A thought leader, direction setter and a future thinker, Mai Chen is the Managing Partner of Chen Palmer, Australasia’s first specialist public law firm which she co-founded in 1994. Mai is a Director on the Board of BNZ, Founder and Chair of New Zealand Asian Leaders, President of New Zealand Asian Lawyers, Founder and Chair of Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, Inaugural Chair of NZ Global Women, Co-founder of Cultural Bridge, a joint venture between Chen Palmer and NZME. Mai is also a chartered member of the Institute of Directors formerly an Adjunct Professor at the University of Auckland School of Law.
Click here for further information about Mai.
Antonia Di Maio
Special Counsel & Research Lead
Antonia is Superdiversity Institute’s Principal report writer. She is also a Principal Advisor at Chen Palmer. Formerly an Investigator and then Principal Advisor at the Office of the Ombudsmen, Antonia has over 15 years of experience advising the New Zealand Ombudsmen on the exercise of their functions, and standards of good public administration, decision making and dispute resolution.
Antonia was integral in the development of the online guidance for Government departments on New Zealand Sign Language Act for the Office of Disability Issues. It covers the purpose and the principles of the NZSL Act, the obligations on Government departments and what they mean in practice for government departments, and how those departments can measure their compliance with the purpose, principles and obligations under the NZSL Act.
Kia Ora Tatou
Ko Kohukohunui Te Maunga,
Ko Hunua Te Awa
Ko Nga Puhi Te Iwi
No Tamaki Ahau
Ko Clark Toku Whanau
Ko Renee Toku Ingoa
Born and raised in Pukekohe, Renee is of Maori and European decent. Renee obtained a Bachelor of Laws with honours and a Bachelor of Communication Studies from Auckland University of Technology. Renee is an Associate at Chen Palmer and has a background working in Property and Immigration and Refugee Law. Renee is directly involved in the Superdiversity Institute’s partnership with the Ministry for Ethnic Communities to deliver the ‘100 Diverse-Board Ready Chairs and Directors’ initiative. Renee has travelled around the world and speaks basic Spanish and Maori.
Maddie was born in England and spent the first 4 years of her life travelling the world with her family before settling down and living in both Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia. Maddie is an Associate at Chen Palmer. She obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Auckland University of Technology and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in May 2021. Whilst at Chen Palmer, she has been involved in developing the Superdiversity Institute, running events and initiatives, Legal Research, drafting court documents and correspondence and assisting in case and litigation preparation with senior staff. Madeline has a deep passion for serving people, and an awareness of the unique position lawyers have to affect and change society around them.
Leo is a former Ombudsman from 2016-2018, and Deputy Ombudsman from 2004-2016. He has also occupied the roles of Assistant Ombudsman, Senior Investigating Officer, and Investigating Officer with the Office of the Ombudsman, and previously worked for the Parliamentary Counsel Office. Leo graduated with an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted to the High Court of New Zealand in 1981.
Leo has been a champion for diversity in the public sector and will be building on that experience to advise private and public sector clients on managing the challenges and opportunities of a superdiverse society. Leo will be advising clients on the their diversity and inclusion strategies, delivering Cultural Intelligence (CQ) training, and to assist with its research into the implications superdiversity has for workplace health and safety, and other areas of law and policy.
Leo is of New Zealand and Japanese ethnicity.
Anthony specialises in solving complex and sensitive problems in and with government. Anthony has in-depth experience of the health and disability sectors, and the broader government sector. He is currently a Special Counsel at Chen Palmer after 10 years as New Zealand’s Health and Disability Commissioner and 6 years as Deputy Director-General of Health. During that time he had oversight over the funding and performance of District Health Boards, health crown entities, and exercised an array of regulatory functions.
Emma assists organisations who are undertaking the CQ Tick, which measures the existing level of cultural intelligence and capability of staff and management so that gaps and strengths can be identified and addressed. She also delivers Cultural Intelligence (CQ) and Unconscious Bias training.
Superdiversity Council members include:
- Mai Chen (Chair)
- Cathy Parker, Publisher, Adrenalin Publishing
- David Tse, Director of Sales and Marketing, Jade
- Dr Hinemoa Elder, Te Whare Wānanga o Awawnuiārangi, Māori Strategic Leader CoRE Ageing Brain, University of Auckland
- Kayo Sakey, Strategic Advisor
- Kiri Nathan, Founder/Director, Kiri Nathan Ltd
- Mitchell Pham, Co-founder, Director, Augen Software Group
- Nikhil Ravishankar, Chief Digital Officer, Vector
- Priti Ambani, Director of Innovation, Tech Futures Lab
- Rob Campbell CNZM CFInstD , Director
- Sameer Handa, Managing Director, Glowbal NZ