Ross Blackman – our MC
Ross started his career as a sailmaker in Sydney, Canada and US and then joined Tom Schnackenberg to bring the North Sails brand to New Zealand.
His involvement with the America’s Cup began with the ‘Big Boat’ challenge in 1988 and in subsequent campaigns his roles ranged from sailmaker to business manager to chief executive of Team New Zealand.
Ross has also held key roles with Far North Holdings, Sir Peter Blake Trust, SoftBank TeamJapan America’s Cup Challenge and Japan SailGP team. Ross is currently President of Yachting New Zealand.
Bruce Cotterill is a highly regarded business communicator assisting managers, leaders and their organisations to improve their performance and profitability. His recent clients include ANZ Bank, Barfoot & Thompson, GJ Gardner, Smiths City, Telstra, and The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
Bruce is a passionate leader of change and is genuinely interested in business performance improvement. A lifetime leader, who focuses on clear objectives, enhanced personnel engagement and improved customer orientation he has continuously delivered vastly improved results through his involvement in organisations.
In 2018 Bruce published his first full length book entitled “The Best Leaders Don’t Shout” and he is a regular business columnist for the New Zealand Herald, and other NZME publications.
Darren Vaux, President ICOMIA
Darren Vaux is co-owner and Managing Director of the Empire Marinas Group in Australia and President of ICOMIA. Darren is also a Director and past President of the Boating Industry Association of Australia and Chairman of the Ministerial Maritime Advisory Council in New South Wales, Australia.
With over 35 years’ experience in the property and marina Industries Darren has a wide breadth of knowledge and experience in navigating complex regulatory frameworks and delivering large and sophisticated projects. Darren has a deep understanding of government policy frameworks in the boating and marina Industries and is passionate about sharing and using this expertise to drive change through embracing financial and environmental sustainability, technology and innovation within the boating and marina industries.
Kirk Hope, Chief Executive BusinessNZ
Kirk Hope is Chief Executive of BusinessNZ, New Zealand’s leading business advocacy group, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes.
Kirk and the team work with companies, organisations and political and other decision makers, advocating for New Zealand’s success through sustainable economic growth.
Before joining BusinessNZ, Kirk was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Financial Services Federation, the industry body representing the non-bank sector. He previously held a range of senior positions at Westpac, including Head of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs.
Vangelis Vitalis – Deputy Secretary Trade & Economic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Vangelis Vitalis is a New Zealand diplomat currently working as the Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was the APEC2021 Senior Officials’ Meeting Chair for New Zealand’s host year and in 2023 Vangelis will be chairing the Senior Officials’ process that supports the Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Ministerial meetings. Vangelis has also led the conclusion of negotiations of several Free Trade Agreements for NZ.
Bobby Kleinschmit, Emirates Team New Zealand
Bobby is the Principal Naval Architect for Emirates Team New Zealand.
His work with ETNZ since 2010 has included being principal hull designer for the AC75s Te Aihe and Te Rehutai, and 12m test boat Te Kahu, Appendage Design team leader, and responsible for concept development and global architecture.
Bobby will talk about the design process for the AC40 and also provide an update on the Hydrogen Powered Foiling “Chase Zero” America’s Cup Tender
Sharon Zollner, ANZ Bank Chief Economist
Sharon grew up on a farm near Methven and holds a Master of Commerce from the University of Canterbury.
She started her career at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1998, and has also worked at the Central Bank of Norway. She moved to the New Zealand banking sector in 2006.
She joined the ANZ economics team in 2010 and became Chief Economist in late 2017. Sharon manages a team of six around New Zealand.
Sam Allan, Onfire Design
Sam Allan is the founder and creative director of Onfire Design. Onfire is a global award-winning branding design agency with particular expertise in marine and manufacturing sectors.
Over the past 20 years they have partnered with some of Australasia’s best known marine brands, helping develop unique brands and stories to drive sales.
Nick Inskip, Callaghan Innovation
Nick is an R&D Specialist at Callaghan Innovation, working with businesses to help them access support from the Research and Development Tax Incentive. Nick is passionate about leveraging every opportunity to move businesses forward and knows how important R&D is to providing that edge towards success. He has worked extensively in marine energy and has been around boats most of his life.
Sam Woolford, Legasea
Leader of Legasea, Sam has always had a passion for the ocean. A qualified dive instructor his summers were spent fishing, diving, and working on yachts in NZ and New Caledonia. After returning from five years in Europe, the noticeable decline in the health of our coastal fisheries spurred a desire to get involved. Sam wants future generations to grow up enjoying similar experiences as we did when kids.
Chris van der Hor, MAST Academy
Chris spent over 25 years as a qualified boatbuilder, managing the build of power boats, sailboats, and superyachts, and also leading the fabrication of masts and rigs for America’s Cup and Volvo campaigns. Chris joined the Boating ITO in 2005 as Field Officer and has found his niche as CEO of MAST Academy where he can apply his experience and passion for developing people and helping them gain the skills they need to succeed.
Maritime New Zealand
This year, new Marine Protection Rules came into force, targeted to reduce emissions from vessels that operate in the sea. The rules are part of New Zealand’s accession to MARPOL Annex VI, an international agreement that
aims to reduce air pollution from ships.
Alison Barrett and Daniel Kinder of Maritime New Zealand will be presenting on the Annex VI implementation and the new Part 199 Marine Protection Rules.
Lesley Southwick, MAST Academy
Lesley has an MBA and extensive experience in quality management for vocational tertiary education across a range of trades and professional occupations.
She has managed ITO’s & PTE’s and has a passion for taking people and industry sectors on a journey to be the best that they can be.
Lesley is the Quality Assurance and Programme Development Manager at MAST Academy.
Stacey Cook, NZ Marine
Stacey has been a part of the NZ Marine team for 13 years. As the Event Manager and Export Manager, Stacey manages the Auckland Boat Show, NZ Millennium Cup superyacht regatta and members’ promotion/exhibition and attendance at key international boat shows and events.
Stacey will provide an update on key marine events in 2024.
Joe Daw, MAST Academy
Joe completed his Marine Cabinet Maker apprenticeship at Princess Yachts in UK. He emigrated to NZ in 2003 and joined Auckland’s Salthouse Marine where he rose to Production Manager overseeing multiple projects and large teams.
Starting as a Field Officer in 2011 , Joe is now the MAST Training Manager running the training advisor team and the School to Work programme.
Peter Busfield, NZ Marine
Peter is the Executive Director of the NZ Marine Industry Association, the CEO of the NZ Marine Export Group and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. He is currently on the NZ Government’s Business Reference Group advising on Government Procurement policies, a founding member of Hanga-Aro-Rau Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics Workforce Development Council Industry Stakeholder Group and deputy chairperson of Wynyard Quarter Transport Management Association board.
The Shape of Boating in the 2030’s – participants
Michael Eaglen, CEO EV Maritime
Michael will talk about the two 200-passenger 25-knot battery electric vessels which EV Maritime has under contract for Auckland Transport and about the wider ferry electrification programme which is underway in Auckland and elsewhere.
Colin Mitchell, CEO Q-West Boat Builders
Colin is a qualified shipwright with more than 30 years in the marine industry including construction, systems design, sales and project management.
Q-West is currently building a 32m hybrid passenger catamaran for Auckland Transport.
Lindsay Faithfull, MD McKay and Naut
Lindsay is MD of McKay, a multi-disciplined electrotechnology company and also a Director of Naut, an electric propulsion company aimed at the 6-12m boat market. Between them, McKay and Naut have completed the electrical systems for three hybrid and three fully electric marine vessels.
Emirates Team New Zealand
Bobby is the Principal Naval Architect for Emirates Team New Zealand.
He will provide an update on the Hydrogen Powered Foiling “Chase Zero” America’s Cup Tender.
Design & Systems Manager, Naiad
Chris leads the design team and product manages the extensive range of Naiad boats.
Chris has a strong interest in maritime technologies and decarbonisation work, including authoring papers on these topics.
MD Earthling Ltd
With the E40 PowerCat and E-THOS systems now in production John’s company Earthling has succeeded with dramatically reduced air, water, and noise pollution while achieving a better boating experience overall.