An interview with Tania Palmer, Transitional Chief Executive of Rockgas at Contact Energy

Contact Energy’s cultural transformation around safety has been recognised as a huge success by the wider business community. But creating this change within one of New Zealand’s largest corporates was no small effort. At the centre of this organisational shift has been Tania Palmer. She has worked at Contact Energy across a number of roles for over 10 years and has just been appointed as Transitional Chief Executive Rockgas, leading the transition of Contact’s LPG business to its new owners.

As someone who is passionate about all things leadership, I was thrilled to sit down with Tania recently. Her lengthy career in HR and senior management has meant she knows a thing or two about great leadership.

Here are my top five take outs:

We also covered the below topics as well:


Being on a leadership team of a top 10 NZX company (Video length: 1 minute)

The most challenging aspect of being a leader (Video length: 2 minutes)

Navigating the transition into a new role (Video length: 4 Minutes)

The practical business approach to HR (Video length: 2 minutes)

Advice to people wanting to work in HR (Video length: 1 minute)

Leading organisational culture change (Video length: 4 minutes)

Traps to avoid when leading cultural change (Video length: 2 minutes)


Proudest moment in your professional journey (Video length: 1 minute)

What did you learn from a recent mistake? (Video length: 1 minute)

Advice to your younger self (Video length: 1 minute)

The biggest challenges facing female leaders (Video length: 1 minute)

Role models (Video length: 2 minutes)

Worst trait in a boss (Video length: 1 minute)

Personal weaknesses (Video length: 1 minute)

An absurd thing you love (Video length: 1 minute)

What did you learn from this interview that you could take into your own workplace?

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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