Prime Minister addresses Co-op Business Leaders’ Forum

Prime Minister addresses Co-op Business Leaders’ Forum

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 the Co-operative Business Leaders’ Forum on February 26, Ms Ardern said New Zealand was due to present to 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 Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive’s online articles about the innovative ways Kiwi co-ops are finding to help achieve the sustainability targets that the world signed up to in 2015.

Our Prime Minister said the NZ delegation would acknowledge the work of NZ’s co-ops when it presents to the UN in July.

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 theme of this year’s forum was Forward Thinking – Taking New Zealand co-operatives into the future.

In addition to the Prime Minister, senior cabinet colleague Minister Hon. David Parker, whose portfolios include economic development, trade and export growth, and the environment, addressed co-operative business sector leaders for a second consecutive year. SEE SEPARATE STORY

Craig acknowledged the impressive line-up of guest speakers throughout the day.

“I thought the presentations were excellent – relevant, topical and well delivered. All seven presentations, along with some photos, can be found on the following Dropbox link:

“Thanks to everyone who came along to our Co-op Business Leaders’ Forum yesterday, the success of this event (as always) was reliant upon a good turnout from our Members and that was certainly achieved. I was very pleased with the event including the closer link that it will have created with our government.”

The future of co-operative work

  • Vincent Vuillard, Co-Founder and Director of Future Work Studio Topic: 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

Co-operative innovation

  • 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 innovation

NZ government initiatives in shaping the future of work

  • Hon. David Parker

Where 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