Hot List 2021

Hot List 2021

In a year of sweeping changes – from workplace culture and policy, to management practices and technology – New Zealand’s HR leaders have been on the forefront of transformation. They are trusted names, ensuring their organisation stays robust and performs well while their people remain happy, healthy, safe and productive.

With a decade’s worth of disruption happening in a single year, however, the challenges that HR faced have been daunting. And yet, the industry leaders recognised on our Hot List 2021 anchored their teams and kept those at the helm focused on the tasks ahead: business continuity and workplace safety.

In the past year, most companies have learnt to manage a distributed, if not remote, workforce with some employees working from home and others working on the frontlines. Through it all, HR leaders have been instrumental in helping their organisations adhere to public health and safety protocols while they served their clients, customers and the wider community amid operational constraints.

Quickly evolving mandates from public leaders concerning the pandemic may have been complex for businesses to adapt to at times, but the guidance, expertise and agility of HR leaders in navigating change have helped their fellow business leaders and employees understand the rationale behind policy shifts during the crisis. All this has helped organisations chart a way forward and put their people and communities first.

Our 2021 honourees demonstrated courage, commitment, empathy, foresight and resilience in the face of unprecedented change:

Here are the winners of HRD Hot List 2021:

  • Debbie Kirby, general manager human resources, Downer New Zealand
  • Kimberly "Kim" Ford, director of human resources, Cordis Auckland
  • Mark Lewis, people and capability manager, Lane Neave
  • Mark O'Connell, chief people officer, Vocus New Zealand
  • Michelle Banfield, GM employee experience, Fonterra
  • Richard Parker, chief human resources officer, The Warehouse Group