Paying her way
Teresa Davies brings a wealth of experience to her role as Chair of NZCU Employees, having worked in the HR and payroll sector across much of the country for more than three decades. Since moving to Auckland in 2008 she has worked for a number of large organisations, including Fletcher Building and now The Warehouse, where she was recently promoted to the role of Payroll Manager.
Being on the Board of Directors for an organisation such as NZCU Employees today is a far cry from the old days, according to Chair Teresa Davies.
“People were encouraged to join a Board primarily because they were known and trusted and they had to make up the numbers required. It was basically getting enough bums on seats,” she recalls.
“But these days there are far more compliance and regulatory aspects that Board members need to understand. It’s completely different to the way it was handled 10 or so years ago, but it’s necessary. That’s why we keep up with what’s happening in the finance markets.”
From the town of Hawera in Taranaki, Teresa began her working career as a payroll officer for Lowe Walker, where she worked for 12 years.
She then moved to the Hawke’s Bay and worked for the local district health board as Payroll Manager and was seconded to Nelson Marlborough on a software implementation project. The Hawke’s Bay Health Board also had its own credit union, where she joined the board in 2000.
Teresa’s career has predominantly been in the HR (human resources) and payroll sector. She worked for prominent Hawke’s Bay businessman Graeme Lowe (QSM, CNZM 1934-2012) and remained in Hawke’s Bay for 20 years before moving to Auckland to work for Fletcher Building as a Shared Services Payroll Manager incorporating 52 companies.
Four years ago Teresa joined The Warehouse Group as a Payroll Systems Administrator, based at its head office in Northcote on Auckland’s North Shore. In April she was appointed Payroll Manager.
During her time in Auckland she has also been involved with NZCU Employees. Initially appointed to the NZCU Employees Board of Directors in 2008, she later became Chair in 2012. Teresa says her main motivation for being involved is to assist members with managing their money and the ethos of people helping people sat well with her own ethics and values.
“We’re about improving the financial literacy of our members. Kona (Hatalafale – NZCU Employees General Manager) is really driving that, as he sees how a lack of financial awareness and budgeting skills hurts certain communities,” she says.
“We are unique as we’re able to provide all the products and services of main stream banks as well as providing small loans and debt consolidation.”
“If we can see how we can help our members in other ways, we will. We’re here to serve people, not make profit.”
Teresa is nevertheless concerned about the amount of money loaned to youth.
“They pretty much want it now, which is understandable today as it’s far easier in so many ways for that to happen,” she says.
“But it’s not until they have to start paying the loans off that they realise how much extra in interest they have to pay back. We take a responsible approach because it’s not our money, it’s our members’.”
As Chair, Teresa doesn’t expect or want fellow Board members to always agree at meetings.
“Part of my role is to ensure the Board is kept up to date with what’s going on, focus on what is best for the Credit Union , make sure the meetings are conducted in a structured manner and keep the meeting moving along in a positive and energised way” she says.
“But I’ll give my views so we can generate some robust discussion. Sometimes I’ll get outvoted and I’ll accept that. It’s about getting everybody to contribute for the benefit of NZCU Employees and achieve an outcome that is beneficial to our members.”
Recruiting now for Board Members
We are looking for new Board Directors and encourage anyone who has an interest in promoting thrift, growing our Credit Union and commitment to helping our members improve their financial situation, to contact our Penrose office on 09 579 0448.