13-14 NOVEMBER 2023 | Aotea Centre AUCKLAND

Speakers & Sessions

Day One: Monday 13 November
9.30 am-10.30 am

Keynote Speaker

Hon. Simon Bridges


Simon Bridges is a New Zealand leader and household name given his time in politics and his high media profile over many years. A lawyer turned senior National politician and MP for Tauranga, Simon held a raft of senior responsibilities in New Zealand politics, including as Leader of the National Party and of the Opposition. As a Minister in the Key/English governments Simon held a wide variety of Ministerial portfolios including Economic Development, Transport, Communications, Energy & Resources, Labour, Associate Finance and Leader of the House. Prior to Parliament, Simon started his career in a national law firm and was then a Crown prosecutor for several years conducting many serious criminal jury trials. 

Simon has an LLB (Hons) and BA from Auckland University where he received a Senior Law Prize, and a Bachelor of Civil law from Oxford University (where he met his wife, Natalie). In addition, Simon has studied at the London School of Economics and interned at the British House of Commons as part of a Chevening-Hansard Society Fellowship. In 2021 Simon’s personal memoir, National Identity, became a best seller, and received significant critical acclaim. It is a heartfelt wide-ranging book of self-reflections and on what it means to be a New Zealander.

Simon retired from politics and today in addition to his commercial and media work is husband of Natalie and dad to Emlyn, Harry and Jemima. At home he enjoys board games and getting out and about with his kids. He also plays the drums (enthusiastically but not so well these days) and likes red wine, podcasts and reading.



Session Topic

Topic: Embracing Change: The Relevance of Adaptability for our Profession

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, internal auditors must be prepared to adapt to change to remain effective in their roles. As technology advances, regulations shift, and risks change, the demands on internal auditors continue to grow.

In this keynote speech, Simon Bridges will explore the importance of embracing change and adapting to new challenges in the profession of internal auditing. He will share insights on how internal auditors can stay ahead of the curve, including the need to develop new skills, harness emerging technologies, and foster a culture of innovation. 

As we navigate a world of constant change, career transitions have become the norm rather than the exception. Simon Bridges, former Leader of the National Party in New Zealand and a seasoned lawyer and politician, brings a unique perspective to this topic.

In his keynote address, Bridges will share insights from his own career transitions, including his journey from a successful legal career to politics, and his experience leading one of New Zealand’s major political parties. Drawing on his experience as a “compassionate conservative,” Bridges will discuss the importance of adaptability, resilience, and strategic thinking in today’s rapidly changing world. 

Bridges will also explore the role of individuals, organisations, and governments in supporting career transitions, and share practical strategies for navigating these transitions successfully. He will touch on topics such as upskilling, reskilling, and lifelong learning, and the need for individuals to take ownership of their career development. 

This keynote address is ideal for individuals who are navigating career transitions, as well as leaders, managers, and HR professionals who are responsible for supporting and managing career development in their organisations. Attendees will gain valuable insights into the changing world of work, the challenges and opportunities of career transitions, and practical strategies for pivoting their careers in a rapidly changing world.

Join us to learn how to stay relevant and succeed in the changing world of internal auditing.

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Next

Theme: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

The “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” theme for the IIA NZ Conference 2023 challenges internal auditors to reflect on their past successes while embracing the need for innovation and adaptation in an everchanging business landscape. The conference theme serves as a powerful reminder that traditional methods and strategies that have led to success in the past may no longer be sufficient to navigate the complexities of the present and the future. 

During this thought-provoking conference, attendees will explore how the role of internal auditors has evolved over time and how they must evolve with it. Speakers will share inspiring stories of organisations and professionals who have recognised the importance of continuous improvement and embraced transformative approaches to internal audit processes.

Participants will gain valuable insights into emerging trends and technologies shaping the internal audit profession. Workshops and interactive sessions will encourage attendees to challenge the status quo, identify opportunities for growth, and enhance their internal audit practices to drive maximum value for their organisations.

The “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” IIA NZ Conference 2023 theme is a call to action, urging internal auditors to be proactive change agents. By embracing innovation, adopting new methodologies, and enhancing their skillsets, internal auditors will be better equipped to lead their organisations through uncertainty and towards sustainable success.


Speakers & Sessions


Dr Michelle Dickinson

Tony Alexander

Hon. Simon Bridges

Dan Te Whenua Walker


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