New Zealand and Climate Change: Where are we now? with Minister of Climate Change, Hon. Simon Watts

5 min read
April 30, 2024

New Zealand has been making significant progress to address climate change - but is it enough? What is coming up in the next few years? Join us for an exclusive breakfast with Minister of Climate Change, Hon. Simon Watts.

You are invited to an exclusive breakfast on Wednesday 12 June at The Cordis Hotel, Auckland where we'll hear from Minister of Climate Change, Hon. Simon Watts as he delivers a keynote address on where New Zealand is at in the climate space following the change in Government.

He will also share his top priorities for change and new initiatives in the coming years, particularly in areas of impact to the financial services sector, followed by a discussion with a panel of industry professionals.  

Panel discussion synopsis

Since 2021 and the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Act, the industry has had to adapt, become educated and resourced to ensure compliance with the Climate Related Disclosures Regime in accordance with climate standards published by the External Reporting Board (XRB).

This was followed by guidance from each regulator and add that into the mix of greenwashing risks, supply chain mapping, integrating climate related considerations into decision making process and significant climate disasters - a steep trajectory.

Facilitated by CEO of Kernel Wealth Dean Anderson, our panellists will reflect over the past three years, the changes, challenges and lessons learnt, what lies beyond and what is needed for our industry. Panellists will be announced soon.

You will hear insights for not only Climate Reporting Entities but the industry, how overseas changes and disclosure requirements impact New Zealand and how we can continue to evolve to best ensure a lower emission, climate resilient future.

Register now for a highly anticipated event, with savings made when booking a table for 10.

Date: Wednesday 12 June 2024
Time: 7.30am - 9.00am
Venue: The Cordis Hotel, 83 Symonds Street Auckland 1010

Breakfast will be served. 

Register here:



Keynote speaker  

Hon. Simon Watts
Minister of Climate Change

minister watts

Simon Watts is the Minister of Climate Change and Minister of Revenue. He has served as the MP for North Shore since 2020.

Simon gained a Bachelor of Management Studies, qualified as a Chartered Accountant, then later gained a Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedicine) at the Auckland University of Technology and is a registered paramedic. He has over twenty years of international banking and finance experience in the private and public sectors.

Panel discussion  

Dean Anderson (Facilitator)
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kernel Wealth

Dean Anderson Cropped

Dean is committed to helping ambitious individuals achieve financial freedom through the creation of innovative financial products. After spending five years as Head of Product at a large ETF provider where he was involved in creating, launching, and developing index funds, Dean saw there was an opportunity to create better options for investors.

Taking a fresh approach to the investment sector, he created Kernel – a personal finance platform where innovation meets investment.

April Mackenzie
Chief Executive, External Reporting Board (XRB)

April Mackenzie - Cropped

April joined the External Reporting Board (XRB) as Chief Executive in December 2019 and is responsible for leading the organisation to achieve its mission and strategic objectives. This includes oversight of the XRB's operations, people, policies, processes, and governance.  The External Reporting Board (XRB) helps maintain trust and confidence, accountability, and transparency across the private, public, and not-for profit sectors through the delivery of
high-quality accounting, audit and assurance, and climate reporting standards.

April has extensive experience in external reporting and standard setting both in New Zealand and internationally. 

Alec Tang
Partner – Sustainable Value, KPMG

Alec Headshot - Cropped

As a Chartered Environmentalist and Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, Alec has focused his career on addressing the breadth of sustainability challenges and opportunities that are increasingly shaping our communities, society and economy. This has included a range of leaderships positions in academia, business and the public sector, alongside an active involvement in professional institutions, industry associations and networking groups. Well-practised in the identification of strategic and operational risks as well as the development and delivery of solutions to meet these challenges, Alec has built and led numerous diverse, multi-disciplinary teams through a focus on common values, aligned purpose and trust.

His work has ranged from the development of high-level regional strategies on climate change, liveability and wellbeing, incorporating broad stakeholder and community engagement, through to the design of specific delivery programmes and the create of impact measures to gauge their success. Alec’s diverse background means that he can couple an in-depth knowledge of organisational and sustainability risks with an understanding of the operational contexts and behaviours that are present within complex organisations.

Helen Skinner
Head of Responsible Investment, ANZ

Helen Skinner Cropped

Helen Skinner has worked in financial services for over 25 years, across a variety of sectors and geographies, and spent more than 15 years in Responsible Investment. In New Zealand, she has held senior positions in Funds Management, Wealth and Trustee Services. She is currently Head of Responsible Investment for ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited, one of New Zealand’s largest KiwiSaver providers. Prior to this, she was Head of Emerging Wealth at Craigs Investment Partners, responsible for KiwiSaver schemes and other retail products, as well as a national adviser network. Globally, with Schroders plc and Newton Investment Management, she’s lead business development and distribution, strategic planning, change and risk management.

Helen is a passionate and active member of the Aotearoa New Zealand responsible investment and financial services communities. She is a member of the FSC Climate and ESG Committee and the Investment and KiwiSaver Committee and was a member of the Steering Committee for the FSC’s development of industry climate scenario narratives. She sits on the Board of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and a certified member of INFINZ.

Read Terms and Conditions for the event here.