Westpac Smarts Webinar Series - navigating your business through COVID-19

We know businesses are facing numerous challenges as a result of COVID-19, and this Westpac Smarts Webinar Series aims to address and discuss some of those challenges. We'll hear from experts in various fields who can give you practical support and advice, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session. 

Please register for one or more of the events below.


Event 1: Planning & forecasting amidst uncertainty


Hosted by John Machell, Head of Hospitality, Tourism & Retail Trade, WNZL
With uncertainty at levels higher than most of us have ever experienced, how do businesses plan for the future and what value does this actually add?
Join Business Advisor Zac de Silva (Business Changing) and Gavin Oliver (EcoZip Adventures) to discuss the challenges of forecasting in the current environment and how businesses can prepare for the future.
In case you missed the livestream or want to view it again, we've shared a recording of the webinar so you don't miss out!


Event 2: The HR challenge - looking after your people


 Hosted by Amber McKnight, Head of Professional Services, Health, Education, Local Government, Utilities and Infrastructure

The uncertainty of the last 18 months has brought about a new set of HR challenges for businesses – staff wellbeing through lockdowns, the global “great resignation”, and the vaccination debate.

Join Samantha Gadd (Founder/Director Humankind and EX Design School) and Gillian Service (Employment Lawyer and Partner MinterEllisonRuddWatts) to discuss these new challenges, and how businesses can adapt to meet evolving expectations and ensure their employees are happy and safe.

In case you missed the livestream or want to view it again, we've shared a recording of the webinar so you don't miss out!


Event 3: COVID-19 and the supply chain issue


Date: Wednesday 27 October 2021
Time: 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Format: Presentation followed by Q&A
Hosted by David Hope, Head of Manufacturing & Wholesale Trade
Supply chains in New Zealand and globally have been hit hard as a result of the pandemic and various lockdowns. What are the key issues and how can Kiwi businesses build resilience in their supply chain?
In this session we will be joined by expert panellists Julian Leys (CEO Building Industry Federation), Scott Wilson (CEO Oceanbridge Shipping), Steve Thompson (Head of International Business, Westpac NZ) and Trevor Farrell (International Trade Manager, Westpac NZ), who together will discuss three key themes:
  • The fundamental causes of the current supply chain congestion
  • How Logistics Managers across different industries are dealing with supply chain bottlenecks
  • Potential solutions, including banking solutions

Introducing our speakers


Gavin Oliver is co-founder of EcoZip Adventures, chair of the Auckland Tourism Regional Forum and deputy chair of Waiheke Island Tourism Incorporated.

Zac De Silva is a business adviser who has helped more than 1000 clients with his unique style and down-to-earth practical advice.

Samantha Gadd is the Founder and Director of Employee Experience consultancy Humankind and has been helping leaders build better businesses for the last 15 years. Samantha has deep experience building outstanding teams and great businesses. Recently shelaunched EX Design School, an online programme and community with global ambitions, looking to transform how business leaders and HR practitioners design awesome employee experiences. 



Gillian Service leads the MinterEllisonRuddWatts Auckland Employment team. She has deep experience with unionised workforces, advising clients and engaging with government on the role of unions in the workplace as concepts of the traditional workplace evolve – which has been accelerated by the pandemic.  Gillian is a thought leader on the future of work, flexible working practices and complex pieces of legislation such as the Holidays Act.

Julien Leys is Chief Executive of the Building Industry Federation which has represented key members in the building supply chain since 2001. He is also the Executive Director of the Construction Strategy Group which represents major construction companies and organisations in New Zealand. Julien is a specialist in government relations, media relations, financial services, crisis and issues management.

In his role of CEO at Oceanbridge Shipping, Scott Wilson oversees major customers and provides senior dealings with Air and Shipping Lines, he also has a background in trade and sales. Oceanbridge is one of the leading consolidators of cargo to and from New Zealand, employing over 200 people.



Trevor Farrell has a specialist role in Managing the major Importers and Exporters for Westpac NZ. He looks to ensure that clients have the products to better manage their International Trade risks. Trevor has a particular interest in assisting Importers and Exporters grow their business by taking advantage of the resources available within Westpac as well as other external networks.

Steve Thompson leads Westpac’s specialist Trade Finance team, working with importers and exporters to better understand working capital needs and supply-chain risks faced by our productive sector. Steve has worked in international trade roles across the country since 1992, and believes sharing industry wide experiences and insights can help businesses build their responses in adverse times.     



COVID-19 Business Support

We offer a range of possible support options to help your business. You can find out more about COVID-19 support for business customers and information on branch openings for each alert level by clicking the button below. We're here to help.