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Keynote Speakers

Day One – Wednesday 14 September

10.15am to 11.00am Hot Spot – Life Stages

Diana Crossan    

Revaluing “Retirement”

Diana Crossan, Retirement Commissioner

“I’m not retiring! I’m starting another chapter in the book!”

Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan will discuss how the changing nature of work and retirement provides opportunities and challenges that we need to consider both professionally and personally

What does the future hold for us? The world is now a very different place for 50-70 year olds than it was for past generations. People are healthier, living longer and working longer. There’s no retirement age, and the old definition of “retirement” just doesn’t cut it. These days many people aren’t prepared to give up all their regular work when New Zealand Super kicks in at 65, and all would disagree that they are ‘withdrawing or retreating from society’. Instead, many are experiencing a transition phase or a change of pace where they re-value work and look for flexible commitments they can combine with leisure pursuits and family. They remain active, involved and productive.

So, not only do we need a new word to describe this evolving life stage, but we also need to grasp what it means to have more aged people than ever before. How do we facilitate change? How do we plan for the future, and as HR professionals, what can your role be in this?

Diana Crossan has worked extensively in the business and public sectors and has held numerous voluntary and community roles.

Her career started as a probation officer after graduating from Otago University and the University of Wales. After 13 years in that role she held several senior roles in the public service including chief executive of the Group Employment Liaison Service (GELS), and heading Equal Employment Opportunities Unit for the State Services Commission. Other influential positions included director of policy for the Ministry of Education (1990 to 1992); Group Manager Human Resources, Department of Justice and General Manager for Criminal Justice Development (1993 to 1995).

She has also worked as a management consultant, and in 1995 involvement with the Core Project Team for the Electricity SOE Development Group led to her temporary role as acting general manager for Clyde and Roxburgh Power Stations.

Her financial services industry experience began with AMP as Manager of Agency Development in 1997. In 2000, she was appointed leader of an AMP team in the UK, charged with changing the distribution system in the AMP–owned financial services companies with a combined total of 4.1 million customers.

Diana also works part time as CEO of the FUNZ project which is a team working with the finance sector, academia, New Zealand businesses and Government to develop a unique solution to saving for tertiary education.

Diana is a Director of the New Zealand Post Board, is on the Relationship Services National Committee, and is on the Board of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing.

Diana became the Retirement Commissioner in February 2003.

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