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2020 Conference


Promoting Sustainability


2020 Conference Speakers


Chris Roberts, CEO, Tourism Industry Aotearoa

Tourism Industry Aotearoa Update

Chris joined TIA as Chief Executive in July 2014. Previously he was a General Manager at Tourism New Zealand, with responsibility for government and stakeholder relations. 

Chris studied politics and history at University and his first career was as a radio journalist. He then worked at Parliament, including three years with the Minister of Tourism. This was followed by a decade of senior corporate affairs roles in the energy sector before returning to tourism.

Chris is married with two sons and the family loves to travel, having visited most – but not yet all – of New Zealand. An avid sports fan, Chris still plays “old man’s” rugby, can run quite fast and will have a go at anything involving a ball or racquet.

Programme:  Friday, 15 May - TIA Update

Chris Roberts


David McBreaty, Financial Advisor, New Zealand Financial Planning

Sustainability of financial planning and investment

For David McBreaty, his number on priority as a financial adviser is giving his clients peace of mind. He takes a special interest in people who are starting the transition from working life into enjoying their retirement.

“For lots of my clients, it’s not that they want to retire, but that they want to be ina position to choose whether they retire or not. It’s my job to help them with their goals of having a nice, simple, financial – worry – free retirement.

With extensive experience in the industry, including eight years managing a large legal firm, and running regular financial planning seminars, David is dedicated to helping New Zealanders achieve their goals and objectives in Life. This means taking them through all of their choices, not just the financial ones, as they approach retirement.

Davis understands that his clients just want somebody that they know has their best interests at heart. For this reason, he enjoys taking his clients through the process of setting and achieving financial goals, and is meticulous about delivering on his promises.

Being true to his word is of the upmost importance for David. Above all else, financial planning is about looking after his clients.

“I want to take care of my clients, who have put their trust in us to make sure they continue to get that service well into the future.”

David believes proper education around financial planning can help p[people to take ownership of their financial future and runs regular seminars at the University of Canterbury.

He loves to work with his clients who have worked hard their whole lives and now they are getting to the point where they want to maximise how they use their financial resources and make sure they do the right thing. He is someone they can have confidence in to guide them through their financial journey.

ProgrammeFriday, 15 May - 



David McBreaty


Gary Mitchell, co-owner of Ribbonwood Country House

Safe Food Handling

Gary has worked in the hospitality and tourism industries for over 30 years in all disciplines starting as a kitchenhand cooking his way to the top of the ladder to be a senior chef / kitchen manager from a waiter / barista to a senior maître D, sommelier and restaurant manager to a senior management level in luxury hotels including human resources and training manager for corporate and tourist hotels. 

Gary has more recently worked as a tourism, hospitality and business management tutor and academic manager for a private training establishment, has tutored in polytechnics and workplaces.  Gary was previously the training advisor and regional manager for the hospitality industry training organisation – HSI (now Service IQ) and Sector Manager for TIANZ – Tourism Industry Association. 

As a tutor, assessor and moderator for the industries Gary has extensive knowledge of the industries including food safety and working with a Food Control Plan.

Gary will update us on the basics of Food Safety and how it applies to your business to ensure you meet compliance and keep your food safe to eat for your guests.  The presentation will also include sustainability and how this relates to food safety.

Programme:  Saturday, 16 May 




Gary Mitchell


Professor David G Simmons, Professor of Tourism, Lincoln University, New Zealand


David is the leader of Lincoln University's tourism programme and a founding staff member of the Social Science, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Group. He has been at Lincoln University since 1978 and a faculty member since 1980.

He is the Professor of Tourism, and in the recent past has been Principal Research Strategist and Chair of the University Research Committee.  He has made a significant contribution to tourism development in New Zealand leading nationally funded programmes examining financial, economic, and sustainable dimensions of tourism yield, and their spatial effects. Prior to that, he led the investigation into a national government funded study into tourism planning, tourist flows and destination management.  Most recently he has been engaged as a member of the writing team for the New Zealand National Tourism Framework (Tourism2025) and annual state of sector reports (2011 – 2016)

From 2008 – 2010 he was Director of Research for the Australian Federal Government’s ‘Sustainable Tourism CRC’ before returning to Lincoln University. He has contributed to formal tourism planning exercises in Cambodia (WWF), Mauritius (UNDP), Niue, Vanuatu (UNWTO/UNDP), Nepal (ITTO, MFAT and WWF),  India (WWF), Sarawak (E. Malaysia), and DPR (North) Korea (UNWTO).

In 2015 he was elected as a fellow to the International Academy for the Study of Tourism and chairs the EarthCheck Global Research Institute that provides science and benchmarking for evidencing pathways to sustainable tourism.

He is a founding Trustee of the Eden New Zealand Project, and together with a small team has sought to bring the Eden Project, a major UK tourist attraction focussing on human nature relationships, to Christchurch.  The Trust has secured an option on land in Christchurch’s Residential Red Zone and is in the throes of preparing a business investment case.

Professor Simmons has published 3 books (2 electronic); 26 Book Chapters; 35 refereed papers; and in excess of 65 technical and industry reports.





David Simmons






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