Noel Brown



There are some unusual things about the design consultancy DNA. One of them is Noel Brown’s job title: Kaumatua. Although he has the age credentials for it, Noel is Pakeha. But in the 70s and 80s he was a Te Reo Māori activist - one of several Pakeha who fought the good fight back then. For many years he lead design at furniture company Formway before moving to DNA, overseeing its development for over twenty years. On quitting the CEO role and becoming a non executive director no Pakeha title fitted Noel’s task and modus operandi as neatly as Kaumatua.

His role is to guide the consultancy into a New Zealand future that, in contrast to its past and present, has reconciled itself to its racist genesis and found a new equilibrium with Tangata whenua front and centre, honoured and prosperous; with Tauiwi welcomed, integrated and collaborating and with Papatuanuku revered.

Whakawhitiwhiti Kōrero

Tuesday 19 November

Noel will be convening the Social Innovation in Action panel on Day Two. Prior to the panel social innovation leaders will share their work, wonderings, and learnings. Following their presentations Noel will facilitate the question and answer panel discussion with these speakers.


Mukukā Hope Musowa


Vira Grace Paky