Neil is Managing Director of Harvey Cameron, one of New Zealand’s largest independent advertising and communications businesses. Neil came to the University of Canterbury from Hawkes Bay, graduated with a B.Com; and ‘never left’.

Neil’s passion for the creative process was kindled when he took his first real marketing role with Canterbury of New Zealand. He then moved to Carlton Carruthers Advertising in Wellington, eventually returning to Saatchi and Saatchi, Christchurch. When the Saatchi offices were consolidated in Auckland and Wellington, Neil and Iain Harvey bought the business and opened Harvey|Cameron Advertising in 1996, with 6 staff.

Over the past eighteen years, the company has continued to expand. With sister company E2 Digital (online and e-commerce specialists), the Merivale based group now has a combined staff of 55. The group works with a diverse range of local, national and international clients.

When he’s not working, you’ll find Neil in the Southern Alps, his second great passion; family always comes first. Neil is an Executive Board Member of The Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand.



Mark is a nationally recognised natural resources and development law expert. He specialises in mining, industrial and infrastructure developments, energy, water, urban regeneration, and biotechnology.

His clients vary from individual property developers, through industrial companies such as Holcim New Zealand and Ravensdown, to state-owned energy firms Solid Energy and Meridian Energy.

Mark was responsible for consenting the Clearwater Resort and the proposed Whisper Creek Golf Resort in Marshlands. He led the consenting teams for Solid Energy’s mines on the West Coast, and Southland. He successfully consented MainPower’s Mount Cass wind farm near Waipara in Canterbury, and the Holcim cement plant near Oamaru, and has been involved in a number of water and irrigation related projects.

Mark chairs the trustees of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, is a member of the Advisory Board to the International Business and Biodiversity offsets programme, is a member of the Expert Panel advising on IUCN’s International Guidelines for Biodiversity and Extractive Industries, and is the Project Champion for the Sustainable Business Council’s Business and Biodiversity Project.



A born and bred Cantabrian committed to seeing the region grow, Gill, who is a Chartered Accountant, currently holds a number of directorships and other governance positions.

Furthering his interest in postgraduate professional and business development, Gill became Executive Director of a national post graduate business school in 1996. Since that time he has served on the boards of a number of significant local and national companies and organisations.

Currently Gill is Chair of MainPower NZ Ltd, Transwaste Canterbury Ltd, Elastomer Products Ltd and Talbot Technologies Ltd – he also is a board member of the NZ Transport Agency and a number of other privately held companies in Canterbury serving a range of industries. Gill also serves as a trustee of the Canterbury Museum, and undertakes strategic consulting assignments for various Canterbury organisations.



Garry is a proud Cantabrian, dating back to his great great grandfather Samuel Manson, a Scottish carpenter and early pioneer who built Deans’ cottage for the arrival of the Deans family in 1843.

Garry has a life-long career in the automotive industry, including general management of a large retail business, and positions of Director of Sales and Marketing of Ford New Zealand, and Executive Director of the South African Motor Corporation (a Ford Motor Company joint venture), where he was responsible for Ford, Mazda, Jaguar and Mitsubishi operations in southern Africa.

He is presently contracted as a senior consultant on the marketing and sales strategies aligned with Ford’s substantial $US6 billion investment and growth in the China market, spending much of his time in Asia.

Garry was also Mayor of Hurunui District 2004 – 2010, leading the council and district through sound planning for growth and development, particularly in Hanmer Springs and Amberley, in tourism and viticulture, and the Canterbury Water Management Strategy for the region. It was in his mayoral role that Garry clearly saw the opportunity for a new, “Canterbury approach” for the future prosperity for the region. Throughout all of these roles, he has demonstrated particular skills in strategic and innovative thinking, financial responsibility, and an inclusive focus on community and customers.



Grant is a businessman and lawyer who, with his family, was probably one of the first immigrants to arrive in Canterbury post-February 2011 earthquake. As an immigrant, he brings a fresh perspective to living in Canterbury and to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the region.

Prior to immigrating to New Zealand, Grant was a partner of Eversheds LLP for 10 years and lead the Africa investment desk for Eversheds, focussing on cross-border finance and investment into Southern Africa.
In 2010 Grant co-founded Samuel Kennedy Investments, a boutique legal and corporate advisory business assisting junior mining companies in southern Africa with their growth strategies and corporate actions.

He also established various media outlets to produce original television formats for local and international broadcast notably, creating and producing the photography reality TV show “Sharp Shooter SA” which was nominated for a SAFTA in 2011.



A North Canterbury girl at heart, Erin is a part of the emerging young professional generation who has committed to remaining within the region post-quake.

Erin works as a freelancer within Canterbury; her time is split between the Committee for Canterbury, communications and fundraising contracts and assists a number of community organisations around town.
After her involvement with the original Student Volunteer Army in September 2010, Erin made a decision to stay in Canterbury following her rather shaky last year of university. She was elected as President of the University of Canterbury Students’ Association for two years in a row, and also sat on the University of Canterbury Council and was Deputy Chair of Student Job Search Aotearoa during that time.

Currently, Erin serves as a trustee on the Arts Centre Trust Board, is Chair of Strong Links and remains a Student Volunteer Army Foundation trustee.



Darren is passionate about Canterbury, chairs the CERA Community Forum and is a member of the Advisory Board On Transition To Long Term Recovery Arrangements. He is a Governance member of the Residential Advisory Service and has previously served as the President of the Mid Canterbury Fire Brigades Association.

Especially involved in his local community of Sumner and Redcliffs, Darren is currently the Chair of the Sumner Community Residents Association and was a member of the Joint Advisory Group alongside the CCC in developing the Sumner Village Master Plan. He was awarded a Community Service Award by the Hagley Ferrymead Community Board in 2013 for services to the Sumner community.

Darren has three young children at Sumner school and has spent the last six years as a Trustee on the Sumner School Board of Trustees. He has spent the last twelve years serving as a volunteer in the Sumner Volunteer Fire Brigade, currently holding the rank of Deputy Chief Fire Officer and received a Commission Citation for services during the February 2011 earthquake.



Trevor’s background is in agriculture, education and community.
He is currently in the Ministry of Education’s Youth Guarantee team working with secondary schools, tertiary institutions and business to ensure successful transition from education to employment for 16 – 24 year olds.

Trevor was a member of the University of Canterbury Council for eight years, the last one as Pro Chancellor. He was the inaugural Chair of the Minister of Earthquake Recovery’s Community Forum and the Minister of Education’s Education Advisory Board to the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme. He also chairs the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology’s Trade Innovation Institute’s Advisory Board and is a board member of the Canterbury Rugby Union and Transwaste Canterbury Limited.

His education career was put on hold in its early stages, in order to participate in the early days of the capture and farming of deer. He subsequently operated a 187ha sheep and deer farm.



Emma is a recent recipient of the New Zealander of the Year ‘Local Hero Award’ and received a Christchurch Hero Award in 2012 in recognition of her work in communities following the Canterbury earthquakes.
She is committed to investing in local networks that keep people confidently connected to the things and people that matter.

She has been an active participant in the community development sector since living in Christchurch – a member of the St Albans Residents Association since 2002, Chairperson since 2010, and is also a member of the CERA Community Forum and a founding member of the Christchurch Federation of Residents Groups.
Emma grew up in Timaru and has lived in Christchurch for 13 years. She is a qualified primary school teacher and has developed Environmental Education Programmes for the Christchurch City Council.

Emma is the co-owner and a director of a local commercial construction company, CanForm Structures Ltd.
She is dynamic, action-orientated, not afraid to challenge authority, and is able to draw a network of fellow local citizens around her and inspire them with passion for their community. She dreams of a future for her children, where people are happy, healthy, educated and safe, living sustainably in vibrant communities.



Andrew is Chief Executive Officer of Ngai Tahu Farming. He is also an independent director with current and past appointments at farmer cooperatives based in the Canterbury region.

Prior to this he had his own consulting practice with an emphasis on strategy formulation, performance improvement and organisational alignment across a range of industries encompassing forestry and wood products, fast moving consumer goods, energy, tourism, retail banking, agriculture and high tech. Before consulting, Andrew worked for a number of New Zealand companies operating in global markets, including a senior position for Carter Holt Harvey based in the United States. Andrew’s community service focuses on surf life saving with the Sumner Club where he is a lifeguard, coach and administrator.