John Forbes is Chair of Te Taiao o Kāwhia Moana who is co-host of the conference. TTOKM is a community and multiple Government Department entity which protects west coast ocean sand dunes and the Harbour shorelines from erosion. John is also a committee Board member of Tainui Kāwhia Incorporation, a shareholder of Taharoa C Block Incorporation and is a trustee of several Trusts and is the Chair of the Waikato Advisory Committee for CCS Disability. John began his working life as an owner/manager of a large hill country sheep station in the King Country with his younger brother. He has been a National Board Member for Polio New Zealand and was Chairman o te Waikato branch of Polio New Zealand for several years.