New Zealand Walking Summit 2021 Day 1 programme

We have a great line up of speakers to get our walking brains stepping up to meet the future opportunities and challenges!  

Thursday 24 June Day 1   9.30 - 4.45pm

The pedestrian experience and how to make it better

Moved to Zoom







9.30am   Mihi Whakatau

Welcome and housekeeping

Keynote session

Minister of Transport Michael Wood 











Discussant panel - a what? A panel to talk about what we have just heard from the Minister of Transport! Three commentators from a wide variety of backgrounds give their view. With Olivia Wanna and Celia Wade-Brown discussing the Ministers speech and what it means for walking.

11am  Session 1 People on the Move - pedestrian experience from different perspectives - sponsored by Wellington City Council  

Dr Judith A Davey - Judith’s social research experience extends from the 1960s and for the last 25 years has focused on the ageing of the population - its social, economic and policy implications. She was the first Director of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing.

Judith has worked closely with voluntary organisations representing seniors and has provided advice to numerous policy-making bodies in the public, private and voluntary sectors. She continues to be associated with large-scale research programmes concerned with the wellbeing of older people. As well as participating in community activities and interactions, Judith has a varied publication record which includes academic papers, books and book chapters, popular articles, blog posts and commissioned reports. In 2019 she was awarded the MNZM for services to seniors.






Conor Twyford - works as the Organiser: Relationships with Communities for NZEI Te Riu Roa, the union for principals, teachers, support staff and other education professionals working in primary, area and secondary schools, early childhood centres, special education and  school advisory services. Her main role there is to work with members to support them to get active on climate change. She began her working life as a fisherwoman on the Great Barrier Reef, going on to study environmental science, art, and not-for-profit management. She has been active in unions and community organisations all her working life, most recently as the Chief Executive of Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP; and is currently studying for a Masters in Professional Practice, exploring how education members can organise effectively on climate issues through the lens of Te Ao Māori.







Stephen Day - is the Communications Manager for Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa | the Walking Access Commission. The commission is the government agency that enhances people’s access to the outdoors. It works with communities to create and tend tracks and trails, resolve access disputes and care for our land and the people who live, work and play on it. Stephen’s job is to tell the stories of those communities and their pathways.









Aleisha Amohia - (Te Ātihaunui-a-Papārangi) (she/her) is a passionate young champion for diversity and inclusion. Aleisha is the Wellington Branch President for the National Council of Women New Zealand, where she contributes her skills and years of community and advocacy experience to causes that affect and involve all wāhine. Through this mahi, she helped to establish the Wellington Alliance Against Sexual Violence and organise the #LetUsLive: Rally for a City Free From Sexual Violence in March. Aleisha recently graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Management and Information Systems), and works as a software developer for global open source project Koha, at Catalyst IT. @aleishaamohia on Twitter





Mary Fisher 











Mike Mellor - is a retired transport manager, and has been a member of Living Streets Aotearoa from the outset. He is a former Environmental Sustainability representative on the Wellington Regional Transport Committee and a current member of Greater Wellington Regional Council's Public Transport Advisory Group. His favourite way of getting round Wellington is the combination of walking and public transport, being natural and essential partners.








Erin Gough - A lawyer by training, Erin has previously worked in policy, and advocacy roles at the Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Education. Erin currently works the Office of the Children’s Commissioner as a Senior Advisor with responsibility for supporting the Commissioner to monitor and advance the Government’s implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Disabled since birth, Erin is an experienced disability activist.








1.30pm Three Walkshops - sponsored by Greater Wellington Regional Council 

1  Green spaces and cultural elements in an urban landscape - a walk around some green and not-so-green places and routes in the central city urban landscape – some well-known, some surprising. See and discuss the issues associated with these places, their connecting and competing walking and other transport routes, all with their ecological, urban planning and cultural stories. Sadly, not wheelchair accessible.

Dr Paul Blaschke is an independent environmental consultant and researcher based in Wellington. With a background in ecology and environmental policy work, Paul has been particularly active in applied urban ecology and urban sustainability issues. Paul has led projects examining green space values and provision, and is part of a Victoria University of Wellington team undertaking a Marsden-funded project ‘Wellbeing through nature-based urban design’. He has taught environmental studies and environmental health courses at VUW and University of Otago Wellington.

Paula Warren - chair of Growing Places Charitable Trust an organisation to support more green spaces in urban areas and along transport corridors, and Chair of Friends of Baring Head restoring native and heritage values in a unique ecosystem.

Unfortunatly this was cancelled because of Level 2 Covid19 changes. We hope to reschedule later in the year.








2  Accessibility and what it means for getting around - Raewyn Hailes is the Access Coordinator for the Central Region of CCS Disability Action. She works closely with Councils to improve the infrastructure to enable people with disabilities to choose to be pedestrians.  She coordinates the Access Aware mobility Parking app, providing data on mobility parking abuse.  She is a strong advocacy voice on local community groups and advisory groups for public transport.


Unfortunatly this was cancelled because of Level 2 Covid19 changes. We hope to reschedule later in the year.







3  The trip to school - walking with kids. Take a trip from the Terrace through the tricky and intriguing parts of Thorndon with secondary students who know it well (an image of the zine produced for the walkshop). 

This walkshop went ahead with Hayleigh and Anna, and teacher Paul, who presented us with a zine map and description of sites of interest around Thorndon, and how WGC students get to school. A survey Hayleigh and Anna did showed that is most travel by bus and walking although most of the issues are caused by, you guessed it, car trips.








3.30pm  People on the Move - pedestrian experience from different perspectives - part 2

Alicia Hall, Parents for Climate - has a background in community and environmental work. She is currently studying Social Policy and is a strong advocate for Climate Justice. She founded Parents for Climate Aotearoa in 2019 to empower parents to take action on climate change. She is passionate about ensuring all children will have a liveable climate to grow into. Alicia works as Campaign Director for 350 Aotearoa, leading an initiative to decarbonise schools in the Wellington region. She is also a member of Connect Wellington, who advocate for designing a city with our most vulnerable people and the environment in mind that will benefit everyone. Alicia is a mother of three children aged between 6 and 12 who want to be able to navigate the city and their environment safely.








Rhiannon Mackie - is an organiser and the Communications Coordinator at School Strike 4 Climate Wellington, having been involved in the movement for over two years. She is also a year 12 student at Hutt Valley High School who advocates for student and youth voices to be given more weight in the political system. Unfortunately Rhiannon couldn't join us so we hope to hear from her at another time.










Panel discussion - reflections on the day

Aleisha Amohia - see above

Charles Tyrrell QSO - is from Nelson and is a member of the board of Age Concern New Zealand.  He survived a brain haemorrhage and stroke in 2005 and walks as much as he can as part of his rehabilitation.  Charles retired as the Anglican Dean of Nelson Cathedral in 2010.  Since then he has worked to support the growing numbers older people both within the Anglican Diocese and as Chair of the Nelson Tasman Positive Ageing Forum and with Age Concern, both locally and nationally.








Sean Audain - is the City Innovation Lead at Wellington City Council. His career has focussed on Innovation, Smart Cities and the strategic transformation of Local Government. Sean leads the development of Wellington’s smart city, exploring how Open Data, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Data Visualisation, GIS and Virtual Reality can help Council understand the city, better talk with citizens and make better decisions. Sean has an Urban Planning Degree from the University of Auckland and serves on a number of Partnership Bodies including the Open Government Partnership Expert Advisory Panel, Digital Twin Taskforce, the World Economic Forum’s G20 Smart Cities Advisory Group and the Global Futures Council. Sean’s work has seen Wellington recognised as New Zealand’s leading smart city and has been recognised by a number of National and International Awards.








6pm Dinner (optional, pay as you go)


To Friday 25 June programme


About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

JOIN US and help with our campaigns