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Nicki is a Rangi Ruru Old Girl and has been Chair of the Board of Governors since 2018. She is also a lawyer having worked in private practice and now working in-house for a property investment and development company. Nicki is very supportive of the role of independent schools in New Zealand and views it as a privilege to currently be closely associated with Rangi Ruru Girls' School.

Aaron is the Chair of the Dilworth Trust Board, which governs Dilworth School. Dilworth is a boys boarding school based in Auckland and has a roll of 640 across three campuses – Junior (Years 6 to 8) and Senior (Years 10 to 13) in Auckland, and Rural (Year 9) in Mangatawhiri. Uniquely, all boys attending Dilworth School receive a fully funded scholarship paid for by the endowment of James and Isabella Dilworth.

Professionally, Aaron is the Chief Financial Officer of Eastland Group, a Gisborne-based infrastructure company. He has previously worked for PwC (Auckland and New York) and Deutsche Bank (New York). Aaron is a Chartered Accountant Fellow and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Dilworth has for many years sought to engage with and support fellow independent schools on matters that impact the sector. Aaron believes in the importance of values-based education with the outcome of having young women and men graduating from our schools with good character, achieving personal excellence, and flourishing in life.

One of the most effective tools to assist the Board to be more strategic is the design of the Board agenda. In general, the more strategic items should be at the beginning of the agenda. All items that are for noting should be at the end of the agenda (confirmed as read at the start of the meeting). Items that are for monitoring should be summarised as dashboards or graphics with questions or implications provided for the Board to consider.

Practical Hint: Directors have observed that Board agendas which provide hyperlinks to more detailed information make it easier for them to focus on key issues, whilst easily accessing supporting information if required.

It is essential to provide a section of the agenda that directly relates to refreshing Board strategy. This section often has a heading similar to “Changes to Strategic Environment” or my personal favourite “Strategic Gossip”. This agenda item is usually at the start of the agenda or directly after the discussions on key strategic issues. It provides the space for Directors to raise issues they have come across through reading, interactions or reflection, filtered through the potential strategic issue or strategic implications for the sector and the organisation. This is the place where Directors can raise potential discussion topics based on “whispers of the future”, the possible’s, the maybe’s, the perhaps’s they have come across that may have a strategic impact in a few years. This then provides the opportunity for the organisation to do some further research, and for the Board to reflect on whether the existing strategic plan is robust enough to deal with this potential strategic issue.

Next issue (2023): Board Reporting Protocols

Steven Bowman
Managing Director, Conscious Governance
Read more about Conscious Governance
Conscious Governance TV

Crimes (Child Exploitation Offences) Amendment Bill

Parliament is currently considering an amendment to the Crimes Act to further protect children from online grooming and sexual exploitation.  

Sexual grooming is already an offence under the Crimes Act. However, as the law exists a predator must have conducted the grooming in person, and then physically met or attempted to meet the young person intending to cause harm.

A new offence will be created for someone over 17 who communicates with someone under 16 with the intention of grooming the young person to cause harm. The offence is committed even if the targeted young person fails to respond or ignores the approach and no physical meeting or attempted meeting is required.  Although originally targeted solely at online communications, the bill is broad enough to cover online and in-person grooming activities.

The bill’s sponsor, Ginny Andersen, has said she hopes it will make it easier for police to intervene earlier before sexual offending takes place and bring prosecutions before the courts. The bill is expected to be passed into law soon.

Together with the Harmful Digital Communications Act, the bill reflects Parliament’s desire to address some of the gaps in the law to protect young people. Everyone plays a role in protecting our tamariki. All schools should have child safety policies and procedures which include guidelines for reporting. Schools should review their policies and procedures and ensure they reflect these upcoming legislative changes.

Written by Jonathan Nicolle, Senior Associate Simpson Grierson, with Helen Smith, Partner Simpson Grierson and Sally McKechnie, Partner Simpson Grierson.

Kia ora koutou katoa

I have a rugby background – as an administrator, not a player – and spent nearly a decade at New Zealand Rugby from 2003-2012.

That included working with the government, NZ Rugby and the company they set up, Rugby New Zealand 2011, to host the World Cup here. That was an amazing event that left me very aware of how valuable it can be to New Zealand to host major international events. (As I write this, the women’s Rugby World Cup is underway, but I won’t make any comment on that lest I jinx the Black Ferns.)

Now, I’m not a huge football fan. But the confirmation that some of the world’s top teams will appear here at the Women’s World Cup (20 July-20 August 2023) is pretty exciting news.

New Zealand will host 29 matches during the Cup at stadiums in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin. This is the first Fifa Women’s World Cup to be marketed as a standalone product, rather than being associated with the men’s event. It will be broadcast from Afghanistan to Austria, Laos to Zambia and everywhere in between. It represents a huge opportunity for New Zealand to promote itself – for manaakitanga – on the global stage.

We don’t yet know how many football tourists will descend upon us but, if previous tournaments are anything to go by, we can expect a multicultural influx of visitors that will boost our local economy and spread the good word about our country when they go back home.

This is great news for our tourism industry, in particular, which has the ability to reopen and ramp up over the next few months and prepare for a wave (should that be a Mexican wave?) of guests to arrive in the new year to see teams at the pinnacle of women’s football.

New Zealand is 22nd in the Fifa rankings, but perhaps the home advantage will help the Football Ferns achieve something magical. I will be eager to see how they fare in the tournament’s opening match on 20 July against Norway. Football Ferns fans will also be interested in the high-quality football on display – with the 27 July match-up of the USA (current world champions) and the Netherlands, a replay of the 2019 final, likely to attract a large audience.

You may be wondering what all this has to do with governance. The answer is twofold:
  • Business and community leaders must plan now if we are to get the full advantage of the visitors and global exposure the Fifa tournament will bring.
  • It reminds me of the important role many directors play in supporting local clubs and associations not only in football but across many sports in New Zealand.
On the latter point, I urge anyone involved in sports governance to make sure they are aware of new requirements under the Incorporated Societies Act 2022. For volunteers at sports clubs, the main points are:
  • Ensure your organisation reviews its rules to see whether or not they already comply with the new Acts requirements. If not, revise your constitution or rules before the re-registration period opens in October next year. Societies will have until Feb/Mar 2026 to complete re-registration – failing which, they will be struck off the register – ie no longer exist.
  • The new Act has brought in many provisions to improve incorporated society governance, including the appointment of officers and defining who is qualified/disqualified from being an officer.
  • Volunteers will need to:
    • understand the duties that attach to being an officer (not new duties, just written into law in the new Act)
    • understand the requirements of having and operating under a committee structure, as set out in the new Act.
    • be aware of the new dispute resolution procedures all societies are required to have in their rules
    • be aware of the conflict of interest provisions
    • be aware of new financial reporting and accountability reporting requirements.
Overall, the Act creates a more professional operating environment for sports club volunteers and puts new requirements on officers. Bedding it in at your organisation may require a bit of extra legwork, and brain work. 

But that is a task for next year.  In the meantime, have a great rest of 2022 and I wish you a happy holiday season.

Kirsten Patterson,
Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors
Ask Kirsten Patterson a question for the next issue...

Headlines like the NZ Herald’s “Private School Rich List: The wealthiest institutions for Kiwi kids” reinforce the common perception that private schools are wealthy. Whilst independent schools have built up their asset bases through the generosity of their communities and careful stewardship over successive generations, the perception that private schools are wealthy is unhelpful. The reality is private school fees generally only cover the operating costs of a school.      
Private schools do not receive any Government funding for capital development and investment. To remain competitive and respect their heritages, independent schools need to plan for ongoing investment and development. At Rangi Ruru, we have recently completed our new sports and multi-use facility named Atawhai.  Atawhai is a much-needed facility that enables Rangi Ruru to continue to provide opportunities for its students. However, the ability to develop Atawhai was only possible due to the generosity of an Old Girl, Miss Reid, leaving a significant bequest to the school, along with the wide community support for our fundraising efforts. 
We are incredibly grateful for Miss Reid’s bequest and the support provided by our community. The importance of Miss Reid’s bequest and the wide community support we received for Atawhai cannot be underestimated. However, the generosity we received for Atawhai was not the beginning of Rangi Ruru’s fundraising journey nor will it be the last time we need to turn to our community for support. The challenge is, therefore, how does an independent school like Rangi Ruru develop a culture of giving back notwithstanding the numerous worthy causes competing for donations and the “wealthy” perception?
As a Board and a school, we take a long-term and strategic view of giving and philanthropy. We recognise that we need an engaged community to ask for support, and we also celebrate and remember generosity.  We talk to the students about the importance of giving back at an appropriate time, and we are connected to individuals who have indicated they wish to leave a bequest to Rangi Ruru. Rangi Ruru has a separate Foundation that respects the principles of good stewardship and ensures that funds given to Rangi Ruru are held for their intended purpose and held separately from the school’s day-to-day operational arrangements. Also, we talk about the need for Rangi Ruru to chart its own journey financially especially as the Government funding we receive doesn’t cover the amount of GST we need to return to the Government.
We are hopeful that having an engaged community ensures support when it is needed, and it is my hope that generations of Rangi Ruru Old Girls recognise that they have benefited from the generosity of our community over many years and they give back at an appropriate time.

Nicki Carter
Board Chair, Rangi Ruru Girls' School.
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