Keynote Speaker

Kara Puketapu-Dentice

Kara has held various senior roles in the public service and private sector which have focused on improving outcomes for Māori. Kara holds a Masters of Planning and Resource Management (with distinction) from the University of Otago and since then has worked in the areas of strategy, policy, environmental management, housing, and iwi governance.

In 2015, Kara participated in the Asia Pacific Leadership Programme at the East West Centre in Hawaii, and later in 2019 was selected as an emerging leader to be a part of the Obama Foundation Asia Pacific Leadership Forum held in Malaysia. Kara is the CEO of Taranaki Whānui, a tribal entity within New Zealand, where he is responsible for delivering the social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing for his 20,000 members. Kara was previously the Director of Economy and Development at Hutt City Council. In this role he is responsible for housing, community assets and facilities, transport, urban development, business and economy, as well as significant transformational projects such as ‘RiverLink’ which will be a game changer for the future growth and prosperity of Hutt City.

Kara was born and raised in Wainuiomata and is of Te Āti Awa and Ngāi Tūhoe descent.