Reflections from Carol Stigley Standards Council


7 July 2010

Carol Stigley completed 7 years' service on the Standards Council in June 2010. Standards Council members and Standards New Zealand management and staff thank Carol for her contributions over the past 7 years. We wish her all the very best for the future.

We asked Carol about her memories of her time on the Standards Council.

I believe that Standards are an absolutely central part of the economy and critical for consumers, technological development, productivity, innovation, and to make all our lives easier. I have enjoyed being part of the Standards Council and in the last 3 to 4 years Standards New Zealand has made significant advances.

The Standards Council closely examined the Standards New Zealand business model and how to operate commercially within the constraints we are given, as we receive no government funding, unlike most Standards bodies around the world.

Standards New Zealand now has a new business model that is much more viable because of the strategic thinking at the Council and Chief Executive level, and in the Standards New Zealand team. We are operating in sectors we have not traditionally worked in including environment, health, and primary industry.

Despite all the different backgrounds of the Council members, the Standards Council is one of the most functional boards I have been on and it has become much stronger over time. The Council has good debate and discussion, questions assumptions, thinks ahead, and is very conscious of the direction it is leading Standards New Zealand in.

Standards New Zealand has rebuilt the Standards development process, making it faster and smarter. The time it takes to commission and develop a Standard and to achieve consensus has been reduced from 2 years to 12 months. This is a huge achievement and means that Standards New Zealand has a world-leading Standards development process.

Standards New Zealand gets the right people around the table to examine what already exists and to ensure consensus decision-making in the Standards development process, whether using an international Standard, adopting or modifying an existing Standard, or creating a New Zealand Standard.

Risk management is an important part of the new Standards New Zealand business model. I have taken considerable pride in chairing the audit and risk subcommittee to ensure there is strategic awareness of risk and management of risk at Standards New Zealand.

Another part of the new business model is ensuring Standards New Zealand has the information systems we need to meet our future business needs. I enjoyed participating in the subcommittee that developed the 'Information Systems Strategic Plan' (ISSP). The ISSP has been a huge undertaking for Standards New Zealand. Though early days, the first phase of new systems is delivering better information and business intelligence.

Apart from her various directorships, Carol's earlier roles have included Ministry of Consumer Affairs Chief Executive and Local Government New Zealand Chief Executive, and the Standards Council has benefited from her experience with these organisations. 'Carol has overseen the improvement of company policies and procedures and she brought fresh thinking to the Council,' said Standards Council Chair Richard Westlake in his farewell speech at Carol's farewell dinner. 'We were well supported by Carol. Her questioning was always open and transparent, and she asked the hard questions.'

Note: The Standards Council is the governing body for Standards New Zealand. The Council is an appointed body, with representatives from a wide range of sectors as well as ministerial appointees. Standards New Zealand is the operating arm of the Standards Council.

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Barbara Crocker
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About Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand is the operating arm of the Standards Council, and part of New Zealand's standards and conformance infrastructure. Standards New Zealand is an autonomous Crown entity responsible for managing the development and distribution of Standards across a range of sectors nationally.

Standards New Zealand is a self-funded, not-for-profit organisation, relying on revenue primarily from contracts with sponsors to develop Standards, and from sales of Standards publications. Our independence helps us facilitate a cross section of stakeholders' contributions to the development of Standards, and ensure that each Standard meets the needs of end users.