Magazine article New Zealand Management

As I See It: Claire Szabo; International Connectedness Is Key for Claire Szabo, Chief Executive of English Language Partners NZ and 2010's NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year

Magazine article New Zealand Management

As I See It: Claire Szabo; International Connectedness Is Key for Claire Szabo, Chief Executive of English Language Partners NZ and 2010's NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year

Article excerpt

How would you describe the New Zealand identity?

Identity is rapidly changing as new waves of migration reshape our population. Right throughout the country, cities and towns are settling more people from increasingly diverse cultural backgrounds. From the Pacific, Asia and beyond, in high and lower skilled professions and throughout our schools and communities, the New Zealand identity is embracing greater diversity.

We are a country with pretty moderate and tolerant views and a curiosity and respect for each other's cultures. We have the physical space for people to move here. Our Treaty offers a uniquely New Zealand way of thinking about different people populating one country. Our refugee programme grows our significant international reputation for humanitarian contribution. But equally, migration offers important things that New Zealand needs: skills and labour for our economy; new ideas and perspectives to solve social problems; and connectedness to other parts of the world despite our physical isolation and size.

What will be the country's next major challenge?

Utilising the skills that people bring. At board tables and in senior management teams, throughout professions and on our representative bodies we see diversity lagging. Migrants and refugees are too frequently unemployed or underemployed. Our city councils and school boards do not reflect the people they serve.

Increasingly distinctive regional flavours are emerging from the traditional New Zealand identity. …

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