Skip to main content

Expert Advisory Panel members

Rachel Roberts

Rachel works with organisations on strategic and operational communications, as well as project-based work. She has worked across not-for-profit organisations, business and government agencies, as diverse as philanthropy and Search and Rescue. She has supported, driven and consulted on a wide range of activities. She has worked on a number of cross sector projects and forums aimed at creating collaborative responses to the issues at hand.

Rachel is most interested in delivering communication leadership that provides clarity and leads to practical outcomes that are fit for purpose and achievable.

In a previous life she was a journalist and radio producer working on National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme.

Rachel is married to Chris; they have two teenage boys and live on Wellington’s South Coast.

Suzanne Snively

Dame (Honorary) Suzanne Snively was named in the 2021 New Years Honours as an Honorary Dame Companion for her services to governance. In late 2020, Suzanne completed her final term as Chair of Transparency International New Zealand. Suzanne was a joint Co-Director of the comprehensive Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment. She is the author of the TINZ Financial Integrity System Assessment Methodology that provides an opportunity for accounting, legal, audit, risk management and strategic development knowledge to demonstrate the strengths, and advise on ways to enhance the integrity, of New Zealand’s financial system.

In her professional career, Suzanne was a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising as an economic strategist. She has been a company director for over 30 years, with extensive governance experience across public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Suzanne is currently on the Ministry of Transport Audit and Risk Committee, is a Director of New Zealand Opera, Deputy Leader of the Turnbull Endowment Trust, Chief Judge for the Kapiti/Horowhenua Business Excellence Awards, is a member of the advisory board for the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, a Trustee of the Opera Foundation and Wellington Theatre Awards. She chaired the Phase 1 Review of the Reserve Bank Act 1989 and is the Chair of Phase 2. 

Sean Audain

Sean is the Chief Innovation Lead at the Wellington City Council.

He is an urban planner who brings together communities and technologies to unlock insight and action towards the future of cities. He works across sectors focussing on Smart Cities, cross organisation priorities and achieving outcomes. His major interests are in taking concepts like Open Data, the Internet of Things, Data Visualisation, GIS and making them pathways towards solving real world problems and helping people make better decisions.

Sean has have worked with CivicTech and Digital Professionals across the city to grow and support Civic Hackathon groups and digital engagement.

In addition to the activities within Wellington City Council Sean has also been a supporter and organiser for a number of community data groups, including GovHack, Hack Miramar and the Climathon.

Dr Farib Sos

Dr Farib Sos has had wide experience in both the private and public sectors in New Zealand, spanning some 35 years.

Cambodian by birth, Farib was awarded a Colombo Plan Scholarship in 1972 and received a BSc degree from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. In 2009, he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to International Relations.

Farib is a commercially minded and experienced board member with strategic insight, governance expertise and sound interpersonal and communication capabilities who has engaged with diverse stakeholders including CEOs, executive teams, politicians, ministry officials and community groups. He is adept at viewing issues from different perspectives, drawing on his varied academic, business and political background to ask critical questions, challenge the status quo and mobilise stakeholders to gain buy-in and achieve organisational growth.

Farib is a Trustee and Director of the Asia Pacific Research Institute and Executive Chair of the Asia Forum. He was a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Council, and a Trustee of the University’s Foundation, and has previously Chaired Volunteer Service Abroad NZ

Simon Wright

Simon has a strong commitment to democratic governance and the aims of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). He participated in the development of New Zealand’s Third National Action Plan – participating in both a Wellington workshop and the Synthesis workshop.  Simon also co-organised a session on deliberative democracy at the OGP’s 2018 regional meeting in Seoul.

Simon is a public engagement professional with over 13 years’ experience working for organisations such as Toi te Taiao; the Bioethics Council (TtT) and the Wellington City Council (WCC). More recently, he has worked as a partner in a public engagement consultancy and has provided advice to a range of Ministers and organisations.

He has served on the Board of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) (Australasia) and chaired its Practice Development Committee. Simon teaches a Masters-level course on digital public engagement at the Victoria University of Wellington and has used digital technologies to engage the NZ public on complex issues News.

Simon was the coordinator of the WCC’s Youth Council, and a Trustee of Citizenship Trust and of Youth Work Wellington.

Sarah Colcord

Sarah is the founder of New Zealand's largest Facebook Group, Chooice (formerly New Zealand Made Products) and the co-founder and Managing Director of the e-commerce version She has extensive knowledge and experience in youth participation, local government, and project & event management. Sarah is a former elected member of the Manurewa Local Board, elected to Auckland Council when she was 20 years old and the General Manager for Auckland Youth Voice, Auckland’s leading network for Youth Participation. She is also a Duffy Book Role Model for low decile schools, a Board member for the YWCA Auckland. Sarah is a two-time Kiwibank Local Hero Medal Recipient.