SHIFT principal consultant Bianca Miller shares her key takeaways from this year’s programme.
The 34th ILANZ Conference was held at the newly built Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre and hosted by Wilhelmina Shrimpton. Despite the surprising October snowfall, there was a lot of warmth inside at Te Pae, with the conference sold out and the theme of Whakapuāwai – Flourish, woven through each of the sessions.
Personal wellness was a big feature of this conference. Each of the keynote speakers, Craig Hudson, Dr. Paul Wood, and Dame Sophie Pascoe, shared their personal stories of mental health, authenticity, and flourishing through adversity; fairly timely topics given the upheaval across the past few years!
One of Craig’s lines has stuck with me: “I am not my profession nor who I work for.”
Over the past few years we have all had to quickly adapt to new ways of working, and a new set of professional and personal challenges. As we dealt with day-to-day uncertainty, many of us forgot to stop to think about how we can be our best selves. Craig articulated, extremely well, that taking care of ourselves will help us to thrive just as much in work as in life.
Dr. Wood left us with these three questions: Am I present? Am I open? Am I doing something that matters?
No matter the line of work we’re in, we should always factor these questions into what we do and how we do it. We are lucky at SHIFT to be a part of a proactive, empowered legal community; this keynote speech was a great opportunity for the entire audience to reflect on their working lives and whether they feel they are adding value each day.
Dame Sophie shared that a winning mindset is being positive about yourself.
ILANZ Conference 2022 Programme
The topic-based seminars focused on topics that we as lawyers, particularly in-house lawyers, will need to get our heads around for 2023.
We were lucky to attend in-depth sessions on climate change disclosures, modern slavery law and the role Tikanga plays in how lawyers interpret the law and how the law is applied. There was also plenty of knowledge sharing on building better partnerships with external counsel (they are essentially an extension of the in-house team!), raising the visibility of the legal function in a positive light and advice on personal career development.
I see the key areas of focus for NZ lawyers in 2023 as:
- ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance will be an increasingly important issue, for good reason. All lawyers should be up to speed with reporting requirements and law changes, especially as New Zealand strives to meet its climate targets, and regulatory burden continues to increase. Get in touch with our team if you would like some guidance in this area.
- Wellness – the legal industry as a whole is becoming more aware of the need to consciously look after our staff, ourselves and our wider networks.
- Taking advantage of technology – in the era of Industry 4.0, we should be harnessing the simple ways we can use data analytics and automation technology to assist with data-driven decision making and to free up time for people to spend time on higher value tasks.
New Zealand Law Awards 2022
We loved the opportunity to get together after two years to attend the New Zealand Law Awards! This was a night of celebration of excellence in the legal profession, and a chance to raise a glass to the hard work of our SHIFT community and the industry as a whole after a few challenging years.