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New Ideas to Deliver HR Excellence

HR teams are often being asked to do more, yet with less resource and less  budget. What are the new tools and techniques that HR can utilise to increase how they deliver? How can they use transformational culture models, new thinking and reinvented processes to  engage with managers, increase productivity and create HR excellence?

The 2018 HR Operations Conference explores the changing landscape of employment relations, how to move HR to being about human relationships, how to use transformational business culture intiatives, be an authentic HR leader and use new tools like neuroscience and design thinking to be an HR team of the future.

If you’d like new ideas on delivering HR excellence, make sure you join us.


Conference opening

Conference Agenda


Being an Authentic HR Leader

You can demonstrate HR leadership right from the start of your HR career. Managers who see leadership from their HR team are far more likely to see you as a coach and listen to your advice. This session covers how you can develop your HR Leadership.

Presented by Dan Parkman and Beth Bundy, GM HR’s at Open Polytechnic & AUT


Morning tea


Trends in Employment Law issues

The Labour Inspectorate visit many NZ businesses and see the issues that are occuring. In this session you’ll hear the trends in employment law issues and find out what happens when a Labour Inspector comes calling.

Presented by Vanessa Webb, Labour Inspector, MBIE


Workplaces of the future

Our afternoon session explores how you make HR into being about Human Relationships, what HR needs to consider about the gig economy and what transformational workplaces are doing that employees love.

Presented by Carol Brown, RoleWorks and Cambel Fisher, enableHR


Using resilience to build capability and productivity.

Working in HR can be stressful and cause anxiety. Hear how you can build your own resilience and use this to enhance your what and how you deliver HR.

Presented by Kathryn Jackson, Executive Coach, CareerBalance


Remuneration and Bonuses

There are a number of legal issues around remuneration processes and paying bonuses. This session will cover legislation and case law and some case studies from real companies.

Presenter to be confirmed.


HR Operations Think Tank

Time to distill idea, discuss challenges and set an action plan for the future.


Conference close

Register today!

Event Details

Wellington - Thursday 13 to Friday 14 September 2018, Majestic Centre


General attendance $1095  +GST

Out of towner +$245 + GST

Last minute tickets $1295 + GST

Register today!

Nikki Peck, HR Business Partner, Elephant Group

Nikki Peck has over 19 years of generalist HR experience working in diverse sectors such as health, engineering, utilities, retail and not-for-profit.  She is currently the Head of HR at an architectural company in Auckland.

Nikki has a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resources from The University of Auckland and regularly runs Elephant Essential Employment Law workshop and other HR training.

She always shares practical tools and techniques, and how HR professionals can overcome the challenges that working in the grey areas can create. Nikki joined Elephant in 2012 and will be MC of the Conference.

Beth Bundy, Group People and OD Director, AUT

Beth’s career in HR spans almost two decades. Since moving to NZ 14 years ago, she has held executive roles across a range of industries in the wider public sector including: tertiary education, utilities, health and local government.  Through this experience she has identified she derives sense of meaning in her work from working for organisations whose underlying purpose is to contribute to the development of New Zealand society.  So much so, that she is currently studying for the Executive Masters of Public Administration through the Australian & New Zealand School of Government.

She is most comfortable when challenging the status quo and being a disruptive influence in working practices and at AUT has literally taken down the walls to change the culture.

Dan Parkman, Executive Director HR, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Dan joined Open Polytechnic in June 2017, bringing with him a wealth of experience in human resource management in New Zealand and overseas.

Dan has spent the last two decades in human resources, beginning his career in the United Kingdom before making the move to New Zealand in 2014.

Prior to joining Open Polytechnic Dan was Human Resources Manager at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in the Bay of Plenty.

He has also held roles with UK-based companies The Delta Group, Visteon UK and the London Underground.

Dan has a BA (Hons) in classical civilisations from the University of Warwick and a PGDip in human resource management from Teesside University.

Conference Presenters

Jordan Boyle, Employment Lawyer, Dyhrberg Drayton

Jordan joined Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law in 2016, coming from a boutique employment law firm where he practiced as a solicitor, advising clients on all manners of employment law.

Jordan advises employers and employees on a range of employment law matters including personal grievances, Privacy Act requests, performance management, disciplinary and restructuring processes, and reviewing and drafting employment agreements and policies.

Jordan has experience in representing clients in mediation, as junior counsel in the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal and as sole counsel in the District Court.

Kathryn Jackson,

Executive Coach and Author, CareerBalance

Kathryn Jackson is an Executive Coach and business book author, specialising in working with managers and leaders to design and create personal career success – and helping them to understand how to support their team in achieving the same.

She is an experienced ‘People Professional’ with 20 years in the corporate and coaching environment including roles in HR, recruitment and consulting with Andersen’s, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland.

Her coaching approach is highly pragmatic and tailored to the personal learning styles and the goal (or goals) of her clients. She can support coaching programmes with appropriate workplace resources if required, eg DISC profile, Belbin Team Type, Myers Briggs, 360-degree feedback.


The speakers were fantastic and the information was presented in a way that made me feel confident about going away and using the tips and ideas I'd learnt.

What do people say about attending Elephant HR conferences?

I loved every minute of this conference! Usually when I hear the word conference I run a mile because I find that the language used and the atmosphere are far too corporate and it's hard to take in. This was the complete opposite! It was by far the best HR event I've been to.

It was really nice to get to meet other people from other organisations and hear the problems they face and also some of the things they have put in place. I will certainly advise other colleagues to attend the next one.

The conference was very well organised from the onset. The choice of presenters was excellent. This has been the most meaningful event that I have attended in my HR career - therefore I very much look forward to attending next year.

It was a great conference. Really thought provoking and plenty of time for group contributions too.

Meet our fabulous sponsors

enable HR is a dynamic HR software solutions for your business. Discover why over 8,000 business use enable HR by clicking here!

RoleWorks is the first digital employee feedback platform that lets you see what’s really happening in roles across your organisation and visual maps it for you.

Find out more by clicking here!

Register today!

 Registration Details

Ticket Details

Last minute tickets apply from Monday 3 September.

10% saving if you book 2 or more attendees, or you are an Elephant VIP (have attended an Elephant event before).

20% saving for Not for Profits.

Out of town ticket: includes one nights accommodation.

Wellngton Venue: Majestic Centre, Willis Street.

Terms and Conditions

The 2018 HR Advisors Conference is run by Elephant Group. Elephant Group reserves the right to amend the conference at any time if required. Once we’ve received your registration, we will send you a confirmation pack and invoice or payment link. By registering you agree to pay the invoice within 30 days.

If you are unable to attend and written notification is received by us 3 weeks in advance, you will receive a refund less a $100 cancellation fee. After that, no refunds will be issued. You can substitute your attendance with someone else up to 3 days before the conference. Photography may be taken during the conference in which you may be included. Please let us know if you do not consent to being in these photos.

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The changing Employment Law landscape

With changing legislation and case law, it can be difficult keeping up with employment law. In this session you’ll hear essential law changes and case law to keep you up to date on the changing landscape.

Presented by Angela Evans, Senior Associate, LHB




Afternoon tea


Dealing with difficult disciplinary and dismissals

You don’t really want to practice running a disciplinary process or dismissal on a real employee. In this session you’ll get to have a go at having actual meetings, writing letters and deciding on the outcome. You’ll also hear about the difficult issues that can happen and practical ways to deal with them.

Presented by Nikki Peck, HR Consultant, Elephant Group


Day 1 finishes


Parental Leave and the Holidays Act

For both HR and Payroll professionals, ensuring that you comply with the new regulations around Parental leave and the Holidays Act can be confusing and complicated. This session will update you on recent changes and case law to ensure you are applying these correctly.

Presented by Jordan Riley and Bronwyn Heenan, Employment Lawyers, Dyhrberg Drayton and Simpson Grierson


Morning tea




HR Tool of the Future: Design Thinking

We finish the conference by taking you through how you can use Design Thinking principles to change how design and deliver your HR processes.

Presenter to be confirmed.

The HR Advisors conference explored a wide range of an HR Advisor role, from your own

personal development to attracting and retaining top talent in the market. Interesting topics

which aren’t often found in an HR conferences. The conference showed you where HR is

now and where it is headed while providing you with top tips and tricks for how to help your

organisation keep on the fringe.

I loved the practical use aspects and the board range of topics and that it was all very forward thinking and useful to what we do in this field. I really liked the balance of personal professional topics/challenges and workplace topics/challenges. I will personally take stuff

away for my own development as well as stuff I can apply and change in my workplace.

Very helpful, had lots to report back to my team on. Would recommend attendance.

Vanessa Webb, Labour Inspector, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Vanessa started her career in Human Resources in the Government sector.

In 2016 she moved into a Labour Inspector role with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Labour Inspectors make sure that workplaces meet at least the minimum standards and requirements of employment law.

Vanessa has been involved in many investigations since then and will be sharing what a Labour Inspector does, what a visit can involve and what the trends are that employers aren’t getting right.

Bronwyn Heenan,

Senior Associate,


Bronwyn is a senior associate in the firm’s employment law group in the Wellington office. She has significant experience in all aspects of employment law with particular expertise in disciplinary and termination matters (including conducting investigations), change management processes, drafting employment agreements and policies, and health and safety.

Bronwyn regularly attends mediations and represents clients in the Employment Relations Authority, the Employment Court and District Court.  Bronwyn acts for clients in the public and private sectors as well as Local Government.

Carol Brown,

Chief Executive,


Carol is the founder and CEO of RoleWorks.  She has an extensive track record in New Zealand and off-shore as a thought leader and specialist in future focussed HR strategies.  She is also considered one of New Zealand’s foremost diversity experts, and has built up an international practice in this field. 

Over the past 30 years, Carol has applied her experience as both a practitioner and a consultant in organisations across industry.  She combines her deep understanding of market trends and employee engagement, with the changing needs of agile organisations and brings the two together to provide smart technology and consulting solutions, that solve real problems and give organisations a competitive edge.

 Campbell Fisher,

Executive Chair,


Campbell has over 25 years’ experience in providing ASX 100 private companies and public-sector clients with high-level strategic advice. He is the only lawyer in Australia to be an accredited specialist in employment and industrial law in both New South Wales and Victoria.

Campbell is highly regarded by the legal and business communities not only because of his expertise in workplace relations law, but also for his innovative approach to delivering legal services. His clients value his creativity as a business strategist, his incisiveness as a lawyer, and his extensive experience of working in a broad range of industries.