December 2022


Conference finally comes to fruition

NZILA President’s message – Kavita Deobhakta

After almost three years in preparation, the NZILA conference committee was finally able to deliver a Queenstown conference in September 2022.

It was an amazing feat of perseverance and dedication from convenor Maree Cowan and her team of Juliet Eckford, Richie Flynn, Myles Noble, Susan Thodey and Ashley Adams and John Swan who admirably wrangled sponsors.

The conference was attended by more than 300 registrants. In keeping with the continuity of previous NZILA conferences, a 1-1/2-day educational program was delivered along with four social functions. Interspersed with the speakers were three Ted-style academic snapshots included to recognise emerging insurance research and interpretation. For those of us who needed to catch up on continuing professional development points after a disrupted year of self-imposed lockdowns due to Covid-19 infections, it was a perfect way to get almost all our allocation in one enjoyable hit.

As always, the social functions were well received and attended. The conference opened with a welcome function on the Wednesday at a beautiful venue on the bank of Lake Wakatipu. The event was sponsored by McElroy’s Lawyers, with a short speech from the managing partner and prizes of southern pinot noir drawn for a lucky few. The evening was relaxed and casual with drinks and canapés served.

NZILA has always been committed to mentoring younger members of the profession to stay and develop in the industry. A Young Insurance Professionals breakfast was held on Thursday morning at the Rydges bar. It was generously sponsored by Robertsons Lawyers and those who attended enjoyed networking and meeting some more senior members of the profession.

Thursday evening kicked off with an amazing event at Coronet Peak. Sadly, the weather did not quite play ball, but the lone bagpiper who greeted attendees was certainly a highlight. The President’s shout was hosted by former president Myles Noble (who, of course, had been denied his final soirée because of Covid-19).

Oysters, mulled wine, champagne and other drinks were served outside and attendees could go up the ski lift to the peak itself, or stand around fire pits before heading inside to the pre-function area which boasted a champagne wall.

The conference dinner was also at Coronet Peak, sponsored by McLarens Loss Adjusters, and lucky attendees took part in a short game that produced five winners for a helicopter ride over Queenstown the next day. 

Friday’s Long Lunch, sponsored by Morgan Coakle Lawyers, was at the Skyline with attendees taking the gondola up to the venue. It was certainly not for the faint hearted, and those who travelled by gondola were treated to the most amazing views of Queenstown. To say the food selection was vast, would be an understatement. Attendees could literally have whatever they wanted to eat.

Morgan Coakle hosted a quiz which has now become a tradition for the conference, and the two lucky winners from Crombie Lockwood took home a magnum of champagne.

Feedback from the conference was extremely positive. Highlights ranged from the great selection of speakers covering a wide range of topics to lifetime membership awards presented to Craig Langstone and Frank Rose. All the social functions were described as “something a little different”. It was lovely to see all the industry out in force and enjoying being able to meet face to face.

The Wellington conference committee has a large task ahead of it to deliver a conference of the same calibre. However, the Wellington team is well placed to meet the challenge and national NZILA committee members remain committed to assisting them to deliver another world-class conference. 

Back to top

Resolve is the official publication of the Australian Insurance Law Association and
the New Zealand Insurance Law Association.