Directors & Associates
The Workshop was founded by co-directors Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw and Marianne Elliott. As a collaborative, The Workshop works with a range of associates who bring diverse expertise and experience to our work.
Marianne Elliott is a researcher, strategist and storyteller who has used story-based research, advocacy and campaigning to influence policy in New Zealand and elsewhere over the past two decades. Marianne's work in policy advocacy and public narrative-setting is shaped by her commitment to clarity, creativity and compassion, and her work spans the breadth of social, economic and environmental issues. Marianne's strengths are translating complex ideas into clear, compelling narratives and tellings stories that help shift the dial of public opinion to support pro-social policy. Marianne is co-founder of ActionStation, a vehicle for Kiwis who believe in a fair and flourishing New Zealand and on the Board of Amnesty International New Zealand.
Follow Marianne on twitter: @zenpeacekeeper
Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw is a researcher, writer and communicator and good science advocate. Her focus is starting and contributing to conversations about policy that works to deliver wellbeing to all. Jess’ work is predicated on three things: making values transparent, delivering equity, and understanding best evidence. Her work to date spans the social, economic and political spectrum. Jess’ was awarded a PhD in Health Psychology from Victoria University in 2003 and has spent the last 14 years applying science and evidence to public policy. In recent years, Jess has focused on why communications that "go with the grain of cognition" better connect people with what is true, what works, and what to do in public policy.
Follow Jess on twitter: @DrJessBerentson
Morgan Godfery (Te Pahipoto (Ngāti Awa), Lalomanu (Samoa) is a writer and researcher, one of the leading authorities on Māori politics and policy. Morgan’s writing appears in the local and international media and his research appears in peer-reviewed journals in New Zealand and the UK. He is also the editor of The Interregnum, published by Bridget Williams Books in 2016 and sits on the board of the Centre for Legal Issues at the University of Otago Law School.
Follow Morgan on twitter: @MorganGodfery
Tze Ming Mok is known in New Zealand for her writing and advocacy on migrant and minority issues, and is a social science researcher. She specialises in ethnicity, social policy and research methods, and has delivered mixed-methods evaluations of UK welfare programmes for NatCen Social Research. Currently completing a PhD at the London School of Economics, she has previously worked for Amnesty International HQ in London, the UN in Geneva, and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.
Follow Tze Ming on twitter: @tzemingdynasty
Max Harris is a PhD student at the University of Oxford. He is the author of the book, The New Zealand Project, which presents a vision for confronting the challenges facing New Zealand, from the future of work to climate change, wealth inequality to new populism. Max has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He has worked on criminal justice, climate change, and decolonial campaigns.
Follow Max on twitter: @mdnharris
Advisory Board & Trustees
The Workshop’s Advisory Board (who are also the trustees) provides advice and guidance to ensure that The Workshop is implementing its strategy and delivering on our values and mission.
Shamubeel Eaqub is an experienced economist who makes economics easy. He is also an author, columnist, 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 a partner at Sense Partners a boutique economic consultancy.
Julie Fry is a consulting economist who divides her time between New York and New Zealand. She is the author of Going Places and Better Lives. Her current work is focused on using wellbeing frameworks to improve outcomes, migration, and encouraging more New Zealanders to be more ambitious about more things.
Max Harris is a PhD student at the University of Oxford. He is the author of the book, The New Zealand Project, and has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He has worked on criminal justice, climate change, and decolonial campaigns.
Laura O'Connell Rapira (Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa) is the Director of ActionStation, an independent, crowdfunded community campaigning organisation representing over 180,000 New Zealanders. She is also the Co-Founder of RockEnrol, a volunteer-powered organisation dedicated to activating the political power of young people.