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Careers in Internal Audit

Ever Thought About Being or Finding a Mentor?

Authored by Natasha Flavell, IIA NZ Board Member

97% of those with mentors consider them valuable, however 85% of employees do not have one.1 Did you know that having a mentor means you are five times more likely to be promoted? 2 And that 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationship and develop greater confidence? 3

The benefits of mentoring can be invaluable and in the internal audit profession, mentoring is a great tool for navigating the variety of challenges and opportunities we face.

Excitingly, the Institute of Internal Auditors New Zealand (IIA NZ) is launching a mentoring programme for members.

As we gear up for the pilot launch, I asked some members of the National Board to share their thoughts on mentoring.

: What do you believe are the key benefits of mentoring?

A: Mentoring helps both mentees and mentors to be more effective professionals and leaders across a range of areas. High quality mentoring is a skill that will stand you in good stead no matter where your career takes you. All great leaders have been mentored over their careers. They will all tell you they have had a range of mentors, and that they have picked the “jewels” from each of their mentors and used these to help shape their own leadership styles.

Mentoring not only helps develop mentees – it enables mentors to shape and hone their own mentoring skills. Ultimately it improves our self-confidence, improves our impact with others at all levels, and can only help with job and career satisfaction.

Q: What are three key ingredients to a successful mentoring relationship?

A: I think the three key things (like all relationships!) are:

  1. Own the relationship and understand the respective roles – Mentees should own their development, and mentors should commit to investing their wisdom and experience. It is a mutual responsibility.
  2. Good listening and self-awareness – the ability to listen and reflect is a rare but effective skill that will enhance the mentoring. Mentors shouldn’t feel compelled to jump straight to solution mode – they should be asking questions of the mentee designed such that the mentee develops and commits to their own individualised development plan.
  3. Commit to the cadence / rhythm of the relationship – be consistent and give it time. If you set aside an hour a month don’t cancel or defer (cancelling sends a powerful message that it’s not important), similarly if you commit to do something before the next meeting make sure you do it.

Q: How have you benefitted from mentoring relationships?

A: My mentoring relationships have helped me establish career goals and have informed my career decisions. I have expanded my network, increased my communication skills and used my relationship with my mentor(s) to ask about different perspectives and experiences.

Q: Why are you supportive of the IIA NZ mentoring programme?

A: I am a huge advocate of the programme as I believe it will provide an opportunity for experienced members and emerging practitioners to exchange valuable knowledge, guidance and career pathway stories with each other. Internal audit is a profession that really embraces and benefits from diversity and inclusion, therefore it is necessary to create a support system that makes us better as a whole!

Keep an eye out for the launch of the IIA NZ mentoring programme pilot.
Expressions of interest for mentors and mentees will be advertised for Auckland members in October 2021.

1 Facts and Statistics - National Mentoring Day

2 How Becoming A Mentor Can Boost Your Career (forbes.com)

3 New UK research: Mentoring is improving gender balance in organisations — Moving Ahead (moving-ahead.org)

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