Speakers (MW)

National Speakers

Girol-Karacaoglu-160pxDr Girol Karacaoglu
Dr Girol Karacaoglu is Chief Economist at the New Zealand Treasury, Wellington. He joined the Treasury on 1 March 2012. His role is to provide strategic leadership on broad economic policy issues, in particular fiscal and monetary policy settings, and New Zealand’s international linkages. The Chief Economist role is critical to championing and lifting the quality and capability of the Treasury’s economic advice. Girol came to the Treasury from The Co-operative Bank, where he was Chief Executive for nine years. His previous roles include General Manager at Westpac NZ, Chief Economist at the National Bank of NZ, and lecturer in economics at Victoria University of Wellington. He has a PhD in Economics and an MBA, and is fluent in French and Turkish.  He has three adult daughters and one son and enjoys reading, classical music, walking, dancing, movies, and family activities.

Dame Diane Robertson

Dame Diane Robertson
Dame Diane Robertson (DNZM) is Chair of the Data Futures Working Group. She is a qualified teacher, counsellor and family therapist. She is the Chair of the James Liston Hostel Trust and the Chair of the Committee for Auckland Trust. She is a member of the Institute of Directors; a Paul Harris Fellow and was awarded a Sesquicentennial Medal for Services to the Community. Diane was appointed Dame Companion in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.


Local Speakers 

Natasha Allan
Natasha Allan is a Detective Senior Sergeant.20160809-tacklingpovertynz-natasha-allan
Natasha is the National Co-ordinator for Child Protection based at Police National Headquarters. Of her 24 years within the Police, 22 have been spent working in the Criminal Investigation Branch. Natasha has a broad range of criminal investigation experience, with extensive knowledge and experience in Child Abuse. She was the officer in charge of numerous complex and serious Child abuse investigations.

Prior to her current position Natasha was an Investigations trainer at the Royal New Zealand Police College. In this role she was responsible for delivering the residential Detective training courses, giving support to district investigations training as well as ongoing development of teaching resources for investigators.

In her current role she is responsible for providing advice and support to Child Protection teams in applying policy, guidelines and protocols associated with Child Protection, she facilitates and leads the Child Abuse Investigators and Advanced Child Protection courses and also provides expert advice to other police staff, external agencies and government as required.

Nigel Allan20160809-tacklingpovertynz-nigel-allan
Nigel Allan is the Chair of Te Manawa Family Services




Michelle Cameron20160809-tacklingpovertynz-michelle-cameron
Michelle Cameron is the Principal of James Cook School





Kathryn Cook20160809-TacklingPovertyNZ-Kathryn-Cook-
Kathryn Cook is the Chief Executive of MidCentral District Health Board. The DHB is responsible for the health and wellbeing of the communities of Manawatu, Tararua, Horowhenua, Palmerston North and Otaki, – around 174,000 people, spread over 8,912km2.   MidCentral’s vision of “Health Living, Healthy Lives, Well Communities” signifies the commitment to better health and better health outcomes for its population.

Prior to joining MDHB Kathryn was a Partner within KPMG Australia’s Health, Ageing and Human Services practice, where she was lead partner of the Victorian practice. Previously Kathryn was CEO of Western Health, Victoria and has also held a range of policy and leadership positions in the Western Australian and Victorian Departments of Health, and the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Amanda Oldfield20160809-Amanda-Oldfield-
Amanda Oldfield is the Care Link Coordinator at the Feilding Bible Chapel.

Amanda is involved with the Care Link Community Trust that has been established since the late 80’s, she is married and is a stay at home mother to four children. She is also involved with a dynamic group of people who help govern a local trust called Care Link Community Trust. The trust has a long, rich history of supporting people facing acute or chronic hardship and vulnerability throughout the Feilding and local region, the trust was established out of a local community church called Feilding Bible Chapel.

The vision of Care Link community trust is seen in two parts: the first is to provide emergency housing for people who cannot access short- to long-term housing, or find themselves in a housing crisis. The goal here is to assess the barriers and level of housing need. From the assessment of housing needs, an individualised, client-focused care plan is created. A community support person is matched to the individual in the emergency housing, with the community support person supporting the person to meet the care plan goals, thus, in time, finding transitional to long term housing.


2015 TacklingPovertyNZ Workshop participants






Felix Drissner-Devine, Elaina Lauaki-Vea, 
Maddie Little and Caitlin Papuni-McLellan