On 22 September 2023, Transparency International New Zealand held its inaugural Business Leaders Integrity Forum. TINZ is partnering with Business Central to facilitate quarterly forums where business leaders can discuss real world issues they face around transparency and integrity in a safe environment, using their experiences and considering solutions to these complex challenges.
On this occasion we are especially grateful to KPMG who provided the Wellington venue and a lead speaker in Wellington for an excellent first forum, on the theme of Modern Slavery.
TINZ has been running Integrity Forums for public sector leaders for the last six years. It is a simple format, with two speakers presenting on a topic where there is a serious ethical challenge, and then discussing it with their peers. The Forums are run under the Chatham House rule, which means that people can talk about what was said afterwards, but not about who said what. That encourages more open discussion.
After formal welcomes from Anne Tolley (TINZ Chair) and Aaron McLeigh (Business Central), TINZ Board Director Tod Cooper chaired the forum. Tod is a procurement expert and passionate about fighting human exploitation in supply chains.
Gemma Livingston and James Bushell were our guest speakers.
Gemma leads KPMG’s human rights and social impact offerings in New Zealand. Specialising in modern slavery, Gemma provides advice relating to the proposed New Zealand modern slavery legislation and compliance with global legislation.
James Bushell is a leading strategist in incorporating ethics and sustainability into commercial models and has governance and executive experience in developing, emerging and developed economies. Last year he co-authored the acclaimed book ‘Human Good - a practical field guide to ethical leadership’.
The discussion looked at proposed modern slavery legislation and the industries it affects. We heard about the proposals under consideration in New Zealand, and about what is happening overseas.
The speakers reflected on how this plays out in practice: how businesses should be aware of the modern slavery risks within their businesses; what the challenges are in genuinely understanding the risks in supply chains; and what needs to happen if you uncover a real issue, including the risks in attempting to ignore the situation. They also talked about the opportunities and expectations for exporters and governance around modern slavery assessment and action. The increasing occurrence of this serious global issue in modern situations was recognised by attendees as a real threat and reality in New Zealand.
Check out our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/TINZ.org where Tod talks about modern slavery, and read Gemma Livingston’s article on modern slavery in this newsletter.
If you are a New Zealand business and would like to be part of our Business Leaders Integrity Forum please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. While our initial forums are primarily in-person in Wellington our recent one also had some attending online. We are also interested in hosting face to face meetings in Auckland and elsewhere.