Chairs' research report

Media releases

Deloitte releases chairs' research report

New Zealand, 8 December 2020 — Deloitte has today released a new research report presenting insights from some of New Zealand’s most prominent board chairs about the challenges of responding to and recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

“Boards have been subject to new challenges, navigating both operational disruptions driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and long-term strategic decisions around guiding and energising organisations to thrive in the future,” said Ross Milne, Chair, Deloitte New Zealand.

The 17 chairs interviewed in the Deloitte research represent 35 significant local organisations - 28 per cent of the NZX 50 and 20 per cent of the 2020 Deloitte Top 200 index. Interview participants canvassed topics ranging from COVID-19’s impact on operations, to running a board during lockdown, and sharing advice for future chairs.

Key themes emerged from respondents regardless of the industry they operated in, and include:

  • Building new levels of agility and risk sophistication into BAU
  • Chairs and chief executives forming deeper working relationships during the pandemic
  • Diversity of thought around the board table is now more important than ever
  • Ensuring ongoing supply chain security is critical
  • Digital ways of working are the new normal, and
  • Developing local leadership capabilities to secure talent pipelines

“It is not surprising to see similar themes emerge across the business world. While each organisation will have taken a tailored solution to the challenges it faced, these challenges were being faced by all businesses irrespective of their industry, or even their size,” said Grant Frear, Strategy Partner, Deloitte New Zealand.

“COVID-19 has impacted the way chairs work with their boards and CEOs to assess opportunities for their businesses to transform based on lessons learned during 2020. Figuring out how to thrive in an environment with high levels of uncertainty is the new normal,” Mr Frear said.

This research project was also conducted concurrently by Deloitte’s Australia and United Kingdom firms, and despite geographical differences, similar themes to the New Zealand research emerged.

You can read the full report here:



About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms and their affiliated entities are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more.

Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited is a company limited by guarantee and a member firm of DTTL. Members of Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited and their related entities, each of which are separate and independent legal entities, provide services from more than 100 cities across the region, including Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Melbourne, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei and Tokyo.

Deloitte is a leading global provider of audit and assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services. Our network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies. Learn how Deloitte’s approximately 286,000 people make an impact that matters at

Deloitte New Zealand brings together more than 1400 specialist professionals providing audit, tax, technology and systems, strategy and performance improvement, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensic and accounting services. Our people are based in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, serving clients that range from New Zealand’s largest companies and public sector organisations to smaller businesses with ambition to grow. For more information about Deloitte in New Zealand, look to our website

© 2020. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.


Media Contact:

Anna Radich
Communications Manager
Deloitte New Zealand
Tel: +64 22 014 3594

Did you find this useful?