, Thomas has been the Director of International Leak Detection New Zealand, a branch of a renowned global franchise specializing in membrane testing services using Electric Field Vector Mapping. Under Thomas’ leadership, the company has grown and enhanced its portfolio, providing crucial services to various high-profile projects across the country.

Most notably, Thomas has been at the forefront of innovation, developing sensors specifically designed for warm roofs. These sensors, which can be fitted into both new and existing structures, enable remote detection of sub-optimal insulation performance due to high moisture content. With this technology, property owners can identify when their roofs require drying to restore the intended R-value, ultimately promoting energy efficiency and cost savings.

Hazel McColl is a Senior Determinations Specialist, Building Resolutions at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

Hazel has been in the building regulatory industry for 6 years, most recently being seconded to the Senior Determinations Specialist role from Hutt City Council to gain more insight and strengthen the relationship of the determinations function with Council. 

In her role, Hazel manages cases through the disputes process, providing technical insight to the team on a variety of issues. Prior to her secondment, Hazel spent 5 years at Hutt City Council in the Building Team most recently as a BCA team leader of commercial processing officers and BCA administration staff. 

She is interested in how the work undertaken in building disputes can be applied to the technical knowledge and critical analysis skills of Council teams to provide an enhanced service to our communities and how her opportunity can help upskill other young regulatory staff.



Andrew Hoggard is a seasoned professional with over 36 years of experience in the commercial world.

Throughout his colourful career, he has focused extensively on healthcare sales and management, garnering invaluable expertise in these domains.

In 2003, Andrew embarked on a new chapter immigrating to Australia, where he assumed the role of General Manager at Halas Dental. His leadership proved instrumental in guiding the company through a successful merger with Henry Schein Inc., a prominent Fortune 500 organisation, in 2006. As the head of national sales activities for Henry Schein Halas, Andrew demonstrated his abilities and captivated audiences with his insightful perspectives on business and personal transformation across Australia.

In 2014, Andrew's journey led him back to New Zealand, where he assumed the position of General Manager for Dentsply Sirona. During his tenure, he propelled the business to new heights, overseeing its healthy growth and playing a pivotal role in securing the bid for the complete refurbishment of the prestigious University of Otago dental school.

Andrew's true passion lies in empowering individuals to cultivate strong, impactful teams. He has touched the lives of thousands through his engaging presentations, drawing from his own life and sales experiences.

Andrew derives immense satisfaction from sharing tools and concepts that unlock people's potential, enabling them to see their lives and businesses from fresh perspectives.

By thinking differently about things you already know and effecting tangible change, he empowers others to reach their fullest potential.

Currently the Chief Executive of Concrete NZ, Rob is a senior executive with broad/deep technical knowledge and wide operational experience. He has an impressive track record of delivery at a strategic level across a range of business and management disciplines.

Offering a solid foundation of technical and business qualifications, including an MBA, allied to good interpersonal and management skills, Rob is an 'all-rounder'. He is a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Sandy Cormack Award winner for Best Paper at the 2007 & 2013 Concrete Industry Conference, an Hon. Fellow of the UK Institute of Concrete Technology, and holds the Mt Eliza Advanced Management Diploma.

Additionally, Rob's professional achievements include serving as the 2003/04 President of the UK Institute of Concrete Technology. He obtained an MBA from the UK Open University (AMBA accredited) in 2004, achieved Chartered Engineer status (CEng and MICE) in 2001, and earned a BEng Civil Engineering from Portsmouth University in 1997.

Daniel is a member of Engineering NZ, holds CPEng status, has had various roles with manufacturers of Engineered Wood Products and structural connectors and fasteners, and joined Simpson Strong-Tie in early 2019.  He is passionate about encouraging and supporting uptake of timber in commercial, industrial and multi-storey construction with involvement in numerous industry bodies, standards committees, past BOINZ board member, and time as President and management committee member of the NZ Timber Design Society.

Andrew is the Executive Director for the Australasian Certification Authority for Reinforcing and Structural Steels Ltd (ACRS). Prior to this appointment he has worked as a structural consulting engineer, project manager based in Sydney Region.

Andrew has a long history with the Australian/New Zealand construction industry working as an Applied Researcher, Senior Project Manager, Consulting Engineer, and Technical expert. He has worked closely with industry partners addressing issues in design methods and implementing quality procedures for products and systems.

Andrew has served and continues to serve on a number and technical committees for New Zealand and Australian Standards, NATA and other certifying authorities.

Sarah is a Senior Associate at Rice Speir. She is an experienced civil litigator with expertise in the fields of civil litigation, alternative dispute resolution, prosecution, and local government law.

Sarah is a specialist local government advocate who has worked extensively with local government clients around the country, including Auckland City, Waikato Regional, Thames-Coromandel District, Tauranga City, Napier City and Hastings District. With a sound knowledge of the local government space, Sarah is well-versed in the unique challenges faced by local authorities but also the opportunities they have to meaningfully effect change in their local region.

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