ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand

From the President May 2019

From the President May 2019


Kia ora koutou

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and that the rain stopped long enough to allow some time outside for fresh air. I learnt a new term this month “biophilia” which according to a theory of the biologist E. O. Wilson, is “an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world”. In other words, a good walk amongst nature makes us feel good.

 When we’ve asked our members what helps their sense of wellbeing when busy, a vast majority tell us that going out for a walk, especially in a local park, really helps, so there must be something in the theory.

So what has your ILANZ team been up to this month?

Well obviously there was that small event, THE ANNUAL ILANZ CONFERENCE! It was a wonderful, collegial event hosted by a fantastic city. Dunedin turned it on for us with a gold-star Thursday function at the museum complete with our own private entry to the planetarium, butterfly releases at the tropical house and games in the discovery area. Our gala dinner theme was inspired by the huge organ in Dunedin Town Hall on which the opening bars of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ were played on arrival.

It wasn’t all about the social events but it’s worth mentioning that the networking opportunities to connect with peers within our community is always amongst the highest rated feedback we receive. Staying connected with others who ‘know what it’s like’ is a wellbeing tool within itself. I was thrilled to note that a couple of new interest groups were started at conference - one for local government lawyers and the other for sole counsel. ILANZ will be supporting those groups and can release some information shortly on how to join in the conversation.

My blog ‘conference condensed’ will release the highlights and takeaways from the event for those who couldn’t attend. The first one will be released next week.

ILANZ Awards

We had some outstanding nominees this year, with one category so close that we awarded it to two nominees. That’s how hard it is to differentiate between the valuable and inspiring contributions of teams and individuals that work just as hard at their culture as they do at their legal advice.

More information on the award winners can be found in this month's Insider.

NZLS Culture and Systems Change Symposium

I was invited, along with around 150 other legal and change management professionals, to Pipitea Marae in Wellington on 14 May. There, NZLS hosted a symposium to stimulate discussion around what needs to be changed within the legal profession to promote a safe, just and caring environment. See my blog on this here.

Skills and Development Courses

Now that we have caught our breath after conference this will be the next priority to progress. We aired a video at conference with an overview of the content offering of the programme. You too can view this here.


Usually we hold our AGM at the conference but we decided not to this year. It’s a hard sell to get members up at 8.15am on the Friday morning of conference to achieve a quorum. I did mention in my closing speech that it had been removed from the programme to a sea of blank faces. Clearly no-one noticed!!

We’ve decided to do it as a stand-alone event later this year and co-ordinate it with a member focused event. More of a kōrero than a procedural process with some kanohi ki te kanohi and social time included. We’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading and please remember that we’re always open to any questions, requests for assistance or a general chat if any of you are struggling. I’m at . Have a great long weekend everybody.

Ngā mihi nui