Our People


Ruth Berry

Challenge Director

Ruth has played several significant roles within the building sector, most recently in the BRANZ Research Strategy Group as the Construction Systems Working Group Project Manager. She was also Secretary for the Independent Research Association of New Zealand as well as being one of the BRANZ representatives on the IRANZ committee.

Jessica Hutchings

Director Māori

Jessica is the Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities Director Māori. With a PhD in environmental studies, she is a kaupapa Māori research leader trained in the fields of environmental and indigenous studies. She has held senior management and leadership roles in the Māori science sector and is widely published with two recent books winning the non-fiction category section at the Māori Book Awards. A woman of many talents, she is also a hua parakore (Māori organic) grower on a small family farm and a devotee and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga. She has a deep investment and passion to live her life in ways that uplift the wellbeing of people and the land. 

Richard Bedford QSO FRSNZ


Richard is a geographer who specialises in research on population movement and the impact of migration on the development of settlements in New Zealand and the Pacific. He is Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato, President of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and research adviser at the Auckland University of Technology. Richard has been a member of the Marsden Council, has convened research assessment panels for the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and is currently convener of the Social Science Experts Panel for Superu (a government agency that focuses on what works to improve the lives of families, children and whānau). He brings his extensive experience in research design and management to the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities Challenge.

Gena Moses-Te Kani

Ngāti Kuia te Iwi, Kurahaupo te Waka

Gena is the technical lead for the Iwi Leaders Group for Housing of the National Iwi Chairs Forum working with and for iwi on housing issues, promoting active treaty partnership with Crown agencies, and influencing appropriate policy across the sector. Gena also leads iwi environmental management for large infrastructure projects which have successfully implemented a treaty partnership in a public private partnership (PPP). She is involved in a range of innovative boards and advisory groups including the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu.

Ngarimu Blair

Ngarimu is of Ngāti Whātua descent and has a background in Māori heritage, resource management, and iwi development. Ngarimu spearheaded the Ngāti Whātua Orakei papakainga masterplan and development of the country's first medium-density urban village at Bastion Point. He is a Director of Ngāti Whātua Orakei Whai Rawa which is currently masterplanning a number of large scale residential developments in wider Auckland. Ngarimu also created the largest restoration project in the city at the Bastion Point reserve which includes a wholesale plant nursery at Orakei Marae. He is also a past-Director at Waterfront Auckland, which launched a successful mixed-use development in Wynyard Quarter in Auckland City.

Bruce Clarkson

Bruce is the University of Waikato's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and heads the Environmental Research Institute (ERI). He is recognised as one of New Zealand's foremost authorities on ecological restoration. From 2005 to 2012 he led a government-funded research programme looking at the best methods to restore indigenous biodiversity in cities. His research has had a direct impact on Hamilton gully restoration initiatives and the Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park project near Hamilton Zoo. In 2006, Bruce was awarded the Loder Cup, New Zealand's premier conservation award. He is also a board member of the Australasian chapter of the International Society for Ecological Restoration, and ambassador for New Zealand's Biological Heritage.

Graeme Nahkies

Graeme helps the governing boards of a wide range of entities to achieve their leadership potential. Prior to co-founding BoardWorks International, the vehicle for that work, Graeme undertook a number of public sector advisory and senior leadership roles. These included deputy chief executive and chief executive roles in the housing, local government and health sectors. He has also been a member or chair of a diverse range of governing boards in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Graeme is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, and a past winner of the Institute of Directors National Study Award.

Andrew Reding

Andrew held several senior roles in Europe before relocating to New Zealand in 1994. He joined Fletcher Challenge in 1995 and became Chief Executive of the Building Products and Steel Group in 2001. He joined the Rank Group in 2006 where he was involved in the acquisition and management of the Evergreen Packaging businesses in the USA, as well as managing the Carter Holt Harvey Pulp, Paper and Packaging assets in New Zealand. Andrew is currently Chair of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) Acceleration Committee, a Director of the New Zealand Shareholders' Association and Chair of its Auckland Branch, and a member of the Advisory Boards of Dempsey Wood Civil Ltd as well as Avertana Ltd.

Challenge Associates

Understanding and Re-tooling the Architecture and Logistics of Decision-making

Kay Saville-Smith,  Centre for Research, Evaluation & Social Assessment (CRESA)
Iain White, University of Waikato
Larry Murphy, University of Auckland


Bev James, Public Policy & Research Ltd
Karen Witten, Massey University
Fiona Cram, Katoa Ltd
Fleur Palmer, Auckland University of Technology
Alice Chang-Richards, University of Auckland
Philippa Howden-Chapman, University of Otago
Simon Opit, Massey University
Jennifer Joynt, Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU)
Craig Fredrickson, Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU)
Gauri Nandedkar, University of Waikato
Francesca Dodd-Parr, University of Waikato
Patrick Barrett, University of Waikato
Zhang Wei, University of Otago
Ruth Fraser, CRESA Ltd
Nina Saville-Smith, CRESA Ltd

See profiles of the Principal Investigators at Our Research Team

Next Generation Information for Better Outcomes

Simon Kingham,  University of Canterbury
Vivienne Ivory,  Opus Research, Opus International Consultants Ltd
Malcolm Campbell, University of Canterbury


Lyn Carter, University of Otago
Angus Macfarlane, University of Canterbury
Ben Adams, University of Canterbury
Dave Goodwin, University of Otago
Rita Dionisio, University of Canterbury
Chris Bowie, Opus Research, Opus International Consultants Ltd
Mirjam Schindler, University of Canterbury
Ines Falcao, University of Canterbury
James Berghan, University of Otago
David Garcia, University of Canterbury

See profiles of the Principal Investigators at Our Research Team

Supporting Success in Regional Settlements

Harvey Perkins,  People and Places Limited
Arthur Grimes, Motu Economic & Public Policy Research
Michael Mackay, Lincoln University
Jonathan Kilgour, University of Waikato

Researchers by work programme


Arthur Grimes, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research (and Victoria University of Wellington)
David Maré, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Jacques Poot, Independent researcher, Amsterdam (formerly University of Waikato)
Stuart Donovan, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (and MRCagney)

The following researchers were also involved in a completed WP1 research project
David Fleming, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Peter Nunns, MRCagney
Laurent Lebreton, The Modelling House


Jonathan Kilgour, University of Waikato
John Ryks, Aria Consulting
Polly Atatoa-Carr, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato
Kristie Baillie, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato
Maui Hudson, Te Pua Wānanga Ki Te Ao, University of Waikato
Moana Rarere, National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato
Thalia Ullrich, Waiora Pacific Ltd


Harvey Perkins, People and Places Limited
Mike Mackay, Lincoln University
Deborah Levy, University of Auckland
Malcolm Campbell, University of Canterbury
Nick Taylor, Nick Taylor and Associates
Karen Johnston, Karen Johnston Strategic & Project Planning
Raewyn Hills (Research Associate), University of Auckland
Laura Dance (Summer Scholarship Student, 2017/18), Lincoln University

See profiles of the Principal Investigators at Our Research Team.

Shaping Places: Future Neighbourhoods

Errol Haarhoff, University of Auckland
Ella Henry, Auckland University of Technology
Marc-Aurel Schnabel, Victoria University of Wellington
Karen Witten, Massey University (Auckland)
Suzanne Vallance, Lincoln University

Researchers by work programme


Errol Haarhoff, University of Auckland
Marc Aurel-Schnabel, Victoria University of Wellington
Patricia Austin, University of Auckland
Lee Beattie, University of Auckland
Paola Boarin, University of Auckland
Rebecca Kiddle, Victoria University of Wellington, Ngāti Porou and Ngāpuhi
Wokje Abrahamse, Victoria University of Wellington
Mohsen Mohammadzadeh, University of Auckland   

Aligned researchers

Sarosh Mulla, University of Auckland
Aaron Paterson, University of Auckland
Cristian Silva, University of Auckland
Shuva Chowdhury (PhD Candidate), Victoria University of Wellington                                              


Ella Henry, Auckland University of Technology,  Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Ngāti Kuri, Te Rārawa
Lucy Tukua, Mana Whenua Ngati Tahinga, Ngāti Paoa, Ngati Whanaunga
Desna Whaanga-Schollum, Nga Aho, Ngāti Kahungunu
Diane Menzies, Unitec, Ngāti Kahungunu
Carin Wilson, Unitec, Ngāti Awa
Jacqueline Paul, Nga Aho/Unitec, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu                       


Karen Witten, Massey University (SHORE)
Emma Fergusson, Massey University (Palmerston North)
Robin Kearns, University of Auckland
Hamish Mackie, Mackie Research
Jade Kake, Nga Aho/Te Matapihi Ngāti Hau/Ngapuhi, Te Arawa, Te Whakatōhea


Suzanne Vallance, Lincoln University
David Conradson, University of Canterbury
Andreas Wesener, Lincoln University
Hirini Matunga, Lincoln University, Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Paerangi (Atiu, Cook Islands)

See profiles of the Principal Investigators at Our Research Team.

Transforming the Building Industry

Suzanne Wilkinson, University of Auckland
John Tookey,  Auckland University of Technology
Casimir MacGregor,  BRANZ
Regan Potangaroa, Victoria University of Wellington


Andrea Stocchero, Scion Research
Nariman Ghodrati, Auckland University of Technology
Johnson Adafin, University of Auckland
Alice Chang-Richards, University of Auckland
Nicola Naismith, Auckland University of Technology
Vicente Gonzalez, University of Auckland
James Rotimi, Auckland University of Technology
Ali Ghaffarian Hoseini, Auckland University of Technology

Aligned Researchers

Karen Bayne, Scion Research
Doug Gaunt, Scion Research
Amir Ghaffarian Hoseini, Auckland University of Technology
Selena Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington

See profiles of the Principal Investigators at Our Research Team.

Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua

Principal Investigators

Rau Hoskins, Unitec Institute of Technology
Jenny Lee-Morgan, University of Waikato
Rihi Te-Nana, Unitec Institute of Technology

Toitu te Kainga project

Tepora Emery, Project Leader, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Ian McLean, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Daiman Otto, Tall Wood
Doug Gaunt, Scion Research
Andrea Stocherro, Scion Research
Lian Wu, Unitec Institute of Technology
Bin Su, Unitec Institute of Technology

See profiles of the Principal Investigators at Our Research Team.