It is natural to shy away from conflict, but this is what drives the meaningful conversations that communities are craving.
Join Natasha Utting (Media Manager, Waka Kotahi), Jenni Cochrane (Communications Manager, Matamata-Piako District Council) and Sarah-Lee Crellin (Associate – Communications and Engagement, Beca) as they share stories and tips on how to use good communication skills to help drive great engagement.
Gain valuable insights about how to work with the media effectively to support community conversations.
This is a panel event with an opportunity to get involved, share your own insights and ask the hard questions. There will be ample time for Q&A at the end too, moderated by PRINZ fellow, Peta Goldsworthy. If you have any questions you would like to send through in advance for the panel, please email them through to PRINZ firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the event.
Your panellists are:
Natasha Utting – Media Manager – Waka Kotahi
Natasha Utting worked as a broadcast journalist for close to 18 years, mostly as a reporter and producer in television current affairs. Her career has taken her around the world from covert work in Iran, to prison in the Philippines, to the Ross Ice shelf in Antarctica. From bus shelters with homeless people, to interviews with world leaders and pop stars. From undercover in a yoga cult, to camping with crocodiles in the Kimberleys. In 2020 Natasha took on her first communications role, telling stories about the construction of Transmission Gully. She’s now a media manager for Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency, looking after media enquiries and issues in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. Natasha lives in Auckland where she is mum to Soren, 9 and Marigold, 4. Bedtime stories are a favourite these days.
Jenni Cochrane – Communications Manager, Matamata-Piako District Council
Jenni Cochrane is the Communications Manager at Matamata-Piako District Council where she’s been pushing the boundaries on engagement and digital enablement since ages ago (16 years if we’re counting…). She’s transformed comms at MPDC from a one-man band to the 16-ninja comms, digital and events squad that she leads today. Jenni’s going to share one of her team’s highlight projects from the last 18 months – Tell Tom. Tell Tom was all about redeveloping a playground that was due for renewal – but instead of a typical asset replacement, the team decided to have fun with this one!
Sarah-Lee Crellin, Associate – Communications and Engagement Beca
Sarah-Lee has spent a good part of 15 years working somewhere within the communications and engagement industry. Starting her career in Wellington she worked in Parliament, was a media manager for multiple royal visits and worked alongside the Helen Clark for Secretary General UN campaign. Lately, she has spent her time growing a team in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region of excellent communications and engagement professionals for Beca – tackling some of the toughest issues communities are facing right now, from roading infrastructure through to climate change.