This year’s conference theme

This year’s theme is Payroll Fighting Through Adversity, as Covid has provided an ongoing number of hits to payroll along with massive legislative changes that will impact payroll going forward. Payroll must show it can fight and win over adversity, which is part of being a true payroll professional.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” -Muhammad Ali.

Seven ways for payroll – fighting through adversity

  1. Be prepared
  2. Stay disciplined
  3. Be positive
  4. Remain focused
  5. Keep ahead of change
  6. Develop your support network
  7. Don’t give up


  1. Be prepared

The only way to handle the punches we get in payroll is to be prepared and avoid them if possible.  Payroll can’t just think about how, it must be focused on tomorrow, next month, and the following year. Knowing what will and could potentially impact payroll is vital. That’s the only way to ensure whatever disaster may happen, payroll can continue its essential work.

  1. Stay disciplined

Don’t let events undermine what payroll does and must do. Stay disciplined and ensure procedures, processes, and the law are the guidelines that payroll continues to use in any situation.

  1. Be positive

If payroll focuses on the issues, mistakes and headaches that all payroll faces, they can wear you down. Payroll needs to focus on being positive and seeing successful outcomes in all its work and activities. Reward yourself and your team (if you have one). It will build the resilience and strength that is needed to overcome adversity.

  1. Remain focused

Pay employees correctly and on time is our mantra in payroll. When we face adversity, we must focus on what we are entrusted to do week in and week out. Without that focus, we are not just letting the business and employees down but also ourselves as payroll professionals.

  1. Keep ahead of change

NZ payroll is facing one of the biggest periods of change. From the way we will have to live in a future with Covid to new legislation that will directly impact out work, including Fair Pay Agreements and the new Holidays Act. Payroll must keep on top of these changes and fully understand how they impact law, payroll practice, and processing. It is about identifying what skills will be needed as a sole charge payroll practitioner or as part of a wider payroll team. The impact of the legislation will also mean payroll systems will need to change or even be replaced as the effects of new legislation require systems to be more responsive and transparent.

  1. Develop your support network

Being a payroll practitioner can sometimes be very isolating as few in the business understand the work you do. Therefore, it’s essential to develop a network of internal and external payroll support contacts (if possible), so payroll can call on peers and other payroll professionals as a sounding board and as a resource. In the darkest of times, they can act as the light at the end of the tunnel because there is always another option. However, when we are knee-deep in a payroll issue, it’s often hard to see those options.

  1. Don’t give up

Above all, don’t give up, as things will always get better. Payroll must be a bedrock and beacon that is always there, pay period to pay period, ensuring employees are paid on time and correctly.

Throughout the conference, speakers will be talking on aspects of how payroll can fight through adversity.


Structure of this year’s conference (conference and OnDemand webinars)

We are doing this year’s conference a little differently as a one-day virtual conference with a full range of speakers. Attendees will have access to a range of OnDemand webinars to access when they want to (up to a month after the conference). We aim to have at least 12 new OnDemand webinars available (NZPPA-led webinars will have notes provided, and for invited speakers, it will be up to the individual speaker).

  • OnDemand webinar topics will be published here on 15 October.


This Year’s Motivational Speaker

David Letele

Former professional boxer, Dave Letele (AKA Brown Buttabean), is a South Auckland community leader who uses his platform to advocate for families in need.

Having grown up with a father who was the president of the Mongrel Mob and in and out of prison throughout his childhood, Dave understands what it means to struggle.

It took Dave a near-death experience to pull him out of a downward spiral. From there, he embarked on a journey that led to him owning several businesses, playing rugby league all over the world, becoming a professional boxer, losing almost 100 kg in body weight, and starting over.

Dave is an inspiration to thousands of Kiwis, achieving his transformation purely through hard work and dedication. Starting his platform via his private Facebook group where over 10,000 people have achieved life-changing levels of weight loss, Dave went on to found his company Buttabean Motivation (BBM), where he and his team are currently working with public health and social service providers across Auckland to deliver his highly effective BBM programs to improve the health outcomes for obese people.

Often consulted by the media, and even the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Dave’s bold and no-nonsense approach has changed thousands of lives in his community and around New Zealand.

Nothing quite beats a real story straight from the heart, Dave will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions where you will come out the other side understanding the power of determination, perseverance, hard work, taking that first step and hope!

Conference MC

Gary HOLLIER – Payroll Manager

Gary Hollier is a Payroll Manager with over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Starting his payroll career ‘by accident’ as a ‘basic grade clerk’ in the Government Printing Office in 1984, he has worked predominately in the public sector over the last 30 years, more recently moving into private sector roles.

Over the course of his 3 and a half decades in payroll Gary has worked at all levels,

progressing from the original basic grade clerk role in the 80’s through Payroll Team Leader positions and ultimately to Payroll Manager. He has managed teams ranging in size from 1, a remote reportee located 340km away, up to a team of 36 employees.



The draft summit programme will be published on 15 October.



NZPPA has always been lucky to have access through its network to an exceptional pool of payroll SMEs. This year’s conference gives attendees an excellent range of speakers with a payroll leadership focus.

Confirmed summit speakers will be announced on 15 October.


14th Annual Payroll Conference event cost

Conference 26 November (Live) + access to 12 OnDemand webinars:

      • NZPPA member: $675 + GST (25% off per person for any additional attendees)
      • NZPPA non-member: $875 + GST (25% off per person for any additional attendees)

Click here to book now

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