Public Forum October 2022

Get an update on Whanganui & Partners' progress and plans.

Hear about our performance and put your questions to our Board members.

  • 20 October, 5.30pm
  • UCOL Atrium, Rutland St, Whanganui
  • RSVP

This is an opportunity to hear from the people overseeing the agency’s strategic direction. Chief Executive Hannah Middleton and Board Chair Pahia Turia will also provide an update on Whanganui & Partners’ key activities and our region’s economic position.

RSVP now to reserve your seat at the Forum. Email us at to put a question to the Board.

The Public Forum is free, and there will be kai and drinks provided.



Whanganui & Partners CE and Board:

Hannah Middleton

Hannah leads Whanganui & Partners and heads the agency’s communications with the Board, Whanganui District Council, and the public. Hannah is responsible for guiding Whanganui & Partners’ strategic direction and supporting the team to achieve at a high level. She has a strong understanding across key sectors and has well-established relationships with industry, local and central government agencies, and across the broader Manawatū-Whanganui region. Hannah is Board Chair of the Whanganui District Employment Training Trust and a Board Member of Economic Development New Zealand, and a Board Member of Sport Whanganui.

Pahia Turia

Pahia Turia is from the Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa, Whanganui and Ngā Rauru Kī Tahi whakapapa. He has been involved in Māori community development in the areas of health, justice, education and social housing for a number of years. Pahia holds a number of directorships on boards throughout the country. He and his wife Njela own local businesses and have a keen interest in residential and commercial property.

Gaelle Deighton

Gaelle has previously been a resident and has relocated back to Whanganui as she has family in the region. Gaelle has an MBA from Southern Cross University, Australia and was previously CE of Manukau City’s economic development agency. She brings with her a wealth of experience in economic development and in-depth knowledge of central and local government processes and policies in economic development, employment, community and business development. Gaelle has strong governance experience and currently holds trustee positions with two community organisations delivering social services to their communities.

Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is currently General Manager of Manuka Farming NZ Ltd. Prior to this he held positions in foreign affairs, trade and marketing. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Canterbury. In his current role, he reports to the Board of Directors of Manuka Farming. He has also held the position of Chair of the Shepherd’s Arms Foundation, a charitable trust which runs a children’s home in the Philippines.

Anne-Marie Broughton

Anne-Marie was born and raised in the Whanganui region and has extensive experience in sustainability, innovation, business development, management and growth. An experienced Maori Land Development Consultant, Anne-Marie served on the Ministerial Advisory Panel for the Maori Land Service in 2017. She also served on the Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board for six years and was the Kaiwhakahaere (General Manager) of the Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Post Settlement Governance Entity – Te Kaahui o Rauru for over five years.

Phillip Bedford

Phillip Bedford is a former CEO of the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy. Prior to this, he was Commanding Officer at the base headquarters at Ohakea. He has an MBA (with distinction) from Massey University and was involved in the initial working groups relating to the Regional Growth Study, which was then formalised as Accelerate 25, the Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan. He has held executive-level management positions and served in governance roles including as a Trustee of the RNZAF Welfare Fund, Chair Base Leadership Group Ohakea, and as a Trustee of the Carncot Independent School.

Michelle Caldwell

Michelle is Director and Marketing Strategist at Destinate NZ Ltd. She has more than 25 years of experience working in New Zealand tourism, including on iconic destinations and activities such as Huka Jet, Rainbow Springs, and Mt Ruapehu ski fields. Michelle also has more than 10 years of experience in governance roles in the tourism sector. Michelle’s focus is centred on the people who create and seek out the visitor experience. Michelle is highly skilled in marketing, strategic planning, team leadership and relationship building, product and brand development, business development and event management.

Mark Cleaver

Mark is CEO of Massey Ventures Ltd, a commercialisation and venture investment business. He has more than 20 years of experience in the research and education sectors and has held a number of governance roles for companies in the agri-tech and robotics fields. Mark is passionate about research and innovation and is the co-founder of Aero Sports Protection Ltd. He has also helped a number of technology-based start-ups become successful businesses. Mark has experience on boards and trusts related to education and disability support. Mark has experience on the board of the former Manawatū economic development agency, Vision Manawatū.


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