top of page

Our Learning Facilitators

A perfect blend of knowledge, theory and practice.  The best people forumla.

Dr David Wilson

David holds a BA in psychology and social policy, a Master's in public policy with first class honours and a PhD in regional development. He has led and been involved with numerous projects in local, regional and metropolitan development, business, cluster and industry development, corporate citizenship, governance, strategy and sustainable development and was instrumental in initiating and delivering the first formal education system for ED practitioners in NZ whilst at Auckland University of Technology

Benje Patterson - Consultant

Benje has a Masters degree in Economics and Politics from the University of Freiburg in Germany where he studied on scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service. His undergraduate education in economics and finance was completed at Otago University.

Joseph Stuart - Practitioner

Joseph is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry for both the private and public sector. Skilled in strategic business planning, Investor Relations, Management, Business Relationship Management, and Risk Management, Joseph oversees the Business Development Strategy for Northland Inc that incorporates the Regional Business Partnership with NZTE and Callaghan Innovation.


His specialist areas are high value manufacturing and growth, capital raising, exporting, technology and innovation. Joseph has facilitated innovation and growth in some of New Zealand’s most successful companies in his roles at the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Positively Wellington Business and Wellington City Council. Outside his role with Northland Inc, Joseph is the Chair of Biogro NZ Limited, NZ’s premier Organic certifier.


Joseph has a BA in Economic History and a graduate diploma in Economic Development. He is an accredited Economic Development Professional (AEcD NZ) and a member of the Institute of Directors (MInstD).

Richard Jefferies

BMS, Grad.DT (sec), Justice of the Peace

Iwi affiliations: Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tukorehe

Richard Jefferies has extensive experience in Māori development and is passionate and excited about working to improve Māori wellbeing and thereby the wellbeing of our Nation. More recently, he is also working with other indigenous communities around the world. He has professional and strategic interests in the revitalisation of te reo Māori, Māori economic development and lifting Māori educational achievement. He has held a range of senior management and board positions with private sector, public sector and not for profit organisations. He has business interests in the kiwifruit industry, as well as being involved in marae and hapū activities. He has been married for 34 years and has six amazing children.


Kiri Goulter - Practitioner and Consultant

Kiri Goulter is a highly accomplished tourism and economic development professional with extensive experience in destination management, marketing, product and industry development.  From 2009-2016 Kiri was Chief Executive of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, and has held senior management roles with Tourism New Zealand and Enterprise Northland. Kiri has worked extensively across the public and private sectors and is currently working with central and local government, and industry, to develop a more sustainable, productive and inclusive sector through improved destination management planning.

Kiri is a member of the Institute of Directors and has held national and regional governance roles. She is Deputy Chair of Te Waka, (Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency) and a member of the Waikato Institute of Technology’s (Wintec) governing Council. Kiri holds a Graduate Diploma in Economic Development (AUT) and was a finalist in the New Zealand Tourism Awards 2015 – Industry Champion, and inaugural Women of Influence Awards 2013 – Regional/Local.

Ifor Ffowcs-Williams

Ifor is the CEO of Cluster Navigators Ltd, Nelson. Ifor is acknowledged as one of the most influential cluster practitioners in the world, with hands-on experience extending to over 50 countries. 

Ifor has been an advisor to The World Bank, EU, OECD, UNDP, international aid agencies and national & regional economic development agencies on six continents. 

bottom of page