Waikato Business News May/June 2020


Waikato Business News has for a quarter of a century been the voice of the region’s business community, a business community with a very real commitment to innovation and an ethos of co-operation.

Road to


“No one knows how this is

going to play out. All we can do

is be responsive and adapt.”

Tokoroa business woman

The power of community spirit

Page 4

wel energy trust chair

Mark Ingle reflects on 12

years of milestones Page 5

brad olsen

Economist on Waikato’s

future Page 12




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road to recovery


Deidre Morris

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 228 8442

Email: deidre@dpmedia.co.nz

This month we return to those Waikato businesses whose stories

we told during lockdown, to find out how they are faring now. We

found teamwork, determination and ingenuity are helping them

through uncertain times.

Coming out of

lockdown stronger

From the editor

Kia ora

“No one knows how

this is going to play

out. All we can do is be responsive

and adapt.” Those are the

apt words of Hamilton man

John-Paul Mclean, of Ryder

Technologies and Stampngo.

Waikato businesses face

uncertain times as we leave

Covid-19 lockdown behind,

and start to get a sense of what

our new normal will mean.

My aim through the pandemic

has been to share a wide

range of business stories, so

readers can learn from the

experience of others or, just

lenge, though, and some key

decisions were put on hold.

“While we’ve experienced

great growth we’re still operating

with some caution due

to the uncertainty of how the

impact will play out over the

longer term.”

Johnson says with the

advent of Covid-19 they went

on the offensive and produced

a huge amount of content, new

features and online classes to

help businesses.

Cambridge website builder

Rocketspark experienced significant

growth in March and

April as businesses launched

ecommerce websites and

online service propositions,

says director Grant Johnson.

New customer enquiries

also increased significantly, he

says. The business uncertainty

early in Covid-19 was a chalas

importantly, be reminded

they are not alone with their

challenges. We badged our

lockdown coverage “Stronger

“We have many clients in

hospitality and food services

so we rapidly developed a

scheduled ordering system that

the likes of restaurants, cafes,

bars, butchers, bakers and florists

could use to set up schedules

for pickup and delivery of

food orders.”

Because of their work to

support businesses’ transition

to ecommerce they have been

invited by Xero to join their

Xero Hour learning sessions.

Rocketspark will be sharing

together” and I believe that still


So this month I returned to

those whose stories we told

during lockdown, to find out

how they were faring as Level

2 kicked in.

They were generous in

their responses, and you can

read - and perhaps learn from -

their experiences starting with

Rocketspark on this page.

This month, I also interviewed

a remarkable Tokoroa

business woman, Rebekah

Garner, whose response to the

virus has been whole-heartedly

community minded despite her

own company, The Event Girl,

taking a drastic hit. Her story is

told on page 4.

the opportunities for small

businesses to generate business


“As a team of mostly introverts

the lockdown has suited

our personalities quite well,”

Johnson said as Level 2 kicked

in. “From a work perspective

we’ll enjoy spending some

time with the team in the office

but there will also be some routines

from the lockdown that

we’re likely to carry through

such as daily check-ins with

the remote team.

“While a business like

ours is well suited to working

remotely, the more social

aspects of life are a key part of

work-life balance.”

Long term, he says the

online video classes launched

As well as the individual

business stories, I wanted to

include some big picture analysis,

with specific reference to

the Waikato, so I invited Infometrics

senior economist Brad

Olsen to contribute. He and his

firm are well placed to comment

because, despite being

Wellington-based, they do a lot

of data analysis in the regions,

and Brad in particular is well

known in the Waikato. You can

read his overview on page 12,

where he makes the point that

the Waikato will not escape

the general downturn, though

we are helped by our strong

primary sector as well as the

health care and social assistance


during lockdown will stay.

“We’ve seen some amazing

success stories during lockdown

and it has highlighted

how important it is to understand

your market and not roll

over in the face of a crisis. For

those who innovated, hustled

and pivoted during lockdown,

many have seen incredible

results where they’ll come out

of lockdown in a stronger position

than they were before.”

Continued on page 6

This month I also interviewed

outgoing WEL Energy

Trust chair Mark Ingle, who has

seen the trust achieve a great

deal during his 12 year stint.

The trust is one of the key players

in Waikato when it comes to

social and community impact,

and its milestones over the past

decade are formidable.

There is no doubt that there

is pain to come for many as

coronavirus takes its toll; I hope

that on these pages you can get

some tips, and maybe even gain

some inspiration, to help you


Ngā mihi nui

Richard Walker


Grant Johnson


Richard Walker

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 814 2914

Email: richard@dpmedia.co.nz


Kelly Gillespie

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Email: kelly@dpmedia.co.nz

Graphic designer

Olivia McGovern

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Email: olivia@dpmedia.co.nz


Please contact:



Joanne Poole

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: (021) 507 991

Email: joanne@dpmedia.co.nz

Carolyn Jonson

Ph: (07) 838 1333

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Email: carolyn@dpmedia.co.nz



News releases/Photos/Letters:







25 Ward Street, Hamilton

PO Box 1425, Hamilton, 3240.

Ph: (07) 838 1333 | Fax: (07) 838 2807


Rebekah Garner

Tokoroa business woman

shows community spirit


A Tokoroa business that exemplifies

the power of community spirit has

responded to Covid-19 by giving back

and supporting locals.

Events company The

Event Girl saw its revenue

disappear with

the Covid-19 lockdown, after

being on track for a great year.

“We were due to have our

biggest year ever,” says owner

Rebekah Garner. “2020 was

going to be massive for us. I

had just hired a full-time event


“You know, the team has

grown, we’re all prepped, and

probably about 72 hours before

lockdown happened we lost

everything. We went to nothing.”

She turned to Ignite, a

Tokoroa business association

she founded last year, to come

up with a memorable Mother’s

Day initiative that injected

$20,000 into the local community.

Garner could see other local

businesses struggling like hers,

and contacted them through

Ignite to gauge their interest in

being involved in a Mother’s

Day collaboration.

Rebekah Garner and The Event Girl team

She bought vouchers and

products at full price from

local florists, balloon sellers,

hairdressers and clothing

stores, packaging them into

bundles to be sold via a plug-in

on The Event Girl’s website

and Facebook page - provided

free by their web designer, who

is also a local.

The bundles, each with an

Event Girl balloon, allowed

customers to support many different

local businesses in one

convenient purchase, and Garner

and her team were inundated

with orders.

“I didn’t comprehend the

amount of admin to process all

those orders. We got absolutely

slammed,” she says.

“Every day I think we had

three of us working full time,

right up to Mother’s Day.

And then my whole team

came in on Sunday and we

worked 11 hours.

“The community [here] is

really big in supporting each

other and I think that’s why the

Mother’s Day collaboration

went off as much as it did.”

She has had requests for

similar initiatives to be rolled

out on Father’s Day, and yearround

for birthdays. In the

meantime, The Event Girl has

turned to balloons and grazing

platters to help make up some

of its lost income.

“I wouldn’t have survived

without the government wage

subsidy, so that’s been a massive


“We’re just doing as much

as we can, with the hope that

we go to level 1 soon and can

go back to normal.”

Garner has shown her support

for locals in other ways

beyond the Mother’s Day


That includes paying her

lease through the lockdown,

despite the plunge in revenue.

She says her landlord is a small

Support networks

for business owners

make businesses

stronger, and that’s

exactly what we’re

trying to achieve with


business person who owns a

local food outlet, which was

closed during the lockdown.

“So I didn’t want him to suffer.”

She says she also chose,

against the advice of her

accountant and business manager,

to refund all the deposits

The Event Girl had for bookings.

“I thought, you know,

Covid is shitty enough as it is,

and those people are struggling

and hurting too.”

She sees the community

rallying during the pandemic.

“The community is trying to

shop local for everything,” she

says. That includes supporting

her own business through the

purchase of their balloons, and

she says Tokoroa residents are

also asking local businesses if

they can supply products rather

than heading straight to big

box department stores.

“So they’re even trying to

spend local if we don’t already

have it here.”

There’s one part of the story

that isn’t strictly local: Garner

sings the praises of Rotoruabased

business support company

Firestation, which helped

her pivot the business during

Covid-19 and had also helped

her earlier.

“I did one of their courses

and it exploded my business

and so I went to them with the

idea for Ignite and they helped

me work with the council.”

Ignite is aimed at bringing

business owners together to

collaborate, bond, engage, and

learn from one another.

“Support networks for business

owners make businesses

stronger, and that’s exactly

what we’re trying to achieve

with Ignite.”

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Focus on community from

outgoing WEL trust chair

By RICHARD WALKER flow into the Waikato region. Campbell in 2017.

“The sale of UFF is an Ingle says the discount,

absolute celebration for our after its first year, was based

community through the value on a premium “in which people

are charged more and

WEL Networks’ sale of UFF is a boon for

it’s created which is now going

Waikato that is set to keep giving, says to enable new investment into then they receive their money

outgoing WEL Energy Trust chair Mark Ingle.

the community.”


Ingle points out that $200 Part of the alternative,

helped by technology

million of the deal will be paid

Ingle, who is stepping down the moment millions of dollars in two years’ time. “That’s a changes, was setting up Our

at the end of June after a annually in interest on UFF really good thing because midlast

year, when the company take on the retailers and the

Power “which can ultimately

12 year stint on the trust, loans are going to overseas

counts the recently announced

sale as one of the highlights

of his time, along with supporting

the establishment of

both Momentum Waikato and

Te Waka, and of electricity

retailer Our Power.

Those are, in anyone’s


“At the end of the day, the

fibre business was only ever an


started to do its capital review,

it didn’t have any intentions of

selling 100 percent of the business.

And so it wasn’t going

out there looking for new

investment opportunities.

“So the delay of settlement

means there will be a really

generators”. He concedes he

believed in the discounts pro-

terms, a strong set of milestones,

and they are joined I think there’s some say, okay, how can the commu-

good process gone through to

by the establishment of the

nity be helped?”

Waikato Wellbeing Project, as

really tough times Questions to consider

WEL Energy Trust, which is ahead and I think that include whether the focus

the 100 percent shareholder of

should be on investing in generation

assets and to support

WEL Networks, increasingly we’ve got to avoid

moves to impact investing.

Our Power, which will then

rushing in using

Ingle’s positivity about the

help to drive better energy

UFF sale to First State Investments

is in contrast to pub-

“Or is it on other commu-

old thinking in our pricing in the region.

lic criticism including from decision making.” nity assets, so should it be

Rob Hamill, the only trustee

opposed to its sale.

Hamill said the fibre business

had “huge potential” to

provide long term return for

the community.

Ingle points out that while

Hamill is correct to note that

future dividends will flow

offshore, assuming the sale

is approved by the Overseas

Investment Commission, at

The ownership was 100

percent debt financed, Ingle

says, which comes with risk.

Its sale for $854 million will

see WEL Networks cash in to

the tune of up to $300 million.

“The numbers are massive

from a regional perspective.

After paying back debt, that’s

the level of benefit that will

going into helping in a post-

Covid world of job creation

and lending money into business

activities that help to create

jobs? So there’s a whole lot

of work that needs to be done.”

Ingle also has strong views

about the ending of the annual

discount for customers, after

the organisation was challenged

over its transparency by

new Wel Networks chair Rob

gramme while it was operating,

but says he is proud of

the change, which he sees as

enabling transparency of pricing

and, alongside that, the

development of Our Power

as New Zealand’s lowest cost

electricity retailer.

When it comes to the post-

Covid landscape, Ingle is

optimistic that the Waikato

Wellbeing Project, set up

by WEL Energy Trust and

Waikato Regional Council,

will have an important part to

play. The project has unveiled

10 Waikato wellbeing targets

that align with the UN’s sustainable

development goals


The trust is putting $3 million

into the establishment of

a Waikato wellbeing project

leadership organisation over

the next five years that will

be involved in the Covid-19


“The role of that entity is to

challenge people’s paradigms

really, on an old way of doing


Continued on page 15

Mark Ingle can reflect on a number of major milestones

during his 12 year stint on the WEL Energy Trust.

Leading Transportation

Engineer is in good company

Local Hamilton resident, Judith Makinson,

joined CKL in 2018 to lead the organisation’s

transportation engineering offering.

Judith has built and developed a

dedicated transportation engineering

team and added significant value to

existing and new clients.

Most recently, Judith has been

recognised for her expertise and continued

contribution to engineering practice with

her appointment as a CKL Associate. Judith

joins a team of five Associates, all of whom

have demonstrated strong leadership and

communication skills, technical expertise,

and outstanding results for clients.

Associates are the next generation

of CKL leaders. They work side-by-side

with Directors to grow and expand CKL’s

service offering whilst inspiring a culture

of excellence and high performance.

Associates are driven by a shared

purpose of supporting sustainable

land development that shapes strong

communities for the future.

What is Transportation Engineering?

Working as part of an integrated team

of surveyors, planners and engineers,

Transportation Engineers assess

residential, commercial and industrial

land developments from the perspective of

vehicular and pedestrian access.

Forefront of the Transportation

Engineer’s mind is the safety of those using

the roads and footpaths whilst ensuring

Judith Makinson - Transportation Engineering Manager, Hamilton

traffic is able to flow freely. Integrated

Transportation Assessments and Transport

Master Plans provide developers with the

best solutions to accommodate walking

and cycling routes, as well as commuter

and public transport vehicles.

Judith and her team focus on ensuring

developments meet current and future

needs of residents and building tenants,

and take all the different modes of

transport into consideration when

designing integrated transportation


Transportation Engineers play an

important role in shaping the future of

New Zealand’s urban landscape; building

better communities and a better future for

all New Zealanders.

Andrew Wood

Planning Manager, Hamilton

Hamish Ross

Branch Manager, Te Awamutu

Jonathan Gwyn

Survey Manager, Hamilton

Sam Jackman

Engineering Manager, Auckland

Simon Reid

Survey Manager, Auckland



Tel 07 849 9921


Tel 07 262 2282


Tel 07 871 6144


Tel 09 524 7029


Opportunity beckons

The recession will be

brutal. They always are and

this one feels a lot bigger

and deeper than the many

that have gone before.

There will be some businesses that

do not survive. The Government

has already told us that they are expecting

a lot of liquidations and they have

instructed the IRD to be accommodating.

Banks are being cautious with lending.

Even if you have a great credit history

the current process for getting a loan is

not straightforward. The wage support

schemes are coming to a close, and it is

decision time in June for many business


If you feel your business has a bleak

future speak to your accountant and

lawyer early. There may be hope for a

turnaround if there is a valid business

model. Your customers and creditors

will want you to survive and flourish.

Good advice early will save you large

dollars at the last minute.

For those who have successfully

navigated the rocks of the Government

lockdown and come out the other side

with cash, a strong business and good

people, there will be an ocean of opportunity

to enjoy.

For all of you the opportunity

in this recession beckons. It

may not be quite what you

expect, desire, or wish for.

It may exceed your wildest

dreams. Either way it is there

for you to grab and take

advantage of.

There will be fewer competitors,

there may be an opportunity for an advantageous

merger or acquisition, there

will be customers looking for someone

to supply them. Investors will return.

At first it will be the strong-willed bargain

hunters with cash and a belief that

the market has turned, they will be followed

by the second-tier investors who

see those first hardy souls getting a

great return. With a lower risk appetite,

they will follow on with more cash and

as customers return to buying, we will

slowly lift out of the recession.

By Don Good, Waikato Chamber

of Commerce executive director

Will we get back to the pre lockdown

normal? Doubtful? The lockdown

has changed many things, not the

least being an appreciation of working

from home by everyone. Some loved it

and others hated it, but so many experienced

it and many will not go back to

the office.

The changes we will see may include

an office at home, less commuting

traffic (we hope) lower pollution

levels and (we hope) a better work/life

balance. Actually, make that a better

life/work balance.

Many businesses will pivot, innovate,

and come back stronger. Many

baby boomers may elect to sell up

and head to the beach. Many of those

whose businesses fell due to lockdown

will rise again in a different industry

with new and exciting products and

some hard won experience.

For all of you the opportunity in this

recession beckons. It may not be quite

what you expect, desire, or wish for. It

may exceed your wildest dreams. Either

way it is there for you to grab and

take advantage of.

Your Chamber is there for you. The

networking will help you nurture your

new business, whether you are an owner

or an employee. It is what Chambers

have been doing since the 1500s when

they first started to form.

The Waikato Chamber has been here

since 1906. It has seen the Spanish Flu,

the Great Depression, two World Wars,

recessions, share market booms and

busts, the rise of the baby boomer, millennial

and X generations.

It flourishes because getting businesspeople

together to find ways to

mutually prosper has always been its

core function.

We look forward to you joining the


Business Floor, Wintec House Cnr Nisbet and Anglesea Street, HAMILTON

07 839 5895 | help@waikatochamber.co.nz


Road to recovery

From page 3

‘No one knows how this is

going to play out’

John-Paul Mclean, of Ryder

Technologies and Stampngo,

says the Covid-19 lockdown

gave the company time to

focus on new solutions for

business and clients, and they

were able to build a stronger

relationship with some key

customers and suppliers.

“Another key success was

the ability of the staff to adapt

and change focus. We have

designed and built new products

that we believe will be in

demand entering into level 2

and beyond; we have created

new websites, sales funnels

and content for these products

in a matter of weeks.

“The ability to collaborate

digitally with tools like Miro

will become a cornerstone of

how we operate in the future.

We have adapted to running

workshops to get away from

unproductive meetings and the

results have been phenomenal.”

He says they had a spike

in sign-ups for the StampnGo

App as they entered Level 3,

from cafes and restaurants

looking for a pre-order, contactless

payment and pick up

solution. “I think we would

have had a year’s worth of

learnings/data within a twoweek

period, which as digital

product designers is really


Long term he says as digital

designers of web platforms and

apps they will move to a build

fee and monthly fee as opposed

to just a build fee.

Now is the time to

get educated about

how technology can

make your business


“This will reduce the initial

costs to clients but also provide

a better monthly cashflow to

Ryder Technologies,” he says.

Mclean says he heard stories

of SMEs not coping with

the changes involved in lockdown

because they hadn’t kept

up with technological change.

“Now is the time to get educated

about how technology

can make your business better

and get the training to implement

these products. I can see

it being quite normal now for

people to do the accounts/HR/

marketing part time remotely

from home. It will be more

productive and there will be

a larger talent pool for remote

workers now. SMEs need to

have the infrastructure in place

to attract remote workers.

“No one knows how this is

going to play out. All we can

do is be responsive and adapt

to the changing markets.”

‘It’s like being part of a


The Covid-19 lockdown and

aftermath presented a challenge

to Hamilton law firm

Norris Ward McKinnon’s strategy

around culture and growth

over the past 18 months.

“The lockdown has challenged

our growth strategy,

given the uncertainty and the

inevitable recession,” says

managing partner Sam Hood.

“The lockdown has also challenged

the culture aspect of our

strategy, because prolonged

physical separation can be a

barrier to individual wellbeing

and team cohesion. In saying

that, our teams have found new

ways to get together, using

apps and platforms like Zoom

and Teams, and are sharing

information they probably

wouldn’t have before. We’ve

got to know each other better

in that regard.”

Sam Hood

He says morale is high, as

the firm has avoided redundancies

and salary cuts. “We are

continuing to invest heavily

in the well-being of our people.

It’s pleasing to see that

the lockdown has not dented

our confidence or caused us to


There could be a positive

spinoff, as Hood sees the firm

making changes to enable

greater flexibility for people

to work when and where they

want, higher investment in the

resources to enable this, and

less work-related travel.

“During the lockdown

I tried to speak with every

member of NWM about their

individual experience. Those

conversations showed just how

much people missed their work

colleagues, and how important

those work relationships are

to our overall wellbeing and

sense of belonging. In many

ways, it’s like being part of a

family – easy to be complacent

in those relationships, and

occasional misunderstandings,

but when the chips are down,

you know who to turn to. Plus

you miss those people when

they aren’t around!”

The importance of

supporting local businesses

Journies was such a new central

Hamilton gym it hadn’t

even opened before the lockdown.

Co-owner Opal Higgins

says they had to quickly come

up with an online offering.

“Our challenge was figuring

out how to run a gym, without

a gym.”

Finding and using the right

technologies proved a steep

learning curve.

“I grew up with a Commodore

64, and my partner Sam

couldn’t even figure out Bebo

back in the day.

“With the help of our teenagers,

input from our younger,

more tech-savvy coach Monic,

and hours of Youtube videos

and tutorials, we managed to

figure things out.”

The online product helped

relieve the immediate financial

pressure, and their social media

efforts created more awareness

of the gym, which she says

has led to some of their local,

remote clients joining up for

in-gym memberships.

“Being able to open Journies

gym has been huge. We still

have some on-going remote

clients, but are so excited to

finally utilise the facilities we

spent so much time and energy

on pre-lockdown.”

She says they noticed that

during the lockdown people

had more time to focus on their

health and well-being, but now

the balancing act of work and

family is back so the accountability

aspect of their service

remains vital.

We’ve been super

impressed with the

ingenuity of Kiwi

businesses over the

lockdown period

and what other

businesses have done

to adapt.”

She says the online gym

will remain a part of their service,

on its own and in combination

with in-gym sessions.

“We’ve been super

impressed with the ingenuity

of Kiwi businesses over the

lockdown period and what

other businesses have done

to adapt. This experience has

reminded us of the importance

of supporting local businesses

and networking with others

even if they’re in the same

industry. We’ve also learned,

and made use of regional and

government services that support

small businesses, and

encourage companies to check

out what’s available in their


Continued on page 9

Opal and Sam Higgins


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We’ve been part of the Waikato region’s history and

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firm. We are here to help, when you need us.

P 07 839 4771


Auckland Rotorua Tauranga





Commercial Real Estate -

what did we learn from the GFC?


This is different from the Global

Financial Crisis, but there will be

some learnings that we can take

from it. There will be owners of commercial

and industrial property (and

real estate agents) that were not around

during the carnage of the GFC. Many

of the issues relating to the GFC were

structural, we saw Hanover offering 9

percent returns on deposits to investors,

when looking at the true risk it should

probably have been closer to double that.

While today’s economy is stronger and

more robust, many of the impacts and

outcomes will be similar, particularly for

vacant or non-income producing assets.

Mike Neale - Managing Director,

NAI Harcourts Hamilton.


Levels 2 & 4, 71 London Street, Hamilton CBD

Looking for Affordable Office ?

A Landlord You can Work With ?

Landlord will consider the following to assist an incoming tenant:

• Rent free period (up to 50% discount for the first year)

• Contribution to fit-out

• Flexible lease term

• Affordable rental rates

(* Conditions apply)

Tenancy offering includes:

• Extensive central city views with excellent natural light

• Machina Cafe downstairs and other quality eateries in close


• Close walking distance to inner city fitness centres, Hamilton

Transport Centre, retail shopping and Centre Place Mall

• Near neighbours include Fonterra, numerous legal firms, FMG

and other professional service companies

Don’t miss this opportunity - contact us now!

For Lease: By Negotiation


Mike Neale M 027 451 5133


Brad Martin M 027 889 3018


naiharcourts.co.nz | P 07 850 5252 | Cnr Victoria & London Sts, Hamilton

Monarch Commercial Limited MREINZ Licensed Agent (REAA 2008)

What did we see in 2007 and

the immediate years beyond?

1. Purchaser numbers declined and

became more risk adverse, seeking

higher returns on their capital for taking

on perceived risk.

2. Finance became more difficult to obtain,

especially for non-income producing

assets such as vacant land or

buildings with issues.

3. Sale and lease backs became more

common, as businesses looked to free

up working capital.

4. Leasing volumes generally held up,

although overall vacancy rates increased

and lease terms were shorter.

5. Sale yields and rental rates came under

pressure, as occupancy levels decreased.

The GFC generally saw a decline in

commercial and industrial property values.

We suspect this will happen again,

over a yet to be determined period of

time, creating a ‘U’ shape – you do not

want to be forced to make selling decisions

at the bottom of the ‘U’.

The one really significant saving

grace is that interest rates are low and

all projections indicate they will likely

remain low for many years to come -

with the added possibility they may yet

go lower. It’s also worth noting the Reserve

Bank, as a result of Covid-19, has

recently announced a Quantitative Easing

programme to assist with providing

liquidity to markets, which in turn will

assist in keeping interest rates at these

very low levels. Quantitative Easing

was used in many economies during the

GFC, but not in New Zealand. This liquidity,

combined with the Government

stimulus being announced and spent, is

projected to help cushion the impacts of

Covid-19 on the economy.

Advice going forward?

Those that were the most successful in

mitigating the impact of the GFC were

those that acted early, before other forces

applied pressure. It’s likely to be the

same now – act early and position yourself

for the recovery and to take advantage

of other opportunities that may present

themselves in due course.

• If you need to downsize (or upsize),

then do so.

• If you need to sell (or are in a position

to buy), then do so.

• If you need to reposition your business,

make those calls.

We continue to maintain that Hamilton

and the Waikato is possibly the best positioned

region in the country to weather

the Covid-19 storm. Factors include:

• Near historic lows in commercial and

industrial vacancy rates.

• Strong construction growth across the

residential, commercial and industrial


• Migration has been strong due to

improved transport networks, house

affordability and generally being an

easy place to live.

We will recover, and our suspicion is

that we are going to recover sooner than

many pundits are currently predicting.

The sooner staff are back to work, the

better culturally for many businesses and

the better for retailers and hospitality operators

alike. Winter will be tough, but

as we come into October and November,

with daylight saving and the imminent

arrival of Christmas, a greater positivity

will likely return to our lives and


The question to ask ourselves:

What will happen to commercial property

yields (and values) when the economy

begins to recover in the months and

years ahead? With interest and deposit

rates likely to still be at historic lows

(as I write this deposit rates are barely

at 2 percent), those that continue to own

commercial property for the long term

will benefit from attractive returns in relation

to the continued low deposit and

mortgage rates, along with the possibility

of future capital gains.

Trends in the New Zealand Housing Market – House Price Inflation

Source: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

NAI Harcourts Hamilton

Monarch Commercial Ltd MREINZ Licensed

Agent REAA 2008

Cnr Victoria & London Streets, HAMILTON

07 850 5252 | hamilton@naiharcourts.co.nz





Road to recovery

Geoff Carr and Pam Ariestia

From page 6

Getting used to the ‘new


Escapist, in central Hamilton,

turned to an online escape

room offering during level 4

of the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Although they are a big success,

it is not the same as

physical escape rooms. So

business-wise, moving to level

2 means we can start earning

at normal level, not at a massive

loss like in level 4,” says

co-owner Pam Ariestia.

She was pleased that loyal

customers made the effort to

come in and spend money with

them once the lockdown lifted.

“Being able to operate our

physical escape rooms and see

our customers again in person

has been really good. As a business,

our reason for being is to

provide a space where people

can connect, play games and

solve problems together –

seeing that play out in person

again is really cool.”

Ariestia says Escapist is

keeping its online escape

rooms and board game store,

and working towards its own

print and play offering.

Being able to operate

our physical escape

rooms and see our

customers again in

person has been

really good.”

She has a warning and a

plea. “Being able to operate at

Level 2 has been good for business,

but it doesn’t mean that

we are out of the trenches yet.

“We still need support

from the local community and

domestic tourists; if you have

a choice to spend local, please

do so!”

An ‘amazing’ team of staff

and students

Claire Howarth

Hamilton tutoring service

Mindfull Tutoring had to

switch quickly from face to

face learning to online when

the lockdown started.

Owner Claire Howarth says

the uptake was “fantastic” and

they were able to continue to

deliver lessons across all year

levels. “I have come to realise

that this team is not just our

10 amazing teachers, but also

a team of 160 outstanding students

making it work at their


Post-lockdown, they

decided to remain online for

the rest of term 2 to provide

certainty for students and

their families. However, at

level 2 they can access more

teaching resources and meet

with colleagues and students

where necessary. It also gives

them the chance to prepare

their offices for term 3. “Most

importantly, it has given us

time to set up systems for

cleanliness,” Howarth says.

“Our once-administration lady

will be spending these last few

weeks of term 2 sterilising the

premises to a level that a doctor

would be proud of.”

She says the sudden introduction

of a lot of technology

to staff with varying levels of

experience working in shared

online documents or via video

conferencing was a learning

curve. “As a result of this

potential barrier, we underwent

a period of rapid professional

development,” she says. “Prior

to Covid we only had two

teachers using these platforms,

so this increase in the technological

skill base of our staff

will give us more freedom as

a business. We now have more

flexibility in terms of how we

deliver lessons and the accessibility

of lessons to those in

various locations, or restrictive


Bring on the Trans-Tasman


Scott Mehrtens

Hamilton inbound tour operator

Leisure Time Group went

from a busy tourism season

to abruptly having no income

at all when Covid-19 struck.

Managing director Scott Mehrtens

and marketing manager

Vicki Annison say they worked

alongside the industry associations

and bodies to campaign

the Government to ensure

support was offered to tourism

businesses across the sector.

“Unfortunately it seems

that the inbound tour operators

are one of those sectors that the

Minister of Tourism says he is

unable to save. With no clarity

around how long international

borders will remain closed,

and very negative messaging

around this, we have already

started to see cancellations of

tours from our overseas travel

agents that had clients booked

to visit New Zealand next


They are focusing on what

they can offer to the New Zealand

market, which sees them

working on adding more tours

to their schedule of trips, as

well as adding a new section

to their website offering holiday

packages to independent


“We have also been in

touch with a lot of New Zealand

travel agent offices who

are also keen to sell our New

Zealand travel offerings to

their clientele.”

They have re-opened

their Hamilton and Auckland

offices, and have added some

flexibility to their cancellations

policy and new Covid-19

related terms and conditions.

“Our business will look

substantially different for a

long time to come – as long

as the international borders

are closed, and/or quarantine

restrictions are in place, then

no-one will be able to visit

New Zealand for a holiday

or for an international conference/business

event. The

long-term impact of this, to

the whole economy not only

the tourism and events sector,

is enormous. We hope that the

Trans-Tasman travel bubble is

established promptly and efficiently;

this will then enable

us to work with our Australian

agents to facilitate New Zealand

travel for their clients.”

Continued on page 10

Be a part of the



your business online

Experience care as it

should be, experience

the Braemar way.

Have you been you

debating whether

eCommerce is the

right fit for your business?

Can you have a shop if you sell


Along came Covid-19 and

changed the way we do business

- is this temporary or a

permanent change?

We think it is too early to

say but what we do know is

that it is up to us as business

owners to find the positive in

any situation.

There are always things

we cannot control - so work

on what you can control.

If you're a service-based

business wondering how to

sell online go have a look

at the shop on our website


Our site may give you

some options to sell your services

online or put them into

a nice package.

We think if it is the right fit

for your business, right now

is the best time to get online.

With people all over the

world working online, eCommerce

sales have exploded.

It is up to us to be part of

that explosion or simply sit

and watch it happen.

Which are you?

Braemar Hospital is one of the largest

private surgical hospitals in New Zealand,

and it’s here in Hamilton.

With more than 100 world class specialists,

10 state-of-the-art operating rooms, 84 beds

including 32 private rooms, at Braemar

you’ll receive the highest level of care.

Choose the very best.

Choose Braemar.



Road to recovery

From page 9

for some time, they would welcome

a Trans-Tasman travel

bubble with open arms.

“We are really proud of

what our country has achieved

so far with the challenge presented

by this virus. We think

health and happiness is something

which has become more

front-of-mind for people that

perhaps took it for granted

before, so that in itself is certainly

a silver lining.”

‘Challenges brought us

closer together’

they had walked offsite.

“We facilitated test drives

too, but only by stealthily

dropping our demonstrator to

the customer’s home and walking

away. Level 3 meant we

had to become innovative, and

we tried some things which

we’ll take with us into the

future – for example, walking

a customer through a car using

Facetime is something we’ll

continue to offer should people

want a walk through from the

comfort of their sofa.

Joelene Ranby

Something positive to look

forward to

Resolution Retreats’ Joelene

Ranby says the challenge for

the women’s wellness retreat

has been similar that faced by

many businesses in the tourism

and experience space, as they

cancelled fully booked retreats

and closed the retreat for the

lockdown in level 4 and level

3. She says there was initial

reluctance to re-book later in

the year as people were nervous

about the future. “But

thankfully, we now have a light

at the end of the tunnel and

people are starting to re-book

as they now need a retreat

more than ever,” she says.

We are really proud

of what our country

has achieved so far

with the challenge

presented by this


“I think so many people

set out to achieve great things

in their health and wellness

during the lockdown, to find

it was harder on them than

they expected. We’ve found

that everyone really wants and

needs something positive to

look forward to for their mental


Ranby says with border

restrictions looking set to last

Richard van den Engel

Ebbett Toyota’s operations

were closed, aside from a

handful of essential services

vehicle repairs, at alert level 4.

CEO Richard van den Engel

says the company’s challenges

were similar to those most

faced over that time: figuring

out how to pay fixed costs

with little to no revenue, communicating

with customers to

explain when they would be

back and what that would look

like, keeping staff engaged

and responding to the fear of

uncertainty, and being aware of

mental health issues associated

with the pandemic.

“What we found, though, is

that those challenges brought

us closer together as a team

and to our customers. They all

brought out a certain resolve,

kindness and willingness to

cooperate. It’s been humbling

to watch the team respond.”

They reopened the doors

under level 3, but service customers

had to drop their car on

the forecourt, leave their key

on the passenger seat and walk

away. Their repairs would be

discussed over the phone once

Moving to level 2

meant we could

welcome customers

back into the

showroom – it felt

like the sun had

come out at the end

of a rainy day!”

“Moving to level 2 meant

we could welcome customers

back into the showroom – it

felt like the sun had come out

at the end of a rainy day!”

He says some of the digital

ways they have worked with

customers will become common

place, including offering

virtual walk-arounds of vehicles,

at-home test drives, and

pick-up/drop off for service


“Internally we’re also

leveraging digital tools better –

we work across three branches

and typically all meetings have

been face to face, requiring

many people to travel, but

we’ve got really good at using

Microsoft Teams to run virtual

meetings, saving everyone


Pivoting with the times

Soda Inc collaborated with a

team of other Callaghan Innovation

funded incubators on

Hack the Crisis NZ during

the Covid-19 lockdown. Chief

executive Erin Wansbrough

says there were 887 registrations,

210 idea submissions,

and 55 registered teams, and

they have continued the collaboration

with Creative HQ and

Erin Wansbrough

Ster Innovation to put together

an “after Hack” support programme

starting on June 2 for

the teams who want to keep

their idea moving.

Soda Inc used online community

catch-ups as a new way

of chatting with people about

industry issues relating to how

they are coping with Covid-19.

“Our latest small business

programmes are close to

launch. We pivoted a few times

and ensured our offerings were

going to provide real value to

small businesses. With Covid,

we have also adapted and will

now be offering these online.

This breaks down the barrier

of time restraints, cost of

travel, cost of the programme,

and health and safety requirements.”

The coworking space was

closed under level 3, and now

that it is open again, Soda

has altered its lease terms to

accommodate month by month


Wansbrough says the team

always had the option to work

from home, but not all staff

took it up in the past. “Now

everyone is well set up and

looking forward to being able

to combine the office lifestyle

with the working from home

lifestyle more. As a team, we

are confident we can work

from anywhere now.”

Staying positive and


Matamata-based Tainui Press

managing director Dale Ertel

says the lengthy lockdown

provided time to work on the


Workload is light and

I worry this must

have an effect on

staff morale; I am

staying positive and

enthusiastic, and I’m

very appreciative of

the Government wage


He says he watched podcasts

and webinars, and took part in

many Zoom meetings covering

a wide range of business topics,

albeit all aimed at surviving

the unique circumstances

of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The daily 1pm Government

Covid-19 updates were compulsory


Ertel says it was a challenge

to get raw materials delivered

during level 3 and early level

2, and the usual stock delivery

expectation of 24 hours

became anything from three

days to seven days. However,

he says, clients have been


“Workload is light and I

worry this must have an effect

on staff morale; I am staying

positive and enthusiastic, and

I’m very appreciative of the

Government wage subsidy.”

Longer-term changes he

sees the company making

include better system and

processes, and more accurate

costing and quoting functions,

along with a greater importance

given to marketing.

“We had a number of staff

meetings during the lockdown

using Zoom video and I have

been overwhelmed by the

support and loyalty shown by

staff during those meetings and

since. There’s a real determination

to not only survive this

epidemic, but grow stronger

from it.”

Working together as a team

Raglan Food Co’s Tesh Randall

saw a loss of sales under

lockdown, but not enough to

qualify for using the wage


That saw her and partner Seb

Walter dip into savings and

pay ‘special leave’ to team

members who had reduced

hours during Level 4 to help

top up their hours.

They restructured the team

into separate crews to minimise

interactions and create

work bubbles, and held all

meetings over Zoom with

no-one working from the


She says there was a challenge

in managing their own

stress and anxiety levels and

working with their other leaders

on setting a positive tone

for the team.

Also challenging was their

new factory build being put on

hold for six weeks. And with

cafes closing, she says they

got stuck with food service

tubs they could no longer sell,

all of which got donated to

charity. However, there were

upsides. “There has been more

closeness than we had before

in many ways, more frequent

Tesh Randall & Seb Walter

catch-ups and communication,”

she says.

Supplying Civil Defence

with yoghurt via a Bidfood

catering contract was one

lockdown highlight.

We also travel around

the region frequently,

but see that some of

this travel could be

reduced, and online

meetings increased.

This would save

travel time, and fuel

costs, and reduce our


Level 2 came as a relief.

“It’s so much nicer, it almost

feels back to normal! It’s nice

greeting people on the streets

of Raglan again, being able to

pop in and out of the office,

and have team meetings in

person. We’re back to doing

team birthday cakes and afterwork

drinks on a Friday.

“Sales have stabilised -

they were really up and down

over Level 4 with people

stockpiling and then avoiding

going out.”

They have decided to

maintain the two-crew model

so that staff don’t overwork.

“We have put a new standard

work week of 30-35 hours in

place for everyone – the maximum

anyone can work now

is 40 hours. Pre-Covid we had

some very busy weeks with

some team members working

50-60 hours - and even though

they enjoyed the higher

income levels, we think it’s

best for everyone’s long-term

wellbeing to limit the amount

of available shifts.

“We’re very grateful to

our team for showing up and

getting the job done over lockdown

even though there was a

lot of uncertainty and worry,

especially in the early stages

when everyone was afraid of

getting sick. We’re also grateful

to all our customers who

purchased yoghurt over lockdown

and kept us in business.”

Continued on page 11



Taking heart from the

community response

Volunteering Waikato’s

Heather Moore says during the

first months of Covid-19 they

have seen a significant increase

in the number of people putting

their hands up to volunteer.

“Our website has been very

active, and it has been great to

see many businesses encouraging

their staff to volunteer

while they were not able to

return to work.”

She says the shift to Level 2

saw many of the organisations

they support returning to work,

which also saw an increase in

the number of volunteering

opportunities being listed on

their website.

Heather Moore

Moore says they have realised

that they can be far more

inclusive if they hold a workshop

or network meeting via

Zoom, with many of the organisations

they work with around

the region unable to attend

functions due to distance.

“Our recent online network

meeting was attended by lots

of people who would not normally

attend. Although meeting

in person is important, we

may alternate physical and

online meetings, and training


“We also travel around the

region frequently, but see that

some of this travel could be

reduced, and online meetings


This would save travel

time, and fuel costs, and reduce

our footprint.

“We have been heartened

to see the response of our

communities during this time.

So many people have come

forward to volunteer, to give

their time to help others during

this unprecedented time. We

acknowledge and thank them


Mobilising a local community

Annah Stretton

Fashion designer Annah Stretton

says with so much of her

company’s daily business coming

from 10 retail sites, they

pivoted to selling face masks

online during the lockdown,

and that allowed them to drive

their internet base.

“In level 3 we were able to

sell our clothes online and we

were well geared up to go with

some of our more casual gear.

However, the AS label has its

heart in events and weddings

so there is still a journey to go

to activate the core business

and sustainability.”

She says successes included

providing a large charity with

6000 fabric masks, along with

helping other charities and

community organisations.

“Success has also been in

mobilising a local community

to work with us to make the

masks, to dust off infrastructure

that we had (destined for

the dump) and use fabric and

trim that we previously had

little use for that had accumulated

over 28 years of our operations.”

She says they have added

four more jobs at the Morrinsville

headquarters and changed

the HQ cafe offering, from

Cafe Frock to Most Wanted

Cheese, which supports work

they do in vulnerable communities

through RAW.

“Being able to support community

has been at the heart of

Stretton work for many years

and we have truly had the

chance to activate and extend

this as well as pivot into other

areas of design.”

They have also looked at

their prices and margins, she

says. “We are aware that many

New Zealanders are experiencing

a real financial struggle

from the Covid fallout and this

uncertainly and difficulty will

continue for many months, if

not years, where discretionary

‘fashion’ spend becomes a last

cab off the rank for many.

Success has also

been in mobilising a

local community to

work with us to make

the masks.”

“However, we also know

that a fabulous new dress does

wonders for morale, and people

are committed to spending

and supporting local brands, so

our focus is to extend the availability

of our collection by

reducing our margins so we all

share in this economic fallout

and eventually drive business

success together.”

‘The massive impact of a

common purpose’

Community and Enterprise

Leadership Foundation

(CELF) chief executive Tania

Witheford says the Covid-19

pandemic response shows the

Tania Witherford

“massive impact” of a common

purpose, and the power

of a collaborative approach

– demonstrated by the way in

which community organisations

mobilised alongside the

business community.

“We all have a front seat to

observe and experience a range

of leadership: what leadership

or what do our leaders need

to do to build back better and

stronger, to lever out of these

challenging times, and propel

us forward?”

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at New World Hillcrest


Restarting Waikato economy requires

new ways of thinking

As New Zealand re-emerges into a less restricted environment,

businesses are looking at the future with equal measures of

concern and cautious optimism.

By Brad Olsen, Senior

Economist, Infometrics

With an extremely different

landscape for

doing business now

present, there will be a sustained

period of readjustment

as local areas start to make

plans for the future.

Waikato region will not be

immune from the economic

downturn that New Zealand is

experiencing, but it does have

some strong local drivers of

activity that will see the region

hold up better than other parts

of the country.

Strong foundation has kept

local momentum going

The Waikato economy is starting

to move forward again,

albeit with some additional

barriers to navigate. Marketview

data shows that spending

on the Paymark network

had increased back up to 65

percent of normal spending

under Level 3 (up from around

45 percent under Level 4) in

Waikato. This level of spending

will have risen even further

in Level 2.

Many businesses had also

been able to continue operating

during lockdown, with

Infometrics estimates showing

53 percent of Waikato’s workforce

could have been working

at Level 4 (in line with the New

Zealand average). The percentage

of businesses able to work

rose to 76 percent under Level

3 (slightly above the 74 percent

New Zealand average). Waikato’s

strong primary sector

(encompassing both farming

operations and manufacturing

and processing sites) have kept

regional traffic volumes up,

with the health care and social

assistance sector also helping

to provide resilience.

Waikato is one of New

Zealand’s food powerhouses,

alongside Canterbury, with

both regions containing 14

percent each of the country’s

food-related workers.

Recent reports show that 18

of the 23 projects submitted by

Waikato councils have made

it over the first hurdle, which

highlights the strength of the

application that the region put

forward. Regional cooperation

remains a key element

of New Zealand’s recovery,

and the joined-up approach

between territorial authorities

in the Waikato region provides

a cohesive plan and the ability

to bolster the construction sector

even as economic fortunes


Hamilton has also been

named as the headquarters

of the New Zealand Institute

of Skills and Technology

(NZIST), reinforcing Waikato’s

position as an education

provider and adding an additional

anchor into the wider

regional economy.

Together, these trends and

announcements point toward

confidence in the local area,

with this confidence important

to get businesses and households

working again.

No one will escape the


Although the economy is getting

back into gear, the unmistakeable

fact remains that the

economy is fundamentally

changed. Spending levels

remain below pre-pandemic

times, and the huge hole of

spending due to Levels 4 and

3 are still hurting businesses

today. However, wider than

spending alone, the entire way

of doing business for many has

changed irreversibly. Infometrics

expects almost all sectors

to see a downturn in activity

in some form, with more

than 250,000 jobs potentially

lost over the next year or two

across New Zealand.

Waikato will not escape

this downturn, although some

sectors and areas will feel the

crunch more than others. Tourism

remains in an extremely

difficult position, with the borders

closed, international tourism

halted, and domestic activity

still restrained. Around 26

percent of Waikato’s tourism

spending comes from international

visitors, compared to 41

percent for New Zealand as a

whole. The remaining 74 percent,

from domestic travellers,

will limit the blow felt by local

tourism operators, with domestic

tourism operations already

resuming. But areas like Matamata-Piako,

Waitomo, and

Taupō will likely be harder hit,

as they have higher international

tourism concentrations

and/or a greater local economic

reliance on tourism activity.

Yet at the same time there is

an importance balance needed

between pessimism, optimism,

and realism. No, the economy

is not all doom and gloom –

it will recover. However, we

need to realise that it will not

spring back like nothing’s happened

within a year or two.

A lull in the storm

It’s important for businesses

to be able to split their focus

between both the here-andnow,

and also what the future

brings. At present, much attention

is rightly on the requirements

set out by Level 2, and

then Level 1. These requirements

involve changing business

practices to comply with

social distancing, PPE, and

contact tracing. However,

businesses should also keep

in mind what the future may

hold, with a note of caution

over the amount of spending.

With lower employment, less

hours worked, and pay cuts all

operating, Infometrics expects

both household and business

Brad Olsen


to be more


Some consequences of

the Covid-19 pandemic are

becoming clearer. Although

the primary sector in Waikato

is still holding up well, the

drought is weighing on many

farmers, with higher costs and

lower availability of feed, and

a softer profile for milk and

meat payments due to less

international demand. The

higher-profile closure of some

Bunnings stores in Waikato is

a sign of things to come, with

lower spending and softer economic

conditions set to see

businesses – big and small –

reconsider their workforce.

More than 4,200 Waikato

region workers have lost jobs

since the Level 4 lockdown,

and are now on the Jobseeker

Support benefit, taking total

regional Jobseeker Support

recipients to over 20,100 (6.7

percent of the working age

population) according to the

Ministry of Social Development.

Although Waikato’s initial

pace of Jobseeker Support

growth was below the

national average, recent

growth has since moved

above the national increase.

In other words, Waikato’s job

losses appear to be coming

at a steadier pace, rather

than short and sharp,

reinforcing the view

that there are still

further changes and

job losses for the

region to brace for.

Job losses will continue

to mount, with

additional waves as

the wage subsidy, then

the extension, finish over

the next 3-4 months.

Having a plan, and open

communication, allows for


We expect that the economic

downturn we are experiencing

will get worse before it eventually

flattens out and then

begins to slowly get better.

The next few months and

years will be tough, as businesses

assess where the ‘new’

normal level, and type, of

activity settles out.

The next step for Waikato

businesses, if they haven’t

already, is to take stock of

where their business position

is now and set out some

options based on some scenarios.

These options could take

the form of revenue markers,

and if revenue drops below

a certain level (say 20 percent),

the next tier of options

(lower hours, cutting expenses

deeper) coming into play.

Keep talking to others

around you – other business

owners, experts in HR,

accounting, and finance, and

your friends. Hearing what

else is going on is powerful

information from which you

can make decisions about

your business.

Strong local leadership

has already provided a central

focus point for local sellers,

with the Mighty Local online

system able to showcase local

options. A strong local tourism

focus is also underway,

in attempts to attract domestic

travels to come discover


Both of these activities

will support businesses to get

customers spending again. It’s

these sorts of strategies, coupled

with resilient businesses,

that will position Waikato best

to get through this downturn

and power out the other side.

Hill Laboratories starts

Covid-19 testing

Hill Laboratories,

New Zealand's largest

privately owned

analytical testing laboratory,

has partnered with the

Waikato District Health

Board to provide additional

testing capacity in Hamilton

for SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus

that causes Covid-


Hill Laboratories is the

only non-DHB facility in

the Waikato providing the

testing service, and one of

only three non-DHB laboratories

across New Zealand

approved to test for Covid-


Hill Laboratories recognised

the importance of

rapid and extensive testing for

the coronavirus early on, so

offered their support.

Waikato DHB engaged

with us early on during alert

level 4 lockdown, assessed our

capability and laboratory facilities

and decided to partner

with us,” says CEO Jonno Hill.

“The partnership means

that the testing capacity in the

Waikato will be increased considerably.”

Once the decision was

made to partner in April, the

company moved quickly into

implementation mode, working

closely with International

Accreditation New Zealand


“Our team has put in hard

Jonno Hill

work and long hours to make

sure this service was available

in a record time of 18 working

days,” says Dr Hill.

“The testing will be carried

out in a secure laboratory environment

by a few select personnel,

and will be kept separate

from all the other testing

we conduct for other clients.”





WEL Energy Trust Elections

4 th - 26 th June





Please vote

for all seven

members of

our team



The core of this team has been part

of the most dynamic period in the

Trust’s history, and now we have

three fresh faces joining us.

Over the last nine years we have:

• Implemented a new investment strategy that has yielded

significantly better returns;

• Replaced the out-dated discount programme with the

region’s lowest price retailer “Our Power”, while reducing

lines prices to the second lowest in the country;

• Removed significant debt risk from the lines business by

supporting the sale of non-core investment;

• Developed the Waikato Wellbeing Project that will be a

shining light post Covid;

Community grants and

affordable energy for all

We will continue to champion and support community

organisations that create positive impact in our region, encourage

community wellbeing, community activities and connectedness.

Over the last three years Trustees have increased community

grants by 30%. This commitment to community support will

continue with the PowerON, For the Community team.

We are advocates for affordable energy

Our mission is to bring down the cost of electricity - our region

is now home to the cheapest power retailer in the country: Our

Power, which already saved an estimated $573,000 in electricity

charges. This equates to an average of $500 per household. We

will continue to champion cheap power for all.

Contact us

“Affordable energy for all” driving down the price

of power. Supporting “Our Power”, our region’s low

price retailer.

We remain committed to forward thinking and

supporting new projects, expanding our ability

to invest in our community.

We will continue to promote energy efficiency

initiatives that help reduce your power bill.

We will keep the WEL networks line company

100% community owned.

Diversified collective skills ensuring stewardship

of over $1 billion value in community assets.

Reduced electricity lines charges have created savings

to the community of $6M in 2018, and $6.5M in 2019.

Continue grants to the community $10.2M in the past

3 years. Supporting wellbeing and delivering true

regional benefits while caring for our most vulnerable.

If you would like to contact any of the PowerON -

For the Community team, we’d love to hear from you:

Mike Rolton (Current Trustee)


Kathryn Williams (Current Trustee)


Craig Stephen (Current Trustee)


Denise Harding (Current Trustee)


Erin Anderson Scott


Julian Williams


Kevin Endres



To find out more about WEL Energy Trust, visit: www.welenergytrust.co.nz

Authorised by: K Williams, 13 King St, Frankton, Hamilton 3204



Born and raised in Hamilton I left to

go to university and then head off

on my OE. Returning 15 years ago

to start a business and subsequently

raise my family in the region I have

always called home. Raised by community

minded parents, being a valuable member of

my community and giving back is part of

my DNA. I own and publish Nourish

Magazine - now in its 10th year celebrating

the Waikato. While working hard to build a

successful business I founded Waikato Food

Inc, a not for profit that at its core is making

the Waikato a great place to live and work.

Now more than ever local businesses and

community groups have an important part

to play in shaping our community. I believe

my strength lies in my ability to think

outside the box, to work collaboratively and

not to be afraid to speak up.

I would like to see the WEL Energy Trust

move away from just divvying up money

and giving grants each year and instead to

look how we can make a real difference in

the future of the Waikato, where we can

invest and grow assets which will ultimately

see the region thrive. I would have objected

strongly to the sale of Ultra-Fast Fibre had I

been on the board!

With a BA majoring in politics I have a

strong interest in democracy and also feel

that community boards like WEL Energy

Trust need to be representative and that

means not having one group having a

stranglehold on it. I also believe representation

from a broader range of those who

make up our community is important.

I have a strong environmental conscience

and see that building sustainability into

everything we do is key moving forward,

both for the world we live in and leave for

future generations as well as for the

economic opportunity it presents.




I am a long-standing WEL Energy

Trust trustee seeking another term.

However, this election I am putting

my name forward as an independent

candidate not linked with a team.

This year’s WEL Trust election is set to

be the most intense in years, largely

due to two significant decisions made

by the current trust:

1. The cancellation of the annual


2. Selling a precious Waikato asset


Regarding the latter, I was the only

trustee against selling Ultra Fast Fibre

(UFF) – the crown jewel in the trust’s

portfolio – to foreign interests.

The fibre business has huge potential

to provide long term return for the

community. And with UFF being sold

offshore the profits will head that way

too and not back to the community.

Where will it end?

The sale of UFF has caused me to

rethink my stance on the discounts

programme and whether it should be

reintroduced, or a version of it.

This is about balance and I wonder if

it is now out of kilter.

I am a husband and father of three

energetic boys, an Olympian and

trans-Atlantic champion rower,

ocean explorer, author, film

producer and event organiser.

I am proud to be a trustee of Perry

Outdoor Education Trust and patron

of Parent to Parent.

I will continue to push for increasing

community grants, decreasing

interest on community loans and will

continue to strongly oppose any selldown

of community-owned assets.

To conclude, my priorities for the

community Trust are:

• Retain assets;

• Consider reinstating the


• Increase community grants;

• Increase community loans;

• Decrease community loan

interest rates;

• Develop social investments/

Waikato Wellbeing project;

• Energy efficiency

If you have any questions, please feel

free to contact me on email


















The original Power Discount Scheme was, and always

will be, the best way of returning WEL Networks

profits to the wider community.

It identifies households, families, community

organisations and businesses as vital communities in

their own right.

It maximises the amount of funds that are returned to

these communities because discounts are not taxed

and residential customers benefit by having the GST

they paid returned to them.

A grants program funded from other Wel Trust

investments has always complimented the discount

scheme and would be retained, but WEL Networks

surpluses should be returned as discounts.

Those in control of the Wel Energy Trust over the last

decade or so, have allowed the discount scheme to be

diluted and ultimately abandoned.

The Bring Back Discounts team is committed to seeing

the Power Discount Scheme returned, but need your

votes to make it happen.

Only by voting for all 4 members of the Bring Back

Discounts team can this valuable scheme be returned.

Find us on Facebook to learn more


My main motivation is to make a tangible

difference in the community where I have

chosen to settle and raise a family.

WEL Energy Trust has had a positive

impact in the Waikato for many years and

I see this election as an opportunity to

bring new and diverse perspectives to the


Through my work as a strategic corporate

planner at GMD Consultants, I’ve had the

opportunity to grasp the wide ranging

challenges facing our region, from

economic and social inequality to

environmental degradation.

One thing WEL is doing to have an even

greater impact in this space is the Waikato

Wellbeing Project. The purpose of this

community-led project is to work towards

an ambitious set of targets specific to the

Waikato that are based on the United

Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The overarching aim of the project is to

achieve a more environmentally

sustainable, prosperous and inclusive

Waikato region by 2030 and this is

something I wholeheartedly support.

I have been heavily involved in arts

organisations for many years, particularly

in theatre and filmmaking. Through this, I

have had a lot of experience in creating

things from the ground up, managing

large and underfunded projects, running a

theatre company for several years, and I

gained governance experience through

being a founding Trustee and Secretary for

the Auckland Shakespeare Trust.

Through post graduate study and my work

I have an excellent understanding of

organisational development and am

passionate about continuous improvement

in business.

I support the community grants scheme

and I stand for sustainability and

innovation to create a better world for our


Vote for me to bring a strategic focus and a

fresh, independent perspective to the WEL

Energy Trust Board.





Focus on community from

outgoing trust chair

From page 5

Ingle envisages it as a

“sister entity” to Te Waka,

of which the trust is a major


“Te Waka is moving from

a very traditional economic

development agency structure

into this wellbeing-led decision

making. So I’ve seen in

18 months some really great

strides being taken.”

He says Te Waka has

reviewed projects that were in

the pipeline before Covid-19

using the lens of the wellbeing

project in order to analyse

benefits, “not just for dollars,

but how is this giving people

jobs, how is this helping to

take people out of poverty,

how is it putting food on the


“I think there’s some really

tough times ahead and I think

that we’ve got to avoid rushing

in using old thinking in our

decision making. That’s not

about unnecessarily delaying,

it really is about being open

to being challenged around

the genuine community benefits

that flow from investing


On a similar theme, Ingle

describes getting community

foundation Momentum

Waikato up and running as

one of his main achievements

during his time on the trust. In

2012, he quit his job as general

manager of a commercial

Waikato University arm U

Leisure and spent six months

unpaid doing the groundwork

for Momentum.

“That was getting around

various players in the community

to ensure that the entity

was structured correctly, that

there was a need, that the

trust - with company support

because it required a dividend

from the company - would be

willing to fund in the way that

I saw as a sustainable longterm


The purpose was to

have a community leadership

organisation that could

bring a business lens to

leveraging money.

WEL approved a $10

million long-term loan into

Momentum, which was the

new organisation’s only

startup funding. It is targeted

to build a fund, from community

investment, of $300 million

over 30 years, and has so

far had the high-profile success

of the Waikato Regional

Theatre, which is close to


Why is Ingle stepping

down now?

“Each election that’s come

up, I’ve had a specific purpose


I would appreciate just 1 of your votes.

I am the Principal of Puketaha school with

a masters in Educational Leadership from

the University of Waikato.

The last few months has rocked our

equilibrium and as a result we have a

unique opportunity to ensure that the Wel

Energy Trust really delivers on the needs

and aspirations of our community. It

requires both a strategic approach and

strong moral compass to achieve positive,

tangible outcomes for our customers and

region. I bring experience, Independence

and can collaborate with anyone to drive

such results in a fair and equitable manner.

that I wanted to achieve with

my association with the trust.

And leading into this election,

I was actually feeling that a

number of things were falling

into place. I have no interest

in being a seat warmer.

“And so I needed to

believe that there were things

that I would really be adding

value, but I feel today that

we’ve done a really good job,

particularly this last term, to

shore up the trust and Wel


“And a lot of that’s to do

with the fibre business sale.”

Not that he will have time

to rest. He will be putting

his focus into a remarkably

diverse range of businesses he

has shareholdings in, including

a barbershop chain and

air quality sensor technology

business among others.

He has also been on the

Pinnacle Midlands Health

Network for a number of

years and is moving onto its

commercialisation arm.

“I’ve always had a really

short attention span,” he says.

“So I quite like the variety.”

Before then, his last trust

meeting is at the end of June

just before the election.

“I’ve got mixed emotions,

really. If the election produces

the right answer I’ll be really


Born, raised and educated in Hamilton,

this place is home to my family, which

includes my wife and two boys (11 and 9).

The many families I interact with daily

provide me inspiration and energy to join

a board that will be driven to support the

Waikato Region's prosperity.

Currently we are at risk of continuing along

the same ‘group think’ approach towards

how the Wel Energy Trust supports and

generates change for the greater good of

the Waikato. This creates a risk of status

quo thinking in a time where reimagining

is needed. I will bring the energy,

independent thinking and drive that

ensures agenda’s are put aside,

community focus is put at the forefront of

our decision making matrix and outcomes

are achieved.

Through my role as a school Principal and

the networks I have, I will bring a real

‘grassroots’ viewpoint to the trust. I know

how important it is to achieve tangible

outcomes. Each day I hear from parents,

community members and colleagues,

around the challenges they face in trying

to provide opportunities for children and

Please Vote

Geoff Booth

For Wel Energy Trust

wider community organisations. My aim is

to ensure that these critical community

organisations have a clear pathway and

understanding with how to access the

funding available. I am not about ‘hand

out’s’ but rather fostering access to


Please share my facebook page and

support me to do better.

It is our community and your Trust!


Thank you.








Alan: (027) 578-3860


Edgar: (027) 222-2461


Keep manufacturing in mind,

engineers tell Government

Waikato Engineering Careers Association has spoken to dozens

of engineers since lockdown with most reporting a “hump” of

catch-up work for customers, and many predicting a “big ravine”

looming from July.

Most small and medium

engineering businesses

spoken to say

they are working to prepare

for an uncertain future but are

reluctant to predict job losses.

Several larger, Waikato-based

global manufacturers servicing

fast-moving consumer goods

say they are busier than ever

meeting essential demand but

are cautious in planning for the


Waikato Engineering

Careers Association manager

Mary Jensen is calling on the

Mary Jensen

Government to keep the sector

front of mind when planning

for economic recovery, particularly

as it contributes about 12

percent ($23 billion) of New

Zealand’s total GDP.

“We need to understand

that the primary sector is reliant

on our manufacturing and

engineering sectors to make its

huge contribution to our economy.

It is extremely important

these sectors are well supported

so they can continue

to bring in the overseas dollar

and enable New Zealand’s economic

recovery,” Jensen said.

Keith Fraser

Waikato Engineering

Careers Association chair

Keith Fraser, New Zealand

GM- HR for Pact Group, said

tax relief and a clear direction

from Government is needed to

help manufacturers and engineers

plan for the medium and

long term.

“There’s definitely uncertainty

about the medium term

and at this point it is hard to

predict what our industry is

going to look like long term.

We’ve initially seen higher

than normal demand in some

of our sectors because of the

impact of panic buying at the

supermarket, but we know

challenging times are coming.

We don’t know how this will

look or how long it will last.”

A Covid-impacted global

supply chain has some potential

positive implications for

local manufacturers, he said.

“It’s a good time for the

Government to be encouraging

New Zealanders to buy local,

with the impacted supply chain

levelling the playing field

somewhat. Our biggest competitors

are thousands of kilometres

away, so we can supply

quality, locally-made goods in

a timely manner.”

Stainless Design chief executive

Peter Pooran is reluctant

to crystal ball gaze about the

sector’s future, but says orders

are likely to slow dramatically

cross-sector after an initial

Covid catch-up.

The Hamilton-based stainless-steel

fabricator Stainless

employs 120 people and services

the dairy, food, automotive,

packaging, and horticultural


“It is difficult to predict

because we won’t know our

true position for a couple of

months. We’re seeing a big

hump of work now, but we

know a big trough is coming.

We do need to be financially

responsible in terms of cost


Pooran is calling on the

Government to incentivise

the primary sector to keep the

economy moving. “If they

incentivise dairy companies

and farmers to continue to

invest, that will have a positive

knock-on effect.”

He also advocates a shift by

Government to write-off large

asset investments instantly,

similar to changes in Australia.

Under instant asset writeoff,

Australian businesses can

immediately write off the cost

of each asset that costs less than

$150,000 (up from $30,000),

claiming a tax deduction in the

year the asset is first used or


“This would be a good way

to keep customers ordering

which would trickle down the

whole manufacturing supply


Hamilton-based smaller

engineering business owner

Trisha King, of Mainline,

employs 19 staff and is confident

her business will survive


“We will never get back

the five weeks we lost during

lockdown, but I am hopeful

there will be a steady supply

of tank orders coming through,

and that construction work will

pick up,” King said.

Welcome to


Te Waka welcomes the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology to their new home in Hamilton, Waikato.

There are a number of key factors that make Hamilton and the Waikato a great choice, with inclusivity and connection

at the forefront. Home to a strong network of education providers and inspired business leaders, the region entices a hub

of diverse learners and innovative thinkers. Driven by collaboration, passion and a shared vision amongst many people

and organisations, the region will contribute to the ongoing success and development of the decisions being made.

On behalf of Te Waka, Hamilton City Council, Waikato-Tainui, Waikato Chamber of Commerce and the business

community, haere mai, we can’t wait to show you around.

To find out more contact us at enquiry@tewaka.nz

07 857 0538 | tewaka.nz


Real Estate


Confidence grows in Hamilton real estate market

Despite a dramatic drop in real estate

activity over the lockdown period, the

Hamilton property market has picked up

right where it left off, according to Lodge

Real Estate Managing Director Jeremy


“As we emerged from the nationwide

lockdown, enquiries and website traffic

immediately started to increase, and it’s

been building each day since we resumed


“Open home visitor numbers this past

weekend were back at pre-Covid-19 levels,

with lots of potential buyers looking

through properties.”

Before the lockdown, Lodge had already

implemented precautions around its open

homes, putting up additional signage,

recording attendee details and advising

vendors to sanitise and help reduce surface

touching by opening things for buyers to

view. These precautions continue.

Many of Lodge Real Estate’s listed

properties have received multiple offers,

with interest from buyers fresh to the

market post-lockdown.

“We’re also fielding quite a lot of

enquiries out of Auckland, so it’s not just

Hamiltonians looking to buy and sell at the

moment,” says O’Rourke.

“Since lockdown ended, the city has

also seen some record-breaking sales

in the millions, which demonstrates the

confidence buyers and sellers have in the

Hamilton property market.”

O’Rourke believes that with large

developments like the inland port still on

track, and Hamilton winning the bid for

the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology

(NZIST) headquarters, people are

recognising the value the Waikato has to


He says other factors affecting the Hamilton

property market include the removal of the

Loan-to-Value Ratio restrictions, and record

low interest rates being offered by banks.

“Removing these barriers is encouraging

more first home buyers into the market and

putting property ownership within reach for


Lodge Real Estate is holding its first

auctions this week. O’Rourke says while

they may be a little subdued, there has

been good interest in properties going

under the hammer.

“While these are the first auctions since

lockdown, Covid-19 cases remain low so

our salespeople are feeling increasingly

comfortable about recommending

auctions to their vendors.”

Lockdown also slowed the rental market,

with properties unable to be let and

tenants unable to move out. Since business

re-opened, the Lodge City Rentals team has

been inundated with enquiries.

“We’re also seeing investors re-entering

the market, looking at purchasing newer

properties that don’t require upgrades to

meet rental regulations.

“These investors are looking to capitalise on

the law of demand and supply, which will

put pressure on rents to rise.”

Lodge’s Managing Director Jeremy O’Rourke

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· Long history in supplying DIY & trade clients

· Increasing demand especially for ooring and

cladding mouldings

· Mostly tangible asset sale included stock,

machinery, truck and decks

· Good earnings to a working ower

Buying an income is genius. We

buy cars, and toys and houses,

but we rarely ever consider

investing in ourselves and our

mental and physical freedom.

Be Your Own Boss Make $$ $445,000


· “Paint-by-numbers” simplicity

· Low over heads and fantastic systems

· Over $200K cash surplus to 2 working owners

· Orders busier than ever since opening in level 3

· Bring your sales, marketing, management or

customer service skills


Alanah Eagle 021 606 345



Reuben Haddon-Silby 021 133 0624


Portable Cabins $3,500,000


· Marketing/sales/operational skills?

· Well-established & highly protable

· Knowledgeable staff

· Vendor will provide a solid transition


Rick Johnson 021 991 485


Delicious Deli $80,000


· Offshoot of the Putaruru Over the Moon Dairy


· Award winning cheeses & great range of


· Opportunity to develop an online presence

· A solid, strong start for a new buyer


Reuben Haddon-Silby 021 133 0624



Andrew Whyte 022 097 0065


General Store & Cafe $175,000


· Lovely refurbished country store and café.

· Well established and perfectly located

· Asking price includes of stock and assets

· Relocate away from the hassle of city life?


Alanah Eagle 021 606 345


Multi-Income Business $1,650,000


· Top performer in its eld

· Retted to the highest standard

· Accommodation, bar & eatery

· Includes managers quarters

· Consistently returns over $300K annually to a

working owner


Therese Bailey 021 707 641


All LINK NZ ofces are licensed REAA08

Waikato Job Seekers Consider ‘Buying a Job’

According to the experts at LINK Business,

there are many reasons why the current

climate is the perfect time to buy a business.

With redundancies on the rise throughout

New Zealand, owning a business offers income

security. With very few middle management

and corporate rolls on the market,

buying a business can mean a secure future.

According to the team at LINK Business,

the Covid-19 experience presents us with

an opportunity to take control of our

earning capacity and unleash our potential.

“You can choose to take this big change that

life has handed you and make a decision to

take back control of your life and determine

your income level.”

Work flexibility is yet another reward of

business ownership, according to the team

at LINK. Working in the business as its

leader and critical employee presents you

with the freedom to make choices about

virtually everything, including how much

you work. Leverage your potential, innovate

and expand the business if that’s what

you desire. The direction you head is up to

you! Rick Johnson, LINK Waikato Director,

believes that “for those with an entrepreneurial

bent, the total freedom of business

ownership is appealing.”

As a veteran of the 2008 Global Financial

Crisis, and the difficult two years that

followed, Aaron Toresen, LINK CEO is

aware that we are facing some very uncertain

times. Conservative estimates predict

13% unemployment (over 500,000 Kiwis),

yet this is still higher than almost any living

New Zealander has experienced. He believes

that achieving financial security is

paramount, and business ownership, the

ideal platform.

The Lockdown experience allowed many

of us to tune out to the background noise,

take stock and reassess. For many, the list of

‘what’s important’ received a real overhaul.

We placed our goals and ambitions under

the microscope, recalibrated and found

pleasure in all the ‘little’ things—a gift to

humanity among the chaos and resulting

economic frailty.

So, it seems fitting that perhaps the essential

message of LINK’s Buy a Job campaign is

that life is too short to be living someone

else’s dream. This post-Covid garden is

yours to sow; now is the time to ignite your

passion, and reap the rewards that await!

As part of the Buy a Job campaign, LINK

are running Seminars online on ‘How to

buy a business’. These very practical seminars

educate first time business buyers

offering everything you need to know, and

what pitfalls to avoid when buying a business.

Learn all you need to know about buying

a job at www.go.linkbusiness.co.nz/buyajob



Opportunities are strong and real

And it couldn’t have

come at a better time.

The win reinforces

the benefits our region has to

offer when it comes to attracting

new business, investment

and talent - even when the

chips are down.

Despite tough times, our

NZIST success gives me confidence

that the Waikato is wellplaced

to ride out the economic

recession. Our region has solid

foundations that run deep and



Chief executive, Te Waka: Waikato’s economic development agency

The news that Hamilton will become the

headquarters for the NZ Institute of Skills

and Technology (NZIST) is a huge boost for

our city and the Waikato region.

we know how to rally together

when it counts.

The fact that more than 40

business and community leaders

lent significant support to

the NZIST bid process is testament

to our region’s commitment

to working together to get

the job done.

Everyone involved wholeheartedly

believed in the final

vision – better training to help

get our people back to work.

This vision united Waikato’s

industry leaders, iwi, our education

sector, local government

and business agencies.

As a team, we convinced the

Government that Hamilton was

the best location for the NZIST

headquarters. And our efforts

paid off.

It is this strong collaborative

spirit that will help our region

recover from the economic

downturn and help our communities

thrive again.

Waikato has a great heart

and we can be proud of our

many successes. We have

robust sectors in agriculture,

technology, and manufacturing,

coupled with strong leadership

and the motivation to work

together to achieve great things.

Covid-19 will make that

happen even faster. Now, more

than ever, it is time for united

leadership if we are to capitalise

on the number of opportunities

in the pipeline. The wheels are

already in motion.

Te Waka has teamed up with

Hamilton Waikato Tourism to

help organisations and community

groups around the region

align their own programmes

with the Mighty Local campaign.

Waikato has a great

heart and we can be

proud of our many


Leads from businesses

interested in relocating to the

Waikato are starting to pick

up again, which is particularly

good news for those looking for

employment opportunities.

Tourism operators and agencies

are working hard to develop

domestic tourism schedules and

marketing programmes to get

the sector back on track.

As SMEs started coming

out of level 4 hibernation, Te

Waka’s front-line business

advisory team has seen them

reaching out for support to go

digital as they adapt to the new

business world.

With crisis comes change.

Innovation, leadership and partnerships

are needed to create a

new future for the Waikato. Our

opportunities are strong and

they are real.

Why Company-X has always believed

in working from home

Working from home

has become the new

normal for many

people during the Covid-19

pandemic, but Company-X has

offered its team the flexibility

of working remotely since the

company was founded in 2012.

Giving the Company-X

team their own laptops and the

blessing to work from home, or

wherever else they would like

to work from, attracts the best

and brightest software specialists

from around the world.

While the majority of the

Company-X team are based in

Hamilton, the greater Waikato

and New Zealand, the company

also has team members

who work from Australia, Asia,

Canada, the United Kingdom

and the United States.

Company-X’s recruitment

strategy is to hire new team

members recommended by

existing team members as

much as possible so that new

recruits come with built-in


Company-X looks for certain

attributes in its team.

“They should be self-directed,”

said professional services

manager Michael Hamid.

“They should also be able

to organise and manage their

workload and be OK in their

own company.”

This policy means Company-X

appeals to prospective

team members who might

already have family commitments

and no plans to move

from wherever they are in the


“I would not have applied

to work with a company that

would require me to physically

move to New Zealand, or

anywhere else,” said a Company-X

team member based in


“I was searching for a job

that allowed for flexibility in

travel and being on the move.

I also wanted to work for a recognisable

firm with an international


Flexibility around where

he could work meant he could

easily attend conferences

around North America.

“Because I can work from

anywhere in the world, I don’t

have to spend massive rent

dollars on living in places with

sky-high prices like San Francisco,

New York, DC, Hong

Kong, or Singapore,” he said.

“Over the past five years,

I’ve moved four times and

lived in three different cities

spanning two countries, but at

the same time, I find myself

wanting to plant some roots.”

His experience is not


“I wouldn’t have accepted

a position at Company-X if

it had been an office-based

position,” said a Company-X

senior developer.

“I have family across three

continents, and the ability to

work from home, wherever I

am in the world, is essential to

me. An office-based job is not

even an option given my situation.”

When self-motivated

people get to choose

where and when

they work, without

any unplanned

interruptions they

tend to be more


Another member of the

Company-X team said he

appreciated the flexibility

offered by the company. It

meant that the team could pick

up their children from school,

attend sports days and other

significant milestones in their

children’s lives.

“I want to thank you guys

for allowing so many of us to

be involved with our kids,” he

told the co-founders and directors.

“Without flexibility we

would not get the chance to

spend time with them.”

Company-X trusts its team

members to deliver on their

promises to customers.

Having an unrestricted hiring

pool not limited by geography

means the possibilities are


When self-motivated people

get to choose where and

when they work, without any

unplanned interruptions they

tend to be more productive.

Comfort, as well as efficiency,

is paramount in the

Company-X working environment,

which means Company-X

invests as much in



David Hallett is a director of Hamilton software specialist Company-X.

equipment and workstation

assessments for remote staff as

it does in those working from

the office.

Collaboration is enabled in

the Company-X team by tools

like Cisco Webex and Google

Hangouts video-conferencing

technology, Google Docs

and Microsoft 365 office productivity

suites and the Slack

instant messaging platform.

Slack divides every project

Company-X is working on into

its own channel to encourage

communication and collaboration

between team members.

Company-X even has a

channel where team members

are encouraged to socialise

from wherever they are based

around the world. This helps

team members build relationships

with one another outside

of work projects.

While Company-X provides

essential support to a

range of essential services the

Covid-19 lockdown still saw

the Hamilton office close, and

the co-founders and directors

called on the team to work

from home. This meant some

of the team who preferred to

work in the office set up at

home but nothing else has

changed for the company.

Work continues on a variety of

ongoing projects.

Software deployment

through cloud infrastructure

means the Company-X team

can easily maintain the technology

from remote locations,

as well as continuing to

develop innovative new software

for clients in New Zealand

and around the world.


Positioning Excellence

Looking to hire? Locally owned and operated,

Asset Recruitment has been established for more

than 30 years. We’re specialists in temporary,

permanent, executive and industrial recruitment.

If you’re looking to hire or would like to discuss your current

staffing structure, do get in touch with our team. As we navigate

these uneasy times, we’re focused on providing support and guidance

to help you find the best solution for you and your business.

Recruit with Excellence. Recruit with Asset.

Temporary | Permanent | Executive | Industrial

07 839 3685 | www.assetrec.co.nz

Hiring in the

current market

There is no guidebook for what just

happened. The past few weeks have

affected different businesses in

different ways.

bility. If you were looking

One thing all business

owners have in common

is that they’ve

had to quickly adapt company

operations and demonstrate

agility in these challenging

times to adjust to the way they

now carry out business. And

for some, certain operational

elements may never go back to

the way they were.

For recruitment, it would

be naive to say that it is carrying

on as business-as-usual

and the employment market

will continue to fluctuate for

some time. In the short-term

many businesses may focus on

keeping existing employees in

employment rather than looking

for new.

Think longer-term.

As a business owner, it is an

opportunity to ask yourself

some challenging questions that

will help you future-proof your

business. Use it to think beyond

the relatively short-term operational

needs, and consider how

the world might change, and

how your organisation will need

to respond.

This should include a review of

your staffing structure and capa-


to hire pre Covid-19, but

you’re now limited with

finances, are there any

roles that can be merged?

Are there areas that you

can multi/cross/upskill your

employees to assist with future

operational changes? Investing

in your people at this time

will be motivating for them

and could see you come out the

other end of this ‘temporary’

crisis in a better position than

you entered.

An optimum time to hire.

If you are looking to hire new

staff, over the next six months or

more could be an optimum time

to proceed with your search.

Pre Covid-19 the demand for

talent outstripped supply, and

unemployment in Hamilton and

Waikato was one of the lowest

in New Zealand. In a matter of

weeks, we’ve gone from a tight

employment market, to one

with more talent. For employers

looking to secure business-critical

talent right now, this is an

obvious advantage.

Explore your hiring options.

There is of course still a lot of

uncertainty in the employment

Carmel Strange

market. If you are not in a position

to take on a full-time permanent

employee at this time,

then there are other options to


Temporary employment, fixedterm

employment, and contractors

are all options that could

be explored as a solution to suit

your more immediate operational


If you’re looking to hire or

would like to discuss your current

staffing structure, do get

in touch with our team. As we

navigate these uneasy times,

we’re focused on providing

support and guidance to help

you find the best solution for

you and your business.

Carmel Strange is Asset

Recruitment’s Manager and

Temporary Recruitment Specialist.

Asset Recruitment is

Waikato’s leading recruitment

company for temporary, permanent,

executive and industrial


Here at NEXTMOVE Recruitment

we live and breathe recruitment – it’s

what we love and why we work so

hard to achieve the very best results.

We are specialists in Administration, Office Support and Information Technology

recruitment. We know recruitment and we know people; we have a solid

understanding of how technical competence, personality match and culture fit

impacts your organisation. Our experience spans a broad range of industries and

roles, resulting in tailored permanent and temporary recruitment staff solutions

within the Administration and IT sectors.

We work around your needs not ours, offering full end-to-end recruitment or a

service uniquely suited to your organisation. You won’t be a square peg put into a

round hole. Whatever you choose, rest assured, you’ll be in good hands!

Temporary staff service

Temporary staff are a fantastic way to cover both expected and

unplanned leave such as annual or sick leave. It’s also a great option

for your busy periods meaning your commitments are met and your

permanent staff get the help they need!

Permanent staff service

We will work alongside you, meeting your recruitment requirements

offering our full recruitment service or a more individualised

recruitment service.

For more information contact us today! 07 9811384 | info@nextmoverecruitment.co.nz | www.nextmoverecruitment.co.nz





“The Mighty Waikato is ready and already welcoming business

events clients back to the region”, says Business Events Manager

with Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, Amanda Graham.

“Our business events

family have been busy

acquainting ourselves

with the guidelines and protocols,

and making sure that

people can meet safely, when

they are ready to start meeting

again,” says Graham. Whether

it’s a small 12 person meeting

next month or a conference in

2021 we encourage organisers

to support local and meet in the

Waikato. Business events contribute

significantly to our local

economy and create indirect

disbursement and impact positively

on the social, cultural

and environmental aspects of

the region.

H3 Business Development

Manager Melissa Williams

acknowledges that a lot has

changed for the industry and

she is proud of the way the

Claudelands team has adapted

how they think and operate.

“It is a whole new world for

everyone, but it has been great

to see our team tackle this with

an open mind and positive attitude,”

says Williams.

In preparation for a return

to business, the Claudelands

team has rigorously tested the

delegate experience and has

come up with easy, cost-effec-

tive, out-of-the-box options for

clients to meet again safely,

and with confidence.

This includes a selection

of room configurations that

ensure the required spacing

between attendees and unobstructed

flow-through and

between spaces, a new menu

range designed by catering

partner Montana Food and

Events, and audio-visual packages

developed alongside AV

specialists Vidcom to provide

clients with online video-conferencing


Claudelands is also putting

in place tools for easy and

robust contact tracing for all

people on site.

“We know event organisers

will be feeling extra pressure

to ensure they’ve covered all

bases when it comes to health

and safety requirements at

their events, so these packages

and options are designed to

take some of that stress away,”

says Williams.

“The scale of Claudelands

allows us to confidently host

multiple events on site at once

without any crossover in key

areas like carparks, entrances

and bathrooms, while surrounding

greenspace means we

have the luxury of wide, open

spaces and seamless flow from

meeting spaces through to outdoor

areas which is so valuable

at a time like this.”

In response to COVID-19

Claudelands has also increased

the frequency and intensity of

venue and equipment cleaning,

has added extra hand sanitiser

and tissue stations throughout

the venue and is displaying

Ministry of Health and

venue-specific messaging to

Melissa Williams

remind everyone who comes

on site of the importance of

personal health and hygiene.

Ammie Hardie, Sales and Marketing

Manager for Novotel

and Ibis Tainui in Hamilton,

is excited to announce that

“40 new executive rooms at

the Novotel Tainui Hamilton

will be blessed by Tainui on

Friday 29 May, and will be

open for business the following

week”, says Hardie. The

addition of the new executive

rooms, which are inspired by

the Waikato River, takes the

Novotel’s number of rooms up

to 217.

Following the move to

Level 2, Hardie says that the

Novotel has already experienced

a steady increase in

business levels, and says she

is welcoming some small business

meetings back in their

conference rooms next week.

“We have revamped our

conference offering and room

capacity numbers to accommodate

the Government and

Accor guidelines”.

The restaurant on Alma has

reopened and has experienced

good bookings from in house

guests and walk in diners. Our

sister Hotel Ibis Tainui is also

open for business and welcoming


The talented gardening, landscaping

and maintenance

teams have been hard at work

to ensure the Movie Set is just

as stunning and picturesque as

ever and have been working

on additional measures to keep

staff and visitors safe during

their adventure.

Shayne Forrest, General

Manager Sales and Marketing

says Hobbiton’s reopening is

looking encouraging, “over

the past 2 weeks we have seen

a steady increase of bookings

from kiwis. There has never

been an opportunity like this

before for New Zealanders to

have the world-class attractions

in their backyard all to

themselves, it’s really heartening

so see kiwis getting out

there and making the most

of it.”

Tours will be running daily

from 30 May with reduced

departure times and group

sizes. Forward bookings for

meetings, conferences and

events are welcome.

For the first time in its history,

Fieldays will be delivered as

an online event in 2020. Following

the Covid-19 crisis and

event restrictions, the New

Zealand National Fieldays

Society made the decision

to reimagine the traditional

aspects of the physical event


The virtual experience promises

to offer an entirely new

spin on the event whilst retaining

all its treasured parts.

The Society has partnered

with Trade Me to power online

sales and help with marketing

and Satellite Media to deliver

the online event experience.

“We understand the economic

ramifications would

be extensive if Fieldays was

cancelled entirely hence why

we’ve decided it’s a chance to

be innovative in this time of

global uncertainty.

We’ll still be delivering

a world class event on the

world stage – albeit a digital

version,” Society CEO Peter

Nation says. “We know the

physical event and all it entails

is incomparable for both visitors

and exhibitors. Despite

the restrictions, the Society

recognises more than ever the

importance of providing an

alternative for the annual pilgrimage

that is Fieldays, until

the return to Mystery Creek.”

Fieldays is attended by

approximately 130,000 people

every year. The Southern

Hemisphere’s largest agrievent

generates approximately

$180M for the local economy,

while on a national level it provides

over $500M.

It’s not the end of the

tangible event by a

long shot. For now,

we’re determined to

see the situation as

an opportunity to do

good business and

inject some muchneeded

cash into the


“It’s not the end of the tangible

event by a long shot. For

now, we’re determined to see

the situation as an opportunity

to do good business and inject

some much-needed cash into

the economy, especially within

the recovery phase of the

Covid-19 response. This is our

way of seeing New Zealand


To find out more about

hosting a Mighty Meeting

in Hamilton & the Waikato

region, contact Business

Events Waikato.

The team are the local

meeting experts and can help

you make the right connections.

Business Events Waikato

offers a free service to discuss

options to suit your event,

check availability, and obtain


Business Events Waikato,

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

W. meetwaikato.com

E: businessevents@waikatonz.


P: 07 843 0056

The team at Business Events

Waikato is here to help

If you are thinking about organising your next

meeting or conference, meet in the Mighty

Waikato. Business Events Waikato offers free

advice to assist with planning and making the right

connections. The team is here to help you meet

safely, we know the guidelines and protocols. Our

people and venues are ready to welcome you.

Contact us for free expert advice.

P: 07 843 0056 E: businessevents@waikatonz.com



A playbook for perfecting podcasting

In the PR world, we’re always looking at

new channels to reach a client’s target

audience in a way that isn’t invasive,

cuts through the noise, has impact and

builds fans.


great channel that can

do all this and more

for many organisations

is podcasting. HMC believes

in the power of podcasting so

much we recently bought a

mobile podcasting studio and

launched our first client podcast

two months ago.

In June 2019, a survey by

Radio New Zealand found

one in three (31 percent) New

Zealanders consumed podcast

content at least once a week.

They found from July 2018-

June 2019, there was a staggering

107 percent increase in

podcast listeners. We can only

assume listenership has continued

its meteoric rise over the

past year, which would mirror

international trends.

Odds are, if you were curious

about podcasts but hadn’t

taken the plunge before lockdown,

the Covid pandemic

may have given you the extra

time you needed to start a new

listening habit. If this is the

case, you aren’t alone.

Acast, one of the world’s

largest podcast hosting and

analytics companies, reported

in April that more people were

turning to podcasts during

the pandemic with listeners

increasing 7 percent globally.

And the trends across the

ditch may foreshadow what’s

headed our way: an excerpt

from a Yahoo Finance story on

25 May 2020 cited the Edison

Research’s 2020 Infinite Dial

report showing 37 percent of

the US population now listens

to a podcast at least once

a month. And the average

weekly listener in the US listens

to six podcasts per week.

So, what are all these listeners

listening to? A whole raft

of podcasts on any topic you

can dream up. Many individuals

and companies are developing

their own podcasts due to

the channel’s ability to engage.

Now, while “everyone

is doing it”, everyone is not

doing it well. Podcasting can

be an effective tool for growing

your customer base, positioning

yourself as a leader in

your field, and leveraging the

influence of credible guests but

it’s not as simple as recording

yourself talking and uploading

the file.

So, if you are considering

dipping your toe into the podcasting

pool, here are five tips

to help you do it well:

1. Don’t scrimp on quality

To deliver a professional

podcast you need to invest

in quality recording equipment.

No matter who your

guests are or how good

your content is, you will

fail to engage your listeners

if the sound quality is poor.

Using the services of a professional

audio engineer

to edit your raw audio is

also crucial to ensure you

get a polished episode.

2. Use influential guests

Inviting notable guests

to join your podcast will

give it credibility and

engage more listeners.

You can also leverage their

influence by asking them

to promote the podcast

through their own channels,

including social media.

3. Choose a host with the most

Your podcast host is

the glue that holds

everything together.

They must have the credibility,

voice and personality

to engage your audience.

Making your guests feel at

ease and creating an authentic

conversational tone

without needing a formal

script is also a prerequisite.

It’s also important that

your host is familiar with

the subject matter so they

can drive the conversation

and adapt questions

on the fly with finesse.

4. Content is king

Your podcast theme and

episode topics must be

compelling, giving listeners

a reason to tune in.

Ensure you have a content

plan. Think about what

messages you want your

listeners to take away and

have a clear call to action.

Create a series of questions

for each episode for your

host to guide the discussion

and gain guest interaction.

Also consider delivering

even more value to your

listeners by creating a content

hub on your website

where they can go for more

information on the topic.

Be clever with your key

words to maximise Search



Heather Claycomb is director of HMC Communications, a

Hamilton-based, award-winning public relations agencys.

Engine Optimisation (SEO)

so your podcast – and your

company – can be found.

5. Get the word out

Just because you upload

your podcast, doesn’t mean

listeners will find you. You

need to create a PR and

promotional plan to drive

awareness and engagement.

Think about your overall

communication objectives

and how you will measure

the success of your

podcast. What strategy

will you use to target different

audiences? How

can your stakeholders and

staff help spread the word?

And, finally, a digital marketing

strategy is crucial

to help you ‘catch’ people

who are searching or

browsing your podcast

topic online.

Local and domestic market key

to tourism survival

From the first day at Alert Level Two, domestic travel restrictions

were lifted across the country and an Air New Zealand flight

returned to Hamilton Airport.

This marked the restart

of Waikato’s visitor

economy which had

been decimated since international

borders were closed and

domestic travel was restricted.

It was a positive step forward

for all those involved in our

visitor economy, including

tourism attractions, tour operators,

transport providers,

accommodation, retail, hospitality,

conventions and busi-

ness events, major events and

venues, and all our suppliers.

Prior to the shift in levels,

our Restart Plan focused on

the weeks during lockdown,

targeting our hyper-local market

(Waikato residents) with

the Mighty Local campaign.

We have been running local

campaigns for many years previously

called “Explore Your

Own Backyard”. COVID-19

had pushed us to super-charge

this annual campaign and

accelerate it given the current


Moving to Alert Level

2 kick-started our wider

domestic marketing activity

across the region and into our

domestic ‘drive markets’ of

Auckland, Bay of Plenty and

Taranaki, as well as our ‘fly

markets’ of Wellington and


A graphic overview and

timeline are provided below:



Chief Executive,

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

We are predicting a reopening

of the Trans-Tasman market

within the next six months

and at least 12 months to see

full international flight connectivity

into our long-haul markets

to resume.

This may happen sooner

based on how well the rest

of the world manages and/or

eliminates COVID-19 within

their borders.

We are working with Tourism

New Zealand on a new

national domestic marketing

campaign and the first ‘teaser’

video was released recently

with the catch-cry “do something

new, New Zealand?”.

This campaign will evolve

over the coming weeks and we

will be promoting our regional


It’s been great to see so

many Waikato residents starting

to plan and book their

domestic holidays around

New Zealand. However, just

remember to plan some ‘bucket-list’

activities and adventures

within our own region

as well.

Many of our tourism

operators and accommodation

providers have reopened

their doors and rolled out the

welcome mat across our entire


Our popular destinations

like Raglan, Matamata,

Waitomo, Cambridge and

Hamilton are seeing visitors

return which is great.

However, don’t forget other

awesome spots around our

region such as Kawhia, Mokau,

Te Kuiti, Te Aroha, Tuakau,

Port Waikato, Putaruru and


Waikato residents make up

nearly 30% of our customers

across the visitor economy,

so my challenge to you is to

become a “Mighty Local”

and make sure you explore,

visit, meet, eat, shop and event

locally. We need your support.

To find out more about what

has reopened in our region,

check out www.mightylocal.


Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

is the regional tourism organisation

charged with increasing

international and domestic

leisure and business travellers,

expenditure and stay.

The organisation is funded

through a public/private partnership

and covers the heartland

Waikato areas of Hamilton

City, Matamata-Piako,

Otorohanga, South Waikato,

Waikato, Waipa and Waitomo


Find out more:


Photo of the upgraded First House and the Wendell B Mendenhall Building (heritage buildings) with the new Tuhikaramea Road wall in the foreground

Birds eye view of Legacy Park showing pedestrian connections, the Koromatua Stream, and planting




BBO wins award for Temple View project

An eight-year involvement in the Temple

View renewal project has seen Waikato

firm Bloxam, Burnett & Olliver (BBO) win a

prestigious national award.

The Hamilton-based

multi-disciplinary company

of consulting engineers,

planners and surveyors

has been working on the Temple

View project since 2012.

The development, which

earned BBO the New Zealand

Planning Institute (NZPI)

2020 Integrated Planning and

Investigations Award in April,

together with project partners

Mansergh Graham Landscape

Architects and Construkt

Architects, is a brownfields

urban renewal project.

It was started by the Church

of Jesus Christ of Latter Day

Saints following the closure of

Church College in 2009.

The college was part of the

heart of the Temple View community

so the church had to

reimagine the whole community

and its function and sustainability

without the college.

“It has been a privilege to

work alongside the church and

the myriad of development

partners and stakeholders to

now see the new vision for the

community come to life,” says

BBO director John Olliver.

The most significant building

in Temple View is the Category

A Hamilton New Zealand


Located immediately south

of the project site, the temple

lends its name to the village,

is a focus for the community

and a reference point for the


The vision of the project

is to regenerate Temple View

while retaining the special

character of the village. Elements


• Shaping a connected, legible

and pedestrian friendly

street network.

• Increasing the residential

population of Temple View

to stimulate future economic


• Creating attractive and

inviting open space areas.

• Developing built form and

infrastructure that is sensitive

to the natural constraints

of the land and the

heritage values of the existing


• Displaying cultural heritage

by ensuring a large proportion

of the development

has access and views to the

Temple and other culturally

significant buildings.

• Designing residential unit

types to promote social


The masterplan sets out a

new street network incorporating

three new roundabouts

on Tuhikaramea Road, weaving

the new development into

the existing fabric of Temple

View. The plan also links the

heritage-ranked Kai Hall, GRB

Building, First House and

Mendenhall Building with a

series of well-designed urban

spaces, walkways, native

plantings and lakes.

The brownfield site presented

geotechnical and infrastructure

challenges. The eastern

portion of the site is on

peat-land, the site was contaminated,

and infrastructure was


The collaborative approach

enabled the team to come up

with design solutions that satisfied

engineering and environmental

requirements while

enabling good design outcomes.

It has been a

privilege to work

alongside the church

and the myriad of

development partners

and stakeholders

to now see the

new vision for the

community come to


Extensive use of preloading

has ensured that the land

is available for residential use

and all contamination has been


The project is being realised

in stages. The completed

works, including the combination

of the rebuilt Tuhikaramea

Road, refreshed heritage buildings,

and a new sensitively

designed Legacy Park, has

helped revitalise Temple View.

This gives it a solid basis

for the next phase which will

involve the development of

about 300 residential houses, a

small commercial area and the

development of the adjacent

public open space with further

landscape planting and walkways.

The latest recognition for

BBO follows earlier accolades

for its work on the

Huntly section of the Waikato


It picked up NZPI planning

awards and a Resource

Management Law Association

award for the consenting and

engagement process, plus an

ACENZ award of merit.

Olliver says the Huntly section

has been a key high-profile

project for the company.

“Since we were awarded

the project by NZTA in 2010

we have seen it through

design, resource consenting,

alterations to the designation

for the road, extensive engagement

with tangata whenua, tendering

and finally supervision

of construction through to its

opening in March this year.”

BBO is currently working

on a wide range of projects

including the Waikato River

Bridge and associated roading

to open up the Peacocke

Growth Cell for Hamilton City

Council, work on the Ruakura

Inland Port for Tainui Group

Holdings, and planning work

for the Sleepyhead development

at Ohinewai.

Photo of Legacy Park, showing a pedestrian shelter near the heritage listed GRB building.



Temple View Project

“The outlook for BBO is

very positive, despite the gen-

Delivering high quality land • Land development and subdivision

Birds eye view of Tuhikaramea Road showing the First NZPI House, Best landscaped Practice roundabouts,

• Resource Category the


Stake Centre,






Hamilton New Zealan

development, infrastructure

Integrated Planning and • Civil Investigations

and structural engineering

• Transport engineering

• Water resource engineering

eral uncertainty resulting from

the pandemic,” Olliver says.

“We have a wide mix of

infrastructure, land development,

housing, commercial

and industrial projects on our

books meaning the forward

workload is healthy.”

and building projects across

the Waikato for 27 years.

Contact Steve Bigwood 027 459 5606 | www.bbo.co.nz


Mansergh Graham are

proud to be involved with

the Temple View Project




SD European opens new

state-of-the-art centre

European car parts and repair specialists SD European has come

a long way since its humble beginnings in an old farm shed in


The company has a new

700sqm state-of-the-art

European Service Centre

in Norris Ave, Te Rapa,

opened in mid-March after two

months of refurbishment.

The addition of a second

premises in the city is a show

of confidence by the Hamilton

company that has traded successfully

out of its Horotiu site

for three decades.

With flags flying, and

freshly decked out in SD European’s

black and yellow livery,

the new premises just off Mahana

Road and the Bryant Road

traffic roundabout is clearly

open for business.

Customers stepping into the

service centre can expect to be

greeted by newly appointed

and vastly experienced service

advisor Shayne Williams and

receptionist Brooke Cullinane.

The new service centre is

equipped with eight service

bays, the latest diagnostic

equipment, a new 6.3-tonne

hoist, a state-of-the-art $45,000

Hunter Elite wheel alignment

system, a computerised spare

parts mezzanine store, and

parking space for 50 vehicles.

Since we’ve been

based in Horotiu for

the last 30 years, the

addition of a new site

is a huge deal for us,

being able to offer

more services and


SD’s new 6 tonne hoist and Hunter Elite wheel alignment machine.

All this means there isn’t

much in the way of automotive

servicing that SD European’s

team of highly skilled technicians

cannot tackle, and their

services range from a straightforward

WOF or tyre change

all the way through to complicated

computer diagnostics,

re-programming and engine


Seated in the customer service

lounge next to his other

new acquisition, an impressive

coffee machine, Steve Daly is

quietly confident SD European

is on track for growth.

“Since we’ve been based in

Horotiu for the last 30 years,

the addition of a new site is a

huge deal for us, being able to

offer more services and professionalism,”

Steve said.

Specialising in the European

marques, SD European

has a solid reputation among

BMW, Audi, VW, and Skoda

drivers and lately added VW

commercials vehicles and

Mercedes to the list they are

equipped to handle.

Steve says the new hoist,

plus the fact the Norris Ave

Continued on page 24




The friendly people at SD European are

knowledgeable experts, equipped with a

huge parts supply and the most up to date

tools to service or repair your European

vehicle while keeping the costs down.


23 Norris Ave, Te Rapa 3200,

Hamilton, Waikato

New Zealand


6243 Great South Road

Horotiu, Waikato

New Zealand


Freephone 0800 269 772

Phone +64 7 829 9649

Fax 64 7 829 9649

BOOK ONLINE www.sdeuropean.co.nz





The friendly team who will greet you in the reception:

Left to right: Garett Daly, Brooke Cullinane, Shayne Williams

The SD European team at their new service centre. Left to right:

Adam Pegler, Louis, Brits, Tyler Fox, Nico Tome, Brook Daly, Justin Daly,

Steve Daly, Garett Daly, Brooke Cullinane, Shayne Williams, Brett Rhind


The Service Centre is now equipped with 7 hoists to get through the work load


712 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton


• emergency services

• insurance claims

• windscreens

• heavy equipment specialists

• mobile service

• stone chip repairs

07 849 2818

Enjoy the new customer lounge equipped with

TV and Coffee machine while you wait.







Phone: 0800 847 6190

Fax: 07 847 6816

Email: william.salvage@xtra.co.nz

121 Colombo Street, PO Box 5011, Hamilton



The team at DP

Media would like

to congratulate

SD European for

a great milestone

of 30 years in

business and we

wish them well

with their new


info@dpmedia.co.nz | 07 838 1333

Publishers of Waikato Business News,

Waikato AgriBusiness News and

Showcase Magazine

SD European opens

new state-of-the-art


From page 22

workshop has a higher ceiling,

were the critical factors that

allowed SD European to move

into servicing VW Transporter,

Crafter, Amarok, and Caddy

and Mercedes Sprinter models.

In addition, besides its

growing service business, the

company can boast one of

the country’s largest new and

second-hand European spare

parts stores, from their Horotiu


“It is our point of difference

to other workshops,”

Steve explains. “One of the

bonuses we can offer customers

who bring their vehicles to

us for service or repair is great

value because we also have

the used car dismantling business

10-minutes up the road

in Horotiu. If we need a part,

new or second-hand, chances

are we’ll have it in stock, can

access it more quickly, and can

test it before fitting when possible.”

Steve and two of his sons,

Justin and Garett, both of

whom are shareholders in SD

European, have had a lifetime

of European vehicle experience,

starting with Steve’s

first BMW in 1984, and Justin

and Garett have owned and

repaired many European cars

over the years.

The spares arm of SD European,

housed on kilometres of

shelving in large, repurposed

farm buildings at Horotiu, currently

accounts for the lion’s

share of his business.

That’s not surprising – SD

European is known throughout

New Zealand thanks to a

far-reaching marketing strategy

that in the past utilised

every regional and town Yellow

Pages book Steve could


The addition of a

second premises in

the city is a show of

confidence by the

Hamilton company

that has traded

successfully out of its

Horotiu site for three


Nowadays the family-run

company relies on an up-todate

website with active Instagram

and Facebook social

media accounts to reach customers.

The decision to move the

servicing arm into the city

made a lot of business sense,

Steve says.

It bought the premises

closer to customers while SD

European’s fleet of 11 courtesy

cars meant folk could easily

access other amenities while

waiting to have their vehicle

returned to them.

“Being specialists, with

specialist technicians, we

understand European vehicles

and their fault characteristics.

This, along with the latest

diagnostic technology we

have available, enables our

technicians to fault find and

repair in a minimal amount

of time, which saves you


Passionate about his business,

Steve is quietly proud of

another of his success stories,

his three sons.

Operations manager Justin,

service manager Garett,

who are both shareholders,

and marketing manager Brook

are all deeply involved in SD


“They have all been

involved since they could

walk. They have all pulled

cars apart, they all know the

business from the bottom up,”

Steve says.

And that depth of experience

extends to his team of

five franchise-trained automotive

technicians, all of whom

have in-depth experience servicing

European cars.

European & Prestige Vehicle Repair

Specialise in Collision Repair & Paint

Preferred Insurance Repairer | Loan Cars

Vehicle Recovery | Quality Workmanship Guaranteed

P: 07 847 8399 M: 027 245 5839

E: workshop@mcrc.co.nz

1-3 Waterloo St, Frankton

Hamilton 3204


“Our Aim is Total Customer Satisfaction”




Family-like culture the backbone of

Tompkins Wake’s Covid-19 response

The day New Zealand went into lockdown was the day junior

solicitor Josh Nyika had been scheduled to spend working at

home. It was to have been his ‘test day’ to ensure his technology

worked at home should the Tompkins Wake team be sent into

lockdown. Instead he spent the day setting up his desktop on his

kitchen table.

The challenges that

brought mirror those

experienced by people

around New Zealand, who

found themselves creating

makeshift home offices as

Kiwis were forced into isolation

to combat Covid-19.

Josh and his wife isolated

with their one-year-old son.

“We’ve got a two-bedroom

house… there wasn’t any separation

and my son kept jumping

on my lap trying to watch

videos online. My boss might

not be too impressed with the

search history…. Hickory

Dickory Dock, Twinkle Twinkle

Little Star!” he laughs.

For several weeks it

became our new normal – juggling

work commitments in

our bubbles, with family, kids

and pets.

While Josh and his colleagues

got to grips with

working from home, there

was one consideration they

didn’t have to worry about:

their jobs.

“Management made everyone

feel supported and able

to focus on work rather than

worrying about their jobs or

the firm,” said professional

support advisor Catherine

Bryant. That sentiment was

echoed by her colleagues.

“I’m so proud of the way

this has all been handled and

the confidence the firm had in

us to get through this,” solicitor

Kirsty Dibley said.

“I felt reassured the firm

was coping well and a lot of

that came from [Chief Executive]

Jon Calder addressing

everyone every Friday over

MS Teams. He was really

transparent in terms of how

we were doing. He told us ‘If

you’re quiet with work don’t

worry about that’.”

The firm was resolute that

it wouldn’t take the wage subsidy.

“I’m incredibly proud of

the fact that [our management

and governance team] backed

themselves not to need the

wage subsidy,” Josh said.

Instead, partners chose to

reduce drawings and absorb

the impact preserving the team

and preparing the firm for

recovery. There have been no

redundancies, no wage cuts.

Staff were given an Easter

bonus and an internet allowance.

Measures were put in

place to maintain the strong,

collegial culture the firm has

worked hard to build. There

was daily communication

between teams, virtual morning

teas, and CEO updates

each week.

The unwavering support

was symptomatic of the firm’s

commitment to its culture.

Something the firm’s partners

have always valued above

all else and that Calder has

championed since he took up

his post as chief executive in


Management made

everyone feel

supported and able to

focus on work rather

than worrying about

their jobs or the firm.”

“Our structure with our

partnership board and our

senior leadership team comprising

managers and partners,

has proven highly effective

in managing the challenge

of Covid-19,” Calder said.

“But underpinning that has

been our culture which puts

our people front and centre.

Alongside other values, we’re

incredibly focused on providing

our people with a great

working environment and the

support they need to succeed

not only in their roles, but to

thrive professionally and personally.”

- Supplied copy

Contemporary NZ art works for hire

in workplaces & private homes.

FrEE consultation & installation

Consultancy services available.

Josh Nyika

Portfolio Art Hire

Janet Knighton

P 021 059 0028 E art.hire@xtra.co.nz



Think outside the box – can your business

adapt in a fast changing world?

Following the impact of Covid-19, Kiwi businesses are adapting

and diversifying to navigate their way through the crisis and help

kickstart the economy.

Covid-19 has undoubtedly

had a significant

effect on the current

economic climate, with many

businesses having to make

tough calls to reduce working

hours, implement redundancies,

introduce pay cuts or shut

down altogether. Despite this,

the “can do” Kiwi attitude can

be found in a number of local

businesses who are developing

innovative new products and

services and finding a way to

move forward.

Adapting business models

Many businesses have demonstrated

their readiness to pivot

and adapt in the current climate,

while also contributing

to the fight against Covid-19.

Examples include:

• When the demand for rental

cars began to decline, rental

car business Snap Rentals

launched a service allowing

their staff to perform

personal grocery shopping

for customers – improving

accessibility to essential

items for those that may

have struggled otherwise.

• More than 70 businesses

registered with Manufac-

turingNZ for businesses

reconfiguring their operations

in order to produce

face masks and other protective


• Sheet-metal manufacturing

business Metalform,

has transformed its factory

to produce more than

7000 plastic protective face

shields a day.

• After struggling to source

hand sanitiser for their own

staff, local brewery Good

George produced 1000

litres of hand sanitiser from

a distillery that was previously

used to make spirits,

in a bid to make hand sanitiser

more accessible.

• Fonterra also increased its

weekly production of ethanol

from 85,000 litres to

250,000 litres to help with

the increase in demand for


The ability of a business to

ensure their staff remain productive

has a positive flow-on

effect for the economy and

the community. The cash flow

generated allows businesses

to continue operating until

they can return to their previous

operating rhythm. Being

agile, resilient and adaptable is

important to surviving the post

Covid-19 economy.

While some businesses may

not be able to pivot and face

the difficult decision to close

down rather suffer increasing

debts, the companies listed

above illustrate that by being

adaptable businesses can be

resilient in these times.

Embracing technology

The Covid-19 pandemic has

also reinforced the importance

of technology in the workplace.

Accountants, gym instructors,

teachers, politicians and lawyers,

to name a few, have all

been meeting workplace commitments

from home. This

would not have been possible

without adequately investing

in technology infrastructure to

ensure they were able to operate

remotely. There were a

number of businesses not able

to immediately switch, as they

didn’t have this infrastructure

in place, and were left scrambling

in the days before Level

4 trying to implement appropriate

responses. Working

remotely will likely become

the norm to some extent for all

businesses. Being adaptable

is key to a successful flexible

working environment.

The online marketplace has

been growing in recent years,

as it’s been a way to reduce

operating overheads without

the need for a ‘storefront’ to

sell products or services. With

the impact of Covid-19, we

have even seen the likes of

farmers’ markets move online

in a bid to connect the farmer

to the consumer when their

platform to sell had been isolated.

It has been encouraging to

see the number of businesses



Elsa Wrathall is a PwC senior manager based in the Waikato office.

Email: elsa.n.wrathall@pwc.com

and individuals finding ways

to pivot and adjust to the new

normal, and to help each other.

This includes social media

influencers plugging small

businesses to their followers in

a bid to provide exposure for

some of the great products and

services Kiwi businesses have

to offer. The more we can support

local, the faster we can all

get back on our feet.

While the last couple of

months have been challenging,

it has also been an opportunity

for businesses to learn

and adapt. It is unclear what

our “new normal” will be once

Covid-19 passes. However, it

is clear that we need to evaluate

our readiness and agility in

order to utilise the assets and

skills we have available to us to

respond to whatever the future

holds. Covid-19 has taught us

some important lessons.

The comments in this article

of a general nature and should

not be relied on for specific

cases. Taxpayers should seek

specific advice.

Joint bid sees NZ Institute of Skills and Technology

choose Hamilton

Hamilton, Auckland, and Bay

Hamilton City Council

and Waikato regional

stakeholders are celebrating

the announcement that

Hamilton will be the headquarters

of the New Zealand Institute

of Skills & Technology


The NZIST is merging

the country’s 16 institutes of

technology and polytechnics

along with all industry training

organisations into one national


Hamilton Mayor Paula

Southgate says the announcement

was hugely welcome and

that Hamilton had put in an

“absolutely compelling” bid.

“The decision makes very

good sense in so many ways.

Hamilton and the Waikato

region is already home to a

network of very strong education

providers, we are ideally

located in terms of New

Zealand’s population and

local industry swung in very

strongly to support the city’s

efforts to bring it here,” she


“There are still details to be

worked through of course. We

understand NZIST will want

a central city location and of

course that’s what Council

wants as well.”

Hamilton City Council,

Waikato-Tainui, Te Waka

and Waikato Chamber of

Commerce led an extensive,

competitive bid to convince

NZIST to choose Hamilton as

its new headquarters location.

One of the strongest arguments

for locating the NZIST

headquarters in Hamilton is

that operating from the city

will facilitate the institute’s

goal of holding inclusivity as

a core principle.

Fifty percent of New Zealand’s

Māori population and

72 percent of its Pacific population

are concentrated within

the tri-region area between

of Plenty.

Waikato-Tainui CEO

Donna Flavell says, “We

are excited for the opportunities

that this will provide

to our people and the wider


More than 40 business and

community leaders lent significant

support to the bid process.

Te Waka CEO Michael

Bassett-Foss says the news is a

huge boost for the city and the

region at just the right time.

“Winning this competitive

bid for NZIST headquarters is

a testament to how the Mighty

Waikato rallies together when

it counts, and we want to thank

everyone who helped make it

happen, especially our industry

leaders who supported the


“This is another big win

that proves our city and region

offers significant benefits that

continue to attract new business,

investment and talent

even during the current economic

climate,” says Bassett-Foss.

Waikato Chamber of Commerce

executive director Don

Good says he is proud of the

cohesive way that the bid was

put together.

“It was refreshing and

inspiring to see so many key

organisations and talented

individuals come together

to secure Hamilton as the

NZIST headquarters. Working

together on projects such as

this demonstrates our collective


Software and virtual reality

specialist Company-X supported

the city’s bid and welcomed

news of its success.

“Company-X supported the

joint registration of interest

because it made sense,” said

co-founder and director David


“We have always seen the

Waikato, with Hamilton at its

heart, as the Silicon Valley

of New Zealand, resplendent

with a diverse array of growing

businesses in the technology




Kids love it

Grandparents love it

Everyone loves it


Bacon & Eggs

poached, fried or scrambled on ciabatta

Eggs Bene



poached eggs on ciabatta with crispy

bacon, buttered spinach and hollandaise

OR exchange ciabatta for Hamilton housemade rosti


Creamy Mushrooms

everyones favourite



Blueberry Pancakes


with lemon curd, cream & maple syrup

Whole menu can be Gluten free

















Hand-crafting unique


Goldsmiths Gallery Jewellers specialise

in exquisite jewellery made by expert


Anthony Licht is the

owner and a manufacturing

jeweller who

qualified in South Africa. His

wife, Michelle, works in the

front shop helping customers.

For the past 20 years, Goldsmiths

Gallery Jewellers have

hand-crafted unique pieces

designed to the customer’s

specifications and budget.

Unlike retail jewellery

stores, at Goldsmiths Gallery

Jewellers you actually get to

chat to the jeweller who is

making your jewellery. There

are a further four jewellers who

work in the stores, all of whom

have a wealth of knowledge

and expertise.

Something that Goldsmiths

Gallery Jewellers take great

pride in is “recycling” old

pieces of jewellery, gold and

gemstones and making them

into pieces that people love

forever. They can either handmake

the item, using your gold

and gems, or it can be designed

Something that

Goldsmiths Gallery

Jewellers take

great pride in is

“recycling” old pieces

of jewellery, gold

and gemstones and

making them into

pieces that people

love forever.”

using CAD, in which case you

get to see the image on the

computer prior to the manufacturing.

Social distancing bears. Above: Michelle Licht

Another specialty is manufacturing

engagement rings to

order. If you want unique, classical,

trendy, different, they

are the jewellers you can trust

with your designs. Matching

wedding bands made to fit an

existing engagement ring is a

huge part of the business.

They also do repairs onsite,

and can restring pearl and bead


If you prefer to buy an

item off the shelf, they

have you covered

too. Pendants,

rings, bracelets,

bangles, chains:

they have an

extensive front

store with all the

eye candy in the

way of jewellery

you could ever wish

for. They even have a

range of jewellery specific to

the sport of rowing.

During lockdown Michelle

and Anthony designed a feelgood

pendant to celebrate

the country’s commitment to

overcoming Covid-19 in the

form of a bear wearing a mask.

Behind the mask the bear is

smiling, which you can see

on the reverse of the pendant,


which is representative of the

good times ahead of all of us.

So pop into either of their

two stores at 427 Victoria

street, Hamilton or ground

floor Chartwell Shopping


Centre. Visit their website


or check them out via Instagram

or Facebook.

- Supplied copy

Anthony Licht

“We Do It All Instore - Retail, Repairs,

Remodelling, CAD & Hand-made

Jewellery Manufacturing”

Come and see us at our new premises at

427 Victoria Street, Just 2 doors

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quality jewellery, repairs and

manufacturing instore, as always.

Visit us in our two locations:

427 Victoria Street, Hamilton | 07 838 3418

Chartwell Shopping Centre | 07 852 5341






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Healthy food - nothing to be afraid of

There’s a bit of a healthy food boom going

on at the moment, but for Matt Gatchell

eating healthy, eating ‘clean’, is nothing

new. He grew up with food allergies and

to stay well he’s always had to be careful

about what he eats.

It was Matt’s own experience

that attracted him to a

career as a chef and to his

starting up Café Inc in Rototuna.

Then he opened Fill a

Bowl in Te Rapa and now a

new Fill a Bowl has opened in

Ward Street Hamilton’s CBD.

“At the café we focused on

serving good, healthy food,

gluten free, raw and vegan

offerings. We didn’t want any

one with allergies or special

food needs to feel alienated

when they came to us.”

And it was at the café that

Matt had his lightbulb moment,

the idea for Fill a Bowl. “People

would come into Café Inc

and ask for one of our salads

without, say, onions, which

couldn’t be done because the

dishes were all pre-made. And

I thought, what if we could let

people make their own?”

Matt says as he planned

Fill a Bowl, it was actually the

sauces he created first. “People

like their sauces and dressings,

barbecue or fruity for example,

but they don’t want them to

overpower their meal, so I first

worked on getting those sauces

right. To me, a good dish is all

about balance, there’s no single

dominant flavour.”

While Fill a Bowl custom-

ers can choose what they want

in their gourmet bowls, they

are given guidance from a

menu that offers a good variety

of tastes and flavours. Maybe

a breakfast bowl, a fragrant

Thai bowl, or a nutritionist-approved

Bento beef bowl. Yes,

there is meat available alongside

the vegetarian and vegan


At the café we

focused on serving

good, healthy food,

gluten free, raw and

vegan offerings. We

didn’t want any one

with allergies or

special food needs to

feel alienated when

they came to us.”

All savoury bowls start

with a mixed-lettuce base,

then freshly chopped vegetables

are added along with one

of eight in-house made dressings.

On top of that goes some

brown rice and protein of your

choice, sauce, and a topping

such as guacamole or crunchy

chickpeas to finish. The food is

prepped fresh each day in the

large purpose-built kitchen in

Te Rapa.

“We’re getting good feedback

from customers and

we’ve started to get our regulars,”

Matt says. “We’ve now

got customers who come in

four or five days a week for

lunch. And some people will

take bowls home for their

evening meals too.” All servings,

dine-in our take-out, are

served in compostable bowls

with wooden cutlery. The only

difference being that the takeaways

have lids.

Matt is keen to extend the

out-catering side of the business.

“We offer this service

in two ways. A client can

either contact us and order a

mix of ingredients for people

to make their own bowls, or

they can choose a selection of

bowls from our menu. Just tell

us what you want and we’ll

deliver,” he says.

And you can now download

the Fillabowl App.

Matt Gatchell

Back fixing


Simple & beautiful

eCommerce websites

Get your shop ONLINE in as quick as

one week.

Visit www.thegoodpa.co.nz

or call 07 870 1669 to see if

we can help you.

Mark Ewing, Catherine Carleton & Andrew Quick

07 839 5870 / 17 Pembroke St / hamiltonorthodontics.co.nz



Cambridge orthodontic practice makes

most of technology

The changing face of technology has turbo-charged Cambridge

practice True Alignment Orthodontics.

Owner Vernon Kruger

likens the advances,

including 3D printing

and computer modelling, to

changing from horse and cart

to EV motor cars.

It gives him the capacity

to further develop his threedecade-plus

long approach

to orthodontics that sees him

growing jaws rather than just

straightening teeth.

It has also seen the practice,

formerly Growth Orthodontics,

renamed as True Alignment


Vernon with Xray machine

The advances have been

made on several fronts, from

the materials available for

teeth alignment to 3D scanning

and computer modelling.

“We now take 3D scans of

people’s mouths. That 3D scan

is converted into a 3D model

on the computer, and all the

orthodontic treatment that we

as orthodontists see in our

head and what we would like

to achieve, we can do on the

computer,” Kruger says.

“We then can make aligners

that wrap around the teeth and

move the teeth in a very programmed

manner to where we

eventually want them to be.”

Kruger uses US company

Invisalign’s products, but hastens

to say he is growing jaws,

not providing Invisalign therapy.

He says Invisalign’s

3D-printed material is elasticised

and multi-layered. “I

looked at this product and realised

we could use it to grow


Kruger’s philosophy of

treatment has been developed

since he was a dentist in the

1980s in a small town in South

Africa, when he helped with

children’s orthodontic needs,

so they didn’t have to travel

150km to the nearest specialist.

“When I started doing

orthodontics, I didn’t want to

take any teeth out. As a dentist,

I didn’t want to take teeth

out. And we were shown how

around the world, especially

Europe and in some parts of

America, they were growing

jaws to make all the teeth fit.”

He says the benefits are

multiple. As he describes it,

growing jaws means teeth can

align naturally and also creates

more space for the tongue.

Without that space, he says, the

tongue tends to sit further back

and down in the mouth. “The

problem then is one’s airways

get restricted. The body’s first

reaction to an airway restriction

is to push the head forward.”

Bad posture can follow, he

says, along with health issues.

Not only that, night time problems

can occur. “At night,

when you’re sleeping, should

your head fall back and is not

forward, as it is during the day,

your airways could become

obstructed.” That in turn can

lead to light sleeping, intermittent

snoring or even sleep

apnoea, he says.

“Using this philosophy

of care we’re not just going

to straighten the teeth, we’re

going to analyse the shape,

the size and the position of the

jaws, and try and correct that.

“It’s automatic that the

teeth will be nice and straight


Patients range in age from

seven to 65, and the aligners

can be easily removed to eat

and clean. “And then you just

pop them back in again and off

you go,” he says. “They’re virtually


The new aligners, as

opposed to older-style plates

or braces, allows them to do

far more, with more efficiency,

control and reliability, he says.

A patient will be given multiple

aligners, in some cases up

to 100, fitting them in sequence

as the teeth and jaw are slowly


“The skill required is knowing

what needs to be done and

what can be done when you

design your treatment at the

beginning, and then monitoring

what’s going on.

Technology allows a further

advantage - patients can

use a device to take their own

images of their mouth, using

their cellphone and an app, and

then share that image with the

practitioner, who can advise

Vernon Kruger using the 3D scanner

whether it’s time to move onto

the next aligner. That also

allows the practitioner to keep

an eye on general dental health

from a distance, and reduces

the number of visits a patient

needs to make to the practice.

“The beauty is anybody

anywhere in the world can get

a scan of their mouth done.”

That sees the practice with

patients in the South Island and

Australia, and even one who

has moved to France.

“I’m one who loves

change,” Kruger says. “I love

looking at new ways, new

techniques, trying different

things and looking at better

ways of doing it.

“My vision for the future

is that we’ll have many dentists

able to help many more

patients. I see it as a model

for the future of orthodontics,

much as we’re seeing the electric

vehicle being the future of





How unique is your USP?

Natural reactions to pandemic-enforced change mean there are

common themes in marketing messages, so making our unique

selling proposition stand out is a challenge.

Businesses have to focus

on clarity of information

or customer

behaviours, or are forced to

prioritise price promotions to

boost sales.

Is this the time to concentrate

on accentuating your USP

or adapt to the times? Well,

that really depends on your

USP, how genuinely unique it

is and how much it can reflect

the inevitable changes your

customers are facing.

As a simple definition, your

USP is the aspect of your brand

that differentiates it from others.

It’s the reason your customers

pick you.

However, more realistically,

it’s a combination of reasons

that tip the balance when

potential customers are weighing

up options.

The marketing text books

of ye olde times talked about

the four Ps of the marketing

mix: product, price, place and

promotion. Is your product

different to others in the marketplace?

Do your customers

pick it because of cost? How

easy it for customers to access

your product or service? How

do you tell them about it?

Our goal as marketers is to

accentuate uniqueness in one

or all of those aspects to create

point of difference. But it’s a

busy, busy old world out there,

with many undifferentiated

businesses and with customers

facing an ever-growing barrage

of “pick me, pick me”. Given

that constant noise, the pressure

to find something unique

to your brand is immense, but

perhaps uniqueness shouldn’t

necessarily be our priority.

I’ve been in many workshops

helping companies

define their brand where we’ve

struggled to agree that one single

thing we’d want customers

to say about it, or where the

list of five words to describe

the brand can’t be whittled

below nine.

Authenticity to your

brand and relevance

to your audience

are your strongest

tools, irrespective of


Yes, brand owners should

be able to hone this down to a

clear and succinct focus. But

if your business is diverse in

its offer or there are numerous

factors that genuinely influence

customers’ decisions, perhaps

the emphasis should be

as much on authenticity as it is


The old four Ps in marketing

theory have now been

overtaken by extra Ps and a

few other initials for good luck

which, to me, goes to prove

that a broader, more flexible

approach is often more realistic.

For example, ExampleCo

is a (fictional!) construction

business who builds beautiful,

high-spec homes. They

have existing plans or use your

architect, and work within an

hour of the city. They are flexible

around budget ranges but

aim for quality finishes. They

pride themselves on great service,

craftsmanship, clear communication

and always having

a smile.

Sounds pretty familiar,

doesn’t it. There are many

businesses who simply do

what they do well, just like

others around them.

ExampleCo may find a particular

USP for when they’re

talking to the real high-end

market, such as expertise with

a special material, but that’s

irrelevant to customers on

modest budgets, so there’s no

point focusing only on that.

They consciously hire people

who get on well with customers,

but others say that too.

If it’s genuinely true that the

experience is a great one, that

should be part of their storytelling,

but ExampleCo can’t

claim to be the only good team

to work with.

They like to try new things

and are capable enough to be

daring. ExampleCo could be

classed as disrupters, but that

word doesn’t sit well with

them. They feel their typical

customers find comfort in

familiarity and that they can

talk about new ideas and push

boundaries once they’ve established

a rapport, not as a key

marketing message, so they’ll

keep that for case studies. A

cautious approach, but it’s

where they’re comfortable. It’s



Vicki Jones is director of Dugmore Jones, Hamilton-based brand

management consultancy. Email vicki@dugmorejones.co.nz


If we were talking in terms

of the old Ps, ExampleCo

can exhibit some uniqueness

through their approach to

promotion. For them, doing

something different in their

marketing through a new look

or language could help them.

Perhaps they go for humour

(appropriate to their conservative

audience) or a creative

design approach to visually

stand out, like a unique colour

for vehicles and hardhats or

something eye-catching on the

building sites’ signage.

Your USP doesn’t, in my

view, have to be a single aspect

of your brand that is groundbreakingly

individual, and neither

does it have to be a grand

gesture or a big idea. It’s fantastic

if it can, absolutely. But

it’s the little things that count,

they say, and a well-considered

combination can make a big

difference, especially in rapidly

changing and challenging


Authenticity to your brand

and relevance to your audience

are your strongest tools, irrespective

of uniqueness.

Let ’s stick together!



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