Burning Issues in Employment Law Forum 2023

The Burning Issues Forum returns with a fiery new edition, promising a glowing lineup of sizzling topics expertly presented for you.  

We will ignite the forum with the red-hot topic of Generative AI, exploring its impact on employment law. Next, we’ll turn up the heat as we delve into the intricacies of Section 6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000, shining a torch on recent case law developments.  Then, be prepared for a burning bright discussion, chaired by his Honour Judge Corkill, on the place of tikanga values in employment law. 

Get ready to engage with blazingly brilliant minds! 

Stay afterwards for networking with fellow attendees over drinks and nibbles from 6pm.

Please note, because of the nature of this event, papers will not necessarily be provided. Copies of PowerPoint slides will be available electronically. 

Who should attend?

All employment lawyers, ERA members and Employment Court judges. 

  • Uncover the implications of Generative AI in the practice of employment law and gain a greater awareness of its potential legal risks so that you can best prepare for advising and supporting clients who decide to adopt Generative AI within their workplaces going forward.  
  • Dive deep into Section 6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000, examining recent case law developments (such as the Uber cases, Hungry Panda, and the Gloriavale cases) and exploring what we can anticipate in the future.   
  • Gain insights into the current and potential future considerations of tikanga and tikanga-based values in employment law, with a special focus on the recent key Employment Court decision GF v Comptroller of the New Zealand Customs Services.


His Honour Judge Corkill
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Judge Corkill was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand in 1975 where he practised briefly.  He then worked in England until 1982, becoming a Solicitor of England and Wales.  After returning to New Zealand and practising in general litigation in two firms, he commenced practice as a barrister in 1997, taking silk in 2007.  Over those years, he had a broad civil practice, which included not only employment law, but litigation where he represented Māori corporate and individual interests.

He was then appointed a Judge of the Employment Court in 2014

Rosemary Wooders
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Rosemary is a partner in Bell Gully’s market-leading employment and health and safety practice. She has worked as an employment lawyer in New Zealand and England.  Rosemary advises employers and senior executives on a wide variety of transactional, contentious and advisory employment and health and safety related matters. This includes personal grievances and disputes, collective bargaining matters, restraints of trade, absence management, redundancy and performance issues, and negotiated exits. 

Rosemary is a member of The Law Association Employment Law Committee. She has consistently been recognised in global legal directories and has been named in The Legal 500 as a ‘Rising Star’ in labour and employment law.

Laura Chapman
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Laura is the Head of Pilot Enablement at
Air New Zealand. 
Before recently moving to Air New Zealand, Laura spent most of her career in private practice as an employment lawyer. 
She has practiced in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. 
Laura has a broad range of experience across all workplace law issues.

Gillian Service
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Gillian heads MinterEllisonRuddWatts Auckland litigation and employment team.  A core aspect of Gillian's practice is the interaction between legal frameworks and the workplace itself. Gillian is passionate about the future of work and the challenges organisations face both locally and globally. She has deep experience with unionised workforces, advising clients and engaging with government on the role of unions in the workplace as concepts of the traditional workplace evolve. 

Gillian is a thought leader on the future of work, flexible working practices, complex pieces of legislation such as the Holidays Act and AI in the workplace. She maintains her interest in future of work and different work models through her roles as a 4 Day Week Global Ambassador and a Trustee of The Warehouse Group's New Zealand Future Work Skills Fund (a trust set up by to expand the skill sets of workers into different areas including the digital economy).

John Rooney
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John is a partner in the firm's employment law group. He specialises in employment law and health and safety.

He advises top New Zealand companies on various employment law matters, including disciplinary hearings, labour disputes, contracts, termination packages, and reorganisations. In addition, he offers expertise in health and safety, assisting clients with compliance and incident management, defending against WorkSafe prosecutions, and providing governance advice. John's extensive experience extends to mediation and representing clients in courts. He's also a member of the Auckland District Law Society Health & Safety Committee and the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management.

Isaac Hikaka
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Isaac has a broad litigation practice, both in New Zealand and various South Pacific jurisdictions.  He has appeared in numerous cases where the interaction between tikanga or other cultural values and the law have been considered, including in disputes related to trusts, relationship property, fiduciary duties, elections, environmental matters, public law obligations and estates. 

Renika Siciliano
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Renika specialises in advising iwi, hapū and whānau on Treaty settlements and disputes which relate to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and tikanga, including particularly in the employment and workplace law space.  She is the Executive Director at McCaw Lewis where she leads the Kahurangi and Workplace Law Teams.  Renika is also the former Tumuaki Wāhine of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa (NZ Māori Law Society).



Rob Towner
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Rob is a barrister at Richmond Chambers. He has over 40 years’ experience as an employment lawyer.



Pricing Details

Ticket Price

Member: $150.00 GST

Non-Member: $210.00 GST 


Registration Close Date