Nov 20 2017 - The news that the road toll for 2017 has now surpassed the total for 2016 is tragic news, says Associate Minister for Transport Julie Anne Genter. “This year we’ve already seen 330 people lose their lives on New Zealand’s roads. “Every death on our roads is a tragedy and the high number this year is quite simply unacceptable. “The road toll has been going up over the last four years and is now the highest it’s been since 2010. My number one priority in the transport portfolio is to bring the road toll down. “In recent years expensive roading projects have been the priority and road safety has taken a back seat. “This government will be exploring all options to improve road safety including reallocating funding to target high risk roads. “Every life lost leaves behind a devastated family and community. We have to do better. “In addition, all of us have a responsibility to make our roads safer. It’s the basics, like wearing a seatbelt at all times, driving to the conditions, and stopping a mate from driving home drunk,” said Ms Genter.
Nov 17 2017 - The annual Directors Sentiment Survey reveals an overwhelming majority of boards (91%) consider stakeholder interests a high priority (up from 86% in 2016). Released by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and ASB, the Director Sentiment Survey takes the pulse of the director community in New Zealand. The survey reveals key challenges for New Zealand boards, including stakeholder interests, leading on organisational ethics, strategy and risk in the age of technological disruption, and access to skills and talent in a tight labour market. The emphasis on stakeholder interests could also be seen in the high number of directors who considered sustainability and social issues as very important to their organisation (69%). IoD Governance Leadership Centre General Manager Felicity Caird says “for boards to succeed in today’s environment, they will need to think beyond compliance in assessing risks and the drivers of business sustainability.” Comprehensive reporting from management to boards on ethics and conduct risk is even more crucial in a business environment with greater stakeholder expectations about corporate behaviour and activities, including their social and environmental impact. “Boards play an important role in setting the tone on ethics and culture for the organisation, and communicating it. In order to hold management to account for ethical risk and conduct, it is essential they receive comprehensive reporting.” The survey also revealed an opportunity for boards to request improved reporting from management to guard against ethics risks. Just under half (44%) of New Zealand company boards have assessed organisational ethics risks, and less than a third (32%) of boards had discussed how they could make whistleblowing and speak-up provisions more effective in their organisations. Capacity constraints remained a key concern in the economic outlook with more than half of directors citing labour capability and quality as a key restraint (54%). This is up from last year, when 46% of directors identified this as one of the top three issues. While the survey indicates business optimism, there is more caution on the economic outlook. ASB Chief Economist Nick Tuffley says this may be due in part to the survey’s post-election timing, before a government was formed, and also due to perceptions the economy may be past its peak in the current business cycle. “We are continuing to see the impact of the tight labour market register highly in directors’ key challenges,” Mr Tuffley says. “This tightening in labour is due to strong economic performance, which has created a highly competitive market for talent. Directors identified this as a key barrier to business performance and the economy more generally.” Digital leadership within boards and in organisations remains a concern, with just 30% of directors feeling their boards had the expertise to lead their organisation into a digital future. While half of boards were discussing cyber risks, less than half of boards (45%) felt that they received comprehensive reporting on cyber breaches from their management. This year saw a continued increase in the number of directors considering their boards had the capability to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 obligations, up from 51% in 2014 to 76% in 2017. This is a welcome trend but vigilance in the boardroom is still needed, Ms Caird says. “The ability for directors to navigate the rapid changes caused by the digital revolution is a key challenge, and should be a priority for boards. “Social media and the risk of cyber breaches also mean that companies operate in a more complex environment, where comprehensive ethics reporting and risk management is vital to sustainable success”. The survey was conducted in October 2017 by the IoD and involved 934 members of the Institute of Directors. This is the fourth annual Director Sentiment Survey, and the second year the IoD has partnered with ASB on the survey.
Nov 21 2017 - An Energy Research Strategy for New Zealand released this week by the National Energy Research Institute (NERI) is an important step toward securing a sustainable future for the country’s energy needs, says Victoria University of Wellington Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Kate McGrath. NERI is a consortium of research providers and other stakeholders in the energy sector, including Victoria, and works to stimulate, promote, coordinate and support high quality energy research and education in New Zealand.
Its strategy, launched at Victoria Business School by the Hon Dr Megan Woods, Minister of Energy and Resources and of Research, Science and Innovation, was developed in association with over 150 energy stakeholders in research organisations, businesses, industry associations and government agencies, with the aim of providing a framework to develop more detailed research programmes.
“The actions set out in the strategy are all within New Zealand’s grasp, given the necessary commitment and backing,” says Professor McGrath.
“Victoria is proud to be a research member of NERI and myself to be one of its trustees. Academics from across the University, including our computer scientists, Robinson Research Institute, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and School of Architecture and Design, are conducting ground-breaking research to transform how the country’s energy is produced and used. This strategy gives them, other researchers around the country and those commissioning and funding research an important framework.”
The strategy highlights long-distance transport, both domestic and international, as one of the biggest medium-term issues facing New Zealand’s energy sector, noting that about half the country’s energy is used servicing transport needs and that long-distance transport uses the biggest share of that.
Given our physical isolation and distances to markets, long-distance transport is critical for trade and travel, says the strategy. But because it is fossil fuel intensive, it faces significant risks, with few simple alternative such as the electric vehicles available for short-distance transport.
Food and tourism export earnings are particularly vulnerable, says the strategy, with fossil fuels featuring large in their production and delivery.
However, says the strategy, there are opportunities to manage this risk.
Dr Nick Long, Director of the Robinson Research Institute, explores these and other opportunities in an article for the Newsroom website.
The Robinson Research Institute’s own research includes collaborating with international partners to develop the technology for long-range hybrid-electric aircraft and that for rapid electric vehicle charging.
Alongside transport, other key focus areas in the Energy Research Strategy are in industrial processing, electricity generation and distribution, and the residential sector.
Affordable and clean energy is the seventh of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030.
Victoria was earlier this year the first New Zealand university to sign up to a new international initiative known as the University Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.
‘Enhancing the resilience and sustainability of our natural heritage and capital’ is one of Victoria’s areas of academic distinctiveness.
| A Victoria University release || November 17, 2017 |||
16 Nov 2017 – New Zealand is calling out for expert help from the U.S. to fill a massive construction and engineering skills and talent shortage as it struggles to cope with the largest infrastructure and housing build in the Pacific nation’s history.
The new Labour-led Government is introducing a special “KiwiBuild” fast track visa system to facilitate the search for top construction talent, spearheaded by an innovative international recruitment campaign called LookSee Build NZ.
LookSee Build NZ is a consortium of private companies, local body entities and government organisations. The aim of the campaign is to attract some of the more than 56,000 construction and engineering staff, including 2,200 high-end specialist positions, New Zealand needs for the more than NZ$125 billion program of infrastructure works over the next decade.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also announced a new NZ$2 billion housing program for the construction of 10,000 homes a year for 10 years, as well as a program of infrastructure works in addition to the existing pipeline.
Looksee Build spokesman and construction consultant Aaron Muir says it is the first time New Zealand’s public and private construction sector have combined in a single cause but the need for top talent is so acute it required an innovative approach to talent procurement.
Engineers, particularly in the areas of geotechnical, seismic, civil and structural, are top of New Zealand’s shopping list because of the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes, a nationwide seismic audit of buildings and significant compliance issues with historic buildings around the country.
But a broad range of specialist skills are required across the board and the campaign is offering a sweetener to entice Americans to migrate with a range of quintessential ‘Kiwi experiences,’ such as fishing, surfing and canoeing safaris, cultural events and the chance to see stunning sites of natural beauty, Muir says.
If people do get a job as a result of LookSee Build NZ their airfares to New Zealand will be repaid, he adds.
Over the past 12 months LookSee has seen unprecedented interest from US professionals looking to relocate to New Zealand. “We had a great response earlier this year to our LookSee Wellington campaign for tech workers to come to our capital and we believe New Zealand’s work and lifestyle environment will also appeal to construction professionals,” says Muir.
Former Californian Casey Giberson, a Discipline Manager, Resilience, for environmental and engineering consultancy Tonkin + Taylor, says the attraction of New Zealand is twofold: lifestyle and the breadth and complexity of construction work.
“It’s a small country and you can come down here and really make a difference for public good and that’s a rare and precious thing,” says Giberson. “We’re not looking for over designed or over engineered infrastructure and buildings however we are looking for people who can come up with simple and ingenious ways to create a tailored solution to a complex problem – we need those skills.”
Giberson started out in California doing transportation engineering and planning and then land development and associated infrastructure. In his 11 years in New Zealand he has covered a diverse range of disciplines, including exposure to specialist technical areas which Giberson believes has future-proofed his career.
In addition to the world class construction projects across the country Muir says the ‘Kiwi experiences’ will give them a real taste of the lifestyle that is available if they choose to live in New Zealand”.
More information about the recruitment campaign can be found at www.lookseebuildnewzealand.co.nz.
About LookSee Build NZLookSee Build NZ is an innovative international talent procurement program that turns the traditional recruitment process on its head by taking the opportunities in New Zealand to the world and, in turn, bringing the world back to New Zealand. It is specifically designed to address an acute skills and talent shortage in the construction and engineering sectors and future-proof the building industry as the country gears up for the largest infrastructure and housing build in the nation’s history. Acting on behalf of a range of participating employers, including public and private sector entities, the LookSee Build NZ campaign is targeting highly skilled professionals from the US, particularly seismic and structural engineers, to assist them in becoming ‘New Zealand-ready’ before match-making candidates who are interested, qualified and available with the appropriate employer.
| Published in The American Surveyor Nov 10, 2017 |||
16 Nov 2017 - Sales of Anchor UHT milk were particularly strong and the brand was the leading imported UHT product across all online sales platforms during the sales window. Double 11 is characterised by deep-discounting and wide-ranging promotions, generating a level of hype similar to a holiday festival in China. According to data from Syntun, China’s 16 largest e-commerce merchants achieved a combined RMB 254 billion (NZD $55.1 billion) in sales this year during the period, up 43 per cent on last year’s total.
President of Fonterra Greater China Christina Zhu said Fonterra’s strong growth on last year reflects the strategic partnerships that the Co-operative has been building with China’s e-commerce giants.
“Forming win-win relationships with the major platforms has been a point of focus for us over the past 12 months,” said Ms Zhu. “We’ve gotten closer to Alibaba and its Tmall platform, demonstrated by how we secured a feature spot on the platform’s homepage in the lead up to November 11. We’ve also developed a good relationship with JD.com, having been identified as one of the platform’s strategic growth partners in the dairy category.”
Fonterra’s Vice President of Brands in Greater China, Chester Cao, said that the Co-operative took a different approach to this year’s sales period, which was the fifth time Fonterra had taken part.
“We were pleased to offer a much broader portfolio of product to consumers this year,” said Mr Cao. “In addition to our strong-selling Anchor UHT and powder products, Anlene and Anmum, we were also able to push our new premium and organic Anchor range and our Anchor Dairy Foods range of cream, cheese and butter.
“For us, it’s much more than just a window to sell more product than usual,” said Mr Cao. “With high levels of online traffic, it’s a real chance for us to reach a greater number of consumers with our brand and educate them about the goodness of our dairy. Given this, we had a strong focus on investing in the right media channels by using a data-driven approach, and creating engaging content for a range of different online and social channels. This approach paid off, as we had more than 30 million consumers visiting our online stores.”
Fonterra has flagship stores for Anchor, Anmum, Anlene products and has partnerships with eight major e-commerce platforms, including front-runners Tmall and JD.com as well as other companies such as Suning and Yihaodian.
China’s e-commerce market is far-and-away the world’s largest and an estimated USD $800 billion is set to be spent this calendar year according to figures from McKinsey & Company. This matches the market size of the next six largest countries combined: the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Korea, and France. Growth is set to continue, with a compound annual growth rate of 18 per cent expected between 2016 and 2018.
“We are excited by the future of e-commerce,” said Mr Cao. “While some categories like electronics or apparel are starting to show signs of maturity, the fresh and packaged food categories have very low online penetration rates by comparison, so there is a lot of room for growth and we’re positioning ourselves well to capture it.”
16 Nov 2017 - Foreign Minister’s APEC and EAS visit. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister the Rt Hon Winston Peters returns to New Zealand overnight following a visit to Viet Nam and the Philippines where he attended the APEC Meetings in Da Nang, and the East Asia Summit in Manila. “My first visit to these two major regional summits as Foreign Minister provided a valuable opportunity to be reacquainted with counterparts who I have previously met, and to have introductory meetings with Foreign Ministers from a significant number of countries where New Zealand has strong economic and strategic interests”, Mr Peters said.
Across both summits, Mr Peters had formal meetings with the Foreign Ministers of eleven countries, including Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, and the United States.
Additionally, Mr Peters met informally with Foreign Ministers from a range of other countries, including Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia and Malaysia. Mr Peters also accompanied the Prime Minister the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern to meetings with her counterparts.
“The visit allowed me to participate in discussions on the big issues facing the Asia‑Pacific region, including the threat posed by North Korea’s actions, the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the challenge of countering terrorism in South East Asia, and the conflict and resulting humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State”, Mr Peters said.
Mr Peters also launched a new phase of New Zealand Official Development Assistance supporting the development of Viet Nam’s dragon fruit industry. In the Philippines, the Minister also announced a new phase of New Zealand assistance to support agriculture‑based livelihoods and agribusiness in Mindanao.
Mr Peters also confirmed the appointment of New Zealand Honorary‑Consuls to Davao and Cebu, further strengthening New Zealand’s relationship with the Philippines.
16 Nov 2017 - The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has concluded an investigation into certain trading activity by Goldman Sachs New Zealand LTD (GS). The GS investigation was prompted by concerns arising from an investigation into trading by Mark Warminger and Milford Asset Management. The FMA was concerned that GS trading may have been in breach of section 11B of the Securities Market Act 1988 by creating a false or misleading appearance to the price and supply of securities.
The FMA determined that pursuing enforcement action in court would not have been the most appropriate response to this case or the best way to achieve its regulatory objectives. The FMA decided to publish a report based on its concerns about the alleged misconduct in the investigation, and to educate the market about its expectations surrounding trading by brokers.
The FMA decided not to go to court based on a number of factors, each detailed in the report. These include litigation risk and limited regulatory options available in this case and the details of the specific misconduct alleged. The FMA also considered the significant cost, time and resources required in pursuing litigation would outweigh the potential benefits.
GS has explained the alleged misconduct to the FMA as facilitating trades for a client. Since the trading covered in the report, GS has ceased operating as a trading participant in the New Zealand market.
In addition to publishing a report, the FMA will take the following additional actions:
Work with NZX to ensure the NZX Participant rules are updated to require trading participants to maintain voice recordings.
Work with NZX to review facilitation practices by traders, including spot checks carried out on individual trades.
Continue to engage with brokers and fund managers to ensure that the lessons from the Mark Warminger judgment on market manipulation are adopted by firms. We expect market participants to assess their existing governance and controls systems - including documentation and record keeping - to ensure brokers’ facilitation practices cannot be used to excuse misconduct.
Consult with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to consider legislative changes to allow the FMA to refer matters directly to the NZMDT; or to enable the creation of another disciplinary tribunal for these purposes.
The FMA also considered the most proportionate response to the GS conduct would have been for the NZX to refer GS to the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal (NZMDT). The NZX did not take this action.
Rob Everett, the FMA’s Chief Executive, said “Capital markets growth and integrity is a key FMA strategic priority. Successful markets rely on confident participation and any activity which threatens market integrity reduces confidence from investors and the public.
Mr Everett said, “We had a difficult decision in terms of what the appropriate regulatory response was in this instance. Ultimately, we decided that our regulatory objectives would best be met by issuing the report.”
“Publishing the results of the GS investigation enables us to demonstrate the lessons for industry in our findings. We’ll continue to engage with industry to ensure they are clear about the standards of conduct, governance, systems and controls we expect, and use this report as the basis of discussions with brokers.”
15 Nov 2017 - Tower says it aims to leave its larger rivals with 'clunky legacy systems' in its wake by transforming into a "digital challenger" offering customers more tailored products that draw on deeper pools of information. The Auckland-based insurer is raising $70.8 million to bolster its balance sheet and has adopted an ultra-conservative approach to the most problematic claims lingering from the Canterbury earthquakes seven years ago. Chief executive Richard Harding says that gives it the headroom to overhaul its IT infrastructure and embark a new way of doing business which will deliver better products for customers, tailored to their specific needs and priced accordingly.
Tower has hired EIS Group to scope out and cost the process of integrating four systems into one core infrastructure as part of a wider programme to simplify the business, putting the insurer on the front foot against its rivals which are carrying more cumbersome systems that struggle to keep up with changing consumer demands.
"It's that flexibility to use data from all sources, get that data compiled in a way for you as a customer that we actually have insights about you so we can make a compelling price for you," Harding told BusinessDesk in an interview. "It's really about turning around insurance to be simple and easy for customers.
"We won't get to that in financial year '20 but we've certainly built the foundations that will enable Tower to have the flexibility to deliver that sort of claims outcome or customer experience," he said.
Harding doesn't anticipate the country's larger insurers can match that strategy, because "they're not as nimble and they don't have that ability and flexibility."
Tower's online drive has already started paying dividends, with yesterday's announcement of the capital raise and lingering issues with Canterbury claims clouding a robust underlying business. The firm's online sales generated 30 percent of new business for the insurer in the September quarter coming through digital channels, compared to just 9 percent in the March quarter of 2016.
Still, the insurer booked $19.6 million of impairment charges on software in the 2016 financial year after finding its current systems restricted its ambitions and accelerated the amortisation charge on internally developed software in 2017. The closing book value for Tower's software was $31.3 million as at Sept. 30, after accumulated amortisation of $33 million.
Information is the key benefit for insurers in the digital environment, and Harding said the industry will be able to deliver better pricing for customers with more robust data analysis. He points to the cross-subsidisation in the larger insurers, where about six Auckland policyholders are effectively paying more for their earthquake premiums to cover one Wellington policy, which carries greater risk.
"By having cross-subsidisation you're encouraging development in places where it shouldn't be developed," Harding said. "Should we be building commercial property on reclaimed land in Wellington harbour? Should we be allowing continued construction on 60-degree slopes on the Wellington foreshore?
"At the moment we do because there isn't a risk signal coming from the insurance industry saying that's not a viable thing to do."
Harding expects big data will let insurers move to more accurate pricing for risk, which will "mean unfortunately a higher cost in Wellington, but more affordable insurance for other people." That's a decision which will need wide societal input, "and is a challenge New Zealand will have to face up to in the next five years or so," he said.
That shift to a digital interface will also change the nature of Tower's workforce, something the insurer has been to develop over the past year. Harding said one of the biggest issues service staff have contended with is the duplicated systems and large suite of products, which has meant they spent less time focused on the customer.
Tower has been working on overhauling its culture from an old-school insurance firm to that of a "much more nimble challenger mindset", although Harding says they've "still got some way to go".
He doesn't anticipate a shock to the make-up of the workforce in the way some industries have been scaling back staff numbers to make way for automation, rather he wants to take staff "on a journey through as we change the company" where they can become more valuable to the customer.
"The shift that we want and the opportunity we see is how can we have a better connection with our customers, because our staff aren't being bogged down with our processes and the way the system works and are freed up to do more for the customer," Harding said. "That does require a greater level of capability and a change in people's expectations around work, but I think it gives them greater satisfaction and greater opportunity as well."
15 Nov 2017 - Paints supplier DuluxGroup is reviewing the future of its underperforming business in China but is set to launch into the Indonesian market. Paint supplier DuluxGroup may consider pulling out of its joint-venture business in China as its paints brand struggles but has flagged higher hopes for Indonesia, with plans to start selling some its Selleys products into the growing market there.
DuluxGroup lifted profit by 9.6 per cent to $142.9 million for the year to September 30, and said on Wednesday it expects to deliver an even better result in the year ahead.
Strong growth in the group's Dulux Australia-New Zealand business contributed the bulk of earnings, driven by positive markets and good margin management, and Selleys Australia and New Zealand also lifted.
But earnings from DuluxGroup's "other businesses" segment, which includes the Yates garden care range, PNG, south-east Asia, and China's DGL Camel paints business fell because of a weaker Camel result.
DuluxGroup managing director Patrick Houlihan says DuluxGroup's China business generates about $50 million in revenue, or about three per cent of group revenue.
The China business comprises Camel paints, which is the largest part, and the Selleys range.
Camel and Selleys are profitable in Hong Kong, and Selley's has prospects for success on mainland China, but the Camel paints business has struggled from lack of scale and lack of brand awareness and delivered a poor result in fiscal 2017.
The Camel paints joint-venture started in 2012.
"We just don't have the competitive ratio (with Camel)," Mr Houlihan told reporters on Wednesday
"We doing a strategic review of that business at the moment, particularly the coatings (Camel) portion of it.
"As to what that concludes, I won't pre-empt."
Mr Houlihan said Indonesia has good prospects.
DuluxGroup is partnering with Avian Paints, one of the largest paint companies in Indonesia, to sell some of the Selleys adhesives and sealants range starting in mid-2018.
Mr Houlihan said the joint-venture with Avian has the potential to ultimately access about 40,000 retail hardware outlets in a large and growing market.
"It's going to take a few years to build - this won't be transformative overnight," Mr Houlihan said.
"Over the short term, it will really be about launching in quite a considered matter, portions of the range, one at a time."
DuluxGroup expects its Australia-New Zealand business to remain resilient in the year ahead with its core markets - home renovation, housing construction and commercial markets - forecast to provide solid growth in 2018.
DuluxGroup also said its new paint factory in Merrifield in Melbourne is schedule to begin commercial production in the first half of the 218 financial year and will support the company for decades to come.
Shares in DuluxGroup were 20 cents, or 2.6 per cent, higher at $7.74 at 1117 AEDT.
DULUX LIFTS ANNUAL PROFIT, DIVIDEND
* Full-year profit up 9.6pct to $142.9m
* Revenue up 4pct to $1.8b
* Fully-franked final dividend of 13.5cps, up from 12.5 cents
15 Nov 2017 - Westpac New Zealand Limited (Westpac) has had its minimum regulatory capital requirements increased after it failed to comply with regulatory obligations relating to its status as an internal models bank. Internal models banks are accredited by the Reserve Bank to use approved risk models to calculate how much regulatory capital they need to hold. Westpac used a number of models that had not been approved by the Reserve Bank, and materially failed to meet requirements around model governance, processes and documentation. “This is very disappointing. Operating as an internal models bank is a privilege that requires high standards and comes with considerable responsibilities. Westpac has not met our expectations in this regard,” Reserve Bank Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand said. The Reserve Bank required Westpac to commission an independent report into its compliance with internal models regulatory requirements. The report found that Westpac:· currently operates 17 (out of 35) unapproved capital models;
· has used 21 (out of 32) additional unapproved capital models since it was accredited as an internal models bank in 2008; and
· failed to put in place the systems and controls an internal models bank is required to have under its conditions of registration.
The Reserve Bank has decided that Westpac’s conditions of registration should be amended to increase its minimum capital levels until the shortcomings and non-compliance identified in the independent report have been remedied. Westpac’s minimum capital ratio requirements will be 6.5 percent for Common Equity Tier 1 capital, 8 percent for Tier 1 capital and 10 percent for Total capital, with the additional 2.5 percent capital conservation buffer applying. Currently, for all other locally incorporated banks capital ratios are set at, respectively, 4.5 percent, 6 percent and 8 percent, plus the 2.5 percent buffer. In addition, the Reserve Bank has accepted an undertaking by Westpac to maintain its total capital ratio above 15.1 percent until all existing issues have been resolved. The Reserve Bank has given Westpac 18 months to satisfy the Reserve Bank that it has sufficiently addressed those issues or it risks losing accreditation to operate as an internal models bank. “We believe the regulatory action is appropriate given the seriousness of Westpac’s non-compliance and the need to protect the integrity of the capital regime,” Mr Bascand said. The Reserve Bank has taken into account that Westpac has not deliberately sought to reduce its regulatory capital. While there have been serious shortcomings and non-compliance, it appears that Westpac has remained well above its required regulatory capital levels. Westpac has confirmed that it does not dispute the findings of the independent report, that it is committed to remedying all the issues identified, and that it will maintain its total capital ratio above 15.1 percent.