Directors of non-profits get a chance to grow skills

Jane Huria, of Christchurch, presents at the Institute of Directors’ not-for-profit governance...
Jane Huria, of Christchurch, presents at the Institute of Directors’ not-for-profit governance essentials seminar at the Edgar Centre in Dunedin yesterday. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Not-for-profit groups are facing ‘‘serious challenges’’ and there is a need for strong leadership, experienced Christchurch director Jane Huria says.

Yesterday, the Institute of Directors — funded by the Otago Community Trust — hosted a seminar aimed at developing directors’ skills on not-for-profit organisations’ boards using real-life challenges.

The seminar was taken by Ms Huria, who has sat on a wide variety of boards including not-for-profit, Crown, iwi and commercial ones.

Directorships she has held have included in the electricity, technology, dairying, business development, health, insurance, property development, Crown and sport/recreation sectors.

She has worked in governance throughout the Commonwealth for the Commonwealth Secretariat and was a faculty member of the World Bank’s Global Corporate Governance Forum. In 2012, she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to governance.

Yesterday, the group of 26 directors spent the day working through a range of topics and issues including post-Covid challenges,

sustainability, equity and climate change, she said.

There were challenges for funding and other resources, so they needed strong leadership to continue to add value in communities.

Seminar participant Ray O’Brien, of Dunedin, joined the board of Malcam Charitable Trust about four months ago. The trust’s purpose is to help Otago youth into an employment pathways.

It was a rewarding time to be on not-for-profit boards, although one of the challenges organisations were facing was time, Mr O’Brien said.

‘‘Not-for-profit boards take a lot of people’s voluntary time and, during challenging times like this, everyone’s time is a bit stretched.’’

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