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


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


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.


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


Update on FMA/RBNZ Bank Conduct and Culture review

Source: Financial Markets Authority

Media release 
MR No. 2019 – 14
2nd 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.


Andrew Park
Media Manager, FMA
021 220 6770

Naomi Mitchell
Manager, Communications, RBNZ
027 294 3900


Another 18 investors join social media engagement

Source: New Zealand Superannuation Fund

Another 18 investors have joined the initiative to strengthen controls on social media content that the NZ Super Fund, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), Government Superannuation Fund (GSF), National Provident Fund (NPF) and Kiwi Wealth (KW) announced last month.

This brings the number of investors involved in the engagement to 23, with total assets under management of more than NZD800 billion.

The objective of the engagement is to convince social media companies Facebook, Google and Twitter to strengthen controls to prevent the live streaming and distribution of objectionable content, such as the shootings that took place in Christchurch on Friday 15 March 2019.

Initiative spokesman, NZ Super Fund CEO Matt Whineray, said the group appreciated the strength of the response from investors so far. “Our initial focus has been on building a broad coalition of New Zealand investors. We have been delighted to receive swift and wholehearted support for the initiative from the wider New Zealand investment sector. There is also a groundswell of international interest and support. We are now seeking the involvement of other leading institutional investors globally.

“Collective action from multiple investors has the best chance of success. The combination of New Zealand’s investor voice and a global coalition of shareholders has the potential to be immensely powerful.”

Mr Whineray and NZ Super Fund Chair Catherine Savage will speak with a number of influential global investors about the initiative in London this week.

Leaders Group (Crown-owned investors)

New Zealand Super Fund (NZSF)

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

Government Superannuation Fund (GSF)

National Provident Fund (NPF)

Kiwi Wealth (KW)

Confirmed Participants – NZ

AMP Financial Services

ANZ New Zealand Investments




Investment Services Group (Devon Funds, JMI Wealth, Select Wealth and Clarity Funds)

Mercer NZ

Milford Asset Management

PIE Funds/JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme

Rata Foundation


Westpac / BT Funds Management

Confirmed Participants – International

AMP Capital

Australian Ethical

Church of England Pensions Board

Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF)

Merseyside Pension Fund

Vic Super



Handbook supports transition to new monetary policy framework

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Release date

01 April 2019

New Zealand’s new monetary policy framework, which comes into effect today, is supported by a handbook developed by the Reserve Bank.

Recent amendments to the Reserve Bank Act 1989 saw the addition of an employment objective to the Reserve Bank’s long-standing price stability objective, and the creation of a formal Monetary Policy Committee with members from both inside and outside the Reserve Bank.

The Monetary Policy Handbook explains the new framework and sets out key assumptions about how the economy operates, the contribution of monetary policy to New Zealand’s economy, and how to design processes to optimise the benefits provided by a legislated Monetary Policy Committee.

“The handbook will support effective and targeted deliberations, and make best use of the diverse perspectives within the Monetary Policy Committee,” Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said.

“The handbook is intended to be a living document and will evolve over time, with input from the Monetary Policy Committee. We also think people and groups outside the Reserve Bank and the Monetary Policy Committee will find material in the handbook useful as an educational tool to explain how monetary policy works and how it contributes to the economy.”

A series of three Reserve Bank Bulletin articles will be published during the next few days, providing even more in-depth information to support understanding of monetary policy and the new framework.

The articles are titled:

  • Effective monetary policy deliberation in New Zealand,
  • Monetary policy objectives – price stability and macro-stabilisation, and
  • Monetary policy strategy in New Zealand.

More information:

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


AML/CFT monitoring report highlights concerns, sets out future focus

Source: Financial Markets Authority

Media release
MR No. 2019 – 13
1st April 2019

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has published an Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) monitoring report setting out the areas requiring further attention by the management and boards of the reporting entities it supervises. 

The FMA is one of three supervisors for AML/CFT in New Zealand, alongside the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs. The FMA supervises approximately 800 reporting entities. 

The report covers the period from 1st July 2016 to 30 June 2018. During this period, the FMA issued 18 formal warnings, including one public warning. 

The report highlights a number of issues that should be addressed by boards and management: 

  • AML/CFT programmes that have not been reviewed or updated to align with the current businesses’ current practices
  • AML/CFT risk assessments that are not updated when changes in risks occur
  • Customer due diligence including enhanced and ongoing account monitoring remains problematic for reporting entities. An increasing number of entities are using electronic identify verification, but the FMA noted a number of deficiencies with their AML/CFT programmes in this regard. 

Details of the FMA’s future monitoring focus are also set out. They include:

  • An increased focus on reviewing independent audit reports
  • More in-depth reviews of client onboarding and account monitoring processes
  • When undertaking operational reviews, the FMA will focus more on front-line staff who perform tasks such as client onboarding, to assess their understanding of the obligations. 

Liam Mason, FMA Director of Regulation, said: “The laws surrounding anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism have now been in place for more than five years. We expect to see more mature policies, procedures and controls in place.”

“The FMA is requiring more entities to take remedial action following its monitoring. This is more likely now to be accompanied by formal enforcement action, as we expect reporting entities to understand and meet their obligations. Entities have had enough time to prepare now, and it is only fair to the vast majority of organisations we supervise who meet the legal requirements.”

The FMA identified 89 issues requiring remedial action in the period to end of June 2017. This rose to 175 issues for the same period in 2018. 

Edwin Mitson
Senior Adviser, Media Relations
021 702 036


New Zealand’s revised monetary policy framework and the imperative for institutional change

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Release date

29 March 2019

At a Reserve Bank event in Wellington this morning, the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Adrian Orr, spoke about how the business of central banking is evolving. The event was held ahead of New Zealand’s new Monetary Policy framework taking effect on 1 April 2019.

“The changes to how monetary policy is conducted in New Zealand will bring greater transparency and accountability to how we serve society,” Mr Orr said.

“The dual inflation and employment mandate, and the more transparent committee decision-making structure, will better display our monetary policy processes, benefits, and limitations. The formal inclusion of external members in our decision making processes also adds to our legitimacy to independently operate monetary policy.”

Mr Orr said there is a long list of challenges ahead for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

“For example, we operate in an environment that includes rising global economic inter-dependence, ongoing dominant local and global financial institutions, increased debt burdens, and technological change that challenges employment and financial inclusion norms. We are also faced with the economic implications of climate change, and must ensure the broad financial system plays its role in managing and mitigating these risks. However, central banks have limited tools and persuasion at their disposal, and therefore must use these effectively. We must also be clear to society as to what we can and can’t achieve.”

Mr Orr said the Reserve Bank remains grounded in the times of change, and has not lost focus on its core business.

“We are committed to meeting the currency needs of the public, ensuring low and stable inflation, supporting maximum sustainable employment, and promoting a sound and efficient financial system. These activities are necessary for economic wellbeing.”

“But, we will also work beyond the ‘necessary’. We aim to ensure that both ‘necessary’ and ‘sufficient’ work is done so that the Bank is best able to promote the prosperity and wellbeing of New Zealanders, and contribute to a sustainable and productive economy.”

Over the past year the Reserve Bank has embarked on several review and public consultation processes – some still underway – that have spanned the monetary and financial policy frameworks, as well as the role of currency.

“We intend to work collectively – locally, regionally, and globally – in pursuit of maximising our mandate. We desire to be a great team and the world’s best central bank. The resounding results that past and present people at the Reserve Bank have achieved provide a fantastic platform to progress this work,” Mr Orr said.

More information:

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