The Ethics Conversation was founded in 2021 to provide ethics specific workshops, coaching and commentary that are tailored to the New Zealand marketplace.

From developing workshops for the finance sector to dedicating resource into the NZX review of its 2017 Corporate Governance Code the Ethics Conversation has been fully engaged in supporting ethical culture and governance.

In 2021 and 2022 The Ethics Conversation undertook a report on the Codes of Ethics (or Conduct) of the S&P / NZX50. These reports were ground breaking in that they provided assessment and insight into how ethical governance was being played out across New Zealand’s biggest stocks by free float capitalisation.

The research identified that over 70% of listed companies have CEO’s that neither personally nor professionally champion ethical culture. It remains a concern. Further, only 22% of the  S&P / NZX50 report on any ethics training that is undertaken a per the requirements of the NZX Corporate Governance Code Principle 1, Recommendation 1.
Principle 1 – Ethical Standards
“Directors should set high standards of ethical behaviour, model this behaviour and hold management accountable for these standards being followed throughout the organization.”

Recommendation 1.1
The board should document minimum standards of ethical behaviour to which the issuers directors and employees are expected to adhere (a code of ethics).
The code of ethics and where to find it should be communicated to the issuers employees. Training should be provided regularly.
This governance issue is one that is being heightened as ESG criteria continues to influence investment.

Across the months that followed Jane worked to coordinate interested parties  and lifted the profile of the submission request across ethical fund managers and governance groups.

Creating a stronger understanding of the role business ethics has and how to leverage ethics in a leadership sense is an area that is slowly unfolding.  Handbrakes are everywhere and seen in attitudes of defensiveness and denial. This is what drives and keeps The Ethics Conversation on board with topical and frequent commentary on ethical lapses and opportunities to improve.

The Ethics Conversation subsequently led the submission jointly prepared by Dr Rodger Spiller Money Matters and Barry Coates, Mindful Money. Almost all of the changes put forward were implemented.
View the NZX Corporate Governance Code
The behaviour you walk past is the behaviour you accept

Jane Arnott MNZM

Jane Arnott MNZM
Founder Jane Arnott MNZM has been presenting, writing  and researching ethical governance for over 15 years. Within the New Zealand business marketplace Jane’s credentials are unique. Across health, finance, engineering and with a dedicated public sector workshop on speaking up, delivered through a Victoria University of Wellington subsidiary, Jane has earned respect and been recognised for her commitment to ethical engagement across the business spectrum.

She is an adjunct research fellow for the Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, School of Management, Victoria University of Wellington. In 2021 became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Jane led the market development of the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE), UK in New Zealand. She was appointed IBE Country Manager and Associate in 2008 a role she  held for over 10 years. She has spoken at ethics conferences and workshops in the United States, Spain and UK.

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Craig Dowling ASSOCIATE

Craig Dowling
In joining as an Associate Craig supports and advocates for the significant role The Ethics Conversation plays in enhancing the place of ethics, speaking up and values-based decision making in organisational culture. Craig is strong in his belief that a focus on ethics, including articulating and embedding core values in processes and training, underpins a flourishing society. He has formerly worked in public affairs and communication roles in the public and private sector and across renewable energy, transport logistics, banking and finance and insurance industries. His other advocacy work has included campaigning for a young family battling local government and over known flood risks in a (wrong)fully consented sub division. Craig’s volunteer work has included support for a young New Zealander’s social and community skills programme for women in Kenya, and building capability through e-mentoring staff at a not-for-profit operating in Timor-Leste.

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Jane Arnott
The Ethics Conversation Workshops
Jane Arnott Speaker

Presentations and Workshops

PSK Private Wealth – Australia Conference presentations x 2
‘Is Your Ethical Radar Up to Speed?’

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand Workshop
Embedding Ethical Culture and Codes – webinar

Southern Cross Healthcare
Senior Leadership Teams x 3 workshops

Pinnacle Incorporated Society (Pin Inc) and Midlands Health Network (MHN)
Senior Leadership Team - webinars

Tourism Holdings
Senior Leadership Team – workshop

Financial Advice New Zealand, Professional Ethics CPD workshops x 32
(throughout 2021)

FMG Professional and Business Ethics workshop

Insurance and Finance Ombudsman Professional and Business Ethics workshop

NZIBS Webinar Series 2021.
Webinar 3 – Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

Converge 19 Ethics and Compliance Conference, Hosted by Convercent*

Denver, Colorado

Society of Local Government Managers, (SOLGM) Summit*
Napier Governance New Zealand, Auckland

Institute of Financial Advisers*

Society of Independent Financial Advisers (SIFA)*


ASIS International*
Auckland, Wellington

New Zealand Shareholders Association*
New Plymouth, Tauranga

Workforce Analytics and HR Data conference*

Corporate Affairs and Communications Leaders’ Summit*

RIMS – New Zealand and the Pacific*

Engineering NZ  
CPD Workshops Ethics Fundamentals and Ethics Masterclass

* Undertaken in capacity as Associate, Institute of Business Ethics
HRNZPSKSouthern Cross HealthcareTHLPinnacle
HeartlandACCTe Kawa MataahofidelityThe Cooperative BankFMG

Advisory Board

Philippa Foster Back CBE
Philippa Foster Back CBE

Philippa began her career in Corporate Treasury and Finance, prior to her appointment as Director of the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) in 2001 from which she stepped down in April 2020. In her IBE role Philippa was responsible for implementing strategy, leading the team and building the profile of IBE across regulators, listed and unlisted companies, professional membership bodies, educational institutions and charities. Her leadership ensured the Institute met its charitable aims, of raising awareness and spreading best practice nationally and internationally through research, publications, advisory and training in the field of business ethics. 

In 2006 she was awarded the OBE for services to the Ministry of Defence and in January 2014 she was awarded the CBE for services to UK Antarctic Heritage. In 2018 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law from University of Warwick.In June 2020 she was appointed a Director of the Financial Markets Standards Board (FMSB Limited). Other current appointments include being a member of the BEIS/FRC Coalition Group looking at Corporate Governance in Large Unlisted Companies; a member of the Advisory Board of the D Group; a member of the PRCA Global Ethics Council; a member of the Finance Leasing Association (FLA) Stakeholder Advisory Panel; and Director of Barrier Biotech Ltd. Philippa is also Chairman of the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee.
Craig McFarlane
Craig McFarlane

Craig is an independent and full-time professional company director. He is one of the founders and a director of Report it Now - a global independent external reporting service. He chairs the Pinnacle Incorporated Executive Committee, Midlands Health Network Limited,  LearningWorks Limited, Simply Dental Limited and Demolition Traders Limited. 

Craig has an MBA from Henley Management College in the UK, has extensive offshore commercial experience, and holds additional directorships in waste, health, education, B2B consultancy, early childhood education, advertising as well as numerous not-for-profits and community groups.