Mai Chen


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.

Leo Donnelly

Principal Advisor

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.



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