Modern Slavery: What is it, why should we care and what we should do

4 min read
March 15, 2024

Modern slavery is more present in our societies than many think, including in New Zealand today. In recognition of World Earth Day, we will delve into modern slavery: what is it, why should we care and what we should do.

Walk Free defines modern slavery as situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, or abuse of power.

But why does modern slavery matter to financial services?

In this webinar, you will learn about the specific risks faced by financial institutions and the potential consequences such as reputational damage, legal ramifications, and financial losses.

You will also discover the importance of conducting thorough due diligence to identify and address modern slavery risks and our panel will discuss practical steps financial organisations can take to assess and mitigate these risks.

This webinar is suitable for all professionals working in the financial services industry, including banking, insurance and investment. Interested attendees may include those in sustainability, risk, legal or procurement roles.

Facilitated by the FSC’s Head of Regulatory Affairs and Climate and ESG Lead, Carissa Perano, this expert panel are passionate about building awareness and knowledge for our sector.

With a reporting and due diligence regime already in place in Australia and many of their New Zealand entities undertaking voluntary adoption, we hope that you leave with more knowledge of what should all financial services organisations be doing now.

Date: Tuesday 23 April 2024
Time: 3.30pm - 4.30pm

Register here: 


Rachel Tinkler
Head of Responsible Investment, Mint Asset Management

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Rachel is the Head of Responsible Investment at Mint Asset Management where she supervises the continued implementation of responsible investment practices in Mint’s investment process.

She is also responsible for driving engagement with companies and policymakers across thematic issues, including modern slavery. Rachel coordinated the recent Investor Letter to the NZ Government which outlined Investors’ expectations that the legislation in NZ is purpose-built and includes a due diligence requirement.  

Sum Green
Senior Sustainability Manager, Social Impact at Westpac NZ

Sum Green

Sum leads Westpac NZ’s response to modern slavery reporting under Australian legislation, as an entity under Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia. 

She oversees Westpac New Zealand’s commitments to human rights through their human rights action plan and leads the bank’s strategic response to its material social issues such as financial inclusion and investment in communities.  Sum trained as a lawyer and has been working in the corporate community investment and sustainability space over the past 15 years.

Gemma Livingston
Director Human Rights and Social Impact, KPMG

Gemma Livingston_Square

Gemma leads KPMG’s human rights and social impact offerings in New Zealand. Gemma works with KPMG clients across the ‘S’ and ‘G’ of ESG to identify and address human rights risks and opportunities in business operations and supply chains.  Specialising in modern slavery, Gemma provides advice relating to the proposed New Zealand modern slavery legislation and compliance with global legislation.  

Gemma is an experienced human rights lawyer with experience working as a commercial and criminal litigator across the public, private and community sectors within New Zealand and Australia.  Prior to joining KPMG, Gemma led the human rights portfolio of a global law firm’s Australian pro bono practice where she worked with clients in relation to the Australian and NSW Modern Slavery Acts.

Sarhanna Hassim
Senior Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Tower Insurance

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Sarhanna is Tower’s Senior Compliance and Regulatory Affairs Manager overseeing compliance in New Zealand and the Pacific.

With expertise in first and second-line risk and compliance, Sarhanna leads Tower's efforts in meeting Modern Slavery reporting obligations stemming from the company's listing on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Beyond this, she spearheads compliance initiatives across the organization, navigating evolving regulatory landscapes while also ensuring current compliance obligations as a Financial Services Provider are fulfilled. Additionally, Sarhanna serves as the company's Privacy Officer.

Carissa Perano (Facilitator)
Head of Regulatory Affairs, FSC

Carissa Perano - Cropped

Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
LLB, BA (Political Science), Grad Dip Arts (Criminology)

With 20 years of financial markets experience in both New Zealand and Australia, Carissa leads the FSC’s Regulation, Tax and Climate and ESG Committees, Solvency Standard Working Group and CRD and CoFI Focus Groups. She coordinates and drafts all the FSC’s responses to industry consultations, the FSC’s Regulatory Forecast publication and ensures continued stakeholder relationships with key government officials and agencies.