Fletcher Building’s unsackable axeman, Board diversity’s ‘glacial’ gains, Smith’s RMA ambitions

A sneak peek at totday's NBR Print Edition.

In NBR Print today: Investors are still wondering why Fletcher Building’s board and management remain in the aftermath of the company’s shocking March profit downgrade, Jenny Ruth writes. The timing of the downgrade, less than a month after the company released its disappointing first-half results, has stretched credulity. Chief executive Mark Adamson seems to have blamed everybody else but himself – and the board is backing him to the hilt. But the issue of the company’s under-performance dates back to well before this year’s events.

Calida Smylie finds plenty of initiatives are attempting to address how New Zealand’s boards are stuffed with old, white men. Despite that, little difference has been made during the decade since diversity became a cause with a catchphrase, she writes. “I would describe the pace of change as glacial,” says Joan Withers, who sits on several boards. So why is the speed of transformation so slow?

Rob Hosking says Environment Minister Nick Smith is not a politician who is easily abashed. A case in point: While others deride the passing of National’s Resource Management Act reform as shambolic, Dr Smith describes it as nothing out of the ordinary. And as for concerns about new iwi participation rules? “A storm in a teacup” that merely reveals he’s ‘horribly pragmatic.’”

The Commerce Commission’s decision to decline the proposed merger between Fairfax NZ and NZME was the right one, Shoeshine reckons. Not only was the risk of excessive editorial influence too high, solutions to the problems the two companies face are more likely to be resolved in a competitive environment with innovative management. The issue now is what new deals are on the table, if any?

Popular “social enterprises” generally operate as start-ups, hoping to make a difference first and a profit second, Nathan Smith writes And yet as they and the sector grow, the humanitarian purpose – while retained – is increasingly being used as a marketing tool to attract investors and customers. In effect, “social” enterprises are becoming a parallel business structure, chipping away at traditional business in classic competitive style.

And don’t forget the NBR Special Report: Investing in property.

All this and more in today's NBR Print edition. Out now.

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