How we selected the panel

The panellists’ primary job was to listen to hundreds of people’s opinions, merge those with their own research and create a comprehensive report with recommendations for government.

Many factors were taken into account when choosing the six-person panel. They needed expertise in many areas:

  • industry experience 
  • governance
  • broadcasting and media
  • social media
  • political influence
  • economics
  • independence from ActionStation, BPM and vested interests

We sought a variety of ethnicities, ages, genders, agendas and a balance of people from across the political spectrum.

In the end our panel of six, while it is by no means a representative sample of New Zealand, strikes a balance across all of these requirements. It is a non-partisan panel comprising a formidable level of intelligence, expertise, compassion and analytical skills:

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Bill Ralston

Journalist and Broadcaster

Bill Ralston is the everyman of New Zealand television, a sometime political correspondent, arts and current affairs presenter, award-winning journalist and head of TVNZ news and current affairs. For three years from 2003 he was head of TVNZ news and current affairs. Since then he has continued a regular writing slot with The Listener, Stuff website and Radio Live, and also freelanced for the NZ Herald. These days he runs communications company Deadline Limited, with his wife, sometime Nightline presenter Janet Wilson.

Kay Ellmers

Producer and Director

Kay is Managing Director of Tūmanako Productions. She has produced everything from talk shows to educational videos across her career which started with a post-graduated diploma in Broadcast Communications from Auckland University in 1991.
As a freelance director she has produced numerous shows, documentaries and educational programmes.

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Lance Wiggs

Investor and business writer

Lance is the founding director of Punakaiki Fund which invests in high growth New Zealand based companies. He was formerly a practitioner with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Better by Design programme. Lance has a Bachelor of Technology (Hons) (Product Development) from Massey University and a Masters in Public and Private Management (MBA) with concentrations in Finance and Strategy from Yale University. He is a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Lizzie Marvelly 

Columnist, musician, blogger, social media campaign creator

Lizzie Marvelly's musical career started when discovered by Frankie Stevens and her famous uncle, Sir Howard Morrison, in her early teens. Lizzie writes one of the most well-read columns in the New Zealand Herald. She runs a successful website which is on a mission to empower young women through online media projects aiming to create smart, “no-filter” media. In September 2015, Lizzie launched Villainesse’s first major campaign, the globally-successful #MyBodyMyTerms. 

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Mark Jennings

Journalist, Producer and Consultant

Journalist Mark Jennings joined new channel TV3 in 1989, to set up its South Island news operation. After becoming TV3's news chief in 1995, he won wide respect as a calm hand, competing against TVNZ's bigger budgets and arguing that news presenters ought to have journalism experience. By the time his resignation was announced in 2016, Jennings had become one of the longest serving heads of news in NZ TV history. 

Shamubeel Eaqub

Economist, Author and Commentator

Shamubeel Eaqub is an experienced economist who makes economics easy. He is also an author, media commentator and a thought leading public speaker.
He has over a decade of experience as an economist in Wellington, Melbourne and Auckland in leading international banks and consultancy. 
He is on various boards of charities and commercial firms. He writes books in his own time on issues that matter to New Zealand and gives voice to the unheard.


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