Chamber Summer Luncheon with Jerry Mateparae

What does it take to run an organization with some 14,570 employees, an operating budget of $2.3 billion and assets worth in excess of $5 billion? Just like winning a rugby match, it only takes three things: position, possession and pace!

Those who attended the recent Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce summer luncheon at Southwards Museum Restaurant were treated to a master-class in quiet but effective leadership from guest speaker, Lt General Jeremiah (Jerry) Mateparae.

The New Zealand Defence Force is, in all respects, a significant business, and it takes someone with exceptional leadership and political abilities to run such a massive government organisation, where agility and dependability are required in equal measures. Jerry Mateparae, who only recently stepped down from his role as Chief of Defence Force for New Zealand, set out the successful strategies that he has employed to keep this vital part of the New Zealand government running and functioning effectively.

The Lt General’s important lesson for Kāpiti was that the culture, ethos and values of an organization are fundamental to its future and prosperity. For an organization to achieve its goals, whether that be to provide security or to build an expressway, it is important for the leaders of the organization to “own it” as a project and to make it their own.

Those who attended the lunch were also given a great insight into the difficult and at times extremely dangerous job that the Defence Force very successfully does for New Zealand, not only in protecting New Zealand’s interests abroad but also by assisting with vital support and recovery work in the aftermath of an event like the recent earthquake in Christchurch. It is at times like these when the need is greatest that important strategic decisions and commitments made in the past to building an infrastructure and resource, whether that is highly trained people, military capabilities or ships, shows its true value. That is an important lesson for all of us in business.

The Chamber thanked Mr Mateparae for speaking at the lunch and for making it another successful Chamber event. The Chamber Committee also acknowledged and thanked all those who gave generously at the lunch in support of the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

The Chamber further congratulated Mr Mateparae for being announced as our next Governor-General.