New Zealand Leaders Stand Together

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Media release from New Zealand Leaders Stand Together

Emerging leaders seek support from NZ CEOs to foster inclusive and diverse workplaces following Christchurch mosque attacks.

A group of emerging leaders has published a letter calling for CEOs and other leaders across the country to enable a better, safer and more inclusive New Zealand following the Christchurch mosque attacks on 15 March.

The letter, already supported by organisations including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Ernst & Young (EY), commits to addressing discrimination and creating more inclusive environments within New Zealand workplaces.

“As leaders, this is a critical time for us to reflect, listen, learn and most importantly empower change to enable a better, safer, more inclusive country that embraces diversity for our people,” the letter reads.

“Unfortunately, racism and discrimination are still a part of daily life for many New Zealanders. We have a responsibility as leaders to ensure this ceases – not just for ourselves, but for our children, families, friends, colleagues, communities and future generations. Now is the time to act with strength and to use aroha and respect to forge a pathway forward.”

The letter, published at and on the LinkedIn page ‘NZ Leaders Stand Together’ was initiated by a group of emerging leaders graduating from the Darden Executive Programme as the events in Christchurch unfolded on 15 March.

Executives across New Zealand are being encouraged to become signatories to the open letter and join the dedicated LinkedIn group which has been set up for leaders to chat and share resources that support organisations to undertake the actions laid out in the letter.

Organisations that sign the letter are pledging to create a culture where people are empowered to speak up when they observe casual or systemic discrimination in the workplace. The organisations are also promising to provide the training, tools and techniques to support inclusive behaviour, to regularly review internal processes, and to celebrate and acknowledge the value of diversity in the workplace.

Spokesperson for the group, Sharon Davies, CEO of Talent Propeller and a 2019 Darden alumni member, said two of the key threads in the programme were inclusive growth and leadership that embraced diversity.

“While many might argue New Zealand is already a progressive and inclusive country, the mosque attacks highlighted that we still have a long way to go before we can say racism and discrimination aren’t problems here,” said Ms Davies.

“So, as emerging leaders within a range of New Zealand organisations, we recognised that we could leverage our own networks and drive real change within New Zealand workplaces to build a better future for all New Zealanders.”

Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr and EY NZ Managing Partner Simon O’Connor said they were committed to ensuring a positive and inclusive environment for their organisation’s employees today and in the future, and called on others to show their support for the initiative too.

“Being a signatory to the open letter is a public way of sharing our commitment to developing and promoting inclusive, diverse and safe workplaces. Some organisations are further along in this journey than others, yet collectively we will work together to empower change. We hope more organisations will join us,” Mr Orr said.

“The events in Christchurch have been a wake-up call for many New Zealanders. Now is the time to make real change that fosters a safer, better future for all of our people and we are pleased to be making that commitment today along with many other New Zealand organisations. We hope more will join us today,” Mr O’Connor said.

Organisations already signed up to the commitment laid out in the letter include Aeroqual, Auckland Transport, Ernst & Young, Grounded Packaging, Heartland Bank, LMAC New Zealand Limited, Plant and Food Research, Porirua City Council, Propellerhead, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Refining NZ, Synlait Milk Limited, Tainui Group Holdings, Talent Propeller, Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki, The Babysitter’s Club, and Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development.

The Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission, Paul Hunt, supports the initiative.

“It’s up to all of us to stand up to racism, including in the workplace. I applaud the business leaders who have signed the open letter for speaking out today,” Mr Hunt said.

“I encourage organisations to leverage the resources available on the Human Rights Commission’s Give Nothing to Racism website to support their pursuit of more diverse and inclusive workplaces,” he said.

The initiative is also supported by Hon Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch, who is also an alumnus of the Darden Executive Programme.

“We will not be defined by what happened on the 15th of March 2019, we are defined by what followed – the unity, the love, the compassion and the kindness,” Ms Dalziel said.

Organisations can join this commitment and become a signatory to this letter by emailing or joining up at


How did this initiative come about?

This Open Letter is an initiative led by a group of the 2019 cohort of the New Zealand-based Darden Executive Programme (which is offered by the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the US). This cohort graduated from the programme on 15 March – the day of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

A large part of the Darden Executive Programme is focused on diversity and inclusion and the continuing need for leaders across business, Government and the non-profit sector to lead the way in acknowledging, understanding and engaging difference.

These discussions and learnings have inspired the cohort to commit and contribute to influencing positive societal change in our country.

What are you hoping to achieve with it?

We hope New Zealand leaders and their organisations will get behind this campaign to support a more tolerant, inclusive and safer New Zealand.

We’d like to see real change made within New Zealand workplaces and society so prejudice and discrimination, whether intentional or casual, are no longer accepted.

We want to establish this initiative as an ongoing discussion so that the commitment organisations make as specified in our open letter remains a priority and isn’t forgotten over time.

We’re proud to have the support of the Human Rights Commission to align ‘NZ Leaders Stand Together’ with their ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ campaign. Our goals are aligned, and we are committed to working with the Commission to make positive change. More information is available at

What are your expectations of organisations who sign up to support this initiative?

We hope that organisations:

  • Commit to leading and ensuring implementation of the changes and behaviours as listed in the Open Letter.
  • Develop, if they haven’t already, diversity and inclusion policies that reflect this commitment.
  • Act as champions for a better, safer, more inclusive New Zealand to support positive change and ensure it remains a priority for New Zealand leaders and their organisations.

We will utilise our Linkedin page to foster and encourage discussion and information sharing about the progress being made to eradicate prejudice and discrimination.

The Human Rights Commission has tools and resources that are available to organisations to use to work towards these outcomes. Those can be found at and

What are some examples of procedures that organisations already have in place?

The signatories to the letter come from a diverse range of organisations, and accordingly their journeys to embrace diversity and inclusiveness are at different stages. As signatories they are actively and openly committing to undertaking the actions set out in the letter, which will help to enable all these organisations to continue this journey to influence positive societal change in New Zealand.

We encourage signatories to share their experiences, case studies and resources with each other via our LinkedIn page to ensure that we all learn from good practices and outcomes.

How many graduated from the Darden programme?

Forty-three emerging leaders from a diverse range of New Zealand business, public sector, non-profit and iwi organisations successfully completed and graduated from the two-week Darden programme, which was held in Taupo from 3-15 March 2019.

When did the Darden programme begin? What is the history? What is involved in the programme?

The Darden Executive Programme is designed to challenge participants to push their limits in leadership and strategy. It is currently in its 26th year of delivery in New Zealand and alumni now number more than 1,400. Who are the individuals behind this initiative? What are their roles/level of seniority?

Members of the working group are:

Aaron Kenny, Strategic Finance Manager, Synlait Milk Limited
Ben Grant, Founder and Director, Grounded Packaging
Bridget Jolly, Associate Director, Ernst & Young Limited
Darryn Grant, Manager City Growth & Strategic Property, Porirua City
Jane Small, Group Manager Property & Planning, Auckland Transport
Ruth Russell, Associate Director, Ernst & Young Limited
Sharon Davies, Founder and Director, Talent Propeller
Sonya Haggie, Communications Advisor, Tainui Group Holdings
Vanessa Rayner, Manager Industry Insights & Thematics, Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Media enquiries and further information:

Sonya Haggie
Media liaison
Ph: 021 946 633


Fake banknote spate in Canterbury

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Release date

05 April 2019

The Reserve Bank is urging Canterbury retailers to check banknotes’ security features after up to 50 counterfeits of different values were accepted at businesses over the past fortnight.

“People need to check notes they receive over the counter using the look, feel, tilt technique,” says Reserve Bank Head of Banking Steve Gordon. “These fakes don’t pass any of these tests which can be done quickly and easily as money is accepted and put in the till.”

“Looking at a genuine note you should see a window with the bird and value matching what’s on the note, the note and window will feel like plastic and smooth except for the denomination printing, and when you tilt the note a coloured bar will appear to move up and down the smaller printed bird,” Mr Gordon explained.

“If someone offers you a fake note politely decline it and urge the person concerned to contact the police. Then contact Christchurch police yourself and hold any security video,” he advised.

Mr Gordon said the counterfeits that had been accepted were picked up as they hit retailers’ back offices or the banking system, so there were no issues with ATMs.

The Reserve Bank’s website has videos and posters teaching the counterfeit detection technique. The Bank first got the word out to Christchurch business networks last week, but has now activated online advertising across Canterbury and issued this media statement as the spate continued.

“New Zealand’s banknotes and coins are among the most secure in the world, and counterfeit rates are extremely low,” Mr Gordon says. “We typically see one or two fakes a month hit the banking system, and the last time we had a counterfeit spate like this was in Palmerston North a year ago.”

More information:

Media contact

Peter Northcote
External Communications Adviser
Ph: +64 4 471 3821


NZIER board appointments

Source: New Zealand Institute of Economic Research

04 April 2019

We are pleased to announce that Dr Dianne McCarthy, CRSNZ CNZM has been appointed as Chair of the NZIER board from 1 April 2019.

We also welcome Grant Pryde to the board. Grant has been appointed to fill the vacancy left by Mr Walls and will be available for re-election at NZIER’s AGM in September 2019.

Dr Dianne McCarthy was appointed to the role of Chair after the resignation of Mr Michael Walls, who served as a director of NZIER from 1993-1998 and as Chair from 1998-2019.

“I am honoured to take on this role” said Dianne.  “NZIER has a proud tradition as the premier centre of applied economic research in New Zealand, and together with my fellow board members I look forward to enhancing this tradition.  I wish  to pay tribute to my predecessor, Michael Walls, for his astute stewardship  of the board over a long period of time”.

Dr Dianne McCarthy, CRSNZ CSNM

Dianne has extensive experience in a number of senior management and governance roles in the tertiary education, science and health sectors. She holds a BA BSc MSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of Auckland.

The former CEO of the Royal Society of New Zealand, she is now a Director of the Cawthron Institute, a member of the governance boards of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, and is Chair of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge. She is a Trustee of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and the Hearing Research Foundation (NZ).

She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Education in 2008, a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand for her services to Science in 2015, and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to science, business and women in 2016.

Dianne is a member of NZIER’s Remuneration and Audit Committees.

Grant Pryde

Grant is the Director of Ichor Leadership Search, a Wellington-based executive search firm that has a portfolio of clients across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in New Zealand. Well-known for delivering advice that works to enhance organisational success, Grant’s particular expertise is in leading national and international search assignments and completing complex leadership appointments.

With over 30 years’ experience in executive search, Grant has developed long-standing client relationships advising Boards, Chief Executives and senior leaders. His consulting career began with an international search firm, which he became a Director of in 1991. He then joined an Auckland-based firm where he conducted international searches predominantly in the professional services, information technology and government sectors. Commencing his career in human resources and training and development, Grant moved to the information technology industry, where he held several national management positions before transitioning into management consulting.

Grant holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Canterbury, and a Diploma in Business Studies from Massey University. He is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Grant chairs NZIER’s Remuneration Committee.

For further information please contact: Jessica Matthewson, Board Secretary, 021 510114

Go Back


Reserve Bank publishes in-depth information on proposal to increase bank capital

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Release date

03 April 2019

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand today published additional background information on its proposal to increase the amount of capital that banks must hold.

The Reserve Bank has proposed increasing the amount of capital banks must have, to ensure they can withstand financial and economic shocks.

The paper published today provides in-depth information for anyone who wants to provide feedback during the public consultation process. The paper contains more detail about the analytical framework and methodology, and quantitative modelling approach underpinning the Reserve Bank’s proposals, expanding on how the proposals were developed.

Since the Reserve Bank opened public consultation on the proposals in mid-December, we have been receiving feedback via briefings and meetings with banks, investors, the news media, and industry bodies. Feedback sent to the Reserve Bank will be published after the consultation closes.

Whether you agree or disagree with our proposals, or would like to contribute to the discussion, the Reserve Bank would like to hear from you.

Please send us your thoughts, by 5pm on 3 May 2019, to

New information:

Simple summaries:

Technical information:

Media contact:
Angus Barclay
External Communications Adviser
Phone: 04 471 3698 or 027 337 1102


The response to global hunger is tragically inadequate

Source: Oxfam New Zealand

The “Global Report on Food Crises”, released today by the Food Security Information Network, says that more than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced acute hunger and required urgent food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance in 2018.

Reacting to the news, Oxfam France’s Executive Director Cécile Duflot, said:

“We live in a world of plenty, yet one in nine people are hungry, more than 110 million women, men and children require urgent humanitarian assistance, and two global food price crises in a little over ten years pushed 44 million people into povertyThis is a human-made crisis caused by conflict, climate change, and a broken global food system.

Decades of bad policy making have led to the corporate takeover of our food and agricultural systems where ensuring a decent income for farmers or a sustainable food supply comes a poor second to securing shareholder returns.


At the same time, governments have failed to invest in, or provide development aid for, smallholder agriculture – even though smallholder farmers, many of which are women, play a critical role in feeding hundreds of millions of people across the globe.


“Governments in rich and poor countries alike have promised bold reforms, but delivered little. That must change. Governments and aid donors must do far more to support women by promoting gender equality in agriculture to unleash their huge potential to help end hunger. They also must invest primarily in small-holder agriculture, where growth has been proven to be two to four times more effective at reducing hunger and poverty than in any other sector.”



  • Oxfam’s new report “Ten Years after the Global Food Crisis, Rural Women Still Bear the Brunt of Poverty and Hunger” analyses the reforms implemented since the food price crisis in 2007-2008, and highlights why they will not be enough to prevent another crisis or end hunger.
  • The 2019 “Global Report on Food Crises” forecasts that conflict and insecurity will remain the main drivers of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in 2019, together with extreme climate events like Cyclone Idai and the drought in southern Africa, which will undermine the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people in the region.
  • Women play a crucial role in agriculture, feeding hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Yet, they face systemic discrimination – for instance when it comes to the right to own land or access to credit. However, the 2019 food crises report highlights that women are more likely to be food-insecure than men in every region of the world, and that they are disproportionately affected by climate change, conflict and displacement. In several countries, including Afghanistan and Ethiopia, the situation of women worsened in 2018, and they are more affected by acute malnutrition than a year before.
  • The report also underlines the need for more and better data on how emergencies impact hunger and food insecurity of women. This could help to better understand the root causes of malnutrition, and to fight them effectively.
  • The price of food commodities rose by 83% between early 2007 and May 2008. A similar spike in food prices happened again between 2010 and 2011. These spikes were driven by a range of factors, including food price speculation, increased global demand for biofuels, decreasing food stocks, the diversion of food for livestock, and extreme weather events linked to climate change. Structural problems which also contributed to the spike in food prices include the liberalization of agricultural trade, the concentration of distribution and input supply in the hands of a few corporations, the marginalization of smallholder farmers, declining public investment in agriculture and decreasing development aid to small-holder agriculture.
  • Reforms and increased investment in agriculture pledged in the aftermath of the crisis have been inadequate. According to UN estimates, there is an investment gap in developing-country agriculture of USD 260 billion annually.
  • Oxfam analyzed project data for EU development aid to the agricultural sector and found that, contrary to what it promised, only 2-3 percent of EU funding promoted gender equality in agriculture.
  • In a 2008 report, the World Bank states that growth in small-scale agriculture is two to four times more effective at reducing in hunger and poverty than growth in any other sector.


Overseas Investment Act 2005 – Phase One Review Policy Advice (2017/18)

Source: New Zealand Treasury:

31-10-2017 100 Day Commitment: Banning Overseas Speculators from Buying Existing Houses Page 32 07-11-2017 Banning Overseas Buyers of Existing Homes: Detailed Design Proposals Page 79 10-11-2017 Banning Overseas Buyers of Existing Homes: Further Detailed Design Proposals Page 108 17-11-2017 Banning Overseas Buyers of Existing Homes: Design Details Report #3 Page 139 21-11-2017 Overseas Investment Act – process for further reform Page 1 24-11-2017 Draft Cabinet Legislation Committee Paper Banning Overseas Buyers of Existing Homes Page 155 30-11-2017 Overseas Buyers Ban: Cabinet Legislation Committee Paper for Lodgement Page 176 06-12-2017 Aide Memoire: Overseas Investment Act 2005 – Infrastructure and Monopoly Rents Page 24 15-12-2017 Overseas Investment Act 2005 Review – Pre CPTPP Policy Decisions Page 30 19-01-2018 Treasury Report: Cabinet Paper – Overseas Investment Update and Next Steps Page 57 20-03-2018 Amendment to the Overseas Investment Act: Forestry land and other profits à prendre 21-05-2018 Supplementary Order Paper No 19 Overseas Investment Amendment Bill OSI

Pacific central bankers prioritise capital flows and climate change

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Release date

03 April 2019

At a meeting in Auckland yesterday, the Governors of the nine central banks agreed a vision for the group to “collaborate to promote the prosperity and economic wellbeing of our member nations.”

The governors started a project to explore how to improve access to, and lower the cost of, capital flows and international payments and settlements within the Pacific region.

The governors also agreed to involve the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) in an event in November that will look at the impact of climate change on the Pacific’s financial systems and our response to it. The NGFS is an international group of central banks co-ordinating work on climate change and fostering investment in green technology. The event will be held alongside the 34th Pacific Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Sydney in November.

Media contact:
Naomi Mitchell
Manager, Communications
DDI: +64 4 471 3836 | MOB: 027 294 3900

Joint statement issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Reserve Bank of Australia, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Banco Central de Timor-Leste, Central Bank of Samoa, National Reserve Bank of Tonga, Bank of Papua New Guinea and Central Bank of Solomon Islands.


The Treasury

Source: New Zealand Treasury:

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Research and commentary

Source: New Zealand Treasury:

Use the filtering options to narrow your search for publications. See Publications for information about the categories of publications, and the types of publications grouped under each of them. Individual authors are only identified for selected publication types in the Research/commentary and Speeches categories.

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Update on FMA/RBNZ Bank Culture and Conduct review

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Release date

02 April 2019

Today the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the FMA confirmed that all 11 banks involved in their ongoing review of conduct and culture, have provided their responses to individual feedback letters.

The regulators will now begin working through the responses provided by 11 NZ registered banks.

Based on the volume of the responses, at this stage the FMA and the Reserve Bank will not be making a substantive comment on the contents of these documents until they have been thoroughly reviewed.

We expect this process to take several weeks, bearing in mind the break for Easter. We will make a further statement when we have completed this process.

Life insurers reviewed as part of the second stage of the conduct and culture review have until the end of June to provide their feedback and response plans.

Media contacts

Andrew Park
Media Manager
M +64 21 220 6770

Naomi Mitchell
Manager Communications
M 027 294 3900