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Meet our Facilitators

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Adrienne Pryde 

Facilitates Health & Safety Courses

Adrienne is an accredited occupational health and safety professional with over 20 years’ experience in training, auditing, and health and safety advice.

Adrienne’s experience spans diverse sectors and consulting roles. Her particular expertise lies in developing tailored, compliant health and safety systems and offering robust recommendations for organisational improvement, backed by her extensive knowledge and accreditations.

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Adrienne’s expertise draws on her extensive health and safety (H&S) experience across diverse sectors, including manufacturing, retail, hospitality, government, and corporate entities. She also holds accreditation as a SafePlus assessor and the Exemplar Global auditing certification.

Adrienne's expertise lies in aiding companies to effectively manage risks, ensuring the safety and well-being of their workers while mitigating avoidable risks to the company itself. She has served as a consultant to Business Central, the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and EMA members, providing training, auditing, and advice on H&S systems, predominantly for small to medium-sized enterprises. Simultaneously, her own business, HSAW Ltd, has experienced rapid growth, extending consulting and auditing services nationwide to government agencies, local governments, NGOs, healthcare, education, and private sectors.

With a focus on tailored H&S systems, Adrienne ensures practicality and compliance with audit requirements, using her in-depth understanding of H&S legislation to develop user-friendly solutions. This is exemplified by her involvement in prestigious programmes such as the Workplace Safety Management Practices and the ACC Accredited Employer Programmes.

 

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Damon Jacobsen

Facilitates Health & Safety Courses and Employment Law

With over a decade in senior leadership roles spanning HR management and health, safety, and environmental implementation, Damon offers comprehensive business solutions. Damon's primary motivation is supporting keen individuals and being a steadfast presence during tough times. 

Damon prioritises good governance and clear communication, and his background in manufacturing and education has improved employee relations and HR practices. He understands working on the factory floor and managing teams, so he connects well with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

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Damon possesses over 10 years of senior leadership experience spanning staff management and health, safety, and environmental (HSE) implementation and monitoring. This breadth of expertise enables him to provide holistic solutions for businesses. With a robust background in manufacturing (aluminium, wood processing, and poultry) and experience in education, Damon has enhanced employee to employer relations and implemented effective HR and HSE practices.

As a member of five boards, Damon understands good governance and emphasises clear communication. With his broad exposure to individuals across all levels and backgrounds, Damon can provide support during challenging times while empowering motivated workers.

 

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Hayden Ricketts

Facilitates Aspiring to Lead – Introduction to Leadership, Lead to Inspire – Advanced Leadership, Team Leader Toolbox: Facilitating Your Team

Hayden has diverse experience as leadership consultant and boasts 24 years in the New Zealand Army. His roles have included platoon commander, company second-in-command, and leading crisis response teams in Timor Leste. 

Recognised for his leadership, he trains conducts high-quality development training within the New Zealand Army.

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Hayden has extensive leadership training experience leadership and his ethos emphasises trust and enablement – fostering successful teams with shared objectives. He trains facilitators with the New Zealand Army leadership framework and advises on workforce strategies. 

Hayden holds a Masters in International Security, is pursuing an MBA, and has held varied leadership roles, observer, and instructor roles with the New Zealand Army.

 

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Ian Harper

Facilitates Aspiring to Lead – Introduction to Leadership, Lead to Inspire – Advanced Leadership, Team Leader Toolbox: Facilitating Your Team, Project Management for Non-Project Managers

Ian is founder and principal director of STEM:NZ and brings over 20 years of healthcare experience to training and service development. He draws on his human development and organisational understanding to carefully customise his training – ensuring that all learning needs are accommodated.

Ian is also a sought-after motivational speaker at global conferences and his adaptable style extends to after-dinner speeches and panel discussions.

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After over 20 years' experience in the healthcare field as a registered psychiatric nurse, Ian transitioned to the private sector, developing training and service development across various industries. Ian is STEM:NZ's founder, principal director, primary consultant, programme designer, and facilitator.

Ian's approach to staff training emphasises tailored strategies accommodating individual learning styles, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. With published papers and consistently good feedback, Ian excels in delivering high-quality services, particularly in human development and its impact on organisational and individual performance.

Over the past 15 years, Ian has spoken at conferences in NZ, Australia, England, and Ireland. Known for his motivational speaking in his field, he is sought after for after-dinner speeches, panel discussions, and MC roles.

 

Jordan Smith 

Jordan has a unique set of skills that he delights in using to help people and organisations to learn and prosper. A skilled communicator, Jordan trains and facilitates in an engaging style across a range of leadership, organisational improvement, and professional and personal development areas.

Jordan runs interactive training sessions and enjoys applying his expertise to bring about practical, useful, and lasting improvement. 

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Jordan is a seasoned professional group facilitator and trainer. Starting as a school teacher, Jordan transitioned into roles in education, organisational management, marketing, and project and event management. With over 20 years of experience in teaching, training, and facilitating well-being, personal development, and leadership programmes across New Zealand, Jordan excels as a communicator and is adept at engaging audiences and instilling learning. 

With expertise in working with human resources and senior management teams, Jordan offers a comprehensive understanding of various workplace dynamics and approaches to foster individual and team development and to address staff challenges.

 

Lauren James 

As our network sustainability lead, Lauren brings international commercial experience that spans advising roles in Australia, China, South-East Asia, the UK, and Mexico City. 

Lauren applies her considerable training and expertise to develop strong strategies and training that bring about lasting and practical change. Businesses, social enterprises, non-governmental and voluntary organisations have all benefitted from Lauren’s perceptive and highly applicable advice.

In her spare time, Lauren also involves herself in environmental causes close to her heart.

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Lauren is our network sustainability lead and has 12 years’ experience spread across multiple industries. Beyond NZ, she has worked in Australia, China and South-East Asia, the UK, and Mexico City. 

One of Lauren’s strengths is to develop and execute commercial strategies and educate for sustainable change. Underpinning her experience are post-graduate qualifications in sustainability and environmental science from world-leading universities including a Masters from Imperial College, London.

Practically applying a strong sustainability lens and using a desire for leadership to create effective change have been primary components in her work with organisations such as the External Reporting Board, Westpac, Ports of Auckland, and Fonterra. 

In addition to her corporate experience, Lauren has worked with small-to-medium enterprises and social enterprises, has owned multiple businesses, and volunteered for a non-governmental organisation working on social innovation in Mexico City. She was also a member of the Eat Less Plastic journey in the Pacific – undertaking ocean microplastic research, beach clean-ups, and community education. As part of this voyage, Lauren was the lead interviewer of NGOs in Suva for a documentary.

 

Nir Har-Paz 

As founder of NHP (Nurturing Human Performance), Nir is a dedicated to holistic human and organisational performance enhancement and offers diverse expertise.

Nir relocated to New Zealand almost a decade ago, where he deepened his interest in well-being and through NHP he provides personal training, wellness coaching, and tailored programmes. 

Collaborating with organisations like Outward Bound and Chambers of Commerce, Nir fosters growth rooted in core values of freedom and authenticity, encouraging positive change.

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As an applied health and human performance specialist, coach, and facilitator, Nir is committed both to enhancing human and organisational performance through a holistic approach. He specialises in forging collaborative partnerships with clients, using tailored coaching sessions and workshops to meet their needs.

Originally from Israel, Nir's diverse experience includes service in an elite Israeli Defence Force commando unit and a degree in the management of educational systems and history. This provides him with a multi-faceted foundation for his work. 

During his time in New Zealand, Nir's interest in well-being and motivation deepened through his work at Outward Bound. Following his contract there, he started NHP (Nurturing Human Performance), driven by a desire to support individuals and organisations to improve their overall performance—physically, mentally, culturally, and more. 

At NHP, Nir is dedicated to assisting individuals and businesses to become their best through experiential learning workshops and personalised guidance. His approach revolves around core values such as freedom, authenticity, creativity, and growth, creating environments where clients feel motivated and supported.

Nir provides personal training focused on functionality and a healthy lifestyle, wellness coaching, and specific tailor-made programmes and workshops for individuals and organisations. In addition to his primary focus, Nir has a passion for utilising the great outdoors and adventure-based growth in his workshops.  

Over the past decade, Nir has supported numerous individuals and businesses, collaborating with organisations such as Outward Bound, Maranga Ltd, Chambers of Commerce, and others.

 

Philip Colquhoun

Philip, a chartered accountant with a PhD in accounting, offers extensive experience in workshop design and instruction for accounting and financial management. Based in Wellington, he conducts workshops globally, serving diverse clients from various sectors. 

Philip is also an award-winning university lecturer and emphasises clarity in communication. He previously worked as a learning designer and module leader for Chartered Accountants ANZ's CA Program. His courses integrate finance into decision-making processes, simplifying complex financial concepts for easy comprehension.

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Philip brings a wealth of experience in designing and facilitating workshops focussing on accounting and financial management. He has run workshops internationally, including in Fiji, Vietnam, and Australia. His clients have included non-accountants in the public and private sectors, and he has worked with accountants ranging from entry-level to advanced and executive levels. 

Philip has also been an award-winning university lecturer, teaching undergraduate, graduate, and post-experience courses, demonstrating clarity in communication. He worked as a learning designer in Chartered Accountants’ ANZ CA Programme and as a senior module leader responsible for the professional skills module in the CA Programme.

Philip's greatest asset is breaking down complex financial and accounting matters into simple language that can be easily understood. Philip's courses and workshops focus on accounting and financial management from the perspective of the specific business or entity and how the information can be used in decision-making. This plain-speaking approach incorporates finance into organisations rather than treating accounting and financial management as an independent isolated activity. 

 

Richard Westlake

Richard established and leads an international governance advisory business and he conducts governance training globally, notably in New Zealand and South-East Asia. 

With over 25 years of board experience, an author of a book on governance advice, a blogger, and an increasingly in-demand speaker, Richard currently chairs New Zealand Home Loans Limited.

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Richard has over 25 years of practical experience as a director and board chairman. He currently chairs the board of New Zealand Home Loans Limited and recently retired as chairman of Co-op Money NZ and a director of RCBC Bank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines. Richard has likely trained more directors than anyone else in New Zealand, running governance training programmes here at home and globally for more than 15 years. 

Richard established the international governance advisory business, Westlake Governance Ltd, in 2001, with the objective of building boards into leading teams. He describes his purpose as “MAD2 – to make a difference to people who make a difference” and works throughout New Zealand and overseas, mostly in South-East Asia, Australia, and the Pacific.

Until 2019, he was chairman of Careerforce Industry Training Organisation and completed nine years as the first independent director of the Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) Limited, the world's leading manufacturer of goat milk infant formula. Among earlier roles, Richard has chaired a range of other organisations, including two state-owned enterprises, software company Intergen Ltd, Standards New Zealand, the NZ Telecommunications Forum, and Canterbury Opera; and he was a founding independent director of Kiwibank Ltd for its first 10 years.

Based in Wellington, Richard is the author of Guidance for the Directors of Banks, written in 2013 – after the global financial crisis – for the World Bank's private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation; and he writes possibly the world's only blog specifically aimed at board chairs and experienced directors entitled Chairing – for the rest of us.

 

Whetu Rangihaeta

With over 20 years teaching experience, Whetu’s inclusive style enriches Business Central's training team with his expertise and commitment to Māori culture and shared understanding. Dedicated and passionate, Whetu offers te reo me ona tikanga (Māori language and customs) teaching to adults in Wellington through crafted lesson plans incorporating many te ao Māori elements.

Whetu is also a keen representative of indigenous sporting and cultural events. He organises Ngā Tāonga Tākaro (Māori games) and has led teams to world indigenous games and events. 

Whetu has recently joined Business Central to provide te reo me ona tikanga lessons to companies and organisations throughout the country. Whetu and his wife are the owner-directors of their family company called Aiodoit Ltd.

Whetu currently teaches adult students within the business sector of the Wellington Region. He can create lesson plans tailored to clients’ needs, incorporating various te ao Maori components, such as:

  • te reo me ōna tikanga (language and customs)
  • waiata (songs)
  • wānanga (learning style)
  • kawa and tikanga (protocols and Māori etiquette)
  • karakia (chants or incantations)
  • mōteatea (chanted song), and 
  • pakiwaitara (myths and legends).

 

Whetu is extremely passionate about te reo and is always willing to share his culture with those who are eager to learn. With over 20 years of Te Reo Māori secondary teaching experience, ranging from year 7 to year 13 students, as well as being an NCEA external Te Reo Māori level 2 marker, he brings a wealth of expertise. He was the Tairawhiti delegate for kapa haka and deputy chairperson for the Tairawhiti Māori Teachers Association.

In addition to his teaching, Whetu has also organized regional and national sporting events that promote Ngā Tāonga Tākaro (Māori Games) and has taken sports teams/cultural groups to two world indigenous games tournaments in Brazil and Canada. He has had the privilege of representing Aotearoa New Zealand and Maoridom at indigenous festivals around the world, most recently returning from China, Taiwan, and Australia.

He is focused, hardworking, committed, passionate, self-motivated, and loyal, and we are grateful to have him as part of the Business Central training team.

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Get in touch

Phone:

0800 778 776

Email:

info@businesscentral.org.nz

AdviceLine:

0800 300 362