Supreme Court judge to lead terror attack Royal Commission

Source: New Zealand Government

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released the terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack and announced Supreme Court Justice Sir William Young as its chair.

“The Government will ensure no stone is left unturned as we examine as quickly as possible how the March 15 attack happened, what could have been done to stop it and how we can keep New Zealanders safe,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The Royal Commission plays a critical role in our ongoing response to fully understand what happened in the lead up to the attack and to ensure such an attack never happens again.

“The Commission will look at:

  • The individual’s activities before the attack, including:
  • Relevant information from his time in Australia;
  • His arrival and residence in New Zealand;
  • His travel within New Zealand, and internationally;
  • How he obtained a gun licence, weapons and ammunition;
  • His use of social media and other online media; 
  • His connections with others, whether in New Zealand or internationally; 
  • What relevant state sector agencies knew about this individual and his activities before this attack; what actions (if any) they took in light of that knowledge; and whether there were any additional measures that the agencies could have taken to prevent the attack;
  • Whether there were any impediments to relevant state sector agencies gathering or sharing information relevant to the attack, or acting upon such information, including legislative impediments, and
  • Whether there was any inappropriate concentration or priority setting of counter terrorism resources by relevant state sector agencies prior to this attack.

“Justice Young, who is a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand – New Zealand’s highest court – has the extensive experience and skills required to lead the Inquiry.

“I am confident that in his nearly nine years as a judge on our highest bench, Justice Young has the judgement, clarity and care to do the job, with a sound understanding of intelligence issues and experience working in the public eye.

“The Commission has been tasked to engage with New Zealand’s Muslim community, including appointing qualified people to help with effective consultation.

“The Royal Commission will be established by Order in Council this Wednesday, April 10.

“It is scheduled to start considering evidence from May 13 and is expected to report back to the Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy within eight months – by December 10,” Jacinda Ardern said.

The Commission will have a budget of $8.2 million and one further member will be appointed by the end of April.

 Notes to editor:

  • More details on the Royal Commission are online

Justice William Young biography:

  • Justice William Young graduated with an LLB (Hons) from the University of Canterbury and later gained a doctorate from Cambridge University. He worked in a law office in Christchurch before taking up practice as a barrister in crime, civil, commercial and tax litigation, acting latterly for, among others, the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office and the New Zealand Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
  • He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1991, to the High Court in 1997, and to the Court of Appeal in January 2004. Justice Young become President of the Court of Appeal in February 2006.
  • In June 2007, Justice Young was awarded the DCNZM (Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services as President of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand. Justice Young was designated a knight companion of that order in 2009.
  • Justice Young was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court with effect from 1 July 2010. He is an honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple and an honorary Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.


Anzac Day 2019: Gallipoli Commemorations

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Safe Travel

Anzac Day 2019: Gallipoli Commemorations

Anzac Day 2019 commemorations in Gallipoli, Turkey
On Anzac Day 2019, we will commemorate the Anzac landings in Gallipoli. This bulletin should be read in conjunction with our Turkey travel advisory.

Safety and security
The Anzac Day Service on the Gallipoli peninsula is a five hour drive from Istanbul. For this region of Turkey, we advise you to exercise increased caution.

There are a number of areas in south-east Turkey that we advise New Zealanders avoid non-essential travel to, and other areas that we advise New Zealanders do not travel to (along the Syrian border, and the city of Diyarbakir). See our Turkey advisory for more information.

We advise that New Zealanders exercise increased caution elsewhere in Turkey, including in Ankara, Istanbul and on the Gallipoli peninsula, due to the heightened threat of terrorism and the potential for civil unrest. For more information on these advice levels, see our Turkey advisory and our About our advisories page.

Terrorist attacks can take place anywhere and at any time in Turkey. Terrorist groups have conducted deadly attacks in Turkey and continue to threaten further attacks. New Zealanders throughout Turkey are advised to exercise a high degree of vigilance in public places, keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources, and following the instructions of local authorities.

Be security conscious around buildings and sites associated with Turkish government and security forces, as well as landmarks and places known to be frequented by foreigners, such as embassies, tourist locations, shopping malls, entertainment areas, public transport, airports, places of worship and identifiably Western businesses. If you are in an area affected by an attack, you should leave the immediate vicinity as soon as it is safe to do so, follow any instructions given by local authorities and let your family know you are safe and well.

The security environment in Turkey may change between now and Anzac Day. We recommend that New Zealanders travelling to Turkey for the Anzac commemorations regularly monitor SafeTravel and our travel advice, which will be kept under close review in the lead up to the event. 

Attending the services
The 2019 Anzac Day commemorative services at Gallipoli will be held on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 April. More information on the services, what to expect at Gallipoli and what to bring, can be found here.

New Zealanders attending the 2019 Anzac Day services at Gallipoli will require an attendance pass. This pass can be obtained by registering on the Overseas Commemorations Website.

Security and crowd management at the commemorations are the responsibility of local security staff. Attendees will be subject to airport-style screening at the entrances to sites, including bag searches. Follow the instructions of security staff at all times.

Local health authorities provide limited medical support at the commemorative sites. Support is mostly designed for medical emergencies. Bring your own first aid kit (e.g. sunscreen, band aids and paracetamol) as these are not provided.

Facilities designed for persons with disabilities or restricted mobility are not generally available in Turkey.  Before organising your trip, contact a travel agent, tour operator or the local tourist authority to find out whether local transport, accommodation and attractions will cater for your needs.

Before you go
All domestic and international passenger flights to and from Istanbul Ataturk Airport were transferred to the new Istanbul Airport as of 7 April 2019. For New Zealanders travelling to Turkey, we recommend that you check your flight details with your airline. See our news feature for more information.

All New Zealanders planning on attending the Gallipoli Anzac Day Commemorative Services are encouraged to:

  • Register your details on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s SafeTravel website so that you are made aware of any changes to our travel advice for Turkey and so that we can contact you and account for your well-being in the event of an emergency; and
  • Ensure you have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You also need to check which circumstances and activities are covered and not covered by your insurance policy, as limitations can apply.  Your travel insurer should have a 24/7 emergency number.

Consular assistance at Gallipoli 
Consular staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be in Turkey over the commemorative period to provide on-the-ground consular assistance required by New Zealanders attending the Gallipoli commemorations. For information on the kind of consular assistance the New Zealand Government can and cannot provide, check out the ‘When Things Go Wrong’ tab on the SafeTravel website.

Throughout this period, New Zealanders requiring consular assistance should contact +90 533 284 08 88.  

Emergency numbers:

  • Firefighting and rescue services: 110
  • Ambulance: 112
  • Criminal issues in major cities: 155 (English speakers not always available)
  • Criminal issues in rural areas: 156 (English speakers rarely available).

Foreigners may also contact the Tourist Police in Istanbul on +90 212 527 4503 during office hours.

Associated Advisories:

See the Turkey travel advisory

The New Zealand Embassy Ankara, Turkey

Street Address Kizkulesi Sokak No.11, Gaziosmanpasa, Ankara, Turkey 
Telephone + 90 312 446 3333 
Fax +90 312 446 3317 
Hours Mon – Fri 0830 – 1700

Associated Advisories:

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Festival of Colour – Wanaka

Source: New Zealand Governor General

E nga mana, e nga reo, e nga iwi o te motu e huihui nei, tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou. Kia ora tātou katoa.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, warm greetings to you all.

Thank you for inviting me today. It’s a great pleasure to be here.

I have a strong belief in the power of the arts. It’s something that can inspire, transform, build connections between people, build personal and community wellbeing  – and then there’s the not inconsequential matter of entertainment and enjoyment.

So often we have public debate and discussion about the physical infrastructure of our communities –roads, water pipes, the electricity supply. We cannot forget that equally important is the infrastructure of the heart – the way the arts can affect our emotions and imagination or the way music or theatre or dance can bring beauty to our lives.  These things add greater meaning to our existence and make for a more vibrant and engaged community.

Certainly our country has been through a very turbulent time in the last fortnight. While the events of Christchurch will continue to reverberate for some time, events like this, that bring people together in celebration of shared artistic experience, allow us breathing space as we get to grips with what has happened.

My time here at the festival is short but I’m making the most of it. I’m very much looking forward to Jody Savall’s performance. It’s a thrill to see an artist of his stature live in concert.

Following that I will be attending a rehearsal of the student production “Permission to Speak”. It’s great to see the Festival giving a voice to young people as well as increasing youth arts participation with its programme creative workshops across the region.

Then there’s the street theatre programme reaching out into the community. A marvelous opportunity for everyone to get out and get involved. It’s quite an achievement to encompass all age groups and all parts of the community in one programme.

I’m also pleased to see Aspiring Conversations exploring issues of real significance.  It is so important for us as a country to ensure we can discuss and debate issues in our communities in a positive and collaborative way.

Thank you Hetty and congratulations to you and the festival trust board for your work over the years in sustaining the Festival of Colour.I wish you every success and look forward to coming back again, next time for longer.

Kia ora huihui tātou katoa


New steps in improving our response to family violence

Source: New Zealand Government

Speech to the Auckland Branch of the NZ Law Society, 25 March 2019

First of all I want to acknowledge the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack in Christchurch just ten days ago. As we are still processing what happened and considering how we are going to change and respond as a nation, it’s important to reflect on how we can all promote peace in our communities and ensure that everyone in them can live free of violence.

We have been swift to say that these kinds of acts of mass violence against religious or ethnic groups is not the Aotearoa New Zealand we stand for and love. But the sad reality is that a different – but not completely unconnected – kind of violence is all too common in our homes.

An estimated one million New Zealanders are affected by family violence and sexual violence every year. That includes the people who themselves use violence, and it’s important that we include them in our thinking. Even as we center victims and survivors in our discussion and decision-making, we must be able to hold those who use violence to account, to take responsibility and change their behaviour.

Our society is a violent one. But it doesn’t have to be.

Tonight I want to talk with you about the new Family Violence Acts and the wider work the government is doing to improve the responses to family violence and sexual violence.

These forms of violence undermine the physical and mental health, employment, housing, and education of families and whānau. They have an impact across generations. Ending this violence is one of our greatest opportunities to improve wellbeing, and for this reason, action on family violence and sexual violence is a priority for the government.

In 2016, the Family Violence Death Review Committee said New Zealand doesn’t have a family violence safety system. Instead, we have a ‘default system’ consisting of a fragmented range of processes and responses, with one-off interventions that don’t manage risks.

To achieve an effective, integrated system that changes social norms and delivers on prevention, early intervention, crisis response and long-term recovery, we need everyone – inside government and in communities – understanding their role and who are competent and resourced to take action.  We need a plan – a whole-of-government and whole-of-society plan.

So in September, we announced a Joint Venture of 10 chief executives across government who are now collectively accountable for action to address family violence and sexual violence.

This means government agencies working together in new ways to reduce family and sexual violence, to break down the silos in our responses.

Its role is to lead, integrate, and provide support for everyone involved – victims, survivors, people who use violence, and their communities; to ensure that effective, whole-of-government response we need. And to be publicly accountable for that response through reporting to Parliament.

The joint venture is working alongside an interim Māori/Crown partnership group – Te Rōpū – because we know that building genuine partnership with Māori into our model will drive significant improvements in the system. The interim group is preparing advice on what the enduring arrangements for this partnership should look like, and helping to develop a national strategy and action plan.

We all know that myths and misunderstandings about family violence and sexual violence abound. Many people don’t understand the dynamics and the drivers of the violence, how it can escalate, where it comes from, that it’s about control and unequal power. That sexual violence is most often committed by people the victim knows. That family violence can continue when someone is out of the home at work, and that the time when a victim leaves an abusive relationship is the most dangerous.

These myths and misunderstandings put lives at risk.

As lawyers, you are a critical part of the response to family violence and sexual violence. You play a crucial role in the process of achieving justice and resolution for victims and survivors, as well as ensuring the right to a fair trial and help to change for defendants. You can have a tremendous impact, not just in the technical aspects of your work – as we heard recently at the Victims’ Hui held in Wellington, for many people just the act of explaining how the court process works and what’s expected of them can be a huge deal in making the process easier.

So you need to know how to respond, identify risks, and act in ways that enable safety. You are part of the solution.

Our new family violence legislation should help.

The first phase of this legislation came into effect in December.

It introduced new provisions including new offences of strangulation or suffocation, coercion to marry, and assault on a person in a family relationship. These offences criminalise behaviours and practices that are known to be used by perpetrators of violence, but weren’t previously consistently responded to or given enough weight. Strangulation, for example, is a significant risk factor for future, escalating violence. It’s important we can see where and when that is happening.

Coercion to marry, I want to be clear, is not the same as arranged marriage. This arose from a lot of discussion with ethnic and migrant communities who need that distinction clearly spelled out in order to identify and respond to abusive situations.

And assault on a person in a family relationship will now sit alongside “male assaults female”, which will allow us to respond to violence in a range of adult relationships, including in-laws, parents, grandparents, siblings, and those in a close personal relationship such as carers – another important facet of family violence which was highlighted by the disabled community.

We are monitoring the legislation and its application to ensure we do not lose sight of the gendered nature of family violence, or inadvertently end up prosecuting victims’ acts of resistance and self defence. Pulling out forms of violence beyond intimate partner violence works within this framework.

The phase one changes also affected the Bail Act and Evidence Act, so the safety of victims of family violence offending, and their family, will be the primary consideration when deciding whether or not to grant bail, and on what conditions; and Police and courts will be empowered to impose any conditions they deem necessary for the protection of the victim and their family.

And it is now easier for Police to use video evidence on behalf of the victims. The pilot of this has already seen an increase in early guilty pleas.

Phase two of the legislation comes into effect on 1 July.

It updates the definition of family violence to more clearly recognise the controlling, coercive nature of it, and the cumulative harm it causes. It acknowledges the impact and flags raised by individual acts that may not seem significant in of themselves. Lawyers will importantly need to recognise this change and ensure clients get the protection they need.

There are also new principles to guide decision-making, including the need to consider the views of victims, that access to court should be speedy, perpetrators should have access to services to that help them stop and prevent family violence, and the need to recognise that children are particularly vulnerable to family violence, and family violence has a long term impact.

We know that if violence is occurring between a child’s parents, it can cause as much harm if not more than a direct assault against that child. We need to ensure we are protecting children in the context of intimate partner violence and helping to re-establish their relationship with their protective parent.

This is also being covered by our Family Court considerations.

The Act makes important changes to Protection Orders, Police Safety Orders and other mechanisms to improve safety.

It lays the foundations for better family violence response systems by promoting consistent, collaborative responses to people experiencing family violence.

A range of agencies will now be defined in law as Family Violence Agencies with the expectation that they will collaborate to identify, stop, prevent, and otherwise respond to family violence. They must consider sharing information with other agencies where doing so would help keep people safe. This doesn’t include information held by lawyers, but it’s useful for you to know that new guidance and tools on how to share information safely will be available for agencies and practitioners.

The New Zealand Law Society recently hosted a webinar on the family violence legislation. This is available as part of Law Society Continuing Education. A second webinar will be available to support the 1 July changes, and I strongly encourage you all to take part.

The Ministry of Justice has been working with victims, survivors and people who use violence as well as advocates to support the implementation of the new legislation. This means redesigning protection order application forms and developing a risk and needs assessment and brief intervention service when a Police Safety Order is issued.

As I said, this is a priority for us. In addition to the legislation, Minister Little is leading the Family Court rewrite, and the report is due 1 May. We’ve also increased funding to frontline services and much more, including judicial education on family violence and sexual violence, bail information pilots, and ISR.

It’s important to me that we create a safe system, and that needs to include the courts.

I will, with the Minister of Justice’s support, be taking proposals to Cabinet this year to improve how the justice system responds to victims of sexual violence.

These proposals are built on Law Commission advice and important academic and policy work completed over the last decade.

In the meantime, the Ministry is implementing operational changes aimed at reducing trauma and revictimisation for sexual violence victims.

This includes improvements to our court buildings and an online guide to the justice system. This was co-designed with survivors and survivor advocates, to help victims understand the processes and roles in the justice system. We are also implementing psycho-social support from the point of disclosure, and I want to acknowledge the guidance and training for prosecutors issued by the Solicitor-General. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.

You will all have views about the role of the justice system in our response to family violence and sexual violence; how evidence is gathered and presented in court, what support should be available to victims, their family and whānau, as their cases proceed; and how we should react to people who are alleged to have committed these crimes or are found guilty of doing so.

As we continue improving the system, I welcome your perspectives.

I am a strong believer in hearing from a broad range of voices, because it’s easy to get stuck in our own frames of reference, and the cultures of the organisations we operate in.

It’s critical to hear and include the perspectives of different ethnic groups, of diverse gender or sexual orientation, those living with disability, children and young people, and especially people who have direct experience of family violence and sexual violence.

We also need the expertise of those who advocate for and represent victims and survivors, and the professionals who see the trauma and know what is effective in holding perpetrators to account and changing their behaviour.

In the justice system, as a first principle, we need to approach family and sexual violence from a “do no more harm” approach. This means acknowledging the trauma that many people engaging in the justice system are already carrying and the need to create a system that is safe, effective and fair, and doesn’t cause further harm.

We have deep cultural and social norms to address and failing systems to mend. We need solutions that will endure: better enabling families and whānau to be strong; ensuring women and children are safe in their homes and communities; having men be confident in their masculinity and able to express their emotions without using violence; and that people of all genders are treated with respect.

We need all New Zealanders working together to address family violence and sexual violence. We need to think beyond the way things have always been done, see the future free of violence that we want to create, and identify how we are going to change the way we work to get there.

So I challenge you to examine the role of the legal profession in the response to family violence and sexual violence, to step up and join us to deliver a system that responds far better to the violence that is happening now, in order to stop it happening ever again.

Thank you.


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


Native frogs and kiwi protected by Nature Heritage Fund purchase 

Source: New Zealand Government

A block of native forest which is home to threatened native frogs /pepeketua and Coromandel brown kiwi will be preserved after being purchased by the Nature Heritage Fund.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today announced the formal protection of 130 hectares of native forest, at Papa Aroha, 11 kilometres north of Coromandel township. 

“The owners offered the Aradia block to the Fund to guarantee it would be protected for future generations,” Eugenie Sage said.

The land is covered by logged kauri forest and tairaire-tawa forest with emerging stands of rata.

New Zealand has only four species of native frog, all of them are listed as threatened or at-risk. Habitat for two species, Hochstetter’s frog and Archey’s frog, will now be permanently protected by the Native Heritaqe Fund purchase of the Aradia block of native forest.  

“Archey’s frog is our smallest native frog, growing to only 37mm in length. It’s also one of the world’s oldest frogs. Fossils show its hardly changed in 150 million years.

“Archey’s frog is listed as the world’s most Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered amphibian species by the international EDGE of Existence Programme.

“Living beside streams, Hochstetter’s frog is our most aquatic native frog. All our other native frogs live on land in shady moist areas. Hochstetter’s frog is dark brown grows up to 48mm long and is found on the Coromandel, Great Barrier Island and at other sites in the upper North Island.

“The Aradia block is also home to Coromandel brown kiwi, which is genetically different to other brown kiwi. It is the rarest of the four forms of brown kiwi with an estimated population of around 1700.

“Other native birds found at the site include North Island kākā, korimako / bellbird, pied tomtit /miromiro, tūī, kererū, riroriro / grey warbler, pīwakawaka / fantail and New Zealand falcon / kārearea.

“Threatened native fish living in nearby rivers include tuna/ long fin eel, giant kōkopu, and koura freshwater crayfish. 

“The good news for this native wildlife and the native forest is that the Department of Conservation (DOC) has controlled introduced predators at the site. The Fund’s purchase will enable this control to continue into the future.” 

The Nature Heritage Fund was established in 1990 to help protect the indigenous ecosystems of Aotearoa through direct purchase or covenant on a willing buyer/ willing seller basis. The Aradia purchase cost the Fund $412,000.

To date, more than 343,000 hectares has been approved for protection through the Fund.


Mega mast confirmed for New Zealand forests

Source: New Zealand Government

Monitoring by the Department of Conservation has confirmed the predicted mega mast or heavy seeding in New Zealand’s forests this autumn, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said today.

Results from extensive seed sampling across the country in February and March point to the biggest beech mast for more than 40 years with exceptionally heavy seed loads in South Island forests. Rimu forests and tussock grasslands in the South Island are also seeding heavily.

Forest seeding provides a bonanza of food for native species but also fuels rodent and stoat plagues that will pose a serious threat to native birds and other wildlife as predator populations build up next spring and summer.

Eugenie Sage said that new funding of $81.2 million in Budget 2018 over four years had enabled DOC to scale up its predator control programme to respond to the threat posed by the mega mast.

“DOC is planning its largest-ever predator control programme for 2019/2020, at a cost of $38 million, to suppress rats, stoats and possums over about one million hectares or 12 per cent of conservation land.

“This is a step up from the previous largest programme of 840,000 ha in 2016 and 600,000 ha in 2014 and 2017 when there were significant but smaller mast events.

“Responding to the increased threat from introduced predators during such a big mast year is critical if we are to retain our unique native species that set New Zealand apart from the rest of the world.

“If we don’t act, we could lose populations of bird species like our tree-hole nesting kākāriki/orange-fronted parakeet and mohua, and bats, which are so vulnerable to rat plagues.

DOC’s Tiakina Ngā Manu predator control programme, previously known as Battle for our Birds, uses aerially applied 1080 pesticide and large-scale trapping to protect native birds, bats, frogs, lizards and giant land snails at the most important sites across the country.

This work is carefully targeted to sustain the most vulnerable populations of kiwi, kākā, kōkako, kea, whio/blue duck, mohua/yellowhead, kākāriki/orange-fronted parakeet, rock wren/tuke, long and short tailed bats/pekapeka, native frogs and Powelliphanta snails.

DOC’s seed sampling programme involved snipping branches by helicopter from over 8000 beech and rimu trees at nearly 200 sites across the North and South Islands and counting more than three million seed pods from 43,000 samples.  More than 1000 tussock plants were also monitored at 63 sites. The estimate of seed-fall this autumn informs predator control planning.

Priority sites for predator control include Kahurangi, Abel Tasman, Arthur’s Pass, Westland, Mt Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, the Catlins and Whirinaki. The programme includes more than 66,000 ha of trapping with the remainder (more than 900,000 ha) aerial 1080 operations

Aerially applied 1080 is the only tool currently available that can effectively knock down rodents over large areas before they reach plague levels after a beech mast. Numerous studies show that it protects vulnerable wildlife and allows birds to produce more chicks to sustain and build their populations.

While most sites have been confirmed and are at an advanced stage of planning, predator control operations will only proceed at mast sites from May this year if rodents reach levels that pose a threat to wildlife. 

The Department has been consulting with iwi partners, regional councils and other pest control agencies, community groups and neighbouring landowners in recent months as part of its planning.


NZSL Video Interpreting Service extending to weekends

Source: New Zealand Government

The service that allows people using New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) to phone others by using an interpreter will soon be available at weekends, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today.

The NZSL Video Interpreting Service provides an interpreter who translates to others on the phone or in person.

“The Video Interpreting Service is the most in-demand government-funded relay service and we know user groups are keen for it to be made more available,” Kris Faafoi says.

“It’s currently available 8am to 8pm on weekdays. From 1 July, this free service will also be available during the weekend and on public holidays. We hope that it will help improve people’s ability to connect with others and participate in their communities.”

Carmel Sepuloni says the Video Interpreting Service is a vital communication channel for some NZSL users.

“The Video Interpreting Service provides a tool where those who use NZSL can communicate with friends and whānau, contact service organisations, and participate in situations where interpreting services aren’t always available such as medical appointments,” she says.

“The ability to communicate with others is important for living a successful and rewarding life, and is something we all should be able to take for granted. The extended service will go some way in improving this and I look forward to seeing how the other services may be improved in the future.”

The government is currently undertaking a public consultation on relay services, including the NZSL Video Interpreting Service, for people who are Deaf, deafblind, speech-impaired or hearing-impaired.

The public have until 9am, Monday 15 April to have their say on the six proposed changes to these existing services.

Further information on the relay services, proposed changes, and making a submission are available in New Zealand Sign Language and English here.

View the NZSL video of this statement here.

Notes to editors
From 1 July 2019, the Video Interpreting Service will be available:

8am – 8pm Monday to Friday
10am – 5pm Saturday
12pm – 5pm Sunday
8am – 9pm Monday to Friday during May and November to support parent-teacher meetings

The service’s hours will operate as above during public holidays.


More Kiwis able to access lower-cost primary health care

Source: New Zealand Government

Health Minister David Clark is pleased to mark World Health Day today as new figures show cheaper doctors visits are available to nearly all the New Zealanders the policy was intended to reach.

This year for World Health Day the World Health Organisation (WHO) is focusing on universal health coverage.

“This is a great day to note that more New Zealanders can see their doctor at an affordable cost, thanks to the Government’s cheaper doctors visits initiatives launched in December last year,” David Clark said.

“As of April 1, approximately 96 per cent of Community Services Card (CSC) holders and their dependants who are enrolled with a general practice are able to visit their doctor at low cost. Those not already enrolled with a very low cost access practice will on average pay $20 to $30 less for a consultation. This means almost all Kiwis who hold a CSC won’t be charged more than $18.50 to visit their doctor.

“We know that cost has been a barrier for nearly 600,000 New Zealanders when they need to see their doctor. For some, their health has deteriorated until they needed to go to hospital. This isn’t good enough and I’m proud of the fact this Government has done something about it.

“All general practices in the Northland, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, West Coast and South Canterbury DHB regions have opted to provide lower-cost visits to their eligible patients with a CSC.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that more than 96 per cent of Māori and over 97 per cent of Pacific people who are CSC holders are enrolled with practices that offer lower cost fees.

David Clark says the Zero Fees for Under 14s scheme, which was part of Labour’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, is also helping make primary care more accessible.

“Almost all (more than 99 per cent) of enrolled children aged 13 and under can now access zero fee general practice visits.

“Zero Fees for Under 14s is helping deliver on our priority of ensuring all children in New Zealand have access to the primary health care services they need to reach their full potential.

‘”I’d also like to acknowledge the commitment of the primary care sector to implement the initiatives so promptly. The initiative’s positive outcomes wouldn’t be possible without the sector’s broad support and hard work,’ says David Clark.


The initiatives include:

• People with a CSC, and their dependants aged 14 to 17 years, who are enrolled with a general practice will pay less for visits to see a doctor or nurse at their general practice. An adult with a CSC won’t pay more than $18.50 for a standard visit with a doctor or nurse and young people aged 14 to 17 years, who have a parent or caregiver with a CSC, will be charged no more than $12.50.

• All enrolled children aged 13 and under won’t be charged a fee for a standard visit with a doctor or nurse at their general practice. They also won’t be charged an after-hours fee at participating clinics or pharmacies or the regular $5 prescription fee.

It’s anticipated that from 1 April 2019:

• 91 per cent of non-very low cost access (VLCA) practices will have signed up to the CSC initiative.

• 94 per cent of practices (including the above non-VLCA and all VLCA practices) will be offering low-cost services to their enrolled CSC holders and dependants.

• 96 per cent of CSC holders and dependants who are enrolled with a general practice will be able to visit their enrolled practice at low cost.

These figures will be confirmed by mid-April 2019, following final analysis.


Indigenous experts advise on Declaration plan

Source: New Zealand Government

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the delegation from the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) to Aotearoa. 

Last week Nanaia Mahuta announced that New Zealand will be taking a step forward on indigenous rights by leading a process to measure New Zealand’s progress towards the aspirations of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

EMRIP members have been invited to Aotearoa to provide advice on the development of that plan.  

“This is an exciting opportunity to hear from indigenous experts about how Aotearoa can be reflected in a Declaration plan, drawn from global models. 

The EMRIP members have been invited to New Zealand by the Aotearoa Independent Monitoring Mechanism for the Declaration and the Human Rights Commission and with the agreement of the New Zealand Government. 

“There are a range of policies and strategies already in place that are relevant to the Declaration, but there is no overall plan. EMRIP’s visit will help the Crown and Māori work together to create a plan to guide the implementation of the Declaration,” said Nanaia Mahuta.  

During their visit, EMRIP members will meet with various organisations, experts and the Government. They will also hold two community hui in Auckland and Wellington.  

“We are pleased to host these indigenous experts. Aotearoa is the third country to be visited by EMRIP, and this visit will show that we are genuinely committed to developing a national plan for the Declaration that meets New Zealand’s needs and aspirations.  

“We wish them the best for their time in Aotearoa and look forward to meeting and engaging with them,” said Nanaia Mahuta. 

Editorial Note:  

About the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)


The Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is one of three UN expert bodies that focus specifically on the rights of indigenous peoples  

EMRIP is made up of seven independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to provide advice and expertise. 

Three of the seven experts will be visiting Aotearoa in the coming  week:

  • Ms Laila Vars of Norway;
  • Ms Megan Davis of Australia;
  • Mr Edtami Mansavagan of the Philippines.