US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa to speak in Gisborne

US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa to speak in Gisborne

US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa Scott Brown, and The Mind Lab by Unitec General Manager Fee McLeod, have been announced for the Eastland Group speaker series this October.

The “Eastland Group presents” speaker series, delivered in partnership with the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, has brought some of the country’s most innovative leaders to our region.

From Sir Stephen Tindall to Doug Hastie, Dame Susan Devoy and Sir Ray Avery, each speaker has been thought-provoking and engaging, sharing their unique experiences with the Tairāwhiti business community.

On December 7, the guest speaker is US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa Scott Brown. He took up the position in June, and this will be his first visit to Gisborne.

His life story is compelling, ranging from a tough childhood to young basketball star, part-time model, lawyer, senator, TV commentator and colonel in the Massachusetts and Maryland National Guard. He’s also an avid triathlete and musician.

This will be a timely and fascinating evening for locals of all political persuasions.

On October 31 at 5.30pm, the Mind Lab by Unitec will host a session for businesspeople with their GM, Fee McLeod.

Since The Mind Lab was established in Gisborne three years ago, this ground-breaking, progressive education hub has worked with more than 175 teachers and 17,761 students from Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast.

“Gisborne’s The Mind Lab by Unitec is a real success story,” said Gisborne Chamber of Commerce CEO Terry Sheldrake.

“The reach of the programme into our wider community, its future and doing business differently to disrupt education, will be highlights with our guest speaker Fee McLeod.

“We’re also delighted to confirm US Ambassador Scott Brown – it’s a function not to be missed.”

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd added that the speaker series, now in its seventh year, has always been about generating new conversations among regional leaders, business people, and the wider community.

Earlier this year, the 2017 programme launched with a performance by reigning Te Matatini kapa haka champions Whangara Mai Tawhiti, followed by a talk from round-the-world cyclist Jeremy Scott. More than 220 people attended the event at the War Memorial Theatre.

The next two speakers promise to attract enormous interest and diverse crowds.

“Our upcoming speakers will provide fresh viewpoints on the world we live in, and challenge the way we see the world. Their global insights and personal perspectives will be truly inspiring,” says Mr Todd.

Tickets for the October event will be available soon.  For any further details around these events, please email –