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What’s Audit New Zealand doing at the Lotto draws?

Karen MacKenzie is an Audit Director based in our Auckland office. In this video, she tells us about attending the Lotto draws as the official scrutineer. 

“The Gambling Act requires the Auditor-General to exercise scrutiny over the drawing of the New Zealand lottery and we have a pool of senior staff who attend on their behalf.”   

Transcript for this video.

Watch more videos of our staff talking about the work that they do at Audit New Zealand.

Page last updated: 15 May 2019

Inter-firm sports day

Rugby boots

Audit New Zealand staff had a great time at the inter-firm sports day.

Once a year, Wellington-based Audit New Zealand staff take part in an epic rugby and netball battle against PwC, Deloitte, EY, BDO and KPMG. Our teams included colleagues from the Auditor-General's office and our Palmerston North office. 

The rugby and netball players prepared and practiced ahead of time, and it was an opportunity for people to give it a go, regardless of their experience. Other staff participated by cheering the teams on. The atmosphere on our sideline showed how much we value and build each other up!

Although Audit New Zealand may not have won the competition this year, once again we had a great turn out and support from staff and their families. We'll be back on the field and court to compete again next year.

Audit New Zealand wins business excellence award

Business excellence award

Audit New Zealand has won the Drake New Zealand Government Award at the 2014 AUT Excellence in Business Support Awards.

The awards were celebrated with a gala dinner at the Langham Hotel, Auckland on 2 October.

Audit New Zealand was one of 11 category winners.

The Awards are the only national performance measure for New Zealand organisations that provide business support.  Applications are judged by evaluators from the AUT Business School and the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation.

The Auditor-General Lyn Provost has commended Audit New Zealand for this achievement.

“I am pleased to see Audit New Zealand recognised with this award. It reflects the fantastic efforts they’ve been making,” she said.

AUT Senior Lecturer in Business Information Systems, Rodger Chesterfield, was one of the evaluators for the award. He said he was impressed by Audit New Zealand.

“An aspiration to learn and innovate is evident across all activities carried out by Audit New Zealand.”

Audit New Zealand’s Executive Director Stephen Walker said he was proud of his staff.

"We have had a programme of continual improvement over recent years, which has only been possible because of the commitment of our great people. This award recognises their efforts."

The standard of entries in the Awards this year was excellent, AUT University Dean of Business and Law Professor Geoff Perry said after the presentation.

“It is heartening to see the wider business sector taking a strong interest in these Awards, which highlight the important role of business support in our economy.”

Page last updated: 7 October 2014

Audit New Zealand staff receive NZICA Fellowships

Audit New Zealand’s Executive Director, Stephen Walker, and General Manager Professional Practices Group, Chong Lim, received Fellowships from the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The Fellowship is awarded for outstanding contributions to the accountancy profession and the community.

Reflecting on what the award means to him, Stephen Walker said: “It’s a tremendous honour to be recognised by my peers. The profession has given me, and many others, really good opportunities and privileges.

“I have always believed with privilege comes the responsibility to use our expertise and knowledge wisely, and always be bound by our ethics and integrity. To me, that’s where the real strength of our profession lies.”

While for Chong Lim, the achievement of receiving the award is “not about me but is a result of working with others. The sum of our collective efforts is more than an individual’s.

“If there’s one thing we all appreciate as accounting professionals, it’s that continuing professional development learning is life-long to be relevant.”

The awards were presented at the annual NZICA Wellington Presidential and Fellowship dinner.

Page last updated: 17 October 2014

Have you met Karen MacKenzie?

K MacKenzie main profile photo

As an Audit Director, Karen Mackenzie leads a very busy life – inside and outside of Audit New Zealand.

Karen has always enjoyed working at Audit New Zealand. “I’ve stayed because the work is always so professionally challenging and rewarding. No two days are the same. There is plenty of variety in the work that you do, the organisations you visit, and the people you meet. And the people working at Audit New Zealand are fantastic, which is the main reason I enjoy what I do.

“As well as auditing skills, Audit New Zealand offers you the opportunity to learn other valuable skills, such as coaching and mentoring, as well as project management and risk management.

“Earlier in 2012, I worked on the audits of councils' Long-Term Plans. I found these really interesting. It is quite different auditing forecasts from auditing long historical information. It requires you to think quite differently. I particularly enjoy auditing district health boards as well. They are quite complex organisations that operate under fairly tight fiscal constraints, and yet everyone in the health sector is very passionate about what they do and wouldn’t do anything else,” Karen said.

Karen has built up an incredible portfolio of auditing expertise, and experiences, since joining Audit New Zealand with a Bachelor of Commerce from Canterbury University.

“I’ve worked with clients in almost all sectors – including universities, polytechnics, licensing trusts, energy companies, every type of council, health boards, government departments, schools, and airport and port companies. We get to work with people at our clients from all sorts of different backgrounds, including clinicians, lawyers, accountants, and engineers. It is amazing how much you learn from working with all these different people.”

Karen firmly believes that the support she has received from Audit New Zealand “has been instrumental in getting me to where I am today”.

“I did my final examination to become a Chartered Accountant with the support of Audit New Zealand. I have received regular technical and leadership training. I was also fortunate to have fantastic mentors as I progressed through the organisation. They encouraged me to apply for promotion opportunities as these came up.

“Audit New Zealand has also been very accommodating when I have had short breaks to have my children, and I have been able to pick up a client portfolio that enables me to work part-time and have a reasonable work/life balance.”

Outside work, Karen’s two boys are her main focus. ”They seem to have unlimited energy. Both are enjoying the rugby season – me not so much as it’s usually an 8am start!”

Page last updated: 27 August 2012

Auditing in challenging times

“The Canterbury earthquakes will significantly influence the focus of aspects of our work for years to come,” says Scott Tobin, an Audit Director based in Audit New Zealand’s Christchurch office.


“The Canterbury earthquakes will significantly influence the focus of aspects of our work for years to come,” says Scott Tobin, an Audit Director based in Audit New Zealand’s Christchurch office.

Scott should know. He led the team delivering audit assurance to several public entities in Canterbury after the devastating quakes of 2010 and 2011.

“The 22 February 2011 quake claimed 185 lives,” Scott says. “It destroyed Christchurch’s CBD, left thousands of homes uninhabitable, and many thousands more needing repair.”

The earthquakes severely damaged a lot of public infrastructure, including buildings, roads, power cables, water pipes, and sewerage facilities. The extent of the damage and disruption to public services raised complex issues for public entities trying to value infrastructure, assess the cost of damage, and deal with insurance and re-insurance of repaired or replaced assets.

Some public entities lost their records in the earthquakes. Others had to change their normal processes or quickly spend a lot of public money to restore services or meet new needs.

“Our role was to work with the public entities we audit to come up with practical and effective solutions to accounting and auditing matters resulting from the earthquakes. This allowed the entities to quickly do what they needed to do. It also allowed us to assure the Government and the public that the processes used were as sound and as low-risk as possible,” Scott says.

Audit New Zealand’s approach has been useful for clients such as the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), he adds.

“CERA has a massive task leading the recovery and rebuild. It needed to prepare responses to complex matters, such as assessing and demolishing buildings, quickly and effectively. We’ve met regularly with CERA about procurement, financial and non-financial reporting, and property sale and purchasing processes, so we can provide assurance about how effectively and efficiently it is using public funds.”

“Our audits have got a lot more complex and challenging,” Scott says. “We need to recognise that people and organisations are still affected by the earthquakes in different ways.”

Find out more about Scott.

Page last updated: 16 October 2013