DDI: 03 943 0580 • Email Steve
Steve has a broad experience of journalism, public relations, community engagement and training gathered during more than 40 years in the communications sector.
He has held senior management roles in local and central government, the NGO sector, business and charitable organisations; working in Canterbury, Southland, The West Coast, Wellington and Auckland.
As a communications manager, Steve has a record of proven success in media issues management and crisis response. His approach to consultation, community engagement and public information has earned him the respect of his colleagues, clients and community organisations.
Steve is highly skilled at taking complex subjects, technical documents, research papers and the like, and developing from them plain English communications resources that make this knowledge accessible to the public. He can effectively convey information in ways that win support from leadership at national and local government levels, from the community and the public.
One of Steve’s specialist skills is reporting and communicating issues for and/or impacting upon Māori. He was a Māori issues reporter for many years and several of his government roles required extensive Māori liaison and consultation. One of his focus areas in this regard was the issue of access to natural resources for cultural purposes. Steve worked extensively with the Department of Conservation and West Coast hapu on the ‘cultural materials bank’ and the issue of cultural access to resources in public reserves, scenic reserves, coastal resources, national parks and the like. As a tutor of journalism at Aoraki Polytechnic, Steve led the Maori issues reporting segment of the course. His referees include iwi and marae-based organisations that recognise his skill at representing Māori issues to a wider public.
In his time as a journalist, Steve had the Maori, political, local authority, agriculture and business reporting rounds, and brings this knowledge to his role with Convergence. His experience in covering and representing the rural and agricultural sector is informed by his own background. He is South Island born and has a deep knowledge of rural Canterbury, its people and industries, including a period working, with his partner, as a ‘Married Couple’ for one of the South Island’s high country stations.
Steve started in journalism before tertiary courses were available, completing a formal cadetship. He has been deeply involved in the industry since, working for a diversity of newspapers including The Timaru Herald, Central South Island Business News and The Sunday Star Times. His news features were regularly picked up by other papers. This experience has been recognised by being selected for education and training roles in tertiary institutions, including Aoraki Polytechnic School of Journalism, which is acknowledged as one of the best print journalism courses in the country.
Training is another string to Steve’s bow. He provided in-house journalism training across a number of South Island newspapers and is an experienced provider of media training to the government, business and community sectors.
His experience in communicating health issues resulted in Steve being contracted to provide training on public health issues for the Christchurch School of Medicine, various DHBs in the South Island, the GPs continuing education programme and the Canterbury Police District.
Steve’s forte is relationship skills. He is very people focused and has a real ability for tailoring often complex information to suit a variety of audiences.
At Convergence, Steve works with a range of clients including Izone, Westland Milk Products and the Lincoln University Foundation’s South Island Farmer of the Year competition.
Privately, Steve is a published author (one of his short stories has been made into the award-winning New Zealand short film ‘The Colonel’s Outing’) and is a skilled photographer (his wildlife and native plant photography has appeared in a number of national and international publications), writer and blogger about our landscapes, native wildlife and conservation issues.