Tuesday 21 August 2018


Registration opens


Opening remarks from the Chairperson

Dr Jarrod Haar – Professor of Human Resource Management, Auckland University of Technology


Event partner welcoming address

Kenny Addison – NZ Country Manager, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll


PANEL: Reinventing the performance review – moving beyond tradition

Has the formal appraisal had its day? Explore alternatives to the traditional method, and examine the impact that coaching, development and feedback can have on employee culture.

  • What successful alternative performance review frameworks have been tried and tested?
  • How does a framework based on coaching, feedback and inclusive development impact employee culture?
  • How do you ensure that new performance review frameworks are fair, effective and legally defensible?


Annie Brown – Chief People Officer, Trade Me

Andy Graves – Head of Capability, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

Charlotte Parkhill – Partner, Kensington Swan

Lucy Ryan – Head of People and Culture, Kings School


Dr Jarrod Haar – Professor of Human Resource Management, Auckland University of Technology


Growing strong leaders: What are the best leadership development methods?

Company success is reliant upon the people who lead the way, and it’s critical for HR professionals to accurately identify and develop the next generation of leaders. Which leadership development programs create the best outcomes?

  • Why leadership development programs fail to deliver
  • Creating leadership strategies that work
  • Cutting edge trends in leadership development
  • How can you make leadership development programs stick?
  • How to encourage leaders to acknowledge their own shortcomings
  • How to work with managers to achieve better people outcomes

Sarah Friis – Co-Founder, Workshops4teams.com


Morning tea


Roundtable workshops

TABLE ONE: Industrial relations and collective bargaining

  • Handling negotiation changes when a collective is in place
  • HR best practice when dealing with unions
  • Managing multi-party bargaining
  • What options do you have in the event of industrial action?

Jennifer Mills – Director, Jennifer Mills & Associates

TABLE TWO: Flying solo – HR excellence for SMEs

  • Running successful HR programs with a limited budget
  • How can you compete with corporate brands to attract talent?
  • Challenging negative perceptions of HR
  • How can you keep the ‘family’ culture alive in a rapidly growing business?

Vanessa Frost – Head of People & Capability, Lumino the Dentists

TABLE THREE: Authentic leadership for HR directors

  • How to be an authentic HR leader
  • Communicating confidently with presence – making sure you are listened to and respected
  • The body language of leaders: Understanding unspoken communication
  • How to motivate colleagues effectively, have difficult conversations and inspire success

Britta Christiansen – Director, The ripple effect




The eternal HR challenge of managing change

We must accept that with intensifying competition within and across businesses, the pace of change is ever increasing. How we manage change can often determine the success of your organisation, and its people that drive it. Let’s uncover the following:

  • What role do you as an HR leader play in management of change?
  • How can technology better enable you to accelerate the acceptance of, and implementation of changes in your organisation?
  • What are the ways to increase employee engagement along your journey?

Kenny Addison – NZ Country Manager, ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll


KEYNOTE: Climb your own Everest

Resilience continues to rank as one of the most important skills HR professionals need to perform effectively. What do HR Professionals and an Everest mountaineer have in common?

  • The Hillary Formula: what are the attributes that propels you towards your own summits and successes
  • Self-reliance – trust in your own intuition
  • Resisting the ‘flock factor’ – teamwork is essential for success, but not at the cost of individual judgement
  • Passion – teams thrive with people who are passionate, skilled and confident.

Peter Hillary – Adventurer & Philanthropist


PANEL: The future of HR in a world of disruptive technology

Advancing technology is enabling HR departments to streamline processes and reduce time-consuming administrative work. How will this affect the HR profession in New Zealand, and what does the future hold?

  • How will the rising gig economy affect talent attraction and retention?
  • Can technology improve employee diversity, close gender pay gaps and enhance health and safety?
  • Will areas of HR practice become obsolete with advancing technology?
  • How will technology affect the career path of junior HR professionals?


Johnny Farquhar – CEO and Founder, PreviewMe

Marc Figgins – GM People, Revenue & Employee Experience, Air New Zealand

Sam Stubbs – Managing Director, Simplicity

Drew Williams – Director, Casanelia Williams


Dr Jarrod Haar – Professor of Human Resource Management, Auckland University of Technology


Afternoon tea


The true ROI of HRIS

In this session, you’ll learn about how technology can help HR executives transform into truly strategic partners with their organisations. Discover how you can define and articulate HRIS benefits in a way that links to, and influences, your strategic organisational priorities.

  • How using technology can deliver best practice, support innovation and provide high-quality operational services
  • How HR technology goes beyond digitising standard processes. HR platforms today are capable of boosting employee engagement, efficiency and productivity
  • The recommended strategy for achieving immediate ROI on digital transformation: Adopt then Adapt
  • The importance of adoption in benefits realisation
  • How to Business Case to convince CFOs that tangible, quantitative, ROI exists

Danielle Cook  – People & Performance Manager, Barworks Hospitality Group

Nico Hadj-Blaha – Country Manager (NZ), Synchrony Global


Revolutionising workplace mental health

As employee mental health and wellness gains significant focus, the onus is on employers to support their staff through difficult times. Can an innovative approach to this important issue foster culture change?

  • Building a safety and wellbeing culture
  • Addressing the stigma around mental health
  • How can you avoid burnout before it occurs, and what red flags identify that an employee is becoming stressed?
  • Supporting employees through mental health issues
  • How do you know you’re making progress?

Robin Davies – People & Culture Director, Lion NZ


Leading organisations through disruptive change

Correctly managed, disruptive change can foster progress and innovation, but how do you sensitively sway the heel-diggers in order to future-proof your company?

  • Which change management approaches work, and which are destined for failure?
  • Strategies to develop an innovative company culture
  • How to get company-wide buy in and empower colleagues to embrace change
  • How to measure success throughout the change process

Jenny Williams – Client Director, Humankind


Conference concludes