Richard Westlake, Director, Westlake Governance

Richard established Wellington-based Westlake Governance in 1999, with the purpose of Building Boards into Leading Teams. The firm specialises in governance in non-governmental organisations (NGOs), not-for-profit businesses and other non-traditional corporate structures.

Richard has 20 years' experience as a board chairman and director. He is currently chairman of the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum Inc, Careerforce Industry Training Organisation and software company Intergen Limited.

He was an independent director of Kiwibank Ltd for 10 years, from the bank’s establishment in 2001, and his not-for-profit governance experience includes the Dexcel Trust, Standards New Zealand, the Centre for Advanced Engineering and Canterbury Opera.

He is one of New Zealand’s leading facilitators of corporate governance training programmes, and has been a keynote presenter for the Institute of Directors for several years. Overseas, he has led director-training programmes in Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

Before coming to New Zealand, he gained an MA and a Rowing Blue from Oxford University and trained as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. 

Richard is an Accredited Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and an International Fellow of Mudara – Institute of Directors, Dubai

Effective governance leadership for the forward thinking school

Every day, board members drive themselves to their meetings, eyes on the road ahead for 90% of the time and an occasional glance in the rearview mirror; they park in their allocated spots, take their seats at the board table ... and spend the next few hours with the proportions reversed: reviewing past performance for over half the meeting, and too often running short of time to consider the biggest strategic issues, opportunities and risks that their organisation faces.

Any driver who takes their eyes off the road for more than a few seconds risks a sudden and disastrous end. Yet board members too often seem oblivious to this when they’re driving a multi-million dollar school, with dozens of employees and hundreds of pupils. If the board isn’t thinking about the future, then who will … or are you flying blind?

In this practical, interactive, experience-based workshop, Richard will draw on real life cases to show the results when boards fail to think ahead, and will offer some tips on how you can avoid this trap, by making some simple changes to how your board goes about its business. You won’t want to miss this session with one of New Zealand’s leading governance practitioners.