AS I SEE IT : Kim Josling

Chief Financial Officer
Contact Energy

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?
I love the way that Kiwis are down to earth. We’re understated, quiet achievers. Kiwis are pretty upfront too – we’re “what you see is what you get” type of people. We love our sport and getting around the BBQ with the family on sunny day. I also like the fact that we are melting pot of cultures too. Festivals like Chinese New Year, Diwali and the Pasifika Festival attract hundreds of people each year – it’s real testament to how we have grown as nation.   
What will be our next major challenge?
Obviously, New Zealand has grown beyond its colonial roots. We are proud, capable nation that is respected globally. From the time of the ANZACs we have punched above our weight internationally. We’ve taken stands against whaling and our nuclear-free policy forms very important part of our national identity. We are unique, diverse nation with our own distinctive culture. Our challenge now is to grow our unique edge globally where we are not afraid to do things differently.
What do you think we need to do to prepare ourselves?
We need to create an environment that supports innovation and boldness to do things differently. We particularly need to foster this creativity in our children. Young New Zealanders need an environment where they are encouraged to come up with fresh ideas and new solutions.
New Zealand’s “tall-poppy syndrome” can often prevent people from being innovative and that’s shame. We are all responsible for ensuring that we have an environment where we encourage new ideas and respect diversity. In order to grow as nation, we need to celebrate our successes and unique position in the world.
And maybe, as we reach this maturity as nation, it is also time to ask ourselves whether or not we want to consider our own formal constitution?

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