Nancy McConnell is a Strategic Adviser with the Hawkins Group. First appointed a Trustee of the NZ Business & Parliament Trust in 2013, she is the current Deputy Chair.Nancy has spent many years working in external and internal communications management across construction, infrastructure and property, from strategic brand positioning initiatives and marketing communications to relationship management, issues management, media, government and community affairs. 

From a community perspective improving educational underachievement has been a core focus and passion. This commitment includes building relationships between business and the wider community in relation to contextual education pathways and work opportunities.

For nine years Nancy was a trustee on COMET, the City of Manukau Education Trust, one of the first CCOs established in the country – their goal to ‘make education work in Manukau’. From 2008 -2016 she represented the Hawkins Group /McConnell Group businesses in a school business partnership with South Auckland’s Papakura High School. Much of this time was in a governance role as a co-opted board trustee working strategically to establish a ‘pathways’ focus to assist students within both academic and contextual /vocational pathways to learning and jobs. 

Nancy supports Hawkins in a governance role with He Toki ki te Rika, a unique collaborative partnership led by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu with Te Tapuae o Rēhua, ARA Institute, Hawkins (and supported by government). The focus of this initiative is a commitment to increasing Māori leadership in the trades to support Māori fulfilling a visible and distinguishing role in the rebuild of Canterbury. This involvement has led to supporting a further four Maori and Pasifika Trades Training partnerships, in the Waikato, Wellington and two in Auckland.