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RiskNZ's Awards of Excellence 2019

Wellington City Council, Fonterra and The Treasury risk practitioners receive RiskNZ's Awards of Excellence 2019

June 18 2019, Wellington: Wellington City Council’s Duncan Stuart and The Treasury’s Ross Wells have both been presented Risk Professional of the Year Award from RiskNZ, and the Wellington City Council’s risk team won the Governance and Leadership in Risk Management and Practices category.

Gemma de Vilder from Fonterra was named the Emerging Risk Professional of the Year and Moana Ah Ken from Avanti Finance took away the Communication in Risk Management and Practices Award. The Awards were presented at RiskNZ’s annual Awards of Excellence held today at Wellington.

With over 800 members, RiskNZ is New Zealand’s leading professional association of risk professionals. The association is at the forefront of industry research, trends and developments and holds regular seminars, workshops and networking events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. RiskNZ’s Awards of Excellence recognise excellence and achievement across a number of categories. This year’s Awards witnessed many strong contenders from both the public and private sectors.

The Risk Professional of the Year Award, which was shared by Stuart and Wells, recognised the significant achievement by both individuals.

RiskNZ Chair Stephen Hunt said both winners have demonstrated excellence in strategic and operational thinking, leadership and planning along with outstanding communication. Their work has delivered valuable and impactful results for their respective organisation.



Hunt stated, “We are very pleased to take the unusual step of making this award to two individuals. The independent judging panel felt that both performances were particularly strong and equally worthy of the award.

“As the subject matter expert on risk management at the The Treasury, Ross has stewarded a risk management transformation journey that has brought in not only a practical suite of tools and processes, but a deepening of knowledge, engagement, and governance of risk practice that is culturally embedded in the organisation.”

“Duncan led the process of developing and implementing a new risk management framework for the Council, that has focused not only on building business capability to identify and manage risk, but has strengthened the engagement of senior leaders, the executive and Council.”

Wellington Council’s risk team won the Governance and Leadership in Risk Management and Practices award by demonstrating the value of proactive executive and governance engagement in the pursuit of strategic goals.

On their win, Hunt said, “After a risk maturity assessment, the Finance, Audit and Risk Management sub-committee at the Wellington City Council championed a fresh programme of work to better understand its opportunities, and provide a new perspective on the challenges in achieving strategic results.

“The programme of work allows transformation to a robust risk framework that will deliver interesting outcomes for the City Council. The outcomes include improving collaboration, creating consistency in reporting and cutting through complexity.”

Gemma’s win of the Emerging Risk Professional of the Year Award is in recognition to her skills in organisation and planning, influencing and negotiation, as well as excellent communication skills – crucial capabilities for aspiring risk managers.

“Gemma has been responsible for shifting Fonterra’s approach toward a more comprehensive process that acknowledges business purpose, risk and controls and minimises the cascading effects of business disruption. Gemma’s work has strengthened engagement and discussion with the new framework with over 500 business units, and plan ‘champions’ and owners,” said Hunt.

Moana’s award in the category of Communication in Risk Management and Practices was for demonstrating effective communication of risk to non-risk audiences in a way that changes behaviour and reduces possible impacts from risks.

“Moana’s successful work at Avanti has included developing a suite of communication channels for stakeholders along with practical approaches to support business ownership of risk. The organisation now has a strong risk management and reporting culture including an enhanced level of data and analytics,” stated Hunt.

The Awards of Excellence 2019 were announced today at the conclusion of RiskNZ’s Conference 2019. Nearly 100 risk practitioners from around the country gathered at the Wharewaka Function Centre in Wellington today to hear on global and national risks, with a special focus on autonomous mobility. The Conference presented expert speakers from risk and transport fields. Speakers included: Peter Mersi, CEO of the Ministry of Transport; Graeme Harris, CEO and Director of Civil Aviation NZ; Carla Leidtke, Director Control Risks Asia Pacific; Catriona Robinson, Director of National Security Systems at DPMC, and; Matt Montgomery, Head of Innovation at Auckland Council, among other respected speakers from the public and private sectors.

The RiskNZ Conference and Awards of Excellence 2019 were supported by Platinum Partner SAI Global and Premier Partner JLT.

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