Cultural capability video series

Welcome to the Culturally Capable Leaders and Organisations Video Series. This video series profiles New Zealand culturally capable leaders and organisations from a range of backgrounds and working in a range of fields.

Welcome to the Culturally Capable Leaders and Organisations Video Series. This video series profiles New Zealand culturally capable leaders and organisations from a range of backgrounds and working in a range of fields. The leaders share their insights on what is cultural intelligence, and how being a culturally capable leader helps businesses and other organisations succeed in ethnically superdiverse New Zealand. More videos will be added as they are made. Those videos still to come include Dr Karen Poutasi, CEO of the NZQA, Mitchell Pham, CEO of Augen Software Ltd and Augen Vietnam, and Sir Anand Satyanand, former Governor General of NZ, Judge and Ombudsman.

Culturally capable leaders

Graeme Ramsey

Graeme Ramsey is Chief Executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation, a position that he has held since 2008. Graeme’s background is across a wide range of health care organisations in leadership and governance roles including private companies, NGOs, consultancies and membership organisations. He has worked in health roles in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. A former Mayor, Graeme is also currently the Councillor on the Northland Regional Council. He is heavily involved in a range of community ventures and holds degrees in Sociology from Auckland University and Business Administration from Warwick University in the United Kingdom.

Mitchell Pham

Mitchell Pham is a business and technology entrepreneur, who originally came to New Zealand as a refugee from Vietnam. He co-founded and co-directs the Augen Software Group, which now operates in both countries. Augen helps NZ businesses accelerate the development of software innovation for both domestic and international markets. Their achievements have been recognised by NZ ComputerWorld Excellence, NZ Innovators, international Red Herring Top 100, and Vietnam IT Excellence awards. Mitchell is a Trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and an Advisor to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. He is also recognised internationally in leadership – as an Asia 21 Fellow by the Asia Society, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Caren Rangi

Caren Rangi is an experienced governance practitioner, whose roles include board member of the Broadcasting Commission, the Arts Council of New Zealand, the Charities Registration Board, and Chair of Pacific Homecare Services. She also serves as a director of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation, chairs the Cook Islands Broadcasting Corporation and is currently the National President of P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. As well as her governance roles, Caren is a chartered accountant and auditor. She has her own consultancy business, specialising in facilitation and organisational development. With her fellow P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A members, Caren has been active in developing community understanding of and engagement with Pacific peoples in New Zealand.

Naomi Ballantyne

Naomi Ballantyne has over 30 years of experience in the New Zealand life insurance industry. She is one of the most well-known and respected executives in the market today and has unprecedented experience in starting companies from scratch and then leading them to significant long-term success.

Lisa Li

Lisa Li is the CEO of China Travel Services. Lisa was recently recognised by China National Tourism Administration (Australia & New Zealand) for “Outstanding contribution promoting tourism exchange between New Zealand and China. She is active in Auckland’s business and Chinese communities, having served as Secretary General of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand for the past 10 years.

Mike Pero

Best known as the founder of Mike Pero Mortgages. Today Pero is the Chief Executive of Mike Pero Real Estate Limited and continues to front all brands under his name, including mortgages, insurance, KiwiSaver and more. Mike has won a number of Pacific Island Business Awards; Franchise and general business awards. Today Mike’s main interests are based around the real estate company of which he is the CEO.

Ravi Mehta

Ravi Mehta is a Partner in pwc’s Tax and Private Business practice. He provides assistance relating to New Zealand inbound and outbound investments, including compliance with tax, accounting and other regulatory frameworks. In addition, Ravi has been involved with several high-profile mergers and acquisitions in Australia and New Zealand, advising on sale and purchase agreements, acquisition structures and due diligence.

Sir Tipene O’Regan

Sir Tipene O’Regan is the former chair of the Ngai Tahu Maori Trust Board. He led the claims, negotiation and settlement process for Ngai Tahu from 1985-1998. He was the principal architect of the Treaty Fisheries Settlements in 1989 and 1992 and the founding Chairman of Te Ohu Kai Moana, the Maori Fisheries Trust. Sir Tipene is a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the University of Auckland. He was the first University of Canterbury Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Maori) and remains an adjunct professor. Sir Tipene is Upoko (traditional head) of the Awarua Runanga of Ngai Tahu.

Tarun Kanji

Tarun Kanji is a third generation New Zealand-born Indian who has close to 25 years corporate and consulting experience with international accounting firms spanning corporate advisory, valuation, finance, litigation support, recovery and audit disciplines across the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Veronique Cremades

Veronique Cremades has been with Nestlé for over 24 years and has held the position of New Zealand Country Manager since 2011. Her previous roles were Country Business Manager Nestlé Professional Indochina region, based in Bangkok from 2006 to 2011 and AOA Key Account Director for McDonalds based in Singapore from 2003 to 2006. She has worked for Nestlé in Marketing, Product Development, Communication and Sales in France and Switzerland, with her first positing in the Foods SBU in Head Office.

Adrian Or

Adrian Orr is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Super Fund and s also held the positions of Chief Economist at Westpac Banking Corporation, Chief Manager of the Economics Department of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Chief Economist at the National Bank of New Zealand.

Culturally Capable Organisations


Diversitas Consulting has joined the Superdiversity Institute as a member. Diversitas provides consultancy services to support their clients in building strategic diversity capability through services such as the development of strategic plans, governance models, and diversity-related policies and procedures. This allows their clients to deliver measurable gains in staff engagement, productivity and inclusive work practices.

Diversitas has a strong track record in New Zealand and Australia in designing and delivering expert services to organisations across a number of industry sectors. Diversitas’ experienced consultants work with business leaders and Diversity leads in areas including policy development, flexible work design and implementation, diversity reviews and benchmarking, unconscious bias training and a range of bespoke and tailored services to support their clients to adopt inclusive people practices.

Diversitas fully supports the work undertaken by the Superdiversity Institute and is geared to be able to support organisations who are committed to creating a competitive edge for themselves in the area of Diversity & Inclusiveness and need support on the execution of their strategy.

In the interview below, the principals of Diversitas discuss their approach to cultural capability.

Cultural Bridge

Cultural Bridge is a joint venture project between New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) and the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Politics and Business. Cultural Bridge will assist government departments and local council organisations to communicate effectively with the growing superdiversity of all New Zealanders. With almost one in four people living in the Auckland region identified as Asian ethnicity, and more than 200 ethnicities calling New Zealand home, Cultural Bridge will provide an end to end service that enables organisations to communicate to all New Zealanders with the right messaging and translation.

NZME has the ability to connect with all New Zealanders through the most effective channels. With the increasing superdiversity of New Zealanders we know organisations consistently struggle to communicate effectively, in particular getting the right message to the right audience. Cultural Bridge is an innovative solution about communication not interpretation; it’s about culture and not just language. Chen Palmer’s Superdiversity Centre provides analysis of law, policy and business implications to enable government, business and non-government organisations to maximise the benefits of the ‘diversity dividend’ arising from New Zealand’s transition to a superdiverse society.

New Zealand Asian Leaders

NZAL is a professional organisation for Asian New Zealanders who are leaders and for high achieving Asians in New Zealand who aspire to become leaders. The mission of NZAL is to promote, educate and build a critical mass of top Asian leaders and emerging leaders in NZ who will have an active role in the future of New Zealand and promote cultural understanding in New Zealand’s diverse communities.

New Zealand Asian Leaders provides a place for Asian New Zealand leaders to have visibility with New Zealand companies doing business with Asia or wanting to. It also allows Asian leaders to provide valuable knowledge on current and future focused Asian business issues where they have expertise and learning due to their business and cultural experience.

The role of New Zealand Asian Leaders is to provide confidence building for Asian New Zealand leaders to offer their expertise to help NZ Inc and to help them understand they have important expertise to contribute.