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Direct Capital's Company Conference
05/11/2010

On the 28th October, Direct Capital held its seventh and arguably best biennial conference. There was a very good turnout from our partner companies and a good selection of other private New Zealand businesses. In total 70 of us attended what we thought was going to be “just another conference” and ended on a complete high with what many described as one of the most impressive, informative, inspirational days they have had.

The day began at the Manurewa Botanical Gardens, ahead of being transported to the Papakura Army Camp for the conference.

The opening address was given by the Acting Commanding Officer, who provided an introduction to the NZ Army and the SAS in particular. It was one of the most impressive presentations any of us had been to and certainly gave us good food for thought in our own businesses.

There has been much publicity on the SAS operations around the world over the last 60 years and in New Zealand we have had a huge insight into the SAS through Corporal Willie Apaiata VC’s award, but hearing about the SAS ethos first hand was powerful - its pursuit of excellence, passion, camaraderie, belief in each other, skills, integrity, and absolute merit based selection process came through strongly. They all looked like commonsense business principles as well.

That introduction set the tone for the Direct Capital conference. The theme of people and partnership came through in almost every presentation in the afternoon. We had lunch in the mess with the wider Papakura army camp men and women, and the interaction between service and civilians was a huge success for both sides.

We visited the SAS memorial for fallen SAS members, were able to view SAS training facilities and some equipment, and the day wrapped up with a further visit to the mess with the wider Papakura army camp personnel.

Despite the huge differences in our day to day jobs, and in some cases our ages, there was real mutual respect from the business community for the SAS and the New Zealand Army, and vice versa. We felt it was a day which provided mutual benefit. It was a good public relations day for both.  We completed our day bussing back to the Auckland Hilton for dinner. Many over dinner discussed what an enlightening and memorable day it had been and wondering how Direct Capital would top that in 2012.

Thanks to all