Colin Bass

Based at the top of the South Island, you will find Colin most weekends mountainbiking in the Richmond Ranges or out on the water enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Tasman Bay with his young family.

Colin harbours a passion for helping people work better together by delivering powerful collaborative planning solutions. He’s worked extensively in communities all round New Zealand and has a proven track record in local economic development. His catch cry, ‘You can’t take the ED out of community’, exemplifies the integrated approach he embraces in his work.

Colin founded Business Lab in 2000 with the vision of developing a planning approach that simplifies this often complex task while making it more effective and enjoyable for those involved.

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Rob MacLean

If you want to know how to lead groups in remote places or other challenging situations, Rob’s your man.  In late 2015, he stepped down as School Director at Outward Bound after six years successfully guiding this iconic New Zealand institution. Prior to this, he worked for the US National Outdoor Leadership School. He’s been immersed in an amazing ‘leadership’ lab for almost 20 years.

Rob has an innate ability to get the best from people whether leading a bush expedition or facilitating a workshop full of interesting people. Having studied and worked as an ecologist in the Arctic and Antarctic, he is passionate about making sure we leave this planet in a better state than when we first appeared on it.

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Paul McGregor

Paul is a skilled communicator with a taste for facilitation, business development and marketing.

His varied background includes public policy with the Ministry of Justice and design and technology with Lifehack, a systems-level initiative for supporting the wellbeing of young New Zealanders.  He currently also co-manages Adult Learning Support in Nelson.

He's a contributor through the Enspiral Network, a global collaborative network of passionate people working "on stuff that matters" and an irregular blogger over at

Outside work, you'll find Paul walking his hipster dog on the beach, messing around on his guitar or on the tools at home.



Sophie Preece

Based in beautiful Marlborough with her young family, Sophie is deeply passionate about the region’s stunning natural diversity. Depending on the season you will find her either sailing in the Sounds, tramping in the Richmond Range, skiing at Rainbow or mountain biking through the Molesworth Station.

Teaming up with Business Lab in 2014, Sophie has been instrumental in developing the Marlborough Smart + Connected (link to case study) programme, a unique Collective Impact local economic development initiative focused on Marlborough industries and communities. Sophie is an accomplished journalist and co-founder of the popular Marlborough Readers and Writers Festival.


Fiona Van Rooyen

Fiona is a business professional with a strong skill set for managing complex pieces of work and engaging with communities and large groups. 

She has survey design experience (both quantitative and qualitative) and is adept at analysing responses to identify key themes and insights. Her reports are directly tailored to the intended audience and are high impact, being well researched, engaging and easy to read.

In addition to being a qualified actuary her educational background includes a BSc(Hons), a Diploma in Secondary School Teaching and a Masters in Public Health. 

When not at work you’ll find Fiona indulging her passion for the outdoors.


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021 424 952