2021 Agenda


9:00 am
9:10 am

Welcome from the Event Partner

Kenny Addison

Country Manager (NZ), ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll

9:15 am

Keynote Session: Taking risks

Stuff CEO and owner Sinead Boucher has taken many calculated risks in her career. In this talk she will share how stepping out of her comfort zone to take advantage of unexpected opportunities has influenced her leadership journey. 

Sinead Boucher

Chief Executive Officer, Stuff

9:55 am

PANEL: Leading a flexible and remote workforce in the new normal

At the start of 2020, we saw rapid shifts to virtual and remote work, with unprecedented levels of flexibility. As we start to look to the new realities of a post-pandemic world, our panelists will discuss best practices for the new normal and future of work.  

  • How to foster collaboration, teamwork, agility and cohesion in the new normal  
  • What have we learned about remote work during COVID-19?  
  • Successful HR programs that support gig economy workers and contractors   
  • Communication strategies to create a cohesive culture in a remote and virtual world   
  • HR programs that combine targets and metrics with flexible work arrangements   


Jaime Gallocher

Founder, The People Project


Wendy Paul

Director, People Experience, Fonterra 

Evan Bateup

Chief People Officer, Vista Group

Susan Lowe

People & Culture Director, Coca Cola Amatil NZ

Jodie King

Chief People Officer, Vodafone

Michael Carden

Co-founder, Joyous

11:15 am

Obtaining executive buy-in: Extending HR’s influence across the organisation

COVID-19 thrust HR professionals into the spotlight, challenging long-held perceptions of HR as a back-office function dealing solely with contracts and new hires. The pandemic’s impact on workplaces highlighted HR’s important role as agents of change tasked with navigating organisations’ people through periods of immense upheaval. But there is still work to be done in elevating HR’s status as strategic partners.

This session discusses how HR can build on its elevated reputation and extend influence across an organisation, focusing on the following key areas:

  • How HR can make best use of data analytics to build business cases and demonstrate expertise
  • How to demonstrate the link between people-related HR initiatives (employee experience, culture, talent planning) and business outcomes
  • How HR can build trust and credibility
  • The importance of building a deep understanding of the business strategy, and aligning this with talent planning
  • Using HR technology to prioritise strategic work and gain data-driven insights
Kenny Addison

Country Manager (NZ), ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll

11:45 am

Mental health strategies for a remote workforce 

Research has shown an increase in reported mental health issues among employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Companies are now shifting their priority towards employee wellbeing during this time of uncertainty. In this session, Shaun will discuss the steps Chorus is taking to improve employee wellbeing.   

  • Developing initiatives to manage mental health and stress for a remote workforce  
  • Integrating mental health support to your current HR strategy  
  • Creating a culture of support through empathetic leadership 
Shaun Philp

Chief People Officer, Chorus NZ

12:25 pm
1:25 pm

PANEL: Leveraging HR technology to re-engage your workforce

Across New Zealand, many multi-year digital transformation projects were accelerated to a few weeks. With HR technology now playing a huge role in all organisations, our panellists will share insights from their HR tech journeys.  

  • Practical lessons learned during a variety of different HR tech rollouts  
  • Examples of successful AI and automation programs that have automated routine HR tasks  
  • Which transactions can we automate with self-service and what should we retain in human hands?  


Luke Amundson

VP APAC, Peakon


Gareth Cameron

Head of People, Training & Talent, McDonald's NZ

Vanessa Frost

Global Head of People, Orion Health

Rose Johnson

HR Director, DHL Supply Chain

Nga Nguyen

Head of Human Resources, Schindler Lifts NZ

2:15 pm

HR spotlight: Telling stories through real-time data

During the COVID-19 crisis with such rapid changes and decision-making, HR teams really learned the importance of real-time data. In this session, hear insights into the use of data for HR decision-making.  

  • Making connections across data and information to inform successful decision making  
  • Using real-time data and analytics to influence stakeholders at all levels  
  • How to shape data into a narrative to help reveal findings, trends or underlying patterns  
  • Using visualisations to explain how and why HR data changes over time  
  • How can we use data to think differently about the employee experience?  
Ryan Ghisi

General Manager, Global People Programs, Xero

3:25 pm

2021 and beyond: HR leadership in the future

The past several months have accelerated the reality of the future of work. What will HR roles look like in the future?   

  • How can we capture and scale the benefits gained through COVID-19?  
  • Preparing your workforce for future challenges and opportunities    
  • What does the future hold for progressive and flexible work options and benefits?  
  • How can we guide and support teams for a future that is uncertain?    
Kate Daly

Human Resources Director, COO, Fonterra

4:05 pm

PANEL: Rebuilding trust with a positive post-crisis employee experience 

2020 has brought unprecedented stress and uncertainty to our employees. Now it’s up to HR departments to rebuild trust by creating and maintaining positive employee experience and engagement programs.  

  • Employee experience (EX) programs that foster personal strengths, passions and purpose  
  • HR technology solutions that help HR teams to apply personalisation in a scalable way   
  • How four different employers have taken holistic ‘whole person’ approach to EX  
  • Practical examples of highly connected and personalised people management strategies  


Jaime Gallocher

Founder, The People Project


Katrina Thomson

Group People and Culture Manager, Moana New Zealand

Nikki Dines

Chief People Officer, Air New Zealand

Edith Sykes

Chief People Officer, Zespri

Julie Bassett

Vice President Human Resources - APAC, Constellation Brands

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