Tue 13 November | 4:00PM - 6:00PM | Simpson Grierson (Auckland) MAP


Like a blazing comet in the night sky, the Burning Issues Forum will once again return with white-hot topics guaranteed to scorch, sizzle, sear and blister.

Looking at such flaming issues as the conflagratory question of gig economies and dependent contractors, the sweltering problem of mental health and the employment process, together with the incalescence of the Labour Inspectorate, this eighteenth annual forum will set you alight and leave you in a pyrexia of enthusiasm for the fiery furnace that is employment law.  

Drinks and nibbles will be served following the forum

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand better the changing role of the Labour Inspector as it moves from a reactive to a more pro-active role, and how best to deal with Labour Inspectors and their not insubstantial powers.
  • Gain insights into the very complex question of mental health in the work place and how it can affect performance monitoring and disciplinary hearings and some of the difficulties that face employers and employees alike in trying to achieve a fair and reasonable result.
  • Learn more about the gig economy and how it has changed (and will continue to change) the definition of independent contractor, the effects it may have on employment law in the context of fixed term contracts and trial periods.

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

Who should attend?

All employment lawyers.


Christie Hall
Director and Employment and Health and Safety Leader
EY Law

With 18 years of experience at top-tier firms in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Christie is a director of EY Law. She leads the New Zealand legal practice and the Employment, Health & Safety and Privacy Law team.

Christie’s provides clients with practical advice to deal with people issues. She works closely with EY’s Advisory and People Advisory teams to provide both a management consultancy and legal perspective.

Christie works primarily with organisations on minimum compliance obligations, business sale and purchase and integration issues, the New Zealand aspects of multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions and implementing incentive arrangements. She also works closely with businesses on their health and safety frameworks to create an empowered and vocal workforce.

Christie was a member of the MBIE Payroll Systems Functionality Working Group and regularly interacts with MBIE on minimum standards compliance issues. 

Jim Roberts
Hesketh Henry

Jim has been practising employment law since 1992, and heads the employment law team at Hesketh Henry.  

Jim helps his clients develop employment strategies which include legislative compliance, collective bargaining, personal grievance processes, human rights, and health and safety.  

As well as providing strategic legal advice, Jim has been involved in collective bargaining across wide range of sectors. 

Graeme Colgan

Graeme Colgan is a barrister and employment law specialist, practising in the areas of employment mediation, arbitration (as both arbitrator/mediator and counsel), opinions and independent employment investigations. 

From 1989 until 2005, Graeme was a Judge of the Labour and Employment Courts, and Chief Judge from 2005 until mid-2017. 

Graeme is a member of the NZLS and ADLS, is an Associate of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ, and a member of the Australasian Association of Workplace Investigators.


Phillipa Muir
Simpson Grierson