Wellington City Council, Fonterra and The Treasury risk practitioners receive RiskNZ's Awards of Excellence 2019
June 18 2019, Wellington: Wellington City Council’s Duncan Stuart and The Treasury’s Ross Wells have both been presented
Risk Professional of the Year Award from RiskNZ, and the Wellington City Council’s risk team won the Governance and
Leadership in Risk Management and Practices category.
Gemma de Vilder from Fonterra was named the Emerging Risk Professional of the Year and Moana Ah Ken from Avanti Finance
took away the Communication in Risk Management and Practices Award. The Awards were presented at RiskNZ’s annual Awards
of Excellence held today at Wellington.
With over 800 members, RiskNZ is New Zealand’s leading professional association of risk professionals. The association
is at the forefront of industry research, trends and developments and holds regular seminars, workshops and networking
events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. RiskNZ’s Awards of Excellence recognise excellence and achievement
across a number of categories. This year’s Awards witnessed many strong contenders from both the public and private
The Risk Professional of the Year Award, which was shared by Stuart and Wells, recognised the significant achievement by
RiskNZ Chair Stephen Hunt said both winners have demonstrated excellence in strategic and operational thinking,
leadership and planning along with outstanding communication. Their work has delivered valuable and impactful results
for their respective organisation.
Hunt stated, “We are very pleased to take the unusual step of making this award to two individuals. The independent
judging panel felt that both performances were particularly strong and equally worthy of the award.
“As the subject matter expert on risk management at the The Treasury, Ross has stewarded a risk management
transformation journey that has brought in not only a practical suite of tools and processes, but a deepening of
knowledge, engagement, and governance of risk practice that is culturally embedded in the organisation.”
“Duncan led the process of developing and implementing a new risk management framework for the Council, that has focused
not only on building business capability to identify and manage risk, but has strengthened the engagement of senior
leaders, the executive and Council.”
Wellington Council’s risk team won the Governance and Leadership in Risk Management and Practices award by demonstrating
the value of proactive executive and governance engagement in the pursuit of strategic goals.
On their win, Hunt said, “After a risk maturity assessment, the Finance, Audit and Risk Management sub-committee at the
Wellington City Council championed a fresh programme of work to better understand its opportunities, and provide a new
perspective on the challenges in achieving strategic results.
“The programme of work allows transformation to a robust risk framework that will deliver interesting outcomes for the
City Council. The outcomes include improving collaboration, creating consistency in reporting and cutting through
Gemma’s win of the Emerging Risk Professional of the Year Award is in recognition to her skills in organisation and
planning, influencing and negotiation, as well as excellent communication skills – crucial capabilities for aspiring
“Gemma has been responsible for shifting Fonterra’s approach toward a more comprehensive process that acknowledges
business purpose, risk and controls and minimises the cascading effects of business disruption. Gemma’s work has
strengthened engagement and discussion with the new framework with over 500 business units, and plan ‘champions’ and
owners,” said Hunt.
Moana’s award in the category of Communication in Risk Management and Practices was for demonstrating effective
communication of risk to non-risk audiences in a way that changes behaviour and reduces possible impacts from risks.
“Moana’s successful work at Avanti has included developing a suite of communication channels for stakeholders along with
practical approaches to support business ownership of risk. The organisation now has a strong risk management and
reporting culture including an enhanced level of data and analytics,” stated Hunt.
The Awards of Excellence 2019 were announced today at the conclusion of RiskNZ’s Conference 2019. Nearly 100 risk
practitioners from around the country gathered at the Wharewaka Function Centre in Wellington today to hear on global
and national risks, with a special focus on autonomous mobility. The Conference presented expert speakers from risk and
transport fields. Speakers included: Peter Mersi, CEO of the Ministry of Transport; Graeme Harris, CEO and Director of
Civil Aviation NZ; Carla Leidtke, Director Control Risks Asia Pacific; Catriona Robinson, Director of National Security
Systems at DPMC, and; Matt Montgomery, Head of Innovation at Auckland Council, among other respected speakers from the
public and private sectors.
The RiskNZ Conference and Awards of Excellence 2019 were supported by Platinum Partner SAI Global and Premier Partner