The 2023 conference programme has been curated by the Retail Committee brainstrust for property professionals just like you. Please note this programme is subject to change as details are confirmed.
This pre-conference tour featured some of the most exciting retail developments in Auckland, including:
Please note: Site tours are exclusively for RECON23 attendees, but are not included in the general admission ticket and will need to be purchased in addition to your registration. Limited spaces are available.
Master of Ceremonies
CEO, Property Council New Zealand
Associate Director, Match Realty
CEO, Spaceworks Interior Architecture
Chair, Retail Committee
Group Managing Director, Barkers Max Retail Group
GM Development, Scentre Group
Principal - Data Science, Lynker Analytics
Head of Advocacy, Property Council New Zealand
Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director, DARKHORSE
Head of Insights, Retail Doctor Group
CEO, Property Council New Zealand
With more than 25 years’ experience working in design, Lizzi Whaley is regarded as a leader in the design and fit-out of commercial spaces. As the CEO of Spaceworks Interior Architecture, Lizzi melds human-centric design with the unique requirements of design. As a retail design specialist, her approach prioritises a balance between aesthetics and functionality, ensuring retail spaces serve as effective business tools while also offering engaging customer experiences.
Under Lizzi’s direction in 2022, Spaceworks unveiled a carbon calculator tailored for the fit-out sector, reinforcing the firm’s commitment to sustainability. Guided by her leadership, Spaceworks continues to set standards in design, shaping retail environments that cater to both contemporary needs and future advancements.
Lizzi will delve into the profound influence of design on profitability. She will explore the relationship between design aesthetics and the alignment with the products or services offered, cohesive fit-out designs that harmonize with your brand, and emphasize the impact of a high-quality fit-out in encouraging spending.
Master of Ceremonies
Nadine Higgins (nee Chalmers-Ross) is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster with extensive experience across television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Nadine is renowned as a fiercely intelligent, articulate and engaging MC and we very much look forward to welcoming her to RECON23.
Jamie Whiting is the Group Managing Director of the Barkers Max Retail Group, with a career spanning over three decades, Jamie’s journey in the fashion world began on the shop floor as a retail sales assistant at age 17 and over his 30yr career has worked across all facets of the apparel retail industry including leading some of NZ’s best known retail brands including Hallensteins, Glassons, Barkers & Max.
Under his leadership, he has led the successful repositioning and transformation of two of New Zealand’s iconic fashion brands; Barkers and Max. Jamie’s leadership extends beyond the boardroom, as he’s deeply committed to environmental and social responsibility, advocating for sustainable practices and ethical manufacturing throughout the fashion supply chain.
Outside of work, Jamie is an avid adventurer, with a particular passion for boating, diving & fishing. His dedication to both his business and personal growth has made him a respected figure in the retail fashion industry, continually pushing boundaries and setting new standards for excellence.
It’s a decade since Jamie Whiting stepped into the Group Managing Director role at Barkers Max Retail Group. While the first decade was about reviving a classic Kiwi brand, the second will be about making that brand as sustainable, ethical and environmentally low-impact as possible.
In this session, Jamie will take us on the Barkers journey and share what’s next for this iconic retail brand.
Property Council New Zealand
A well-respected industry leader, Leonie has extensive experience in the New Zealand property industry, having held top positions in both the public and private sector. From creating the concept of what is now realestate.co.nz, to buying and transforming her own residential property management business, helping establish the new Auckland Council, and managing asset development for Housing New Zealand, there’s not many areas of property that Leonie has not touched.
In 2011, Leonie was appointed to the board of NZX listed company Goodman Property Trust, and up until her 2018 appointment as Property Council’s Chief Executive, she dedicated her time to leading an independent philanthropic initiative to solve Auckland’s housing crisis. Leonie holds a Master of Commerce, majoring in valuation and property management and is a life member of the Property Institute of New Zealand, a chartered member of the Institute of Directors, and a member of Global Women. In 2017 she was awarded the Property Institute’s Supreme Property Award, the Property Council Auckland Property People Judges Choice Award, and was a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards.
Leonie is also an accomplished boxer, with her sparring partners bearing the brunt of her excellent strategic planning skills.
As our host for RECON23, Leonie will be both opening the event and providing the closing remarks.
Tony Alexander was Chief Economist at the BNZ for almost 25 years and has been out on his own as an independent economist since late-2019.
He distributes the free weekly “Tony’s View” publication to over 25,000 subscribers each week, writes a weekly column for OneRoof, has a weekly video blog, and speaks at about 80 functions a year around New Zealand. He also runs six monthly surveys which give coalface insight into what is happening in NZ industry and the housing market in particular.
In this enlightening and engaging session, Tony will give an in-depth look at the current economic climate and how it impacts Aotearoa’s retail sector.
With nearly 20 years of design experience. Chris is across every aspect of the business and every single project. Constantly jumping between driving creative direction, forging new business opportunities and the day-to-day management of the practice, Chris lives for design. Chris has travelled extensively and as such, understands the essence of human needs in a social context. Having established CTRL Space in 2009, Chris has seen all manner of business dynamics – from the GFC of ‘08, the retail boom of 2018 and a global pandemic, nothing comes as a shock anymore.
Chris’ insistence on the functionality of design has seen the business provide not only award winning design solutions, but highly profitable and longstanding venues for his clients.
Chris will be exploring how investment in a considered design approach can help steer spending decisions, how to ensure key design aesthetics align with the product or service on offer, the psychology of spending through a design lens and connecting a design and brand.
Tim started in retail in Australia in 1988, moving from stock hand to business owner in 1992. In 1995, he moved to its largest customer – Harvey Norman with various roles from buyer to franchisee to 2IC of the computer and communications division.
In 2002 Tim joined the partnership business (with HN) of international luxury
goods retailer Space Furniture as GM and in 2004 became Managing Director.
In 2009 Tim joined Noel Leeming Group as COO, overseeing 90 stores nationally over two brands before the group was acquired by The Warehouse Group, when he became CEO, then dual CEO of Torpedo7.
In 2020, Tim became COO for the group and was responsible for the sales functions of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, TWG Commercial (B2B) and TWG Services, as well as store operations and store development. Tim departed in 2021 to become a consultant via his advisory business, Destiny Business Services.
Last year, Tim joined JB Hi-Fi as Managing Director for New Zealand, where he is leading the JBNZ RESET program to double JBNZ’s business and help the business realise its potential in the New Zealand market.
As an international retailer with decades of experience, Tim joins us to talk about the differences between the New Zealand market and offshore.
Anastasia leads the Consumer Insights division of Retail Doctor Group. With a professional background as a scientific analyst and a Masters in Mathematics, Anastasia has developed a unique and proprietary approach to help retailers and FMCG brands understand their consumers and market opportunities.
Anastasia combines quantitative and qualitative market research, a proprietary methodology around neurosciences, mystery shopping and retail expertise to accurately model consumer personalities, motivations and behaviours. These insights enable RDG to provide retailers and consumer brands with an accurate overview of their customer base, which in turn informs strategy and provides a framework for deployment both in Australia and internationally.
Anastasia Lloyd-Wallis, Head of Insights from the Retail Doctor Group will update us on the latest research on human decision-making and show how to use these insights to create actionable competitive advantage for retailers and brands. She combines classic market research methodology with consumer neurosciences and specialised retail knowledge to tell you what your customers can’t.
Linda is the General Management Asset Management at Kiwi Property. She has overall responsibility for the strategic and operation aspects across the asset classes, with a view to optimising their investment performance., She has more than 20 years’ experience in property, retail, management and marketing.
This session will delve into the journey of Sylvia Park, a renowned retail destination. Greg & Linda will explore the successful transformation of Sylvia Park, highlighting innovative strategies in urban planning, mixed-use development, customer experience, and sustainability.
Michael Sweetman is an experienced property professional with a deep understanding of the retail property sector. Working as a Project Director at Precinct Properties, Michael is currently leading the Bowen Campus and Willis Lane retail redevelopment project in Wellington.
These projects follow on from a role at Precinct delivering the retail at Commercial Bay. Commercial Bay is a transformational development which has redefined the Auckland CBD retail landscape and has set a new standard for retail and hospitality within New Zealand.
Prior to joining Precinct, Michael worked at AMP Capital on a variety of development projects and also held a retail Asset management role. Development projects completed at AMP capital included the Imperial building (Louis Vuitton and Gucci) and 45 Queen Street (Prada and Dior) which cemented lower Queen Street as a luxury retail precinct. Michael’s property career includes a property research role and working on behalf of retailers to procure sites and manage their retail portfolios.
Michael Sweetman, Chair of the Property Council Retail Committee will give us an update from our Retail committee & how you can get involved.
Our expert panel will discuss retail in the Tauranga, Queenstown and Wellington regions, why brick-and-mortar retail is still alive and well and how the retail sector has navigated its way through covid and the lessons learnt.
David works with machine learning for environmental monitoring with particular interest in neural networks for landcover mapping, the use of machine learning in data creation and analysis in GIS workflows, and explainable AI. David is the Principal of Data Science and a founding employee of Lynker Analytics where he has built the machine learning and data science practice for Lynker over the past 4 years. David has worked on and led a ridiculously large number of AI/ML projects during that time, dealing with everything from model selection to imperfect data to collaborating in multi-disciplinary teams. With machine learning models to detect buildings and urban landcover, solar value calculators, to predicting property values, among others.
David will we explore the dynamic landscape of AI in the retail industry. He will delve into the endless opportunities it presents, from personalized customer experiences to supply chain optimisation. Understand the risks involved and discover innovative applications transforming the retail and retail property sectors.
As Property Council’s Head of Advocacy, Katherine is tasked with leads advocacy campaigns at both a regional and national level.
Level-headed and engaging, Katherine has both a law degree from Otago University and an arts degree (majoring in politics) from Auckland University. With solid experience as a policy analyst and advisor in Wellington and Auckland, she has extensive networks and solid analytical skills.
Katherine is hugely dedicated, highly intelligent and committed to ensuring the voice of our members is heard at all levels of governance. She’s also relentlessly positive and enjoys a good chat.
In this quickfire 10-minute session, Head of Advocacy Katherine Wilson will provide members with a snapshot of Property Council’s current workstreams, what’s on the horizon and how you can get involved to help champion the property industry.
Shara Paulo is an experienced architect based in Ignite’s Tauranga studio. As a WELL accredited professional, Shara sees advancing human health and wellbeing through architecture as central to her craft.
Shara’s retail design experience spans from large format developments in evolving suburban areas, to transformative mixed-use projects that energise town centres and cities.
A fellow of the NZIA, Shara is committed to community advocacy, and supporting the next generation of architects amongst us. Her human-centric design approach has seen her become a leader at Ignite, both in wellness and placemaking.
Our expert panel will discuss retail in the Tauranga, Queenstown and Wellington regions, why brick and mortar retail is still alive and well and how the retail sector has navigated its way through covid and the lessons learnt.
Greg Tolley has over 20 year’s experience in the property industry, the last ten years as a development manager at Kiwi Property.
Greg’s key role is the mixed-use master planning for Sylvia Park which includes new retail and commercial office buildings and Kiwi Property’s first Build to Rent development. Greg is also working on master planning LynnMall in West Auckland, the first stage of which is a mixed-use, Build to Rent building.
Greg is passionate about creating fantastic mixed-use environments and is excited by the prospect of developing Build to Rent within Kiwi Property’s existing assets.
This session will delve into the journey of Sylvia Park, a renowned retail destination. Greg and Linda will explore the successful transformation of Sylvia Park, highlighting innovative strategies in urban planning, mixed-use development, customer experience, and sustainability.
Group General Manager – Development Scentre Group
Justin Krzywokulski has 25 years of retail property development experience, working across Australian and International markets.
Currently Group General Manager – Development for Scentre Group, Justin has worked on numerous retail projects in Australia and New Zealand for Scentre Group including leading the team for delivery of the Westfield Newmarket project in Auckland. With a combined 17 years with Scentre Group and Westfield prior to that, Justin has been involved in many transformational retail projects for the Group. He has a passion for considered design, creating and delivering retail spaces where customers want to come, more often and stay longer.
Prior to Scentre Group Justin worked with Vicinity Centres in Australia and with Tesco in China as Head of Development & Acquisitions, developing 20 regional malls anchored with Tesco Hypermarkets.
Currently working across multiple projects that involve transformation of existing retail space, Justin is excited to be sharing the journey of transforming and repositioning of Westfield Knox in Victoria, Australia.
This session will delve into the exciting AU$355 million dollar redevelopment of Westfield Knox in Melbourne.
The project includes a full-sized NBL basketball court, a nature-inspired outdoor kids’ play space, a 2000 sqm library, and a swimming school concept featuring a 25-metre pool along with seating areas for families to dine.
Executive Creative Director
Liam is Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director at DARKHORSE. Established 12 years ago DARKHORSE is a consumer brand experience and communications agency based in Auckland, Sydney and Singapore. Liam has an extensive background in developing and producing innovative and impactful experiences for a diverse range of clients across various industries and sectors. Liam loves to challenge the status quo with creativity at the forefront of every solution. Experience wise, he’s done it all – from heliski guide to large-scale events to content shoots and everything in between.
Liam takes the stage to explore the world of experiential retail, diving into innovative activations and out-of-the-box initiatives. He discusses some of the consumer trends that are shaping the way we approach retail in the digital age while emphasizing the value of creative collaborations.