Past Events


The BNZBA was privileged to support an event in the Grand Hall at the Parliament Buildings which featured an address and then conversation with British iconic conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, hosted by Dame Cindy Kiro, Governor-General of New Zealand, and attended by Tama Potaka, Minister of Conservation. During a fascinating session Jane highlighted the importance of everyone making a contribution to conserving our planet and in particular to enabling young people to take the action needed to create a far more sustainable world. Her own Roots and Shoots programme is in schools worldwide including New Zealand and it is the creativity and passion that these programmes generate that gives Jane hope for the future. It was uplifting to have the audience Q&A led by a number of the young people who were able to attend. We worked with a great group of partners British Council Tonkin + Taylor DLA Piper Forest & Bird and Royal Society Te Apārangi and we were delighted to be able to share such an inspiring event with some of our members and guests. As Jane Goodall says “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” 


Craig Steel founder of Vantaset™ present his insights to our members and guests on how to create a high achieving organisation based on his own very successful career coaching in the sports and business worlds. Highlighting the similarities between the sports and business worlds, Craig took the audience through how an athlete or an employee's mindset is the critical factor in their performance. Craig provided the audience with much to think about at a time when improving the level of productivity in New Zealand is a priority for both the private and public sectors. Our thanks HSBC New Zealand for their support of this event.


The BNZBA was delighted to host a presentation by Joe Nelson, New Zealand's Trade Commissioner to the UK and Ireland for NZTE while he was back visiting New Zealand. Joe was joined on the panel by two Kiwi business leaders whose businesses are performing very well in the UK, Emma Hulse, CEO of Steens Honey, and Mark Kidd, Founder and Director of Safe365. Much ground was covered and key takeaways included sharing success stories emphasizes the power of collaboration and leveraging networks,  the importance of resilience and adaptability cannot be overstated in navigating the challenges and having to 'kiss a lot of frogs!' before getting those key deals, turning clients into rock stars isn't just a motto; it's a strategy as empowering clients with exceptional service and turning them into advocates can open doors to new opportunities. Our thanks to HSBC for hosting this event.


Following the success of our Sustainable Leadership event in Auckland we replicated the event in Christchurch where members and guests were able to hear from Peri Drysdale (CEO and Founder of Untouched World), Bridget Williams (Founder of Bead and Proceed) and Katherine Forward (Partner at Duncan Cotterill). The panel provided some great insights into how business leaders need to approach the sustainability journey and not be overwhelmed by it. In particular they highlighted the need for good communication to get staff buy in and also the need for businesses to commit to making progress even if initially it is only through small actions. Our thanks to Duncan Cotterill for hosting this event.


Business leaders influence the culture of their organization through their own actions and the way they collaborate with other people, especially in New Zealand where businesses are often smaller than in many other countries. The leaders need to facilitate a collaborative environment for their employees, clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders to shape a sustainable future for their business. This event identified how leaders can do this, what skills they need, and how they ensure their own role and themselves personally are sustainable. The panel that covered these critical topics was Brett Ogilvie (Executive Director Sustainability at Tonkin + Taylor), Dr. Paul Aitken (author and leadership consultant), Daniel Street (Partner at DLA Piper), and Jacqui Macalister (Director Sustainable Finance at BNZ) and the event was facilitated by Dr. Victoria Hatton (CEO of FoodHQ). Our thanks to DLA Piper for hosting this event. 


We were delighted to hold an event celebrating International Women's Day 2024 in the auditorium of our members St.Cuthbert's College in Epsom. Our panellists were Tania Te Whenua (of Te Whenua Law & Consulting), Dr.Keri-Michele Cox (former Football Fern) and Katarzyna Jurkiewicz (Grimshaw Architects), who were expertly moderated by Maureen Benson-Rea (University of Auckland Business School). BNZBA members as well as a group of Year 12 and 13 students from the school were able to hear our speakers talk about their career and life journeys highlighting the challenges they had faced and how they had overcome them. As a former football fern, Dr Keri-Michele Cox gave us an insight into her journey of being the only girl playing football with 500 boys, to leading several delegations as a consultant for FIFA, UEFA and AFC and their members in over 70 countries. Katarzyna Jurkiewicz shared how her journey from Poland, to London to Sydney and now Auckland, has shaped her outlook to life, her architecture career and her leadership style as one of the two female leads of the architecture firm Grimshaw. From Opotiki to a global stage as Deputy Chair of Te Taumata - the Māori International Trade Board, Tania Te Whenua spoke about how the foundations of her value system were shaped by the shared journeys of the women who went before her. Our thanks to St.Cuthbert's for their hospitality.


BNZBA was delighted to host thinker and restless innovator Mike Hutcheson, who delved into the intricacies of successful innovation. With his trademark wit and wisdom, Mike captivated the audience as he shared his journey and expertise on what drove innovation and what New Zealand needed to propel itself onto the global stage. Drawing from his extensive experience, Mike emphasized the importance of understanding human thinking processes in fostering innovation. He introduced two groundbreaking frameworks – the 'Periodic Table of Innovation' and 'Mikopedia' – designed to provide a systematic approach to cultivating innovation and nurturing ideas. In his characteristic entertaining style, Mike highlighted the critical role of government investment in innovation, to prevent a talent drain from New Zealand. He spoke about the need for bold initiatives to support and encourage innovation, ensuring that New Zealand remains competitive in the global arena. Moreover, Mike shed light on his collaborative efforts with BNZBA partners AUT, where he taught young minds to think differently, by finding ideas themselves. In closing, Mike emphasized on the essential ingredients for any successful innovation - the need for a supportive ecosystem that fosters creativity and resilience. The event was not only informative but also served as a reminder of the immense potential within New Zealand to lead the way in innovation on the global stage.


We repeated our recent Auckland event for our Christchurch based members and other guests with a panel event featuring Greg Andrews (MFAT), Phil Gregan (NZ Winegrowers), Rachel Lynch (Zespri), David Kirk (BNZ) with moderation by Robb Stevens (Fonterra). We were also joined by the Peruvian Ambassador to New Zealand who brought along a number of his country's food and drink delicacies. A key message from the event was the opportunities available with CPTPP now being a global agreement with the inclusion of the UK and with 3000 Kiwi exporters already trading with the member countries. Also highlighted was the importance of these agreements for a smaller country such as New Zealand which relies on these type of trade agreements to create a level playing field for trade. Our thanks to the LATAM and ASEAN NZ Business Councils for partnering with us and to BNZ for hosting the event. 


Members were able to hear our panel of Craig Armstrong (NZTE), Lee-Ann Marsh (AGMARDT), Grant Verry (FoodBowl) and Prem Maan (Southern Pastures)  provide with an informative and insightful coverage of this critical topic for New Zealand. The key message was that there are lots of opportunities for our food export sector but there are also many challenges which we are not necessarily well prepared for, or in a number of cases even having a conversation about - collaboration, understanding the consumer, telling our sustainability story better, being much more focused on what we produce and why, access to capital were just a few of the areas raised. An overarching message was about our exposure to the global marketplace and the need to better understand that marketplace and its direction. The challenge of doing this was highlighted by the rapid round the world economic tour provided at the start of the event by Paul Bloxham  Chief Economist for Australia and New Zealand for HSBC who addressed the challenges that each of New Zealand’s major overseas markets are currently facing. Our thanks to HSBC New Zealand for supporting this event.


A group of members and guests spent an afternoon trying to hit  ball from the South Stand balcony into a children's paddling pool on the far side of the pitch. There were a few successes and a lot of near misses during what was a fun event. Our thanks to the team at Eden Park for inviting us and to Qatar Airways for sponsoring the event.


The critical issue of the electrification of New Zealand using renewable energy sources was addressed by an expert panel comprising Mike Casey (CEO Rewiring Aotearoa), Paul Currie (Energy Leader Asia Pacific Mott MacDonald), Pete Grogan (Director Harmony Energy), Tamara Linnhoff (Manager Electricity Generation, Infrastructure and Markets Policy, MBIE) who were moderated by Dr.Victoria Hatton (CEO FoodHQ). The key conclusion was that we need to transition our energy sector now to achieve net zero emissions and, while it will be costly, with the right incentives for farmers, growers and energy consumers we can use existing technologies to meet our goals. Thanks to Mott MacDonald for hosting us in their magnificent 6 green star rated building.


In partnership with the LATAM NZ Business Council and the ASEAN NZ Business Council we were delighted to provide members and their guests with the opportunity to hear from an expert panel on how CPTPP can benefit New Zealand exporters. The event featured Vangelis Vitalis (MFAT), Ashlin Chand (the Meat Industry Association), Phil Gregan (NZ Winegrowers), Jason Reeves (BNZ), and Darrell Jones (Gallagher Animal Management) and was moderated by Justine Arroll (Fonterra). The panel conveyed the benefits they had seen already as well as some of the challenges, but the key message was that CPTPP along with other FTA's are critical to the success of New Zealand exporters in terms of opening up markets and creating a rules based trading environment. Our thanks to AUT for hosting this event and to BNZ for sponsoring it. 



This event acknowledged that the approach to employee wellbeing is critical for all businesses in optimising their productivity and performance and in attracting and retaining a skilled workforce and that flexible working arrangements have become a key element in focusing on employee wellbeing, especially since the global pandemic. Members heard from our panel the results from the pilot programs in the UK and Australasia run by the 4 Day Week Global Foundation and how New Zealand company Decent Packaging has implemented a flexible working environment across their business in New Zealand and the UK. Commercial property specialists JLL addressed the implications for office space as businesses manage a workforce that spends less time in the office and Duncan Cotterill considered some of the legal impacts of implementing a flexible work structure in a business. 


BNZBA members and guests in Christchurch were able to hear from Iona Thomas, British High Commissioner, on the current relationship between the UK and New Zealand, in particular the progress that had been made towards the Free Trade Agreement going live by the start of June 2023. Iona was followed by our panel of local business leaders who all see the UK as an important market for their business. Ben Reed from Hamilton Jet spoke about how they use the UK as their EMEA distribution centre and Ojas Mahapatra of Fabrum talked about their collaboration with a UK engineering business in the development of hydrogen fuel for the aviation sector. Peri Drysdale of Untouched World was focused on the benefits from tariff reductions under the FTA which will make the UK a more attractive market and allow them to build on their existing sales there. Finally Tom Harrow addressed the opportunities to start up a business in the UK and the access to expertise and capital that made it possible for him to launch two companies there.  


Members and guests heard from British High Commissioner Iona Thomas and MFAT representative Andrea Beadle about the latest developments in the UK - New Zealand relationship. This included an update on progress on the Free Trade Agreement which Iona Thomas expected to come into force some time in May this year. In addition there was discussion of the UK's accession to CPTPP and the expected changes in the visa arrangements for young Kiwis and Brits. Andrea emphasized the New Zealand government's strong desire for New Zealand businesses to take full advantage of what is a very favourable agreement for many Kiwi business sectors and highlighted the tariff calculator as an example of the tools available to help businesses.


The BNZBA were delighted to partner with Auckland Business Chamber to hear Phil Goff, the next High Commissioner to the UK, talk about what he sees as his priorities for his new role. Phil highlighted 5 areas he wanted to focus on once he arrives in the UK in January next year. Top priority is optimising the FTA to grow New Zealand's exports to the UK. He sees the UK market as a key way of diversifying New Zealand's overseas earnings as it seeks to ensure that it is not over reliant on any one market such as China. His other priorities were - ensuring the security and defence relationship remains strong, reviewing how the UK and New Zealand can work together in the Pacific, building a more active relationship in the areas of science and research, and looking after the interests of the 75,000 Kiwis in the UK. He also stressed that he was keen to bring back to New Zealand the best practices of the UK in areas such as climate change and sustainability to enable Kiwis to benefit from the developments the UK have made in this area. Phil's presentation was followed by a Q&A session with Simon Bridges, CEO of the Auckland Business Chamber.  We wish the new High Commissioner well for his time in the UK. 


As we have emerged from the Covid pandemic a very topical issue has been the adoption of flexible working arrangements by a large number of organisations. This event brought together a panel of 3 speakers who were able to provide an excellent insight into the opportunities and challenges these arrangements are creating. Adam Shapley, MD of Hays New Zealand, described the prevalence now of flexible working arrangements and some of the types of arrangements that are being offered by employers and requested by employees. Charlotte Lockhart, co-founder of the 4 Day Week Campaign Global,  talked about how the adoption of a 32 hour working week with 100% of pay and productivity being maintained is able to have an impact on work life and also on life outside of work to create better and happier employees as well as better and happier people. Lastly Jessie Lapthorne from Duncan Cotterill's Employment Team spoke about the way that these new working arrangements need to interact with existing legislation and what businesses need to be aware of. 


Members and attendees heard from three experts in the field of risk management. Simon Jordan (Resilient IT and of the Business Continuity Institute in New Zealand) spoke first about the 2022 Horizon Scan Report of the BCI and the key risks that its global membership had highlighted in the short term and also in the medium term. While pandemic related risks in areas such as employee welfare and skills shortages were a priority, there was also growing  concern at the rise in cyber attacks and in systems and telecoms outages, risks heightened by the move towards remote working. In the medium term climate change risk was a top priority for global risk managers. Simon then spoke about what businesses need to be planning for and the actions needing to be taken to mitigate cyber risk. Simon was followed by Tanya Wood, a Partner at Duncan Cotterill with a focus on Insurance law and coverage of cyber risk and her presentation included the actions that businesses need to take as a minimum to be able to obtain insurance cover for cyber attacks. Our final speaker was Dr. Victoria Hatton, Director of Sustainability and Climate Change at PwC, who highlighted that climate risk is no longer a risk out in the future but is already with us and she provided her thoughts on how organisations can be taking action across their business to mitigate this risk. Our thanks to Duncan Cotterill for hosting this event and to Belinda Bullock for her photos of the event. The slides of Simon and Tanya can be found here


The Rt. Hon David Mundell MP, UK Trade Envoy to New Zealand, visited Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland to explore ways to leverage the Free Trade Agreement to grow the UK's business with New Zealand. As part of his programme the BNZBA was delighted to be able to hold a roundtable for David with a group of our members to discuss the opportunities for UK businesses and the areas they need help with to continue to grow their business here. David also took the opportunity to provide an update on the business and economic environment in the UK. Our thanks to David for making time to meet with our members and to David Johnston and the team at DLA Piper for hosting the event and for their support of the BNZBA.


Laura Clarke has been British High Commissioner to New Zealand for over 4 years but is soon to be heading back to the UK.  We were delighted therefore to be able to say farewell to Laura at her last formal business engagement in Auckland when she provided an update on the current status of the relationship between the 2 countries as well a look back at the highlights of her time here. Rachel Maidment, Director Auckland for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, acknowledged Laura's time here and the progress made in the relationship as well as providing an update from the New Zealand perspective. We were also joined at this event at AUT by Sam Johnson, a Board Member of the Prince's Trust Aotearoa New Zealand, who spoke about the work of the Trust and the launch of their new seed fund He Kākono. 


Supply Chains have been disrupted significantly by the impact of the Covid pandemic and more recently the war in Ukraine. This online event featured four experts in the Supply Chain process - Harriet Shelton (Manager Supply Chain Ministry of Transport), Richard Davies (Director HGL), Graham Nelson (GM Logistics and Charles Finny (Chair of the Port Company CEO Group) - and was moderated by Sarah Salmond (Partner MinterEllisonRuddWatts). The event covered the challenges and the future outlook for New Zealand's inward, outward and domestic movement of goods in this challenging environment. You can watch the event here


Presented in partnership with the BNZ and MFAT, this online event provided Minister O'Connor with an opportunity to provide his thoughts on the importance of the FTA between the UK and New Zealand, as well as to highlight the major benefits that the agreement is expected to bring. The Minister discussed the importance of gaining market access for New Zealand's meat and dairy industries, acknowledging that it will be a number of years before the real benefits start accruing. He also discussed the opportunities for other industries such as technology due to the scale of the UK domestic market. After his address the Minister then took questions from the attendees during which he outlines the process for getting the FTA in place.


Craig Fenton is a Kiwi who has spent over 20 years in the UK, the last 5 years of that time being with Google in London. Craig provided his thoughts on how the UK is dealing with emerging from the impacts of the Covid pandemic including the opportunities that technology has created to allow people to work from home and across borders. He also highlighted the importance of the UK market to Google and talked about Google's new UK HQ building that is under construction in the Kings Cross area as a demonstration of that commitment. He also talked about Google's focus on the mental health of its employees and the need to be able to measure their wellness. Watch the webinar here.


With the support of MinterEllisonRuddWatts we brought together a distinguished set of speakers to address business continuity management and the latest trends that businesses are seeing in this area. Simon Jordan of Resilient IT represents global leader the Business Continuity Institute in New Zealand and he took guests through the latest BCI Horizon Scan report which is based on the input from its global membership.  While the Covid pandemic dominated much of the report the risk of cyber attack and systems /telecoms outages remained very high for many organisations and Simon highlighted that 33% of respondents did not see the pandemic as the greatest threat to their business. The report also showed that the impact of the pandemic was seen as a having a greater impact on people rather than profits. Simon was followed by Andrew Curlewis who is Director of Future Programmes at Babock New Zealand. Andrew presented on how Babcock had successfully been able to meet the requirements of its major customer, the New Zealand Navy, during the pandemic which had led to them recently being awarded the Strategic Partnership Award by the Minister of Defence. Our final speaker was Andy Horne, co-leader of the Dispute Resolution team at MinterEllison, who provided a survey of the insurance coverage available and advice on what to be looking out for to ensure businesses are fully protected. If you wish to read the full BCI Horizon Scan 2021 report then it can be found here and a copy of the speakers' presentations are here.

RACE TO ZERO - 25/3/2021

In partnership with the British High Commission the BNZBA presented a panel session on the strategy of the UK and New Zealand governments to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with the global UN campaign "Race to Zero". Our panel session was facilitated by Jo Simon of DLA Piper and featured Sir Jonathon Porritt (Founder of Forum for the Future), Dr.David Hall (AUT), Rebekah Cain (BNZ), Liz Halsted (Arup) and Sam Pass (British High Commission). Each of the panellists highlighted innovative thinking and action that is happening already but it was made clear that there is no "silver bullet" to fix this crisis.  Among many key messages the most important the audience were asked to take away were the need for developed countries such as the UK and New Zealand to be doing much more as they are well behind in meeting their commitments and for governments and businesses to realise that we have reached the stage of a climate emergency. Our thanks to Arup, BNZ, DLA Piper and the Sustainable Business Network for their support of this event which was part of the build up to the COP26 conference in Glasgow scheduled for this November.


Christchurch members and guests were provided with an update on the relationship between the UK and New Zealand by Laura Clarke, British High Commissioner, and Dale Stephens, Director Maori Partnerships. Laura spoke about progress with the FTA between the 2 countries, the UK's commitment to its policy to combat the impact of climate change which will be framed by the hosting of COP26 later in 2021 and the recent paper produced by the UK Government on the UK's global positioning now it has left the EU which includes a shift of focus towards the Indo-Pacific region. Dale spoke about how NZTE had needed to get much more involved in supporting Kiwi exporters due to the impact of Covid causing freight capacity to become hard to find and the inability of Kiwi businesses to travel to overseas markets. He also highlighted the opportunities for New Zealand's agriculture sector to take advantage of the value that overseas buyer see in New Zealand produce and the realisation by NZTE that they needed to get involved with companies much earlier in their development as that was when they needed most help to access overseas markets.


In recognition of International Women's Day the BNZBA was delighted to organise a panel of outstanding women leaders who addressed the issue of inequality and why it is up to all of us to take responsibility for improving the environment we live and work in. British High Commissioner Laura Clarke, Sport NZ Board member Beatrice Faumuina, Leadership NZ CEO Anya Satyanand, and 4 Day Week CEO Charlotte Lockhart each provided insights from their own personal perspectives that clearly motivated the attendees and led to a very good Q&A session. Key recommendations to arise included the need for men and women to share the home workload evenly, the need to embrace what makes us different in a positive way, the importance of putting work in its correct place compared to things like family and our health, and the need to be clear on what kind of New Zealand we want to live in. Our thanks to Hesketh Henry for hosting this event.


This event brought together a panel comprising Colin Leeman, Head of Trade Policy for the UK government in New Zealand, Nicholas Walbridge, Lead Adviser (Trade & Economic) Europe Division at MFAT, Justine Arroll, Trade Strategy Manager at Fonterra, Mike Houlahan, Senior Manager, and Sarah Salmond, Corporate Partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts. Our panel provided a great insight into the challenges and opportunities that the UK's departure from the EU that will arise for businesses in New Zealand. Our thanks to MinterEllisonRuddWatts for partnering with us on this event. The full event can be viewed here.




With the recent announcement of the start of FTA negotiations between the UK and New Zealand the BNZBA was delighted to partner with MinterEllisonRuddWatts to hold a panel session exploring the implications of the FTA for both countries. The distinguished panel featured Laura Clarke, British High Commissioner, Faye Sumner, CEO of MTANZ, Stephanie Honey, International Trade Policy Consultant, and Jason Reeves Head of Export Business  Development at the BNZ. A number of key themes emerged, in particular the desire for this FTA to be leading edge and in particular to include a focus on digital services, climate change, gender equality and SME's. Negotiations start on 13th July and both sides are keen to conclude a deal as early as possible with this being seen as an opportunity to help the UK in its efforts to join the CPTPP. Watch the event here.


To celebrate International Women's Day the BNZBA held a panel session gender equality featuring a very distinguished panel; Margaret Cox, former Irish senator, Sarah Trotman ONZM, Sarah Lang Infrastrucure NZ, and Charlotte Lockhart, CEO 4 Day Week Foundation. Around 70 members and guests were inspired by our panellists thoughts on what needs to be done to eliminate gender inequality. Key themes included the need to take action not only for self but also for other women and the need for men to be actively involved and supportive of gender equality for it to stand any chance of it being achieved.  This event was recorded and it can be viewed here

BREXIT DONE - WHAT NEXT?  - 4/2/2020

A distinguished panel of Laura Clarke, British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Michelle Slade, Principal Adviser MFAT, Stephanie Honey, Associate Director NZIBF, Paul Webster, International Services UK DIT, and John Forrest, Head of International Trade DLA Piper, provided BNZBA members and guests an excellent insight into what they might expect to see in the near and longer term as the UK negotiates the terms of its future trading relationship with the EU and the UK and New Zealand commence FTA discussions. The panel covered many aspects of this including the sequencing of the discussions and the ability for the UK and New Zealand to progress some important areas outside of the formal FTA talks. A common theme emerged that whilst in the shorter term there will continue to be a level of uncertainty and the challenges that arise from that, there are in the longer term significant opportunities for both countries to strengthen their trading relationship especially in the areas of services and technology. The BNZBA thanks DLA Piper for their hosting and support of this event.