28 February 2019
Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern has praised the initiatives taken by the New Zealand co-operative sector to help meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
The goals were set by the UN in 2015 and are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.
In her address to this country’s co-operative business sector leaders this week (Tuesday, February 26), Ms Ardern said New Zealand was due to go before the UN at a High Level Political Forum that is scheduled to take place in New York in July to report on this country’s progress in tackling the 17 sustainability goals.
In preparation for Tuesday’s forum, Ms Ardern had been reading about the innovative ways Kiwi co-ops are finding to help achieve the sustainability targets that the world signed up to in 2015. She said the NZ delegation would acknowledge the work of NZ’s co-ops when it presents to the UN in July.
The one-day Co-operative Business Leaders’ Forum was organised by Cooperative Business New Zealand, the industry peak body which represents this country’s co-operatives, mutuals and societies. They include household names such as Fonterra, Southern Cross Health Society and Foodstuffs, and generate almost one-fifth of NZ’s GDP.
Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive, Craig Presland, said sustainability was central to the co-operative ethos, and co-operatives were key to meeting the SDGs.
“It is widely recognized that the co-operative business model, with its underlying strengths of endurance along with economic, environmental and social sustainability, is the most closely aligned towards supporting the UN in achieving these goals,” he said.
The Cooperative Business NZ website features several articles, including those read by our Prime Minister:
- Co-operatives key to achieving sustainability targets
- Global challenges and how co-ops can help
- We support Business Advisory Council
- Fonterra’s drive for true sustainability
- Foodstuffs looks after NZ
The theme of this year’s forum was Forward Thinking – Taking New Zealand co-operatives into the future.
In addition to the Prime Minister, her cabinet colleague Minister Hon. David Parker, whose portfolios include economic development, trade and export growth, and the environment was among an impressive line-up of speakers.
In addition to the Prime Minister, her cabinet colleague Minister Hon. David Parker, whose portfolios include economic development, trade and export growth, and the environment was among an impressive line up of speakers.
The future of co-operative work
- Vincent Vuillard, Co-Founder and Director of Future Work StudioTopic: Workplace disruption
- François Barton, Executive Director Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum Topic: Health and safety in NZ’s future workplaces
- Matt Bolger, Director Farmer Services, Fonterra Topic: Lessons from Israel
- Rob Hewett, Chairman Silver Fern Farms. Topic: Co-operative business model innovation
- Murray King, Chairman LIC. Topic: Co-operative business model innovation
- Vic Crone, CEO Callaghan Innovation. Topic: Collaboration in innovationWhere are co-op economies heading into the future?
- Balu Iyer, Director General Asia Pacific, International Co-operative Alliance
Topic: Evolution / adaptation of co-operative models around the world
Pre-dinner speaker: NZ Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
- Cooperative Business NZ represents New Zealand’s co-operatives, mutuals and societies operating across the spectrum of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, banking and other financial services, utilities, wholesale and retail.
- Cooperative Business NZ CEO Craig Presland, pictured below left, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.