HRINZ Conference
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President's Message


Planning for this year's conference started with the words " go where no-one's gone before…". However we forgot the word "boldly" and it wasn't until the programme was put together that we realised that we are indeed "boldly going where no-one's gone before", well for HR conferences anyway….

Back from the 1999 IPD Conference in the UK full of fresh ideas, and with extensive NZ research under our belts, we decided to be different. It will still be a 'traditional' New Zealand conference in the greater scheme of things, with superb speakers, leading-edge thinking and networking, but we've opted for more interaction from delegates and have a strong futurist theme worked through the three days.

The first day, which is optional, will feature fringe workshops and site visits which will provide hands-on learning for small groups of practitioners who want to gain new skills, insights and practical solutions. The day will also include a special interest lunch - an opportunity for you to bring along that 'one burning question' that you can discuss and debate with others. The day rounds off with a sophisticated cocktail function with entertainment and networking opportunities you won't be able to resist.

Day two starts with a plenary featuring one of Europe's leading experts in E-Business HR, Philipe Houissiau. His presentation will formally open the conference, setting the pace and moving into concurrent sessions which cover Technology, Communication and HR Tools. All concurrent sessions will start with a formal presentation and quickly move into facilitated group discussions and debate - no sitting on your hands if you've got something to say! These forums will be provocative, informative and lively.

Lunch with author Harry Mills will provide an insight into Artful Persuasion and Influence, based on his latest best selling book, and will be followed by a second stream of concurrent sessions. A panel discussion on the Future of Work, workshops on Brains and Sex and Creating a Wired Workplace are just a few of the themes covered in Thursday's sessions.

This day's conference proceedings will finish with a very stimulating presentation from American e-expert, Kevin Wheeler, who will provide you with the latest information on Measuring the Effectiveness of HR in the E-age.

You'll have time to attend the Members Forum to tell us what you think of HRINZ before getting scrubbed up for a semi-formal dinner and more networking. Thanks to generous sponsorship, party animals will be able to stay on for a 'Lost in Space' theme party, where we provide the antennae and masks, and you provide the fun. Dance off all the energy (and calories) you have built up over the previous days to your favourite songs of the lost generation.

Friday morning will dawn to a new ERA. Eat your breakfast to the buzz of a panel discussion on the Employment Relations Act (ERA) and hear how it really, really is, six weeks after the Act became law. Put your questions to the Minister of Labour and leaders from the Employers Federation, CTU and HRINZ.

More HR Interactions follow with longer than average concurrent sessions so you can explore in more serious detail communication and technology issues. A networking lunch and exhibitors prize giving session will be followed by two important keynote addresses. The first will be given by Jenny Porter, General Manager HR from P&O Nedlloyd, on HR as an integral part of business.

Our 'Top Secret' guest will formally close the conference and lead us into the future with an address that is of great importance to HR - how the government sees the future of New Zealand as a knowledge-based economy and where human resources fit into the greater scheme of things.

You'll then be free to go back to your other life to implement the things you've learned, follow up on the contacts you've made and plan for a future of life with technology and e-everything, confident that you are now up with the play, and in some areas, way ahead of it.

PS: We forgot to mention that alongside the conference a trade exhibition of products and services of interest to HR practitioners will be on show with over 35 exhibitors displaying the latest innovations. Time will be made for you to visit HR Expo 2000 and there are lots of opportunities for you to go home a winner, in more ways than one!