Bernie is an avid learner with a curiosity that draws her to new ideas, work and conversations focused on making sense of and solving complex problems. With foundations in human geography and politics, Bernie’s passions lie in the relationships between people, place and space - their communities, culture, economy, politics and the environment. Her current interests include the digital realm, industry disruptions and new economic futures surrounding food, human-nature relationships, livelihoods, mobility, trade and resilience.
Bernie’s career and experience spans strategic planning, corporate strategy and customer facing roles in the fields of economic development, recreation planning, tourism operations, hospitality and retail. She is currently the programme manager for the secretariat supporting the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum, a collective of the 19 hapū and iwi authorities in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland.
Bernie enjoys the great outdoors, is an aspiring gardener and lives in Auckland’s rural north. She is a founder of Fresh as Local, a new startup with a vision of building stronger local food connections that are good for people and good for the planet. Bernie is also on the National Council of the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand - the country’s largest and one of the world’s oldest membership organisations supporting organic food and farming, committed to creating an organic New Zealand and the maxim of “Healthy Soil – Healthy Food – Healthy People”.