EDITOR’S LETTER february 2009: agenda 2009

Welcome back to The Director. It is going to be busy year: New Zealand has new government, the global framework is changing rapidly, there are new economic challenges and the business environment will need to adapt.
Directors will need to be leading this process if it is to filter down successfully. With this in mind, our cover story canvasses those at the forefront of corporate governance in this country to get their thoughts on what the 2009 agenda will contain. New Commerce Minister Simon Power is focused on opportunities which will help New Zealand firms access capital and on increasing investor confidence. Any reforms stemming from this will need to work in conjunction with the ongoing development of the New Zealand-Australia Single Economic Market, he says. Other issues discussed in Mark Peart’s feature include what level of intervention is appropriate, how decision-making changes in tough times, the importance of maintaining strategic vision, ethics and integrity. See page 62 for more.
The Director also speaks with long-time director Liz Coutts. She talks with Brent Leslie about the changes she has seen in business and governance during her career. Coutts has been instrumental in the fortunes of numerous New Zealand companies, organisations and government agencies but, she says, there is still lot to do. See page 66.
Sustainability is an issue directors ignore at their peril. The importance of adopting these practices at board level and being seen, as an organisation, to have robust and effective sustainability programme in place has never been higher on the agenda. Iain McCormick talks about why more companies are going green and how directors can lead this move on page 70.
Finally we take look at new corporate governance book written specifically for New Zealand directors.

Ellen Read

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