Wellington's Leadership Conference

Our Capital Matters Conference brings together leading Wellington business and strategic thinkers who are committed to making our capital city the very best place to live, work, and create.  


We’ve asked Wellington’s own to lead the conversation. Their brief? To provide insight and thought leadership, to drive the conversation and debate about what Wellington needs.  

Executive General Manager, Client Success NZ, 

Jo Healey

Director Strategy & Corporate Services, NZSO
Former Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive
Wellington City Council

Kaine Thompson

Board Member
Todd Foundation

Vaughan Renner

Dominion Post

Anna Fifield

Our Event Partners

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with the following organisations to bring you the Capital Matters Conference 2022. 

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Contact Us

If you have any questions please contact our events team via the channels provided below.

Office Address

Wellington Chamber of Commerce
3-11 Hunter Street, Wellington 6011

Call us on

04-473 7224

Email Contact

2021 © Wellington Chamber of Commerce (a division of Business Central)

Join Us

While there are significant challenges and issues, there are opportunities as well.  We’ve asked Wellington’s own to lead the conversation. Their brief? To provide insight and thought leadership, to drive the conversation and debate about what Wellington needs. The first half of the conference will be a series of quick fire, punchy presentations, with the afternoon a facilitated focused session to produce a statement of what Wellington needs going forward.

Chief Executive 

John Allen

Manager, Transport and Infrastructure
Wellington City Council

Brad Singh

Ambassador of Ireland to New Zealand

Peter Ryan


Opening Remarks

Accentuating the Positive 
Hosted by Simon Arcus, Chief Executive, Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Opening Address by John Allen, Chief Executive, WellingtonNZ
John Allen will be discussing some key observations on what the city needs to do to get itself ready to face the future.

Hon Grant Roberston, Deputy Prime Minister
Addressing the opportunities for Wellington from both the perspective of the Government, but also as Wellington’s own local Member of Parliament.


BDO Outlook: COVID and the Capital

2022: Opportunity and insolvency on the horizon?
Tristan Will & Jessica Kellow: BDO New Zealand Partners
BDO Advisory Partner Tristan Will, will outline what he is observing in businesses as they adapt post the interruption of COVID-19. What does the future look like for Wellington business?  

BDO Business Restructuring Partner, Jessica Kellow will talk through some insolvency war stories, current market conditions and future outlook.


The first half of the conference will be a series of quick fire, punchy presentations, with the afternoon a facilitated focused session to produce a statement of what Wellington needs going forward.

The Venue

Hosted at Icon, Te Papa, 55 Cable St


Morning Tea Break
Networking and drinks break 


Transport and Infrastructure 

Big plans, big challenges 
Brad Singh: Manager, Transport and Infrastructure WCC 
What are the challenges we face as a city in delivering big infrastructure? What does the end game look like and how do we better understand the plan? How do you resource a big capital works programme in a tightly resourced environment? 

On track or off the rails? A former insider’s view on urban development and LGWM 
Kaine Thompson: Director Strategy & Corporate Services, NZSO 
Personal reflection from someone who was there at the start of LGWM and has watched as the process unfold. 

VISA Wellington on a Plate

Sarah Meikle

Advisory Partner 
BDO New Zealand

Tristan Will

Business Restructuring Partner 
BDO New Zealand

Jessica Kellow

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Sport and Recreation,  Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

Hon. Grant Robertson

The Arts and Giving

Making a liveable city: events in the capital 
Sarah Meikle: CEO, VISA Wellington on a Plate  
What makes a great events strategy and how we capture the data from big events to understand what works? Is Wellington prepared for the future and how do we ensure it remains a vibrant, exciting city that has the capacity to offer its residents a wonderful place in which to live, work, study and play? 

Philanthropy in the 21st century  
Vaughan Renner: Board Member, Todd Foundation 
Wellingtonians are known for their generosity and in our capital we have some extraordinary changes going on in the way we approach use of social good capital. We are also home to one of the country’s most established philanthropic foundations – the Todd Foundation. Todd has revolutionised the way they approach giving and their learnings about impact and strategy are useful for anyone in the sector.  




Return, Refresh, and Renewal 
Anna Fifield: Editor, Dominion Post 
Anna has returned to New Zealand after nearly two decades overseas, She still has fresh eyes on the city that she has returned to after started her university career in 1994. She will give us her take on the Wellington she has rediscovered after living in some of the most interesting parts of the world. What are her plans for the Dominion Post and how should journalism be covering a city like ours? 


Bringing it all together – Your input and insights

Facilited by Dr. Pushpa Wood, Director, Financial Education and Research Centre at Massey University

Facilitated forum: What Business wants Wellington to know
This facilitated session will gather conference delegate’s insights and input, to develop five to ten key takeaways on what Wellington businesses want “Wellington” to know - with a view to delivering these to the city’s leaders.

The brief: There’s a regional economic strategy review underway and we close to the 2022 Local Government Elections. With all you’ve heard today, and know from your own experience, what does Wellington business need going forward? What should our mayor and councillors be putting front and centre, to accentuate the positive and get things moving?


Networking and drinks break



The technology sector in Wellington: 
Challenges and opportunities  
Jo Healey: Executive General Manager, Client Success NZ, Intergen
What does the Wellington technology landscape look like? How do we capitalise on the opportunities we have and what challenges might we need to overcome? What are the right settings to make Wellington the tech capital of New Zealand?

Ireland and its technology boom: From one who knows 
Peter Ryan: Ambassador of Ireland to New Zealand
Ireland has a thriving tech start-up scene and strategic national decisions have resulted in the headquarters of Apple Europe and Facebook both located there. This has earned Ireland the reputation for being the heart of ICT in Europe. The industry employs over 37,000 people and generates €35 billion in exports annually. How did Ireland become the global technology hub of choice when it comes to attracting the strategic business activities of ICT companies? What lessons can Wellington and New Zealand learn for the future? 


Closing Remarks
Hosted by Simon Arcus, Chief Executive, Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Chief Executive
 Wellington Chamber of Commerce

Simon Arcus

This event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.