The CEO's report: As directors we play a significant role

Kirsten (KP) PattersonTēnā koutou

Despite our position as a small island nation down at the bottom of the world, New Zealanders are well known as a nation of travellers. For generations, much of our economic prosperity has come from sharing New Zealand with the world. 

You will be aware that that the Business Growth Agenda (BGA) is to increase exports from 30% to 40% of GDP by 2025. To quote the NZTE purpose: “to grow companies internationally – bigger, better, faster - for the benefit of New Zealand.” 

Soon all members will receive a new 2017 edition of our cornerstone publication, The Four Pillars of Governance Best Practice. The first significant update since 2014, new sections on purpose, sustainability, and human rights in business, are a reflection of the areas where the directors of today are needing to exercise choices and leadership every day.

New Zealand has an extremely attractive economic and business environment, and yet we cannot afford to get complacent or too comfortable here at home. Whether established listed companies, or a new SME taking steps to implement it’s first board to start exploring the export market, there is much that good governance can do to assist “New Zealand Inc.” grow in off-shore markets.

As directors we play a significant role in ensuring New Zealand’s reputation is maintained while offshore. We also must take responsibility to help build trust in our economic systems. Whether it is ensuring transparency and fair value in our remuneration systems locally, or whether it is ensuring transparency and fairness in our supply chain overseas, good governance, ethics, and integrity make the difference. While exciting from an innovation perspective, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is only going to increase the ethical debates at the boardroom table – how do we calculate and value the choices ahead?

Given this edition of BoardRoom coincides with election season, we asked all registered political parties how they would address the 3Is – Innovation, Infrastructure, and Inequality. Innovation and infrastructure are essential to achieving the BGA, for it to achieve its purpose of this growth being for the benefit of all New Zealand. We also need to ensure we all have an opportunity to share in the resulting prosperity. Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi - With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive.

Ngā mihi
Kirsten (KP)