We are on a Horowhenua mission to activate the opportunities we have right here!



David Cunliffe, a Director at Polis Consulting Group was the first speaker to kick off this years ELECTRA BA5 events for 2024. David shared his views on the new government's first 100 days and the regional opportunities he sees for Horowhenua, particularly with the Ō2NL project set to unlock the district to future growth.  

Hendrix Warren (THCL Business Growth Manager) welcomed everyone with a karakia before Mayor Bernie Wanden began the introductions.

David’s presentation focussed on the biggest opportunities facing Horowhenua now, as well as his thoughts on the Horowhenua 2040 strategy and the six community outcomes. He also touched on other projects such as infrastructure and the Te Utanganui project and Government 100 day plan. There was an excellent interactive question and answer session with David and the Bernie Wanden Horowhenua Mayor giving insightful feedback to attendees.

David Cunliffe is a New Zealand management consultant and former politician who was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition (September 2013 to September 2014). He was a member of Parliament from 1999 and 2017. He served as the Minister of Health, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, and Minister of Immigration for the Fifth Labour Government from October 2007 until November 2008. 

He previously worked as a diplomat from 1987 to 1994 and gained a Diploma in Social Sciences (Distinction) in economics from Massey University in 1993. He is a Fulbright Scholar and Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.  In 1995 he completed a Master of Public Administration at Harvard Business and Law School. 

Photo : Geoff Douch CEO Electra , David Cunliffe Polis Consulting Group speaker, Bernie Wanden Horowhenua Mayor with Di Rump ( CEO Muaupoko Tribal Authority)

Following his retirement from Parliament on 21st of April 2017, David joined the New Zealand-based management consultancy firm Stakeholder Strategies, as a partner, working for a range of public and private sector clients. He left the company in 2020. Since then he has been a director of the Polis Consulting Group in Wellington.

Polis Consulting Group is a top-tier boutique New Zealand strategy consulting firm with a staff of senior experts and seasoned advisors, trusted to navigate New Zealand’s toughest public and private sector challenges.  Polis consults on regional, infrastructure and economic development practices.


1. The new Government and the regions

2. Where are Horowhenua and Manawatū-Whanganui now?

3. Horowhenua in a new era of Central-Regional government partnership

    a. Opportunities for Horowhenua and Manawatū-Whanganui

    b. Lessons from the road: leveraging local/regional strengths

The next Electra BA5 will be held on Thursday 21st March and the speaker line up includes Jeffy Palamattam from Electra, The Better NZ Trust - Leading The Charge and Camilla Cochrane from EECA, who will sharing information on EVs, emissions and electrifying your fleets.