Waikato Business News April/May 2021


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.


“ We want to create a city of Hamilton Kirikiriroa distinctively different to any

other city in the country, and the world.” - developer Matt Stark, page 4



Cambridge firms made

a strong showing at

the Waipā Networks

Business Awards, headed by

Rocketspark taking out the

Supreme Award.

The awards were held

during a flurry of high-profile

activity for the town as it

shakes off the effects of Covid,

with earthworks well underway

on two growth cells, a

new pool facility opening and

the establishment of a trust to

roaring ahead

Awards night draws enthusiastic crowd as district bounces back

promote a heritage building in

the heart of the town.

Motorists approaching

Cambridge from Hamilton can

see the signs of development

in major earthworks either side

of the main road, with growth

cells C2 and C3 underway.

Also visible on the town’s

edge is a new medical centre,

Cambridge Clinics, now

open for business. Cambridge

Family Health was

first to open its doors in the

centre, to be joined by other

health providers including a

radiology service.

Under Waipā District

Council’s structure plan, the

C2 and C3 growth cells will

ultimately cover a combined

280 ha, with projections for

up to 2375 dwellings as the

town’s population is expected

to almost double in the

next 50 years.

A key element of C3 is the

Te Awa River Ride which runs

along the Waikato River and

links Cambridge town centre

with the velodrome and St

Peter’s School.

Work on the Waipā section

of Te Awa is continuing,

and Cambridge firm

Civil Construction Services

has built around 10 percent

of the new cycleway by St

Peter’s. Once completed, the

Story continued on page 29

Picture: Cambridge website

builder Rocketspark took

out the Supreme Award

at the Waipā Networks

Business Awards. Photo:



Bringing the story of Hospice Waikato to life was an ambitious project and a new

experience for me. Brett Phillips, the CEO of Print House, gave me the wise guidance I

needed and made sure the book was completed on time and to a very high standard.

Brett’s creative ideas and meticulous attention to detail ensured a finished book

Hospice Waikato Foundation can be very proud of.

Both the book and the limited edition presentation box are simply superb.

Sharyn Cawood

Waikato Hospice Community Foundation

When you want

the best result .... you work

with the best!

142 Kent Street, Frankton, Hamilton

Phone: 0800 747 746 Web: phprint.nz

From the editor

Kia ora koutou.

This month we

tell the story of two

business owners who represent

a decent chunk of the

city’s history.

Waikato Business News

shifted a while ago to the GE

Clark building in Ward Street,

and at some point I had a chat

to our neighbour at the top of

the stairs. I am delighted that I

did. Vicki Dromgool, the current

owner of Margaret Wallace

Clothing Alterations, told

me the business has been in the

city - and the building - for 50

years this year.

It was a serendipitous

moment. Vicki put me in touch

with the founder, Margaret,

needle sharp at 92, and I had

the pleasure of interviewing

the two women together.

It is one of my favourite stories

from my time at Waikato

Business News.

They reminisced with each

other about the old days and

I had the privilege of hearing

and recording their stories.

Like the one about the guy

who ripped his trousers trying

to get out of the building after

he was inadvertently locked in.

Or the burglars who used cushion

piping to lower themselves

from the roof to make their

I did an experiment and I added

up all of the customers of our

customers, and I ended up at

hundreds of millions of people.

Thematic founder Alyona Medelyan

on the power of AI Page 8


Margaret, especially, was

remembering an earlier Hamilton,

observed and experienced

from the same floor of the

same building that the business

is still in.

There were names of people

and businesses long passed

from the city’s consciousness. I

had to make a calculated gamble

around spellings of names

in at least a couple of cases,

and stand to be corrected.

There were no airs and

graces to Margaret and Vicki;

they had made the most of their

considerable skills as seamstresses

while also making crucial

business decisions along

the way, riding out waves of

change as they did so.


Another favourite past

interview springs to mind,

with a similarly straightforward

pair of women, Julie

Caldwell and Julie Blackwell,

who have come up with an

invaluable tablet for older

people experiencing cognitive


Margaret is a woman who

wanted to make something of

her life, to achieve more than

renting a flat and driving an

old car. A woman on her own

who knew she could do better,

and did. I appreciate having

the opportunity to tell Margaret

and Vicki’s story (see page

10). Happy reading!

Ngā mihi

Richard Walker

“ We love collaboration.

And we want to partner

with people to make a

wider impact ”


Deidre Morris

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 228 8442

Email: deidre@dpmedia.co.nz


Richard Walker

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 814 2914

Email: richard@dpmedia.co.nz


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



News releases/Photos/Letters:







“ I just tried to get the team to

focus on what we could control,

what we needed to do. ”

Ella Stuart on

Impact Hub


Hamilton Airport CEO Mark Morgan on

getting through Covid Page 32 Page 13

25 Ward Street, Hamilton

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



‘I want to be part of a great city’


Developer Matt Stark has a simple wish

for his city. He wants Hamilton Kirikiriroa

to be distinctively different from anywhere

else in the world.

Stark looks ahead 10 or

15 years to a city with a

Tainui Māori undertone,

in which the buildings articulate

its history and stories

through their design.

He wants Hamilton to

become an iconic city, just as

Christchurch has been - or for

that matter the great European

cities like Prague or Barcelona,

where he says you know

instantly what city you are in.

So it’s a simple wish, and a

big one.

“My dream is we build

a city that, whatever culture

you come from, you come to

Hamilton City and you go,

‘Wow, what a cool city.’ It’s

been built and created in a way

that appreciates its past, knows

who it is today, and knows

where it’s going.”

He thinks Hamiltonians

are starting to understand their

past, but wonders if they understand

what the city is today -

“cow town or metropolitan?”

- and where it is going.

He sees Stark Property’s

newest build, Tūāpapa, as playing

its part. Tūāpapa, which

can be translated as terrace or

foundation, will feature three

buildings along Ward Street

from the Tristram Street corner.

The mixed-use development

will include office space, retail

and hospitality and accommodation.

Construction will start

on the first stage - a six-storey

office building named Mahi -

late this year.

As much as possible, it will

be done with local providers.

Artist’s impression of Tristram Precinct.

“We [Hamilton] so often

run to Auckland and get consultants

out of there to do

the stuff that we have got the

expertise for in town. I’m all

for getting ideas and harvesting

stuff from further abroad

and bringing it back because

that’s what I’ve done for many

years, but actually, the money

spent outside the city when

we’ve got the talent here, it’s


“If we want to look like

Auckland, go get an Auckland

consultant because they’ll

make it look like Auckland.”

Creating a city that is

proudly distinctive will come

partly from drawing on the past

for design inspiration, but also

from its natural layout, which

crucially includes the Waikato


Integrating the river should

be a high priority, Stark says.

“Stop building buildings on it

and blocking it from the public.”

There are simple steps that

he thinks haven’t yet been

taken to open up the river and

enhance people’s feeling of

safety. “Cut the shrubs, have

a vegetation management plan

to look after your best asset,”

he says.

“We’ve got the largest river

in the country, and we’re still

not there, we’re giving lip service

to it. We’re a long way

from it.”

When it comes to the proposed

pedestrian bridge, Stark

says the city should also be

talking about handrails and

safety barriers on the existing

bridges’ footpaths - a $300,000

job, not a multimillion one,

he says. He’s not opposed to

builds like the footbridge and

theatre, but says: “Where’s the

real, meaningful, low-hanging

fruit? There’s so much

low-hanging fruit at the


My dream is we build

a city that, whatever

culture you come

from, you come to

Hamilton City and

you go, ‘Wow, what

a cool city.’ It’s been

built and created in a

way that appreciates

its past, knows who

it is today, and knows

where it’s going.

Deputy Mayor Taylor, who

has the key role as chair of the

Central City and River Plan

Advisory Group, says council

staff are creating river view

shafts in places and he is pressing

for more.

“I live and breathe opening

up the river to this city,”

he says in response to Stark’s

comments, and points out

council has just got approval

for a “huge raft of river projects”

in the Long Term Plan.

That includes $13 million

towards planning and

construction of a pedestrian

bridge, $6 million around the

new Waikato Regional Theatre

to create a plaza, $3.5 million

transforming the Victoria St

frontage of Waikato Museum,

$1.4 million demolishing the

municipal pools and doing

up the Ferrybank area, and

$1.1 million on Wellington St

beach. He says they have also

spent more than $1m on a new

jetty beneath the museum,

which is now open, and are

backing a group that wants to

create a multi-million dollar

community and sports hub at

Roose Commerce and Ferrybank.

With Stark’s commitment

to the city, it

may seem surprising

that he did not submit on Hamilton’s

long-term plan.

That’s because while he

respects the councillors, he

says he has had only a handful

of interactions with them and

wonders how in touch they are

with his sector of the community.

“They are in control of the

fastest growing city that’s geographically

well placed and a

city that could be developed

well and can be developed in

a unique way with a young

population. They’ve got all the

ingredients, and are we cooking

it well?”

In answer to his own

question, Stark doesn’t

Continued on page 6

505 Grey Street


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on Bridge St corner site

over 3 levels

Ground floor Office:

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1st floor Office:

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Ring your local agent or

owner on 0274742326


Company-X developer fights COVID-19


A Company-X developer is doing his

bit in the fight against COVID-19.

Company-X software

developer Mark

Nikora has joined the

fight against COVID-19 by

volunteering his time to a

project designing and building

low-cost remote control

medical ventilators.

Nikora, who joined Company-X

in March after 20

years as an information technology

lecturer at Waikato

Institute of Technology (Wintec),

has been volunteering

for the charitable Arden Auxiliary

Medical Trust since


The trust is designing and

building sophisticated lowcost

medical ventilators to

artificially respirate COVID-

19 patients or provide oxygen

through nasal canula or continuous/bilevel


The ArdenVent can be

operated and controlled from

an internet connection anywhere

in the world.

The trust is also working

on a low-cost oxygen concentrator,

the ArdenOxyGen

to be donated to developing

countries expected to struggle

with COVID-19 patients

for years.

The not-for-profit ventilator

and concentrator can be

used in tandem.

The trust hopes that its

contribution will lead to more

data being collected concerning

COVID-19 treatment protocol

and further mutations.

“I wanted to get involved

in a project that made use of

my skills and was personally

rewarding, so that I could

be proud of contributing

to something worthwhile,”

Nikora said.

I wanted to get

involved in a project

that made use

of my skills and

was personally

rewarding, so that

I could be proud

of contributing

to something


While New Zealand’s

team of five million has kept

COVID-19 out of the community,

Nikora has developed

an empathy for the rest of the

world where the pandemic

has been rife.

“I wanted to help. Rather

than sit here at the bottom of

the world I wanted to utilise

my skills,” Nikora said.

“For Maori people, early

last century, influenza had

a strong effect on the population,

with a high mortality

rate, and that’s strongly

embedded in our memory.

So, when the pandemic came

around, a lot of us took it

deadly seriously because a

lot of us have ancestors who

were affected by it.”

Nikora spends up to

eight hours per week on the


Nikora is one of an international

team of about 50

working on the project led by

co-founders and trustees Alan

Thomas in Auckland and

Michael Ilewicz in Germany.

“I came on board to focus

on the user interface. I have

been contributing to the user

interface team,” Nikora said.

“You can have a medical

professional or family member

that could potentially

supervise multiple people in

multiple locations.”

The project is using

ReactJS, a JavaScript library

for building user interfaces,

and Storybook, an opensource

tool for developing

user interface components.

“ReactJS and Storybook

allows us to develop and test

components individually and

construct the interface with

tested components,” Nikora


“One thing that I’m currently

looking at is the need

for a translation engine so

that doctors can customise the

user interface to see whatever

measure he or she requires.

“I’m excited to be working

with people from around the

world,” Nikora said.

COVID-19 BUSTER: Company-X developer Mark Nikora, left, is volunteering

his time designing and building low-cost remote control medical ventilators.

“To be able to talk to them

about how the pandemic has

affected them has given me

some unique perspectives.”

Nikora appreciates getting

access to other subject

matter experts in software

development on the Arden-

Vent team and is also seeking

advice from the Company-X

team too.

“I’ve been looking around

and wanted to chase up whoever

it is that knows a lot

about internet of things (IoT)

around here. Because working

at Company-X allows me

to tap into other experts who

can give great advice on the

architecture, my work and

certain aspects. And that’s

what I’m hoping I can pick

up as a way to apply to that

particular project.”

Ilewicz said after getting

familiar with the project,

Nikora had contributed to

the discussion on how to best

implement the network infrastructure


Thomas said: “One of the

main achievements is cutting

out all of the unnecessary

costs that make the treatment

of COVID-19 so expensive.

Enhancing the capabilities of

hospital services, and if they

are overloaded being able

to care for people at home,

makes it much more economical

and more viable, maintain

a high standard of care at


Company-X co-founders

and directors David Hallett

and Jeremy Hughes are supportive

of the project.

“This project is Kiwi ingenuity

at its very best, solving

the world’s problems with the

perfect marriage of software

and hardware,” Hallett said.

“We were thrilled to hear

about the project and will

support Mark in whatever

way we can.”

The trust is recruiting

volunteers to work on the

project, as well as seeking

funding for manufacture.

Navigate the

digital landscape

with us


‘I want to be part of a great city’

From page 4

pull his punches. “I reckon

we’re building crap

everywhere,” he says.

There are three modes of

development in a city: high,

medium and low density. “And

at the moment, I think we’ve

got those priorities slightly

confused. You know, just build

whatever you can do anywhere,

to fit anything on it and

it’ll be fine.”

Taylor, who says he takes

on board Stark’s comments

about lack of interactions, also

agrees there is an “awful mish

mash of development” allowed

through the city under the current

District Plan, which is

being reworked.

“I think that’s a huge shame

and we’re turning that ship

around right now as we redo

the District Plan.”

Taylor says the city is heading

towards getting higher density

quality housing in the central

city and surrounding areas

and probably close to high frequency

public transport routes.

“The other areas of the

city will be protected and

you can buy a family house

knowing you won’t get a

Experience care as it

should be, experience

the Braemar way.

nasty surprise next door.”

Stark says Chartwell, the

central city and The Base

should be ring fenced as the

areas to intensify because they

have the amenities that people

need. And Hamilton’s boundaries

shouldn’t keep growing,

given the city’s constraint with

its bridges.

“I want to be a part of a

great city, not a crap city.”

This puts him in an interesting

position when it comes

to the vexed question of

development contribution

remissions in the CBD.

“I think we need to be careful

of not starving the central


“What happens is, if you

take the DCs off, and then we

want the cobbles in Garden

Place fixed, we’ve got to dip

back into the ratepayer to get

that. Whereas I think the developers

should be contributing

something to beautification.”

He does, however, see

merit in incentivising developers

to build up in the central

city, given how comparatively

cheap it is to intensify on land

further out. Stark has seen

development costs rise dramatically

in the last three to four

years. “Land’s got more expensive,

building costs have got

20, 30 percent more expensive.

It’s shifting pretty quickly.”

He is concerned at the cost

of compliance, some of it

driven by environmental concerns,

after what he describes

as 15 years of drift since he

started as a developer.

“I reckon we need to draw a

line in the sand and say, are we

prioritising humans enough?

Because what really grinds my

wheels is, why on earth have

we got a couple of hundred

people living in Ulster Street in

some very substandard accommodation,

and children living

in that sort of environment

with guards standing outside,

you know? It’s not acceptable.

“Ironically, we’re trying

to make people safer from a

health and safety perspective.

But are those people feeling

safe down Ulster Street?”

Nevertheless, Stark is

forging ahead with his

developments in the

city. Tristram Precinct, opposite

Tūāpapa is almost complete,

and naming rights clients

WSP will shift in with the

regional council to follow.

Stark Property is also partnering

with the New Zealand

Blood Service to design and

build a new facility for the

Waikato Donor Centre on

the corner of Anglesea and

London Streets.

We want to create

a city of Hamilton

Kirikiriroa around

being distinctively

different to any other

city in the country,

and the world.

The three-level building,

plus basement carpark, has

been designed to accommodate

a national office, meeting room

and staffroom, as well as logistics

facilities on the first two

floors. Earthworks will start in


Stark is confident of filling

both Tūāpapa and Tristram

Precinct office developments,

with plenty of people looking

for space, whether they are

coming from inside or outside

the city.

The same applies for other

future office developments,

including one on the corner of

Victoria and Hood Streets.

“Because I think, through

Covid, everybody talked about

working from home, Zoom,

Microsoft Teams, all these

things. But we’ve worked out

pretty quickly, we don’t like

working on our own too long.”

He says 95 percent of the

residents of Panama Square,

the Garden Place coworking

space developed by Stark

Property, had returned to the

building within three days of

being able to following lockdown.

If anything, he expects

offices to become bigger

because of wellness requirements.

“We won’t be cramming

as many people in so they

will need bigger floorplates.”

He says Stark Property is

seeing all the companies within

its portfolio grow, and Stark

Property itself is also growing,

currently with 13 staff.

They have shifted to an

office on the ground floor of

Panama Square which opens

directly onto Garden Place.

“That’s part of the evolution

of how we see our cities.

You know, there will be more

office on the ground floor. Too

often, we’ve shied away from

it - ‘it needs to be upstairs’ - but

it’s more active in some offices

than in some retail spaces.

“I think it’s good that there’s

so many interactions you have

from a business perspective.

You see people walk past, they

see you and they come in.”

Meanwhile, there’s that

simple wish. “We want to

create a city of Hamilton

Kirikiriroa around being distinctively

different to any other

city in the country, and the


• Disclosure: The author

and Geoff Taylor are

co-directors of a bookwriting


Braemar Hospital is one of the largest

private surgical hospitals in New Zealand,

and it’s here in Hamilton.

Artist’s impression of Tūāpapa.

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.



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City firm to fore in

architecture awards

Hamilton-based Edwards White

Architects have won awards for two

contrasting builds in the Waikato Bay

of Plenty Architecture Awards.

The Te Kāhui Whaihanga

New Zealand Institute

of Architects Local

Awards were held in April at

the University of Waikato Tauranga


Edwards White won a

housing award for a hilltop

home overlooking Whāingaroa

Raglan Harbour that the

judges said admirably met the

client’s request for “a house

of clean lines and open spaces

that capitalises on the amazing


Situated to provide shelter

from the prevailing winds and

to take advantage of the outlook

over Raglan township,

harbour and sea, the design

response is a sheltering, lowslung,

L-shape combined with

generous internal spaces. The

entrance cantilever and wide

living area overhangs provide

a sculptural sense of shelter

in this “big landscape”, the

judges said.

Edwards White also won

a commercial award for the

Urban Homes headquarters

on the corner of London and

Anglesea Streets in central


“Occupying a prominent

corner of Hamilton’s CBD,

Urban HQ shows us that the

architects’ manifesto for intelligent

renewal of Hamilton’s

urban fabric continues with

gusto,” the judges said.

“Denying the condemnation

of a disused 1950s building

to mere landfill, the architect

has sustainably retained

the existing structure and

deftly cloaked it in a new performance-oriented


The judges said the existing

building is acknowledged

by way of an exposed

concrete structure, which is

contrasted by clean, modern

lines to heighten the appreciation

of both. “This modern,

future-proofed office

building is a delight in its

combination of memory

and function.”

A Hamilton family home

designed by Auckland-based

Mercer and Mercer Architects

also won an award, with the

judges saying it was effortlessly

arranged around a highly

resolved plan. “This house is

proof of the architects’ deep

consideration and curiosity for

how it may adapt over time,

and is a finely crafted home

for living in.”

Hamilton-based architects

Architecture Bureau won in

the housing section for a concrete

bungalow four-bedroom

holiday home.

The judges said a handsome

elevation and dignified

street presence conceal an

artful gradient from public to

private within the suburban

holiday home.

“Careful consideration of

thermal mass and cross ventilation

to manage comfort,

combined with a sensitive

incorporation of the clients’

craft into the structure of the

house, creates a home that is

comfortable for a couple but

able to take a crowd.”

Sixteen projects received

awards across six categories

and two Enduring Architecture

Awards were also presented,

including one in the Waikato

for the former Putāruru Post

Office building, designed

by Beehive architect Fergus

Sheppard in the 1960s, and

described by judges as a “beacon

of modernist architecture

in New Zealand”.

Many clients and architects

had worked together to

reduce the carbon footprint

of builds. “It’s exciting to see

some experimentation with

new structural panel prefabrication

ideas in efforts to

design more efficient buildings,”

jury convenor Camden

Cummings said.

Urban HQ by Edwards White

Raglan Rest by Edwards White

Urban HQ

Raglan Rest




Government changes -

will residential investors

move towards commercial

and industrial?

In a move to make it easier for first home

buyers, the government has recently

lifted both income and property price

caps. They have also brought in some

changes for residential investors, which

may lead to a change in their thinking on

property investment:

Bright Line Test – extended from 5

years to 10 years for existing residential

properties, where you will be required to

pay tax on any profit made through the

property increasing in value.

Removal of Interest Deductibility

– interest on loans will no longer be tax

deductible for residential investors (there

may be an exclusion for new builds, but this

is yet to be determined).

All in all, the government seems to

have completely missed the point, the

issue is simple – supply, supply, supply.

This along with the increasing costs of construction,

from compliance, legislation, cost

of labour and building products, is making

housing more expensive for home owners

and those renting. Whether you make it

easier for first home buyers and continue

to make it more difficult and expensive for

those renting, it all comes back to the issue

of supply.

Since this announcement was made,

we have seen growing commentary

around the increasing unaffordability for

those renting, with fewer properties being

available and more competition for available

housing sock, all leading to rents

continuing to rise.

I am very much in favour of making

it easier for those wanting to get on to the

home ownership ladder, but consider those

renting as well. There has to be an effect

when the house we live in quite happily,

is unlikely to meet the new healthy homes

requirements for rental properties – it was

obvious that this legislation was inevitably

going to lead to the cost for upgrading rental

properties being passed on to tenants in the

form of rent increases.

A recent One Roof article suggests that

MBIE statistics show that 77 percent

of Kiwi investors own just one investment

property. It has always been clear

that the government cannot deliver enough

rental accommodation, so it only makes

sense that the private sector is always going

to be required to help meet the significant

shortfall. Therefore, assistance needs to

be provided to those private landlords

providing this basic service, as it does

with other businesses and their loan costs.

My observations are that many of

those who own one residential

rental property,

actually take greater

care to provide



Mike Neale - Managing Director,

NAI Harcourts Hamilton.

acceptable accommodation as they are

seeking good reliable tenants, who are there

for the long term – very few want to flick

on the property within a short period of time

for capital gain.

So, will this lead residential investors

moving in greater numbers towards

commercial and industrial investments?

Certainly, greater numbers are likely to consider

this, but whether they enter this market

is still unknown. Major trading banks are

still weighted towards and have a greater

appetite for residential property, where they

deem it to have less potential associated risk.

In saying that and having talked to several

investors recently who have both commercial

and residential investments, they appear

to be of the view that there is now benefit in

having the debt allocated against the commercial

property, while being able to retain

their diversified mix of residential and

commercial investments.

The demand for commercial and

industrial investments, particularly in

the $500,000-$1,500,000 market, already

has a distinct shortage of supply, particularly

for passive freehold investment

properties that have reputable tenants and

long-term leases. This issue is likely to be

exacerbated – as we have a distinct shortage

of supply – with the low interest rate

environment for those with money sitting

in the banks on deposit, we would expect

that yields may continue to fall, as demand

for cashflow from income-producing assets

increases further. With escalating compliance

requirements for residential investors,

one benefit for commercial and industrial

investors is that in many cases the cost of

professional management can be recovered

directly from the tenant. Increasingly with

this minefield of compliance, both residential

and commercial investors are likely to

seek professional property management, to

limit the growing potential liability they are

facing through government legislation.

So, until the supply issue is addressed,

not a lot is going to change – house prices

are likely to continue rising and either home

buyers or those renting will suffer the consequences.

Investors will continue seeking

assets with better returns, and property

will remain popular with its added attraction

of potential future capital gains

– commercial and industrial

property will therefore

increase in


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07 850 5252 | hamilton@naiharcourts.co.nz



Thematic founder and Waikato University graduate Alyona Medelyan

talks with AI Institute associate director Jannat Maqbool at the launch.

University launches

AI Institute

Waikato University’s “amazing”

reputation for AI research has helped a

graduate found a company with some of

the world’s big names among its clients.

Thematic founder Alyona

Medelyan told the

audience at the launch

of the university’s AI Institute

that when she attends conferences

around the world,

people already know about

Waikato University.

“Studying at Waikato

University didn't just teach

me valuable skills in natural

language processing

and machine learning. I also

benefited from Waikato University's

amazing reputation

worldwide,” she said at the

April 27 launch of Te Ipu o te

Mahara, which translates as

'A Receptacle of Consciousness’.

“In my opinion, it all

comes from the fact that

you're amazing sharing your

research and putting yourself

out there.”

She said while studying

for a PhD at Waikato she

learned about the importance

of open source computation

as well as writing about

research in an accessible way.

“When I started Thematic,

one of the first things we did

was to start writing about

the things that we do, and

explaining the problem that

we're trying to solve. And

this is how we found our first

international customer.”

Thematic uses AI to

analyse customer feedback

to help companies improve

their products and services,

and counts LinkedIn, Vodafone

and Jetstar among its

international clients. Having

a PhD from the university

also helped Medelyan gain a

spot at prestigious US-based

startup accelerator Y Combinator,

which she says was

transformative in the early

stages for the budding company

that now has 15 staff.

“I did an experiment and I

added up all of the customers

of our customers, and I ended

up at hundreds of millions of

people,” she said. “LinkedIn

alone has 700 million users,

and we help them to improve

their customer experience. So

that's an estimate of an impact

a tiny team of just 15 people

can make.”

Te Ipu o te Mahara is

focused on translating New

Zealand’s world-leading

expertise in AI, real time analytics

of big data and machine

learning, into commercial

businesses and applications.

Institute director Professor

Albert Bifet says the purpose

is to link Waikato’s world-class

training and education with

leading research and ultimately

boost New Zealand’s growing

tech industry.

“Artificial intelligence and

Māori tech have been identified

as enabling growth engines for

New Zealand and the purpose of

Te Ipu o te Mahara is to leverage

our world-leading expertise to

benefit New Zealand,” he says.

Waikato is responsible

for applications like WEKA,

the world's first open source

machine learning library that

has been downloaded more than

10 million times. Its researchers

have also written books on

machine learning and data mining

used by Google employees

and computer science departments

in universities around the

world. The university has also

recently invested in New Zealand’s

most powerful computer

for AI. The NVIDIA DGX A100

is the world’s most advanced

system for powering universal

AI workloads, enabling machine

learning and artificial intelligence

that can solve problems

from addressing climate change

to managing biodiversity.

One of the first projects the

computer is being used for is to

train models that can learn and

Professor Albert Bifet at the launch.

classify New Zealand’s plants

and animals, based on a publicly

available database of more than

one million photos.

Professor Bifet says AI will

transform research and business

in New Zealand, with technology

currently New Zealand’s

third largest export sector. New

Zealand’s top 200 tech companies

brought in revenue of $12.7

billion in 2020.

“Our focus is on building

collaborative relationships

between the Institute, the wider

AI research community and the

business community, both in

New Zealand and internationally,

and then using that research

to support entrepreneurship and

the commercialisation of AI


Associate director for the

Institute, Jannat Maqbool, will

be responsible for fostering

these relationships.

“Alongside the work of

experts and researchers a big

focus of the Institute will be getting

young people excited about

STEM subjects and AI, so New

Zealand can benefit from a local

talent pool with diverse perspectives

in leveraging this technology

into the future,” she says.

The Institute will offer programmes

in schools, deliver professional

programmes for industry

and help people connect and

invent new ways to address the

challenges of today, using AI.

Professor Bernhard

Pfahringer, Professor Eibe Frank

and Associate Professor Te Taka

Keegan are co-directors of the

Institute. Te Ipu o te Mahara

will sit within the Division of

Health, Engineering, Computing

and Science at the University of




Gartshore claims

prestigious awards

Gartshore have earned themselves a

reputation as leaders in the interior fitout

and joinery industries, having operated

nationwide for more than 60 years.

Continually reinvesting

profits back into the

business enables Gartshore

to have the most current

plant, processes, systems, technology

and staff training, ensuring

they can meet the demands

of some of New Zealand’s most

prestigious fitout projects both

now and in the future.

This is reflected in the fact

that Gartshore have recently

won two awards at the Master

Joiners Awards 2021 held in

Hamilton on the 26th of March.

The awards programme recognises

commitment to standards

and craftsmanship and celebrates

professional excellence

within the industry. Receiving

these awards on the back

of several awards at the NZ

Retail Interior Awards late last

year demonstrates Gartshore’s

continual drive to deliver high

quality projects time and time

again. Gartshore were awarded

the Best Region (Waikato-Bay

of Plenty) Award and Best Use

of Colour Award for Naumi

Studio Hotel in Wellington.

Housed in an iconic heritage-listed

building, the hotel

went through an extensive

top-to-toe renovation, transforming

it into a visual feast for

the senses, with eclectic spaces

inspired by seafaring, the literary

world and enduring love.

The client’s brief – delightfully

eccentric maximalism – was

brought to life by W Gartshore’s

bespoke joinery supply

and install.

The project was completed

in late 2020 and is a unique

experience that immerses

guests from the moment they

walk through the door. Greeting

them is a large scale painted

floral backdrop covered in gold

leaf, featuring bespoke 3D origami

flower lights and a framed

portrait of Lady Naumi.

The sensory overload continues

to Lola Rouge Bar, which

truly showcases exceptional

joinery craftsmanship. One of

the most eye-catching features

is the stunning light fixture that

hangs overhead, requiring hidden

structural steel work within

a suspended ceiling.

In the adjoining lounge, one

can find a purple mosaic tiled

fluted breakfast table, which

took over 200 man-hours to

create. Each 20mm x 20mm

glass tile was individually cut

to ensure a seamless transition

through the arches to the underside

of the tabletop – a true feat

of skill and perseverance.

A seemingly endless array

of materials and finishes,

including wallpapers, 17 different

types of tiles, several glass

finishes, fabrics, leathers, solid

timber, brass, metals, stone, and

veneers were seamlessly integrated

into the project and doing

so was a huge accomplishment

for the joinery and installation

team. The Gartshore team

worked tirelessly for weeks to

complete an outstanding

project which they are

incredibly proud of.

- Supplied Copy

Best Region Waikato-Bay of Plenty Award (David Higgins)


Three waters and

Waikato local council


The proposed Three Waters legislation that is being

promoted by the Labour Government will have a very

large effect on Waikato local councils.

In reality it is all about funding. By

separating out a large proportion of

local council revenue that is derived

from the three forms of water to a quasi-government

organisation that focusses

solely on the three waters across the

Waikato, the Government will diminish

substantially the revenue and functions

of local councils.

The consequent vacuum will be

basis for some form of consolidation

of those local councils by central


The Waikato Chamber of Commerce

has been advocating for the Amalgamation

of local councils for many years

because business is finding their boundaries

artificial and arbitrary, costly to

work with, time consuming, illogical,

and unproductive.

There are 12 territorial authorities

across the Waikato, governing 500,000

people. 12 replications, 12 governance

bodies, 12 bureaucracies, 12 large cost

centres, 12 voices singing off separate

song sheets, and unfortunately 12 separate

entities with different rules for

business to deal with.

Waikato families and businesses

work, play and live across those boundaries.

Those boundaries are unnecessary

hurdles. They create unnecessary

complexity. They create competition

rather than collaboration. They have

no natural logic. The lines that define

these territories bear no resemblance to


Drawn in the 80s they are archaic

and are holding back the Waikato from

achieving a prosperous future Amalgamation

needs to be pursued willingly

to a destination we all want, or we will

have it foisted on us in a manner that

we do not want by Central Government.

At stake is strong local democratic

representation and also bureaucratic efficiency.

If we do not have the conversation,

we will not have our combined

voice heard in the outcome.

The Waikato Chamber of Commerce

By Don Good, Waikato Chamber

of Commerce executive director

is not advocating a super council but

suggesting that a debate on amalgamation

needs to be spurred on by our

leaders, with our voters, ratepayers and

businesses contributing substantially to

the conversation.

There are lessons to be learnt from

the Auckland super council model. It

has not been without its faults, but from

a business point of view, it is one homogenous

area in terms of the rules and

regulations. That makes it very easy for

businesses to work with. We should be

looking at both what was successful

and what did not work in that merger

and its activities since.

It is also about our democratic voice

and a fair share of our tax being spent in

our region. The Chamber of Commerce

wants the region to have a united and

stronger voice but one involving less


We will not put a figure on what we

see as the optimum number of councils

for the Waikato but want the discussion

to start as soon as possible.

Otherwise, Three Waters will lead to

a Government imposed council merger

that is not led by those who live, work,

and play in the Waikato.

Margaret Wallace and Vicki Dromgool share memories of their

times with the business. The framed photo shows Margaret’s

sister wearing the wedding dress which Margaret made for her.

Part of city’s

fabric for 50 years


For five decades, people from around the Waikato have

been walking up a flight of stairs off Hamilton’s Ward Street to

get their clothing altered. It is a remarkable run of continuity for

the city business.

Early on Monday

morning, May 9,

1971, Margaret Wallace

walked up the stairs at

25 Ward Street in central

Hamilton. She spent time

making sure everything

was in order, including

her prized Bernina sewing

machine, took a deep breath

and at 8am, with a mixture

of excitement and trepidation,

opened the front

door. Hamilton’s newest

business, Margaret Wallace

Clothing Alterations, was

open for customers.

She had rent of $9 a

month to pay for the first

two months, $47 in the

bank and no guarantee this

would work out. But she

was determined.

The Bernina had been

bought the year before,

from a Te Aroha dressmaker

called Mrs Sleep, as Margaret

had begun to think about

starting her own business

and getting ahead. “I was

working for a tailor. And I

thought, well, I can't go on

like this with a funny old

car and renting a flat. I've

got to do something about


Aged 42, she was stepping

into the unknown.

Fifty years later, she can

still remember the first customer:

“It was Mrs Ericsson,

and her husband was

the manager of the Waikato


That first day she made

$2, the clothing stores

turned up in droves to give

her business, and she was

on her way.

The work poured in.

They were long days,

from 6am till 10pm, and

seven-day weeks. That

included working at home

every evening and at weekends.

There was no end of

trousers to take up, suits and

dresses to take in or let out,

coats to alter, zips to replace.

It was three years before she

took her first holiday. “I worried

myself sick the whole

time I was gone.”

She also did curtains. “I

used to get in the car at night

and take the tracks and put

them up at night time. I would

work till 11 o'clock to fit the

curtains. I had to do that to get

where I wanted to be.”

Margaret was solo for

the first 15 months before

employing her first staff member.

That followed advice

from well-known Hamilton

businessman Morty Foreman,

who knew her from her previous

job at Wilkinson’s.

“He came to see me and he

said, ‘I'll give you a few tips.’

“He said, ‘You're working

so hard, and you can't do it

with two hands. If you employ

somebody, you'll get more

work. As you get more work

that'll make you more money.

And don't put your prices

too high. Keep your turnover

high by having your prices


Margaret heeded his

advice, and went on to employ

eight staff as well as outworkers,

as the business in the

G E Clark building thrived.

Customers came from across

Waikato, and included the

Masonic Lodge, the Police

and the Fire Brigade.

Building owners G E

Clark, who sold plants and

grains among other products

(“you name it, they sold it,”

Margaret says), had an office

upstairs as well as a shopfront

downstairs. Her shop was off

the landing to the right facing

the street, and later shifted to

the back of the building on the

same floor.

“When I first went in, there

was an old lady with a milk

bar on the other side of the

road, and there was the black

and white coffee lounge.

There was a barber shop, there

was Pollock and Milne.”

Margaret also remembers

a restaurant upstairs called

La Gershinshaws, while she

says Laurie Jenkins Menswear

went in downstairs for a

while before shifting across to

the Government Life building

which opened in 1980, followed

by Centreplace in 1985.

And in the intervening

years, Margaret got

married (“the best

thing I ever did”) and developed

a loyal customer base.

Now 92, her memories of the

time are as sharp as ever.

One woman would come

in to have her clothes let out.

“I don’t know why I put this

weight on,” she said to Margaret,

“I hardly eat anything.”

Soon after, Margaret popped

across the road to the Diana

Coffee Lounge to get a sandwich

and noticed the woman

sitting at a table, her plate

loaded with pastries, from

sponge cake to donuts.

Margaret can still recall the

measurements for one particular

lawyer. “Leg 28 and the

bottom of his trousers, eight

inches across. He just used

to send them around with a

girl and I knew what to do to


Margaret also has a photo

showing her and her staff

wearing Lions’ jerseys made

for much bigger frames. The

back-up jerseys of the touring

rugby team had been dropped

off at short notice, for the

numbers to be sewn on.

Then there was the time

Margaret was phoned at 11pm

because a netball team had

realised they had left their uniforms

behind and they were



Vicki Dromgool with a Consew 230, still working

perfectly decades after it was first acquired.

flying out at 7am the next

morning. Margaret was in bed,

but told the woman she was

welcome to pop around, pick

up the key, head into town for

the uniforms and return the

key once she was done.

And there was one man, a

regular customer, who turned

up at closing time on a Friday

night to collect trousers that

had been altered for him.

“He picked his trousers

up and away he went, and I

picked up my briefcase and

away I went and locked the

grille downstairs. I got a

phone call about half an hour

later, and they said there was a

man on the premises climbing

up on the inside of the grille.

‘You’d better come in because

we can't get him out.’”

It turned out the man had

gone to the toilet on his way

out, delaying him long enough

that he was locked in, with

no way of phoning anyone.

In desperation he decided to

scale the grille gate to try to

get through a gap at the top,

but got stuck while a crowd

gathered outside.

To rub salt in the wound,

he ripped his trousers. Margaret

mended them at no charge,

and he remained a very good


“He took it in good part,”

says Margaret of his ordeal.

“He laughed.”

In 1994, Margaret sold up

and was finally able to take

longer holidays without

constantly having the business

on her mind. The name stayed,

however, and on May 9 this

year Margaret Wallace Clothing

Alterations marks 50 years

in the city, on the same floor of

the same building it started in.

It does so under the ownership

of Vicki Dromgool, who was

an employee of Margaret’s

when she sold and continued

under Correna Kirby’s tenure

before buying the business

herself in 1999.

The early ownership years

were tough for Vicki, who

inherited younger staff lacking

experience, and she was

busy. Things improved when

she employed three “really

good” staff members, Gail,

Julie and Carol. Gail became

Vicki’s mainstay, an “excellent


Times have changed,

clothing has got cheaper after

import licences were removed

in 1992, and the standard of

tailoring is not what it was.

On a sunny afternoon at Margaret’s

beautifully kept Hamilton

home, the two women

swap notes.

“Do you remember Thornton

Hall?” Vicki asks. Margaret

does indeed remember the

New Zealand fashion label,

which closed in 1997.

“They were the most

beautifully tailored clothes,”

Vicki says. “They were

lovely to work on but they

were intricate. Whereas now

you don't find stuff like that.

We do quicker jobs now,

because clothes are made so


“You can sew down a

side seam right through the

hem now. That's acceptable

whereas you wouldn't be able

to in those days."

“Oh no,” Margaret agrees.

“To put a zip in a pair of jeans

now you could just about go to

the Warehouse and buy a new

pair,” she says.

Vicki makes the point that

at the other end of the scale a

pair of jeans could cost $600.

“Those are the things that I

find that I'm doing, new zips

in jeans that are expensive,

new zips in suit trousers to

keep them going.”

They also remember staff.

“The thing I realised is it's

not only me that put me where

I am. It was having good staff

and we all worked as a team

together,” Margaret says.

Sadly, there have been bad


The thing I realised is

it's not only me that

put me where I am. It

was having good staff

and we all worked as

a team together.

Both Margaret and Vicki

have had staff steal from

them. Margaret was also burgled

five times, while Vicki

remembers turning up at work

one morning, when working

for Correna, to discover the

shop had been raided, with

the burglars making their

getaway by using cushion

piping to lower themselves

from the roof. The early Bernina

is no longer in use, but

other machines from Margaret’s

time still are, including a

blind hemmer, an overlocker

and three plain sewers. However,

they will soon be used

elsewhere; on August 1, just

over 50 years after opening

for business, Margaret Wallace

Clothing Alterations will

end as Vicki follows Margaret’s

footsteps and makes the

most of her retirement.

She has spanned more than

30 years with the company, as

employee and owner. And she

has seen changes, not only to

fashion but to the street.

“Ward Street has changed

in that time. It used to be the

busiest little hub in Hamilton,”

she says.

Margaret, meanwhile, has

outlived many of her former

customers. One thing stays the

same, however. “Even now, if

I go to a funeral, I can pick a

bad suit fitting,” she says.

From left: Susan Rowlands, Vicki, Margaret, Jackie Gough and

Jacqui Brown with Helen Sisson, front, wearing Lions jerseys

after they added numbers to them for the touring team.

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Residential / Commercial / Rural / Property Services


Why are we waiting…?

As is my style, I always wait until the last possible minute to

write this monthly article. I tell myself that we are definitely

due for some worthwhile immigration news…but, alas, we

are still waiting.

What are we waiting

for? Where do

I begin? Firstly,

the main category by which

migrants progress to obtain New

Zealand residence is the Skilled

Migrant Category (SMC) which

is a points-based and primarily

job dependent category. Applicants

who lodged their SMC

residence applications in early

August 2019 only now have

their applications allocated for

processing. Why are these applications

taking 20 months to get

to this stage? This is because we

are waiting on the Government

to decide on the New Zealand

Residence Programme, which

sets the target for the number of

people who can be approved for

residence under all categories in

an 18 month period. The current

Residence Programme expired

on the 31st of December 2019

and has yet to be officially

updated, and Immigration New

Zealand (INZ) is only mandated

to approve resident numbers

in line with the Residence

Programme. Last month it was

reported that there are almost

12,000 SMC applications, comprising

some 26,000 people,

whose applications are waiting

to be allocated…and they must

continue to wait, and hope that

the Government sanctions a

new Residence Programme

with a higher target which will

enable INZ to process their

applications at a faster rate.

The first stage of the SMC

application process is to make

an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Previously, EOI selections were

made every two weeks, with

successful applicants being

issued an invitation to apply

for residence then proceeding

to lodge their residence application.

EOI selections were

suspended in April 2020, a year

ago, and have not yet resumed.

However, applicants who meet

the criteria to lodge an EOI have

been able to continue to do so

and there are now around 9,000

EOI’s (who have each paid $530

= a total of $4.7m!) sitting in

the EOI pool – waiting for EOI

selections to resume. The suspension

of EOI selections means

that migrants working in many

key roles in New Zealand, such

as teachers, nurses, doctors,

engineers, plumbers, electricians

and many others cannot actually

progress their NZ residence in

order to secure their future in our

country. The Minister of Immigration

announced in February

that a decision on the resumption

of the EOI selections would be

made before the end of March.

We are now at the end of April

and…we, and 9,000 others, are

still waiting…

The Minister of Immigration

has also announced that the

SMC is under review. It is very

appropriate that this review, with

the normally highly dynamic

Richard Howard

immigration landscape subdued,

be undertaken as this current

opportunity is unlikely to

present again. We support such a

review but, this will take time…

and in the meantime, we are

fielding enquiries for migrant

workers who are tired of waiting

and are looking to pack their

bags for Australia and Canada.

Skilled migrants are, and

always have been an important

part of how New Zealand grows

and develops into the 21st century.

It’s in the best interests

of employers and communities

alike to have skilled migrants

being given clarity on how they

obtain residence, allowing them

to buy a house, settle down raise

a family and be an active part

of their community, planning

their future in New Zealand.

When put into this context, is

it not a fair question to ask of

government, how much longer

are we to wait?

Small-town Kiwi

business leading in

e-bike innovation

Cutting edge technology and Kiwi innovation isn’t only found in

the big cities – one small South Waikato town is leading the way

in the creation and sale of electric motorbikes.

When Tokoroa local

Tazmin Lowen,

28, suffered a

life-changing accident at

work in 2019, he was forced

to re-evaluate his life. Waking

up in hospital after being

almost fatally gassed by chlorine,

Lowen reflected on his

passions and what he wanted

to get out of his work. He narrowed

it down to a few key

points: it had to be environmentally

friendly, innovative,

and preferably involving his

love for motorbikes.

Electric motorbikes

weren’t available in New

Zealand before Lowen started

tinkering with them in his

own shed, eventually developing

his first fully-fledged

e-bike in 2019. He started his

e-bike business, Lowen Tech,

off the back of this. Sur Ron,

one of the largest e-bike companies

in the world, found out

about Lowen Tech’s work

through his website and purchased

the bike from him, at

the same time commissioning

him for more work on making

custom e-bike parts.

Lowen Tech quickly

started gaining speed, and

was commissioned by Boyd

Motorcycles (Hamilton) and

Traction Motorcycles (Christchurch)

for as many as 20

bikes at a time. Since Covid-

19 hit New Zealand, shipping

delays have slowed his business

down, but the keen interest


Initially, Lowen says his

petrol-loving friends thought

he was crazy. “They didn’t

understand e-bikes or why I’d

possibly want to make or ride

one. They definitely didn’t

have that ‘cool’ reputation

that regular motorbikes traditionally

do,” he says. Before

too long, though, Lowen had

his friends convinced that

e-bikes were the way of the

future – primarily because of

their performance. The instant

torque and pure fun that can be

achieved in e-bikes is incomparable,

he says, coupled with

the fact that they’re zero-emissions

vehicles. Maintenance

of the bikes is also easier,

as they contain fewer moving

parts, and are cheaper to

run at just 20c to charge per

70km. Originally from Arapuni,

another small town in

the South Waikato, Lowen’s

move to set his business up

Putting an e-bike

through its paces.

in Tokoroa was a logical step

considering the town’s central

location, strong road links to

bigger cities, spaciousness for

his workshop, and supportive

local community. Tokoroa

is also home to the South

Waikato Motorcycle Club. The

next steps for Lowen Tech are

growing the business through

employing more locals, creating

more jobs within the

Tokoroa community.

Lowen is in the process

of applying for iwi grants to

complete tertiary business

courses, which he hopes will

translate into accessing sales

from bigger, overseas corporations.

He’s also in talks with

the South Waikato District

Council about the potential for

e-bike tours through Tokoroa’s

forests as a tourist activity.

Level 2

586 Victoria Street

Hamilton 3204

Level 3

50 Manners Street

Wellington 6011

07 834 9222



Workplace sexual

harm targeted

An event aimed at preventing

sexual harm

and harassment in

the workplace will be held in

Hamilton in June.

Tautoko Mai Sexual

Harm Support is sponsoring

the day-long event that

will be MCed by Alison

Mau (leader of the #metoo

NZ Project) and opened by

Marama Davidson, the first

ever Minister for Family and

Sexual Violence.

Industry experts such as

NZ Rugby Union’s Eleanor

Butterworth will give insights

into how their organisation

has implemented change in a

male-dominated workplace.

Employment lawyer Steph

Dyhrberg will talk about a

new paradigm for complaints

processes, drawing on her

experiences tackling sexual

harassment in the legal profession

and managing complaints

for the Rugby Union.

Julie Sach, Tautoko Mai

societal change and quality

assurance leader, says the

event targets leaders, innovators,

HR, management and

change specialists who can

rethink and reshape their company

to identify sexual harm

and respond differently to the

way it handles sexual harm


“There is no ‘one size

fits all’ solution and we need

organisations who are not

afraid to confront this issue

head on. Attendees will learn

how to identify sexual harm,

respond to complaints, how to

support victims in the workplace,

how to make the process

fair and where to go for further

advice,” says Sach.

“Tautoko Mai is committed

to achieving a society free

of sexual harm.”

Tautoko Mai Sexual Harm

Support is a collective of

trained counsellors, social

workers, educators, nurses,

doctors and clinical health

practitioners specialising in

sexual harm support services

in the Bay of Plenty, Greater

Waikato and Whakatane.

“People would be shocked

by how rife workplace sexual

harm actually is and the

far-reaching consequences of

it. It impacts not only the people

affected and their families,

but also organisational reputation,

productivity and culture”

says Sach.

Tautoko Mai saw a 31 percent

increase in their crisis

service in 2019/2020 from the

previous year, with a 226 percent

increase since the service

started in 2016. In the last

financial year, Tautoko Mai

has had 734 clients engage in

ACC counselling, an increase

on last year’s placements of


Sadly, since the outbreak

of Covid-19, it has seen a staggering

increase in the number

of people reaching out for


The day-long event will be

held at Mystery Creek near

Hamilton on Monday 14 June.

For tickets, go to https://www.


New tax rules for residential property investment have

caused a spike in demand for commercial property.

The corporate world is transitioning to a lower

carbon, more sustainable, and more resilient future.




ISSUE 3 - 2021



Paul Kerssens, Samantha Hall and Michelle Howie

Making an impact

in the Waikato

Sarah White, Deserae Frisk, Anna Petchell and Nancy Tschetner

Six months after launching a co-working

space in Hamilton, Impact Hub Waikato

has boosted its membership to 80, and has

tenants for both its private office spaces.

In March the organisation

kicked off its third entrepreneurship

programme and it

has also opened a podcast studio

at its central city premises.

At a social event in April,

impact support and innovation

lead Paul Kerssens outlined

upcoming activities including a

vision impact recovery event in

June and a series of innovation

lunches online.

Impact Hub Waikato is also

working with one of its tenants,

Partner4Growth, to co-create

a series of events. Partner4Growth

founder Eugene

Moreau said the focus would be

on leadership, teamwork, trust

and communication.

“We've been in this game

a long time and we recognise

a lot of organisations, a lot of

individuals, have a really, really

good idea - they have a vision

but without strategy and execution

it's just a fantasy,” he said.

Impact Hub programme

manager and community coach

Ella Stuart said it was exciting

to be co-creating. “Because at

Impact Hub, we love collaboration.

And we want to partner

with people to make a wider


Impact Hub Waikato is a

part of a worldwide network

focused on building entrepreneurial

communities for impact,

and is the first in New Zealand.

Moreau says Partner-

4Growth is a mastermind

coaching company. “We specialise

in self-employed and

small business owners in helping

them to go into business,

not just have a job.

“We help them with their

strategy, their presentation, their

pitch, the whole nine yards.”

Partner4Growth set up in the

Impact Hub space on the corner

of Collingwood and Anglesea

Streets earlier this year after

Moreau saw the sign when

passing one day.

“We really focus on four

critical words, unlock, inspire,

motivate, and equip. That's why

we work so well with Impact

Hub, because they have a certain

group that need a certain

inspiration, unlocking, motivating

or equipping.”

Partner4Growth business

partner Jenne Von Pein,

who has worked virtually

with companies around

the world on execution strategy,

had worked with Moreau

in the past.

She says they recognised

during lockdown how businesses

could become “very

alone”. When Moreau came

up with the Partner4Growth

concept, she says it was a

no-brainer for them to join and

she merged her Jungle Strategy

firm with the new company.

Von Pein, an Aucklander,

says she believes Hamilton has

huge opportunity.

“There is much greater

opportunity in Hamilton and

Tauranga at the moment with

the way people are thinking

with their really professional

response to Covid,” she says.

“I believe many Auckland

businesses are sitting there

waiting for it to go back to the

way it was. Hamilton and Tauranga

have met it face on, they

know they need to change and

they’re looking for ways to

do that. So it’s a completely

different mindset.”

Another at the event,

Michelle Howie of

Howie Consulting, has

been a member of the Hub for

a year, largely thanks to the

Covid lockdown.

“I do facilitation work, and

my name came up and was

Maryse Dinan, Steve Tritt and Vanessa Williams

recommended to a local social

enterprise. They needed somebody

who was experienced in

online facilitation, because we

all went home and lived on

Zoom, remember?

“This new social enterprise

that contacted me said: ‘We’ve

already got something in the

diary, and it’s to deliver a workshop

on wellbeing for members

of Impact Hub, could you do


That became her introduction

to the Hub, running a Zoom

workshop for some of their

members. Howie, a coach and

facilitator, uses the Impact Hub

space to work away from home

occasionally, while 10-15 people

use the space weekly, with

capacity for more.

Also among the roomful

of entrepreneurs,


Sarah White is attending the

Impact Hub’s Back to Purpose

course, aimed at creating

impact-led businesses. She is

setting her sights high.

“I am building up a coaching

business. I’m quite spiritual in

hosting women’s circles, oracle

card readings. And a lot of the

drive behind that is wanting to

create community and support

people, in knowing themselves

better and going inwards.”

She wants to create a wellness

centre and community hub

with a connection to nature,

potentially including a cafe,

shop, co-working space, and

healing rooms. She also sees an

opportunity to include co-housing

with communal spaces. On

the course with her is Anna

Petchell, who runs APetchell


“I help people who are feeling

lost, confused and stuck in

their careers, I help them figure

out an exit strategy and live a

more fulfilling life.”

While she has local clients,

she works online internationally

and her somewhat novel

specialty is working with super

yacht crew, because having

worked in that industry she

knows what they face.

“When I went through that

transition, it was very real.

From working at sea for eight

years, coming from that back

Ella Stuart

to doing something else, I was

a little bit lost.”

She also works with a firefighter,

with shift workers, with

people who have specific skills

that are hard to cross relate to

another industry.

“What I help them do is figure

out who they are and figure

out what they actually want.”

All eyes on commercial

ESG is here to stay



Jenne von Pein and Eugene Moreau


Waikato Real

Estate showcases

winning business

With a prestigious Australasian property

managers award under their belt and a

strong showing at the Waikato Business

Awards last year, family-owned Waikato

Real Estate hosted a BA4 event at their

Te Rapa premises in April.

Business development

manager Michelle Pearson

said her parents

started the business in 1985

with just 11 properties under


“Back then it was pretty

much Mum on the front desk

and Dad whizzing around

Hamilton, showcasing houses

to tenants. Because back then

the market was a little bit different.

There was no housing

shortage like we have now,

and investors really had to

showcase their houses to try

and get tenants to live in their

properties,” she said.

She recalls as a youngster

answering the phone for

the company, and some sage

advice from her father Michael

Murray that has stayed with

her. “Dad told me I was the

director of first impressions

and gave me two critical KPIs

for answering the phone:

answer the phone on the second

ring, and always answer

with a smile.

“I absolutely loved my first

directorship! I still try and

meet those daily phone KPIs

to this day.”

In 2021, Waikato Real

Estate has more than 1200

properties throughout the

region, with an office also in

Putaruru. Waikato Real Estate

won the Leading Property

Managers Association company

of the year for 2020, the

first Waikato company ever to

win the award. They were also

finalists in the 2020 Waikato

Business Awards service

excellence category.

• The monthly BA4 events

are held by Waikato Chamber

of Commerce.

Jason Cargo, Nick Dinan, Michelle Pearson and Michael Murray

Tania Witheford and Tony Kane

Jordan Ridgway and Robert Jones

Ryan Mulder, Tim Macindoe and Tim Pearson

Waikato Real Estate staff Sashja Dyer and Imogen

Green, who prepared the platters for the event

Stronger together: collaborating on leadership

and community

It’s not often that key business

and community leaders’

step outside the intensity

of their busy occupations

to embark on a journey of professional

development, self-reflection

and conversation, but

on April 7 a group of carefully

chosen Waikato leaders committed

to doing exactly that.

Facilitated by CELF (Community

and Enterprise Leadership

Foundation), the 2021

cohort includes leaders from a

broad range of industries and

organisations, varying from

construction to recycling and

food production.

The Elevate Leadership

Programme (which these leaders

will be working through)

covers eight weeks’ worth of

experiences, conversations and

sessions, spread out over the

course of eight months.

The programme’s primary

purpose is to bring together

established leaders from both

‘For Purpose’ and ‘For Profit’

organisations, in an effort to

increase leadership capability,

social impact and elevation of

all participants.

This course (like the foundation

itself) is guided by the

conviction that socially responsible

leadership will always

have a positive impact on the

community around them.

As 2021 continues its

tumultuous and unexpected

trajectory, these key conversations,

revelations and experiences

will form the building

blocks on which these leaders

will adapt, learn and thrive.

Pictured: The 2021 Elevate Leadership Cohort: Back, Left to right: Wendy Edwards (Prolife), Jean McKenzie (Mathematics for a Lifetime Charitable Trust), Matt Cranshaw (NZ Police),

Daniel van der Hulst (Schick Civil Construction), Harvey Brookes (Waikato WellBeing Project), Steve Halse (Perry Metal Protection), Chris Benfell (Foster Maintain), Dallas Butler

(Xtreme Zero Waste), Larn Wilkinson (Hauraki District Council), Karen Singers (POET), Kelly Woolston (Enabling Good Lives), Joey Uden (BNZ), Jake Lambert (APL Direct), Wayne

Smallwood (Golden Homes) Front Row: Samantha Lee (The Supported Life Style Hauraki Trust), Deborah Nudds (The Meteor Theatre), Heidi Mardon (Toimata Foundation), Surinder

Singh (Rauawaawa Kaumatua Charitable Trust) Rebecca Skilton(RAW), Richard Clarke (Power Farming)



Te Waka chair Hamish Bell says border

restrictions appear to have highlighted

under-investment in people and skills

Waikato businesses

more optimistic

Regional economic development agency

Te Waka’s second Waikato Business

Sentiment Survey shows business

owners and managers are significantly

more optimistic about their sector and

the region’s economic performance than

they were six months ago, but remain

less confident in the country’s economic

performance as a whole.

Conducted in partnership

with local authorities,

chambers of commerce,

regional tourism operators,

business associations and other

economic development organisations,

the survey provides

insights to the performance of

business in the prior six-month

period and is an indicator of

confidence looking ahead.

Between February 15 and

March 12, 565 responses were

collected online. This was consistent

with the August 2020

survey (589) and had a greater

response rate than the ANZ

National Business Confidence

Survey. Both surveys calculate

net confidence by subtracting

the percentage of those

who believe the economy will

improve from those who feel

the economy will deteriorate.

Te Waka chair Hamish Bell

said feedback from respondents

across Waikato shows a

marked increase in net confidence

in the economy for the

six months ahead for their own

business (34 per cent), their

sector (from -10 per cent to 11

per cent) and the region (from

-14 per cent to 11 per cent).

Confidence in New Zealand’s

economy increased from -31

per cent to -3 per cent.

Thirty-three per cent of

respondents reported increased

sales for the full 2020 calendar

year compared to 2019,

and 45 per cent are forecasting

increased sales compared

to the same period last year,

particularly in health services,

manufacturing and


Bell said stronger sales have

contributed to a more robust

outlook for manufacturing,

construction and retail trade;

however, supply chain issues,

increasing price of goods, and

skills shortages - notably in

management and specialised

technical skills - are affecting

productivity in construction,

manufacturing, primary industries

and transport.

“The Covid-19 border

restrictions appear to have

highlighted under-investment

in people and skills. Not only

demand for skills but inability

to meet that demand is a disturbing


Waikato Regional Council

principal economist Blair

Keenan said that for all the

concerns about the effect of the

border closures on the ability

to access suitable labour, 48

per cent of respondents identified

the shortage of skilled

New Zealand residents as a

problem, compared to just four

per cent who thought it was a

problem of a lack of skilled


“A better understanding of

precisely what kind of skills

we’re lacking is an important

piece of information that needs

to be explored,” said Keenan.

Bell said while it’s encouraging

to see businesses investing

in business, financial,

personnel and continuity planning,

there are still about 25 to

50 per cent of businesses with

11 or more employees who

do not have planning tools in

place, and 45 to 72 percent of

small businesses of up to 10

employees without planning


He said the region was

also seeing the impact of supply-side

issues on both import

and export industries, with

58 per cent of respondents

in those sectors considering

raising prices.

Overall, the Waikato

economy has

weathered the

Covid-19 recession

better than we

might have feared a

year ago when the

prospect of mass

unemployment and

deflation seemed a

real threat.

Keenan said the emergence

of supply-side issues “have the

potential to derail the recovery,

for example through higher

inflation and a subsequent policy

response from the Reserve

Bank of New Zealand”.

Hospitality and tourism are

still bearing the brunt of Covid-

19, having recorded 74 per

cent reduced sales, and 17

per cent of these recorded

50 per cent or more reduction

in sales. “The hospitality

and tourism sector sees

its prospects remaining relatively

bleak, with two-thirds

of respondents expecting

business to worsen in the

coming months.”

The survey pre-dates

the announcement of a

trans-Tasman bubble, and

Keenan said the benefits of

the bubble for the Waikato

region may not be all positive.

“Setting aside public

health issues, domestic

tourism is important to the

sector in Waikato, and the

re-introduction of international

options may effectively

increase competition

for the domestic market.

“Overall, the Waikato

economy has weathered the

Covid-19 recession better

than we might have feared

a year ago when the prospect

of mass unemployment

and deflation seemed a real


However, he cautions

that while it is encouraging

that Waikato businesses

are optimistic about the

region’s economic outlook,

the recovery remains both

patchy and fragile.

Bell agrees. “It’s encouraging

that the survey and

personal engagement with

industry indicate broad

optimism, noting the natural

strengths of Waikato

as a region, but we need to

remain cautious about the

concept of ‘the calm before

a storm’.

“We can’t afford to

become complacent. I’ve

seen several economic

downturns from the inside

and hearing first-hand from

businesses across the region

of the challenges they are

facing as the months have


“Having said that, the

data expertly informs the

big picture for our region

but with clear, tactical

detail, which helps Waikato

have a stronger voice in

advocating to government

for support, with a clear

message and one voice for

Waikato business.”

The Waikato Business

Sentiment Survey will continue

to be conducted sixmonthly,

online. Te Waka

uses the survey insights to

guide its economic development

work and delivery

of business support services

across Waikato, alongside

regional partners.

Briggs to step


Hamilton City Council Chief

Executive Richard Briggs will

leave the organisation when

his contract expires in mid-

October. Briggs joined the

organisation from Fonterra in

2012 as chief financial officer,

and was appointed chief

executive in 2014 during

Julie Hardaker’s mayoralty.

Briggs said he intends

staying in Hamilton close to

family and friends but has no

plans to remain in the local

government sector.

Meanwhile, the council has

a new general manager

growth. Blair Bowcott, who

has been on the council

senior leadership team

since 2007, will take up the

position at the end of May,

replacing Jen Baird who has

a new role as chief executive

of the Real Estate Institute of

New Zealand (REINZ).

8.9 percent rates

rise for city

Hamilton City Council has

agreed to prepare a 10-

year budget based on a

compliance targeted rate of

4.5 percent and a general

rate increase of 4.4 percent.

The decision will mean an

average annual rate rise of

8.9 percent across the city.

New chair for TGH

Waikato-Tainui has

appointed Hinerangi

Raumati-Tu’ua as chair

of Tainui Group Holdings

(TGH), the commercial

investment arm of the iwi.

Raumati-Tu’ua (Waikato,

Ngaati Mutunga) took

up the role at the start of

May, with outgoing chair

Sir Henry van der Heyden

retiring by rotation. Raumati-

Tu’ua was appointed to

the board in November

2017. She is a fellow of

the Institute of Chartered

Accountants, a member

of the New Zealand Order

of Merit, the current chair

of Paraninihi Ki Waitotara

Incorporation and Moana

NZ, and a director of

Sealord, Watercare and

several iwi commercial

entities. In 2017 she was

named the Maori Woman

Business Leader of the Year.






Procuta Associates

Urban + Architecture

Contact us 07 839 6521



Waipa manager


Waipā District Council

finance manager Sarah

Davies is a finalist in the

2021 New Zealand CFO

Awards. Davies is a finalist

in the Emerging Financial

Manager category which

recognises finance talent

of professionals under the

age of 40 years who have

demonstrated outstanding

finance leadership. The

annual awards ceremony

will be held in June.

The Nixon Homes team outside

their Hamilton showhome.

Health bodies

team up

The Braemar Charitable

Trust has entered a threeyear

partnership with the

Waikato Medical Research

Foundation to provide

funding up to the value

of $30,000pa for medical

research that meets the

trust’s vision. The Braemar

Charitable Trust Research

Projects programme will

fund research that will

deliver solutions to local

health issues.




Two leading national disability

organisations will merge from

July 1. Hamilton-based Life

Unlimited, and Access Ability,

both charitable trusts with a

long involvement in the health

and disability sector across

New Zealand, say the merger

will position them as a new

organisation for the future

which includes upholding

the rights of disabled people

to take control of their own

lives. Life Unlimited chief

executive Megan Thomas

will lead the new entity while

Access Ability CE Tony

Paine will be deputy CE and

lead the new organisation’s

business development,

business services, and

advocacy arms.

Opening for first

home buyers

A cooling in the New

Zealand residential property

market on the back of the

Government’s investortargeted

tax changes has left

a short-term opening for first

home buyers, according to

Lodge Real Estate director

Jeremy O’Rourke. He says

there has been a temporary

investor retreat from the

residential property market

as investors assess what

the new rules, introduced

in March, mean for them.

He believes they will return

once they realise residential

property is still a long-term

good investment.




Nominations are due by

July 2 for this year’s Kudos

Awards, recognising

scientists across the

Waikato. This year sees

the return of the Emerging

Scientist category.

Personal touch pays off

for home building firm

The personal touch is at the heart of Hamilton building firm

Nixon Homes’ approach, with clients dealing directly with

managing director Cameron Holmes throughout the process.

He founded the firm

two years ago with

his brother Mike,

and since then it has grown

rapidly from building one

house in its first year to 10

this year, while also taking

out a prestigious silver

in the Master Builders


They now employ three

teams of three builders,

with a fourth team to be

added in July, as they build

homes from Te Kauwhata to


It’s all based on providing

a complete, no-surprises

service. Cameron

readily admits that means

Mike Holmes

they take longer in the design

and quotation phase than

other house builders. “We

take probably another four

to five weeks longer, but we

quote the whole job so we go

into detail with every client.

“For us it's that personal

touch. They get to spend time

with me, going around choosing

the kitchen, tapware, all

the things that change the


That attention to detail

comes from 15 years’ experience.

Cameron has worked

on everything from residential

to full commercial as both

builder and site manager,

after he started in the industry

as a 15-year-old.

Mike, meanwhile, plays

his part from a distance. He

is an engineer in Holland

where he works as a project

manager. His role in Nixon

Homes is mainly around

finance, social media and


“Anything that can be

done online, he does. And

anything that has to be done

here, I do. He's good with

money and he loves figures

and spreadsheets, so that's his

sort of thing. It works well,”

Cameron says.

“We're trying to be smart

about the business and seeing

how we can run it efficiently.”

They also put quality front

and centre as they build their


Nixon Homes covers the

full range from smaller first

homes to full architectural

homes with a lot more detail,

including one in Te Kauwhata

based on their own

showhome, which won silver

in the 2020 Master Builders


For us it's that

personal touch.

They get to spend

time with me, going

around choosing the

kitchen, tapware,

all the things that

change the price.

They have plans they sell

to, but encourage clients to

Cameron Holmes with clients at the

Nixon Homes Whatawhata build.

come up with a custom design

using their Hamilton-based

architectural designer, a service

they offer at no charge.

“We encourage design and

build because we want to

make them feel part of the

process and have a good


Similarly, they offer the

complimentary services of

an interior designer. She will

help a client choose everything

from paint colours to

tiles and tapware, making

sure it all blends in.

“They get that more personal

experience again,

and that feeling of being

involved with every step

of the process.”

The Flagstaff showhome

that wowed the judges features

corner-stacking sliding

doors in the living area that

disappear into the walls when

they are opened out.

That was Mike’s idea, as

befits an engineer, and Cameron

willingly put the time in

to make them work.

“People really like it; it

allows a bit more indoor-outdoor

flow, so that’s been one

of the biggest selling points

of this house,” he says.

That popularity has seen

them install the same system

in five more homes. Immediately

beyond the sliding

doors, the deck has a louvred

cover that can be closed

and opened depending on

conditions to maximise sunlight,

create shade or keep

the rain off.

What is also noticeable

throughout is the abundance

of storage space in the generous

four bedroom, two bathroom

home. Remarkably, the

house has more glazing than

external wallspace, maximising

light and making each

room feel bigger.

Cameron says Nixon

Homes came about after he

and Mike decided initially to

build some spec houses.

“We were just going to do

some spec homes ourselves

and then Dad sort of pushed

us into it a little bit as well.

We thought we would be a

small company, just me and

Mike, and sell some quality


Cameron’s father was

an early influence, teaching

him to build, and the brothers

would work for their

father for the first week

of any holidays.

“We've always had to

work for things. So we've

always been motivated to do

things, not just sit around and


“We took a risk starting

the business, but it's paying

off. We were passionate

enough, it was always just a

matter of time.

“We're not worried about

quantity, we're more worried

about quality. I'd rather build

less houses and just keep the

quality up. Because that's

the one thing that I want to

make sure that Nixon Homes

keeps up, is our brand and

our quality.”

• Nixon Homes has teamed

up with Harrisons to offer

a 12 kilowatt solar unit,

sufficient to provide more

than half the daily power

a house is likely to need.

Anyone who signs up to

build with Nixon Homes

before July 31 will go in

the draw to win the unit,

worth more than $10,000.



We know that skills shortages

remain a significant problem

for businesses big and small.

Business needs a breather

and helping hand

Even in what we hope is a post-COVID lock down world we know

that businesses face ongoing challenges. And while there are a

couple of ropes up the cliff to help you get back on top, we also

know there is a lot coming that is not going to make that easy.

Many of you reliant on

trade with Australia

would have been

relieved to see the trans-Tasman

bubble opening, not just

for your staff personally and

professionally but your


But unfortunately, this

does not address the skilled

migrant worker issue and we

know that skills shortages remain

a significant problem

for businesses big and small.

The Government is developing

a new immigration policy,

but we think the issue is

wider than that.

EMA chief executive Brett O’Riley

As the EMA advocated

before the last election, it is

time for a much bigger piece

of work - a population strategy.

It is critical to many

parts of the economy and

New Zealand life.

We need to decide how big

we want our country to be as

that is what drives infrastructure,

housing, and health policy,

and in turn means thinking

about what skills we want in

our population as these will

determine our skills mix for

immigrants, as well as our education


Training, education, skills,

and immigration are a critical

policy mix for New Zealand as

we have a rapidly ageing workforce

(in the top three ageing

populations in the world),

which coupled with our declining

birth rate which is now

well below what is required to

replenish our working population,

the time is now.

Along with the big picture

issues like this, there are a

huge number of other policy

and legislative changes facing


The minimum wage recently

rose to $20 an hour, which is

the third in a series of increases

that have seen the minimum

wage rise more than 25 per

cent in the past three years.

But is raising wages what

drives the productivity which

enables businesses to grow?

• It is also only one piece of

business-focused legislation

or policy that is on the

Government’s agenda, and

that is it in a nutshell really.

It is the cumulative effect

of this and the other policy

and legislative changes

that have been signalled,


• An additional five days’

sick leave in 2021

• The 2022 Matariki public

holiday at an estimated

cost of $400 million to


• Fair Pay Agreements that

will create new minimum

wage scales across several

sectors by the end of 2021

• Easier access to Pay Equity

negotiations – creating new

minimum wage thresholds

across several sectors

• A new Holidays Act by


• Wider obligations from

Government for its contractors

to pay the Living Wage.

As part of the BusinessNZ

Network we are talking to

Government about these issues

regularly, providing your feedback

and helping shape their

response, businesses simply

needs a bit of a breather.

At a practical level, we are

here to support our members

with expert on-tap advice,

advocacy, events, business

services and learning, so that

together we can help your

business succeed. The EMA

has been here for you for 135

years, we are keen to hear from

you and we are here to listen.

Brett O’Riley

EMA Chief Executive


Moses Mackay, Amitai Pati and Pene Pati (Sol3 Mio)

Ebbett Hamilton

opens in grand style

- with special guests

Sol3 Mio

What a night! The Ebbett Group put on

a show to remember on Saturday when

over 500 guests gathered to celebrate the

grand opening of their state of the art new

premises in Te Kowhai East Road, Te Rapa.

This was a grand opening

like no other. With the

staging of an original

theatre piece around the 93

year history of the group in the

Waikato, featuring a scintillating

performance from international

best sellers SOL3 MIO,

the guests were entertained

with more than just the splendour

of the new surroundings.

A stalwart of the Waikato,

the Ebbett Group has been an

icon of central Hamilton since

they opened their first premises

in Hood Street in 1928. They

went on to open their landmark

dealership on the corner

of Hood and Anglesea in

1957, a building that will soon

be replaced by the impressive

Union Square development.

Their new premises in

Te Rapa are something to

behold. More akin to a highend

hotel than your typical

car dealership, the site hosts

Volkswagen, Isuzu, GMSV,

Seat and Cupra brands as

well as remaining the primary

centre for Holden customers

in New Zealand.

Polished concrete floors

that extend throughout the pristine

workshops, an abundance

of natural light, exposed timbers

and luxurious furniture,

fixtures and fittings combine

to create a relaxing, enjoyable

and professional environment.

It’s no wonder Ebbett

wanted to launch this new

site with a bang on Saturday

night. As Managing Director,

Ben van den Engel (a 50

year veteran of the company),

noted “We’re only moving

once, so we’re definitely doing

it properly!”

The evening kicked off

with canapes and drinks as

the guests soaked up the

atmosphere and enjoyed the

incredible new facilities on

the enormous 25,000m2 site.

In addition to showrooms, the

site features a paint, panel &

tyre centre, a photography &

video facility, an ultrafast EV

charger, a central avenue and

workshops that look more like


Then we all took our seats

for the show – and what a

show it was. A musical extravaganza

charting the history

of the Ebbett Group in the

Waikato, written specifically

for this event and featuring

the beautiful tones of SOL3

MIO to keep the audience rapt

for the next hour.

A lot has happened in

the last 93 years. The show

started with the founding of

the Ebbett Group in 1928 and

progressed through depressions,

war, recovery, a public

listing, growth, contraction,

the global financial crisis and

finished with their successful

navigation of Holden’s

New Zealand departure and

Coronavirus in 2020.

This truly was a rich tale

of hard work, opportunism,

resilience, service, community

and… real life, with

all its ups and downs and

twists and turns.

Beautifully staged, wonderfully

acted and peppered

with the class of SOL3 MIO,

this was a fantastic performance

and really brought

home the character of a business

that prides itself on its

strong values and “Customers

for Life” vision.

“I feel quite emotional after

watching that” said Ben, “I’ve

been here a long time and seeing

our history brought to life

in such a vivid manner really

brings home to me the joy of

Richard Ebbett, Ben van den Engel, Richard van den Engel, Walter van den Engel

the journey we have been on

– it really was a wonderful


He went on to say “It was

fantastic to re-live our history

but tonight we’re here to celebrate

the start of our future.

It’s a night, and a beginning,

that I feel humbled to share

with many of our long-standing

customers, our community

and the very special team we

have here at Ebbett. We are

justifiably proud of our past

in Hamilton but tonight, even

more so, we’re excited about

our future and delivering for

our customers from these

wonderful new premises.”

It was a fitting tribute to a

unique and wonderful night.

A creative, uplifting and thoroughly

enjoyable evening to

celebrate the latest stage of a

group with a fantastic history

and, no doubt, an equally long

and exciting future.



The high personal toll of Covid

Hamilton lawyer Rob Davies has been

in self-isolation and working remotely in

Sweden after losing family members to

Covid and contracting the disease himself.

He writes about his experience.

On 17 March this year, I

learned that my father

and step-mother had

been admitted to hospital

in Stockholm, Sweden with

Covid-19. Our family’s worst

nightmare had been realised.

My parents were both in their

70s with underlying health

conditions. They had managed

to ward off the virus for

12 months, and contracted it

within days of being eligible

to receive the first dose of the


In just over one week, I was

on a plane to Sweden. On the

day I left, news from the other

side of the world was a mix

of positive and negative. My

father’s condition seemed to

have stabilised, although my

step-mother was still battling

and needed the support of a

ventilator. I knew I needed to

get there, but exchanging the

comparative safety of New

Zealand for the uncertainty of

Sweden’s experiment with herd

immunity was one of the hardest

decisions I had ever made.

Within 24 hours of arriving

in Sweden, both my father

and step-mother had passed

away. Dad was 78 and my stepmother

was 72. The virus had

compounded their underlying

conditions and robbed them of

the years they otherwise had

left. The smallest of mercies

was that I had managed to see

both before it happened. That

didn’t make it any easier, but it

at least made the journey worth


There was undoubtedly

something poetic about both

setting sail for Valhalla on the

same day, but it didn’t make

the reality any easier. Unwinding

their lives and their almost

30-year relationship proved

both a welcome distraction and

a constant reminder of what

was gone. Silver linings were

limited, but I had the support

of family and friends, and perhaps

most significantly, my


This experience has

reminded me how lucky I am to

work for a firm that puts people

first. When I first explained my

situation, the first thing my boss

told me is that they would find

a way to ensure I could leave

for the other side of the world

without the added worry of

what that would mean for my

income. His responsiveness

in this regard, along with his

compassion, made a massive


But it wasn’t just my boss.

Rob Davies.

The entire firm wrapped around

and supported me. My colleagues

and the other partners

all did what they needed to, so

that I could do what I needed to.

This meant taking over active

files, thereby increasing their

own workloads, and making

sure my family in New Zealand

felt loved and supported

too. This helped me to focus on

what was important, and made

tough decisions a fraction easier.

By late April, and three days

before my anticipated return,

I took a pre-departure Covid

test. I had been feeling tired

but put that down to the stress

of packing up an apartment and

mourning the loss of two people

incredibly close to me. Instead,

I learned I’d contracted Covid

myself, forcing a seven-day

period of self-isolation, and

causing significant concern for

me and those closest to me.

The person I caught Covid

from became very ill herself.

She suffered a fever which

lasted almost two weeks, complemented

by headaches, muscle

pain, and fatigue. She also

unwittingly gave Covid to

four other people close to her,

and they became similarly ill.

I spent days waiting for it to

become my turn, all the while

re-arranging flights and managing

the practicalities of extending

my stay. Home had never

felt so far away.

Against the odds, my symptoms

remained mild, although

Covid did a number on my

kidneys, causing quite a bit of

discomfort. It was a glimmer of

positivity in what had been one

of the hardest experiences of

my life. I spent days in isolation

with only myself for company,

and used work as a welcome

distraction when my brain

wasn’t fogged up with Covid.

My ability to work remotely

was assisted by the technology

my employer uses. This

enabled me to log in to the same

virtual desktop I use while at

work. I had access to the same

programs and technology that

I would if I were in the office.

Much of this was road tested

during New Zealand’s first

lockdown, and I was a beneficiary

of many of the subsequent


What surprised me the most

was Sweden’s response to the

pandemic. Sweden is a country

that I have been fortunate

enough to visit many times

previously. My step-mother

worked for Scandinavian Airlines,

which made air travel

accessible to me as I was growing

up. I placed Sweden on a

pedestal: a model of progressive


However, the country’s

response to the pandemic conflicted

with that of its neighbours.

The approach was one of

making only recommendations

to people. This uncertain start

led to a number of preventable

deaths among the most vulnerable,

particularly the elderly.

Despite that, Sweden persisted

with recommendations in lieu

of stricter interventions. Around

14,000 Swedes have died since

the pandemic began.

I avoided public transport,

but on the occasions I was

forced to take it, I was disappointed

to be among a minority

of mask wearers. Although

people seemed to respect social

distancing, you would still

encounter those who looked

unwell, coughing and sneezing.

Sweden’s traditionally cooperative

approach seemed to have

been replaced by a fierce individualism

which I struggled

to reconcile with my earlier

impressions of the country.

I am grateful for the time I

have spent in Sweden and for

what the country has given me

in the past. The doctors and

nurses who cared for my parents

are heroes in my eyes. They

were all kind, compassionate,

and supremely professional.

But my lasting impressions are

that their jobs have been made

so much more difficult by the

decisions of policy makers as

well as the selfishness of individuals.

I hope to leave Sweden

on 14 May, provided my next

Covid test returns an all-important

negative result. I cannot

wait to return home. Going

hard and early was the right call

in our circumstances, which I

understand are unique among

the world’s nations. Nevertheless,

I am grateful to our Government

and appreciative that,

as Kiwis, we worked together.

Covid is a scary virus, more virulent

than the flu. The only way

to beat it is to work as one.

• Rob Davies is a Senior

Associate at Hamilton law

firm Norris Ward McKinnon,

in the firm's Commercial

Disputes and

Employment team.


You don’t need to do

everything yourself



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

Email: elsa.n.wrathall@pwc.com

Ever been stuck in a bit of a pickle?

For example:

• a staff member has left,

and you haven’t found the

right replacement, or

• you’ve decided to restructure

and you’re not sure

what you want your team

to look like yet, or

• you don’t have an employee

with the right skill set

to complete a specific

project, or

• an employee is sick and

there’s no one to stay on

top of the financial reporting

processes and things

are falling behind.

A secondee could be a good

option for helping you solve

these problems. They can

provide breathing room

and capacity, allowing you

to make the right strategic

choice for your business.

A secondee is someone

who is transferred temporarily

to alternative employment

away from their primary job.

The original employer usually

remains the legal employer

but the secondee can be

instructed by the organisation

they are being ‘lent’ to. This

means the business can access

a range of skilled and experienced

staff on short notice for

a specific period or project.

Many firms are able to

provide this service, including

accounting firms. Which

provider is best comes down

to the specific needs of your


The arrangement can be

flexible where you can customise

the role and hours to

suit your business - being

part-time or full-time or

anywhere in between. Fee

arrangements can also be

flexible, based on an agreed

hourly or daily rate or a fixed

fee covering a period of time,

that provides an ‘all you can

eat’ element. From stepping

in to help with monthly or

year-end reporting, technical

accounting, process reviews,

budgeting and cashflow forecasts,

they will have the skill

set to cover a variety of roles.

There could also be the

option that, if your business

isn’t large enough to support

a full time CFO, you could

get access to a ‘virtual CFO’.

A virtual CFO comprises

someone who can review

your financials and provide

valuable input a few days a

month to support you and

your finance team. It’s also

a great opportunity for your

advisor to gain further insight

into the day-to-day operations

of your business. This

can enable them to give you

further valuable feedback on

your processes and structure

of your finance function.

By bringing in an experienced

professional, it takes

the pressure off the finance

function and gives your

employees the chance to

upskill and get some valuable

mentoring from an external

professional. It provides the

opportunity to network and

build relationships with a

professional outside the business,

and gain access to new

resources and networks that

could help develop both the

employee and the business.

There can be benefits

to getting a secondee from

a larger firm. They generally

have a wider variety of

experience across all sorts

of businesses and industries.

Plus, they have a larger firm

to support them in the event

anything unusual crops up.

This can help take the burden

off management and ensure

focus remains on the important

aspects of operating the


We are seeing an increasing

number of secondments

occurring. From our point

of view there is an opportunity

to experience working

directly with other businesses

and learn a new thing or two

as well. Secondments can

vary from maternity and sick

leave cover, to changes in

finance teams, and all look

slightly different depending

on what the client needs or

wants. So, if there is a role

you need filled and you want

to take the pressure off, reach

out to your trusted advisor

and they might just have the

person for you.

The comments in this article

of a general nature and should

not be relied on for specific

cases. Taxpayers should seek

specific advice.

Welcoming Australia, major events

and regeneration

Monday April 19

marked a historic

date in our Covid-

19 journey as New Zealand

and Australia began quarantine-free

travel between the

two countries.

Although we are not

expecting any significant

shifts in visitor arrivals in

the Mighty Waikato for the

next few weeks, it has given

us hope about a return of

Trans-Tasman travel for leisure,

business and events.

We expect a growing number

of leisure travellers to return

once the Visiting Friends and

Family (VFR) market starts to


Australia is a key market

for us which will help ‘prop

up’ our visitor market during

the quieter winter months –

Australia was our number one

international visitor market

pre-Covid injecting $87.5 million

annually into the regional


We are working in collaboration

with a number of partners

to maximise our efforts

to encourage visitation to the

Waikato from Australia, especially

with our main international

marketing partner, Tourism

New Zealand.

We were proud to be part

of the bid process for the Fifa

Women’s World Cup 2023 and

are excited for Hamilton to

be chosed as a host city. The

tournament is being jointly

hosted by New Zealand and

Australia – the first time a

Fifa tournament has been

co-hosted across two football

confederations – and will

also for the first-time ever see

the Fifa Women’s World Cup

expanded from 24 to 32 teams.

Welcoming back the New

Zealand National Fieldays

at Mystery Creek from June

16-19 June will provide the

region and visitor sector with a



Chief Executive,

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

much-needed economic boost

in the middle of our winter


The last physical Fieldays

event in 2019 generated an

impressive $549m in sales revenue

for New Zealand firms

with $183m going into the

Waikato region alone. Based

on the official event attendance

figures for 2019 of 128,747, it

shows that each person though

the gate contributes around

$4,200 to the economy.

The event also proved

hugely beneficial to the

Waikato region. The economic

impact report estimated

that every gate entry resulted

in $312 in direct spending

in the Waikato hospitality

sectors including accommodation,

restaurants, bars

and retail trade.

As a non-ski destination,

Waikato needs to work a little

bit harder to drive domestic

visitation during our traditionally

quieter months. Hosting

events are crucial to lead the

economic and social recovery

of the Waikato region during

winter. Tourism New Zealand

research indicates that up to

one-third of domestic travel

is primarily driven by people

looking to participate in


Lastly, we are coming to

the end of the first phase of

the Regenerative Tourism programme

for tourism leaders.

The term ‘regenerative tourism’

is about creating a supercharged

sustainability movement

of leaders to take action.

The programme is educating

and inspiring our tourism

sector to do better – creating

action to support communities

and people to thrive.

Waikato has joined six

other pioneering regions,

Bay of Plenty, Coromandel,

Queenstown, Rotorua, Ruapehu

and Wanaka, to roll-out

the regenerative tourism programme.

Addressing major

issues like climate change,

sustainable employment

opportunities and building a

resilient tourism sector for the

future have been some of the

conversations tackled.

We want to create a change

and influence a new direction,

so collective action is the next

step in our journey.












“He built a


company by

placing people

ahead of profits,

and continually

reinvesting in the


Jerry Rickman,

Chairperson TRT Board

of Directors.

48 Maui Street, Hamilton

07 849 4839




Dave Carden pictured with sones Bruce and Robert, who continue this legacy

Dave Carden Legacy

TRT founder and director Dave Carden,

now in his 91st year, has made the move

to a new role as ambassador for the

company he did so much to build over

the last 50-plus years.

Considered by many in

the heavy transport

and crane industry as

nothing short of a mechanical

genius, and an inspirational

leader to boot, Mr Carden

retired this year as a director of

TRT – the company he helped

found in 1967.

His stellar run as a businessman

dedicated to a single industry

was recognised in 2017 when

Mr Carden was inducted into

the New Zealand Road Transport

Hall of Fame at a black tie

event in Invercargill.

Describing himself at the

time as a “fitter-and-turner and

proud of it” Mr Carden built

a reputation in the industry as

a customer-driven innovator

adept at coming up with novel

solutions to truck and crane


In a typically self-effacing

acceptance speech in Invercargill

Mr Carden described

himself as a “mechanical-welder-whatever-it-is-engineer


a flair for designing things”.

A Waikato man to the

core, Dave Carden was born

Describing himself at

the time as a “fitterand-turner

and proud

of it”

on September 13, 1930, in

Paeroa. Always fascinated

by mechanics he started a fitter

and turner apprenticeship

with Thames company A & G

Price just after the war, gaining

a rare apprentice transfer

into precision welding at

Putaruru Engineering.

After gaining his registra-

Dave and Jenny Carden with the Radio

Communicatoins Mast for Maungatautari

Reliable products for every challenge

JOST is proud to be associated with TRT

and congratulate Dave on his 54 years of

innovative contribution to the New Zealand

Transport Industry

JOST New Zealand Ltd | www.jostnz.co.nz | Ph 0800 567 869 | sales@jostnz.co.nz




tion as both a fitter and turner

and precision welder Mr

Carden worked overseas as a

marine engineer before signing

on as a fitter and turner with

Putaruru firm Wilcox Engineering,

leaving them some time

later to work as a petrol and diesel

mechanic for Haven Motors

in Arapuni.

Mr Carden set out on his

own in 1958, while still in his

20s, and founded Southside

Motors and Engineering in

Putaruru, gaining a reputation

as a man who could turn his

In the 60s when we

started you could

not buy anything

because of the war,

could not get the

right equipment to

cart logs. So we got


hand to nearly anything, including,

in 1965, engineering work

on the Putaruru Rail Bridge.

In a tightly controlled economy

still struggling with import

restrictions in the aftermath of

war, Mr Carden soon built a

reputation for innovative engineering

based on New Zealand

solutions to problems his customers


He recalled: “In the 60s

when we started you could

not buy anything because of

the war, could not get the right

equipment to cart logs. So we

got Internationals [trucks] and

we repowered them and that

meant putting in engines, gearboxes,

diffs, axles and air brakes

and then getting the GVW [the

total weight of the truck and

payload] right. They went for

years and there’s still some of

those old trucks out there.”

Mr Carden’s involvement in

what was to become TRT started

when two Cambridge men, Jim

Ross and Norm Todd, set up a

repair shop in Cambridge specialising

in turning vehicles into

utes. Another local, Jack Tidd,

who assembled crane carriers,

bought into the business.

Mr Tidd had for some time

been watching Mr Carden, who

was also engineering crane

carriers, often on old Bedford


As Mr Carden’s son, Bruce,

explained in an interview with

NZ Trucking: “Dad was making

significant waves building

crane carriers. Jack Tidd was

in the same business. The difference

was that Jack assembled

his from imported components

and Dad built his own

from scratch and along with it

a reputation for innovation.”

In 1967, Mr Carden accepted

an invitation to join forces as

a 30-percent shareholder and

workshop manager for Jack

Tidd – Ross Todd Ltd, specialising

in crane carrier manufacture.

It was the perfect fit for the

inventive engineer and he was

to prove instrumental in the

company’s long-term success.

However, an early test of Mr

Carden’s ingenuity in the new

partnership had nothing to do

with the transport industry and

came when designers of the

proposed 8.8-km long Kaimai

railway tunnel in 1970 put out

a call for curved support beams.

Mr Carden figured out how

to bend the steel beams supporting

the tunnel.

He built a machine to do the

job and produced 8000 beams

in the eight years of the project.

The solution put Jack Tidd-

Ross Todd Ltd on the engineering


However, it was the truck

and crane business that held

his attention and during Mr

Carden’s engineering career the

company achieved a number of

breakthroughs for the NZ truck

and crane industry including

developing tag axles, logging

jinkers, the Tidd Crane Carrier,

Tidd Hydrasteer, a hydraulic

house mover, and platform


However, while Mr Carden

Continued on page 25

Dave Carden steps down from TRT

Board after 54 years of leadership

207 of Dave’s TIDD Crane carriers were built for the NZ Market



Dave Carden steps down from TRT

Board after 54 years of leadership

Dana SAC NZ Ltd are proud to be

associated with TRT and wish to

congratulate Dave on his retirement.

TIDD Logging Jinkers, one of the original Carden innovations,

with hundreds manufactured for NZ, Australi and PNG

9 Bishop Croke Place, Auckland | P: 09 250 0050

5 Birmingham Drive, Christchurch | P: 03 338 3916



The World’s Leading Provider of On-Road Load Handling Equipment

0800 518 006 www.trt.co.nz

...for the long haul






Dave Carden Legacy

From page 23 Carden for 30 years described Mr Rickman said Mr

him as a “truly good bugger,

one of the original innovators,

adept at coming up with his

own solutions to mechanical

problems and challenges”.

Carden had always been keen

to build products that were in it

for the long haul.

“He did very cool things

and from an early age came up

always described himself first

and foremost as an engineer,

he was also in the 80s to prove

himself a shrewd businessman.

During the 1982 New

Zealand Crane Conference

Mr Carden signed what has

become known as “the Game

Changer”. Breaking with

standard protective economic

practice of the time, he used

a paper napkin to relinquish

TRT’s right to an Import Duty

Protection Licence. The move

allowed the crane industry to

import cheaper cranes from


In 1987, Norm Todd sold

his remaining shareholding to

the Carden family. Mr Carden

became managing director of

Tidd Ross Todd Limited, serving

from 1987 to 1997.

Under his stewardship, the

company went from strength

to strength focused on ingenuity

and engineering.

In the late 1990s, the

renamed Tidd Ross Todd

(TRT) moved into Australia

and built a new mechanical

service facility in Maui Street,


TRT chairman Jerry Rickman

who worked with Mr

Dave and Jenny Carden, together they

shaped TRT to be company that it is today

with solutions that other people

struggled to get. He built

a considerable company by

placing people ahead of profits

– and you can see the evidence

of that in the fact staff

stay with TRT for decades –

and by working on innovations

with his own design office, and

continually reinvesting in the


That last is a sure sign

someone has faith in their

business, staff, and company’s

ability to deliver products.”

Describing him as “self-effacing”

and “not one for the

headlines”, Mr Rickman noted

Mr Carden, a Commonwealth

Games cyclist, was a “particularly

decent” benefactor to the

sport of rowing.

“He believed in being fit,

and his people being active,

and he had a scheme to pay

gym memberships in the company.”

Outside business, Mr

Carden volunteered for his

local Lions Club and was a

member of the Board for the St

Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton.

Always using his Kiwi ingenuity,

Mr Carden got involved in

designing and constructing an

18-metre high radio communications

mast to improve safety

on Mount Maungatautari, a

Kaimai Tunnel Brace that put Dave Carden on the engineering map

wildlife sanctuary located near

his hometown in the Waikato.

Mr Carden, with his wife

Jenny, funded the bulk of the

project as well as volunteering

hours of their time helping

to source the right people,

information, materials and

resources to complete the job.

“Having been in business

we have a lot of contacts to

get help from the right people.

We’ve spent money but

there is a long list of other

people who have donated

their time and expertise,

which is worth a lot

of money,” Mr Carden

said at the time.

TRT announces new

sales manager for Hiab

TRT has appointed Hillary

Naish to the role of

national sales manager

for TRT New Zealand’s Hiab

New Zealand distribution.

Naish started on 6 April

and will be leading the Hiab

team in New Zealand. Based

at TRT’s Hamilton head office,

he will continue to lead business

growth plans across all the

Hiab equipment brands.

Naish’s appointment supports

TRT’s continued focus

on growth for the Cargotec

range of products including,

Hiab cranes, ZEPRO and DEL

Tail Lifts, JONSERED and

LOGLIFT log cranes, MOF-

FET forklifts, and MULTILIFT

hooklifts into key industry sectors,

including construction,

transport, and marine.

“Hillary has a strong heavy

equipment background, and

this appointment confirms our

commitment to support new

and existing Hiab customers

and their assets for the long

term,” says Bruce Carden,

TRT’s director of innovation

and sales.

“From the time TRT

become the Cargotec distributor

in late 2018, we have been

committed to the success of

the Hiab brands and equipment

in New Zealand and we have

developed a team with a depth

of knowledge and a nationwide

service agent network to support


Originally from Hamilton,

Naish has returned from

a career in Melbourne to be

home with his grown family.

Starting his career as a

design engineer, Naish has naturally

progressed to business

growth and development roles

that include the commercial

manager for the Chiefs Super

Rugby franchise and in the

automotive industry for Volkswagen

New Zealand.

“This is an exciting challenge

for me,” Naish says. “The

strength of the Hiab brands

and the customer relationships

TRT has developed in its short

time as the distributor [makes

it] the ideal platform for the

next phase of growth for Hiab

brand in New Zealand. With

an experienced, dedicated and

knowledgeable Hiab team to

support me, I look forward to

meeting with customers in the

coming months.”

Hiab is a world-famous

brand, founded in Sweden in

1944. “Hiab Cranes have been

Hillary Naish

in New Zealand for over 30

years. Based on the quality and

reputation, the brand is now

synonymous with truck loader

cranes and knuckle boom

cranes, no matter the manufacturer.

It is exciting to be able to

continue to develop the legacy

of Hiab,” Naish says.

6 Killarney Lane, Hamilton 3204

07 847 0933



“We are a committed team providing paint products,

equipment, and accessories through outstanding

service and helpful expertise






proudly supporting

Tidd Ross Tidd

for 25 Years (since 1996)



Book your spot

in the June issue

Call the team on 07 838 1333

or email info@wbn.co.nz

M A R C H 2 0 2 0 W B N . C O . N Z / C AT E G O R Y / A G R I B U S I N E S S - N E W S F A C E B O O K . C O M / W A I K AT O B U S I N E S S N E W S

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 W W W . W B N . C O . N Z F A C E B O O K . C O M / W A I K AT O B U S I N E S S N E W S

Dairy herd

on remote control


An agritech venture is poised for New

Zealand expansion following extensive

testing on Waikato farms. P3


law firm wins

Federated Farmers contract


he two-year contract

to provide legal advice

to the farming organisation’s

members nationwide

was awarded to Norris Ward

Hamilton law firm Norris Ward McKinnon has secured a major

contract with Federated Farmers in a win for the Waikato region.

McKinnon based on its scale,

professionalism and rural

They needed a firm with

the scale to provide a range

Debbie Lee and Sam Hood.

affinity, says Federated Farmers

general manager corporate

of information by phone, taking

in employment, health and

services Debbie Lee.

Lee ran the tender process

safety, tenancy and property

issues, among others.

so it was important to find an

advisor company that had an

affinity with farmers and farming.

“Dealing with a farmer on

the phone, you've got to know

Craig Piggot

which saw the organisation

looking nationally for a provider

before deciding on Norris

Ward McKinnon in November.

The legal service is very

important to Federated Farmers.

It is used by members as

part of their membership benefit

package and is very popular.

Federated Farmers members

come from a range of farm

types, including dairy, meat,

that that farmer might have

been up since 3am and had a

rough morning and they've got

an issue they’ve probably been

wool, and arable production,

worrying about all night,” Lee


“The person giving the

Cheal provides Engineering, Surveying and

Planning solutions across the Agricultural industry

Partnering with rural businesses since 1940

Continued on page 3

Planning solutions across the Agricultural industry

Partnering with rural businesses since 1940

Cheal provides Engineering, Surveying and

Level 1, 533 Anglesea Street, Hamilton

P: 07 858 4564

Level 1, 533 Anglesea Street, Hamilton

P: 07 858 4564



Protecting the value of goodwill



Brenda Williamson runs business advisory service

Brenda Williamson and Associates www.bwa.net.nz

When a business is sold, goodwill is

often included in the sell price.

Goodwill is intangible

(not a physical thing)

and is an extra premium

paid to cover such things

as the brand, IP, customer database,

supplier relationships,

contracts and loyalty of staff.

The amount of goodwill paid is

relative to the success and reputation

of the business being


If you have sold a business

with a material amount of

goodwill included in the sell

price, that’s fantastic! If you

have bought a business and

paid an amount of goodwill,

then you will be wanting to

protect its value as you move

forward. There is always the

option of starting a business

from scratch so if you are prepared

to pay goodwill it doesn’t

make any sense to destroy it.

Here are some helpful tips

and ideas for protecting the

goodwill you have paid for:

Presumably, the brand has a

strong reputation with strong

recognition so think carefully

before changing the name of

the business.

You may want to review

exactly what the IP (intellectual

property) of the business

amounts to. Some examples

of IP would be trade secrets,

designs, inventions, and logos.

Is there anything more you

need to do to ensure it is protected?

You may like to go to

the website of https://www.

business.govt.nz and search

intellectual property. It provides

a helpful checklist to

work through and provides

ideas for protection.

Keep close to the staff that

have come with the business

– communicate with them and

establish who the key staff are.

No-one likes change and it is

common for staff to get the

‘jitters’ when the business they

work for is sold. You don’t

want to risk losing key staff to

competitors during the phasing

in period.

Hopefully, you will have

reviewed the customer database

as part of your due diligence

prior to purchasing

the business but take time to

fully understand who your clients

are as this is paramount

to the future success of the

business. Analyse your database

in different ways: geographically,

monthly spend

(including top 20), years as a

customer, product or service

breakdown, and any other way

you can slice it apart. In most

cases it would be beneficial

for the seller of the business

to assist with handover of customers,

providing you with

relevant background on each.

At the very least, there

should be a phone call to each

customer with a follow-up

email and a visit to the top

clients as soon as you can.

Listen to what they need from

you and establish what things

are important to them. Ensure

you deliver exceptional service

from the get-go.

Three months down the

track, take the time to meet

with customers again and

check they are happy with the

changeover process. Listen to

them and tweak things.

If you are purchasing a business

to clip onto your existing

business, there needs to be a

streamlined process in place to

ensure the two cultures meld

together and, yes, customers

do need to be treated with the

utmost respect.

If you are a larger business,

you may have a much broader

approach whereas the clients

from the smaller business may

be used to a very personal service.

Customers changing over

can be quite unforgiving. They

will give you one chance to

prove yourself. If you don’t

come up to their expectation,

you run the risk of them not

returning and they’ll tell their

friends and they’ll tell their


It would be a good idea to

assign one of your team the

responsibility of managing client

relationships for a period of

months. It will give you structure

and oversight.

It is easy to think we have

much better ideas than the

previous owners and then set

about changing everything -

remember the customers chose

to deal with that business (prior

to you buying it) for some

reason or other. Of course,

implement improvements and

change the way you do things

over time but not all at once,

particularly if the business was

previously successful.

If you don’t get it right,

customers will simply walk

away. Get it right and you will

only increase the value of your


Covid-recovery climate: Waikato HR

company boosts recruitment team

Hamilton-based human

resources company

Everest People

announced the appointment

of two new recruiters in April,

expanding its core recruitment

team from three to five.

Managing director Senga

Allen says the dual appointment

of Pavan Benepal and Carly

Apps is a necessary response to

the steadily growing number of

Waikato companies employing

staff post Covid-19.

“This time last year was an

incredibly scary time for businesses.

Covid-19 hit and we saw

recruitment come to a grinding

halt, not only in the Waikato but

nationally,” she said.

“A year later it’s safe to

say we’re on the other side

New Everest People recruiters Pavan Benepal and Carly Apps.

of that. The latest SEEK NZ

Employment Report shows a

whopping 55.3 percent annual

growth in March’s job advertising.

At Everest specifically

we’re seeing a new client

approach our recruitment team

every week or two.”

Everest is finding that businesses

aren’t simply filling old

roles on hold due to Covid-19.

“They’re creating new ones,

many of which are c-suite

positions. From an economic

perspective that’s reassuring,

because if recruitment is flourishing

the economy is typically

healthy too,” Allen said.

She said the expansion at

Everest is attributed directly

to the strength of the Waikato

economy. “In my role as Chair

of Waikato Chamber of Commerce,

I’ve been heartened

to see many of the key industries

that drive our economy

doing well and making plans

for even further growth. But

having growth plans is only

the first step – finding the right

people to execute those plans

is even more important. That’s

the role our team is playing

in getting the local economy

back on track.”

New recruiters Apps and

Benepal have more than two

decades of employment experience

between them. “Adding

their expertise to the mix, our

team is better equipped than

ever to help Waikato businesses

employ the right people into

vacant roles,” Allen said.

Benepal is a qualified veterinarian

with a PhD in Animal

Sciences and Molecular Biology.

She worked across different

operational roles overseas

for 15 years before starting her

recruitment career in 2016 following

a move to New Zealand.

She brings to Everest niche

expertise in the science and

technology space.

“I’ve now worked in recruitment

for five years and built

strong networks with national

and global organisations across

biotech, food, pharmaceutical

and chemical manufacturing,

engineering, agriculture and

commercial laboratory sectors.

I’ve managed the recruitment

process for highly skilled, technical,

sales and senior management

positions across these

fields and others,” she said.

Allen says Benepal’s niche

expertise is invaluable for

Waikato businesses seeking

innovation and growth in the

science and technology sectors.

“According to the Waikato

Region Economic Profile, ‘professional,

scientific and technical

services’ is currently one of

the top five growth industries

in the Waikato. Pavan is highly

skilled at sourcing and recruiting

specialist and technical people

in this space,” Senga said.

“That to say, local businesses

who have traditionally

sought recruitment help from

Auckland companies to fill specialist

roles now have Pavan’s

niche expertise right here in

their backyard. She’s a real

asset to our recruitment team

and the region, as is Carly.”

Apps brings 15 years of recruitment

experience to Everest.

She’s worked for multiple

large organisations both in

the public and private sectors

including Ministry for Primary

Industries; Child, Youth and

Family; Fonterra; Genesis

Energy; and ACC. Having lived

in the Waikato for the duration

of her recruitment career, she’s

passionate about helping local

companies hire the right people.

“Campaign creativity and

candidate experience are two

things that are really important

to me as an experienced

recruiter,” Apps said. “Creating

tailored, innovative recruitment

campaigns is key to success

in today’s competitive market

– ads alone don’t cut it. I love

doing this for clients.

“Candidate experience is

equally critical. I believe every

candidate interaction during the

recruitment process is an opportunity

to showcase a business’s

offerings, culture and enhance

the employer brand,” she said.

Allen urged Waikato businesses

to consider the value of a

recruitment agency in this post

Covid-19 climate.

“Recruiters help remove the

risk of a bad hire. It’s our job to

assess and match the right candidate

to the position and culture,

whilst letting businesses

get on with whatever they do

best. Bear in mind a good candidate

is often a passive candidate

so our networks are vital.

It’s also our job to stay on top of

any recruiting trends shaped by

the pandemic,” she said.

“We’re thrilled to have

Pavan and Carly on board.

As a team we look forward to

finding exactly the right people

for Waikato businesses as the

employment trajectory, post

Covid-19, continues to soar.”


Is serverless right for you?


Serverless. It’s a buzzword. Love ’em

or hate ’em, buzzwords give us crucial

clues into what is trending, and this

one is loaded.

Serverless computing is a

cloud computing model

in which the cloud provider

dynamically allocates

computing resources based

on demand, and where the

provider also administers the

underlying servers on behalf

of its customers.

To some it means “little

to no maintenance”, to others

“cheaper technology infrastructure”.

While both are

true, serverless is by no means

a panacea.

Across all three major

cloud infrastructure providers,

there is no set monthly pricing

for serverless infrastructure.

Pricing is based on how much

resource (generally number

of seconds that code runs,

throughput, and memory) that

each request consumes.

Serverless is not necessarily

going to be cheaper

for code that runs 24/7, but

there are other benefits. You

won’t need a systems administrator

and developers won’t

have to learn how to install,

run, secure and patch a Linux

server (an increasingly rare

skill). Running and maintaining

servers is at a minimum a

monthly maintenance job, and

at worse a drop-everythingall-hands-on-deck

for highrisk

issues such as the recent

security vulnerabilities.

Equally important is the

supporting services. Serverless

workloads have limits,

and don’t always provide

features such as internet

access, traditional storage and


While handled differently

across cloud providers, these

costs are additional to the cost

to run the code written by

your software developers. The

great news though is that compared

to the cost for multiple

virtual machines, container

services or physically hosted

servers, this is generally lower

until you get into extremely

high workloads or if you are

willing to significantly compromise

on performance.

The cloud infrastructure

cost aside, operational costs

for serverless are a success

story but also introduce items

on your risk register. When

you select serverless computing,

the updates to the underlying

hardware, operating

system and base programming

runtime are done for

you. This doesn’t mean that

software maintenance doesn’t

exist – you’ll be informed and

asked by your cloud provider

to upgrade or face the consequences,

which starts with an

inability to release new functionality,

and can end up with

your code ceasing to run.

You have two important

risks to consider. You will be

forced into upgrading platforms

at some point. This will

usually be several years in

the future if your software is

deployed on up to date platforms.

The timing and inescapable

inevitability cannot

be ignored commercially.

The second risk is that you

are effectively outsourcing

your systems administration

to your cloud provider. Professional

consensus is that

due to scale and customer

volume the cloud providers

will do a better job than your

single sysadmin, but this is not


With risks acknowledged,

we come to the true advantage

in operational expenditure.

There’s no requirement

for a dedicated systems


The entire ecosystem

from deployment to maintenance

can be looked after

by your software partner

or developers, with a little

help from your cloud provider

in the form of proactive


Another common question

about serverless is the cost

to develop and scale. This is

highly dependent on the languages,

frameworks and type

of problem you’re solving.

Swapping out traditional servers

for serverless solutions

may not give a good solution.

In general, there should be no

additional cost to implement

serverless code, provided that

serverless is the correct technical

fit for the problem.

And finally, onto a good

problem to have: a fast

growing business. In this

area serverless technologies

really shine.

With a support ticket

(and a good explanation),

well designed solutions can

scale from 1,000 concurrent

requests up to 10,000 in

hours. With traditional infrastructure,

building for scale

can be cost prohibitive during

the initial design and build,

whereas serverless solutions

are largely intrinsically scalable.

The key to a successful

serverless implementation

is good architecture. Serverless

should always be considered

in a holistic way,

starting with good technical

fit, but always looking at the

business fit as well.

At Company-X we have

great success passing on

serverless solutions to clients

with feedback that onboarding

time is low due to great


tooling, the inherent modularisation

that serverless code

and infrastructure provides,

and that the low infrastructure

entry cost has made an agile

approach a reality.


Rachel Primrose is a software architect at software

development specialist Company-X.

Working from home and copyright rights:

the need for certainty of ownership

In pre-Covid days, if you

created copyright works

such as drawings or

source code as part of your

job, the odds are you would

have done so during ‘normal

office hours’ at your desk

rather than at 9pm in the

comfort of your own home. It

would have been straightforward

to establish who was the

owner of copyright (TOOC)

in those drawings or source


In these Covid-affected

times, however, many officebased

employees now work

flexible hours and work from

home (WFH). Indeed, the

8.30am-5pm day in the office

has almost become a rarity

rather than the norm. As a

result, ascertaining who is the

owner of copyright in drawings

or source code may be a

little harder to discern; or at

least, the topic may be open

for greater debate.

The need then to be sure of

who owns what in an employment

context is perhaps more



Ben Cain is a Senior Associate at James & Wells and a Resolution

Institute-accredited mediator. He can be contacted at 07 957 5660

(Hamilton), 07 928 4470 (Tauranga) and benc@jaws.co.nz.

important now than it was in

the old days.

The recent case of Michael

Penhallurick v MD5 Ltd

[2021] EWHC 293 in the

Intellectual Property Enterprise

Court in England,

although relating to events

pre-Covid, illustrates this


Penhallurick, a former

employee of MD5, claimed

ownership of copyright in

eight works relating to a

technique he named “Virtual

Forensic Computing”

or “VFC”.* The eight works

comprised different versions

of the software code (literary

works), a graphic user interface

(artistic work) and a user

guide (literary work).

It was established that the

first two works – the earliest

version of the VFC source

code and the object code

compiled from this code –

were created in 2005 and

2006, before Penhallurick

was employed by MD5 in

November 2006. The Court

found these works were not

relevant to Penhallurick’s

claim and consequently

focussed its assessment on

the remaining six works created

by Penhallurick after he

joined MD5.

The Court found Penhallurick

was the author of

the six remaining works and

therefore was the first owner

of copyright in them – unless

any were made in the course

of his employment by MD5

pursuant to the IP clause in

Penhallurick’s employment

agreements, in which case

MD5 was the first owner.

Which of these was the case

turned on the meaning of “in

the course of his employment”.

Why? Because of the

poor wording of the “Job

Titles and Duties” and intellectual

property clauses in

Penhallurick’s first employment


The Court ultimately

found that all of the works

had been created by Penhallurick

in the course of

his employment with MD5.

Of particular interest to this

author, and relevance to this

article given the current (and

potentially permanent?) fashion

for working flexible hours

from home, however, is the

Court’s finding in relation to

the third and fourth copyright

works (“VFC Version 1” and

the graphical user interface

(“GUI”) for VFC Version

1) created by Penhallurick

in 2007. In respect of these

works, the Court said:

“[66] … It seems that Mr

Penhallurick took on the task

[of developing VFC Version

1 and GUI] with enthusiasm,

to the extent that he took his

work home some of the time.

His staff annual appraisal of

August 2007 suggests that

much of the work must have

been done during working

hours at MD5. But whatever

the exact proportion done at

home, it does not displace the

strong and primary indication

that it was work done in the

course of his employment.

The fact that an employee

does work at home is relevant

to the question of whether

the work is of a nature to fall

within the scope of the duties

for which he is paid but it

may or may not carry much

weight. Where it is otherwise

clear that the work is of such

a nature, in my view the place

where the employee chooses

to do the work will not generally

make any difference. The

same applies to the ownership

of the tools the employee

chooses to use, here sometimes

Mr Penhallurick's own

computer system. If it is clear

that the employee is being

paid to carry out a task as

agreed with his employer,

he may choose to use tools

supplied by his employer or

his own tools; either way,

the task is carried out in the

course of his employment.”

Although it is not stated,

I am confident the same reasoning

applies to the time of

day the employee chooses

to do the work – that is, it

doesn’t matter whether you

do the work at 10am or 10pm,

if the work is carried out in

the course of your employment

then any copyright

rights in it will be owned by

your employer.

Standing back, Penhallurick’s

case identifies two

important ‘take homes’

for both employers and


• first, if an employer is

going to make use of copyright

works created by

an employee before that

person is an employee,

then the employer should

have the employee assign

copyright in those works

to the employer at the

same time the employee

becomes an employee.

Alternatively, execute a

licence agreement with the

employee at the same time

the employee becomes an

employee to enable those

works to be lawfully used

by the employer;

• second, the employer

should ensure employment

agreements, but particularly

those with employees

whose job it is to create

intellectual property,

adequately identify an

employee’s role and scope

of duties so that it is clear

what resulting intellectual

property the employer is

laying claim to by virtue

of the employment agreement,

irrespective of what

time of day and where that

intellectual property is


* VFC is a method of retrieving

an image of the hard disk

without writing on it, then

booting up the image on a

virtual machine so that the

image can be investigated.

In developing the technique,

Penhallurick had used a freely

available product called VM

Software to set up the replica

of the target computer’s hardware

and operating system.

As computer programs generally

have inbuilt safeguards

to prevent them from being

manipulated in this way, the

method developed by Penhallurick

involved a password

bypass feature.





roaring ahead

From page 1

Waipā section will take riders

through bush and across

farmlands with views over the

Waikato River.

Also with a recreation

theme, the Cambridge swimming

pool facility is opening

on Williamson Street

on May 15.

In acknowledgement of

the Brian Perry Charitable

Trust’s $300,000 donation

towards construction, the

complex will be named Perry

Aquatic Centre for the next

10 years.

The centre has also been

gifted the name Puna Kaukau

O Te Oko Horoi by Ngāti

Koroki Kahukura.

The facility boasts a new

10-lane 25m indoor pool, a

toddler pool, hydrotherapy

pool, spa, sauna, children’s

splash pad and an upgrade of

the existing 50-metre outdoor


Meanwhile, Cambridge

Town Hall is set for

greater use following the

Cambridge Town Hall

appointment of seven founding


Chaired by Cambridge

chartered accountant Kirsty

Johnson, the independent

trust set up by Waipā District

Council was appointed to

help drive development and

promote use of the category

two historic building in the

heart of the town.

In April, the Waipā Networks

business awards

returned with a bang after a

year’s absence, drawing an

enthusiastic audience ready

to celebrate.

Held at Mystery Creek,

14 awards were dished out

to a range of businesses from

across the district.

The awards were organised

by the Cambridge Chamber

of Commerce, which

streamlined the entry process.

It was the first time the

Cambridge Chamber had sole

charge of the awards, and

they took the opportunity for

a refresh, says chief executive

Kelly Bouzaid.

“We just went, you know,

The new Cambridge pool complex opens on May 15.

what do we love about the

awards? What don’t love

about them? What do we need

to do?”

That saw them change

the questions for entrants,

focusing on company culture

rather than financials. It

also saw them keep the event

moving on the night, and

Bouzaid says they had positive

feedback on the energy in

the room.

Doing business in


Supreme Award winner

Rocketspark also won

Excellence in Large

Business, capping off a

remarkable year for the tech

firm since Covid hit.

A single-minded focus on

customer service is paying

off for the Cambridge website

builder, which has added 10

team members since Covid

and is eyeing the Australian


The awards came just

a dozen years after Rocketspark

started up in Cambridge

in 2009. Co-founder

and CEO Grant Johnson says

Continued on page 30

We went from a

point of going, ‘our

clients can’t open

the doors, they may

not survive this,’

to suddenly being


The Cambridge Town Hall Trust signs its Deed, from left, Mary Anne Gill,

Maxine Nelson, deputy chair Rob Feisst, Dick Breukink, chair Kirsty Johnson,

Antanas Procuta and Jenny Cave.


for partnering with us






for partnering with us







for partnering with us







P: 07 823 3460

E: ceo@cambridgechamber.co.nz





P: 07 823 3460

E: ceo@cambridgechamber.co.nz





roaring ahead

From page 29

the establishment of a partner

network had fuelled its early

growth, while there was a further

step change after Covid

hit and businesses had to

get smarter with their online


“We went from a point of

going, ‘our clients can’t open

the doors, they may not survive

this,’ to suddenly being


Their response was to convert

all of their team, including

designers and marketers,

into the customer support


Johnson says they have an

internal service level agreement,

more stringent than the

one promised to customers,

and which continued to show

improvement even during the

“crazy” period of people getting


The firm are, Johnson

says, “fanatical” about customer

service and customer

support and run a Slack channel

to record live feedback,

which is overwhelmingly

positive. “There’s sometimes

bad ones, but you’ll see the

team comment on it and say,

‘I’ve reached out to the customer.’

It’s just so helpful

if people tell us what their

experience is.”

Being based in Cambridge

works well for the business,

he says. It offers a point of

difference from a big city,

which can be an advantage

when it comes to recruiting.

“Cambridge has a great reputation

and people want to

move here.”

Johnson walks past clients’

offices on his way to

work, and comments on the

single, or even zero, degree

of separation when running a

business in a small town.

“You have to provide a

good service and then it’s like

ripples in a pond. Cambridge

for us is kind of the stone

in the pond that it flows out


The firm, whose websites

are used around the world,

have strong connections with

Wintec and the University of

Waikato, and have employed

several graduates after first

taking them on as paid interns

during study. It was students

who built the prototype of

their AI powered search

engine optimisation tool,

Flint, and Johnson says one

of those students has won a

Fulbright scholarship to New

York University.

The team are set to continue

growing as they start

a marketing campaign in

Australia. “We’re confident

in word of mouth referral

through the partner network.

But we know that if more

people know about us, they

become customers.”

Johnson says they have

The velodrome will be linked to Cambridge by the

Te Awa River Ride, currently under construction.

also secured funding through

BNZ under the business

finance guarantee scheme to

“put the foot down” and create

more roles in marketing

development and customer


With the company also

strong in Te Awamutu, he

says many of the Waipā

business award winners use

Rocketspark websites.

“It’s just lovely to be recognised

locally amongst our

clients and the support is so

strong. That motivates us to

continue what we’re doing,

but also to not drop the ball

on doing well.”

Shaking off Covid

Another Cambridge

firm to respond

strongly to Covid

was AgDrive, which won

two Waipā business awards,

Excellence in Emerging/New

Business, and Innovation and


It was well-earned recognition

for the firm’s remarkable

story less than a year

after it started.

The driver training business,

part of the Ag Technology

Group based at Hautapu,

was born out of a stray comment

over a coffee at a time

when the company was staring

down the Covid barrel,

says director Andre Syben.

Ag Technology’s engineers,

who normally spend

half the year in Germany

testing and developing Claas

machinery, were effectively

grounded by the pandemic

and the company was casting

around for alternatives.

“The AgDrive idea wasn’t

actually mine,” Syben says.

“It was an off the side comment

made by a friend of

mine. He made the comment

completely out of the blue.

He said, ‘What’s going to

happen to all these contractors

when they can’t get overseas


“He just went on to talk

about something else, and I

went, ‘aha’. So I didn’t actually

come up with the idea.”

AgDrive was established

to meet the gap - connecting

people put out of work by the

pandemic with contractors

needing staff for the upcoming

harvest season.

They signed a contract

with the Ministry for Social

Development and began short

training courses at Matangi at

the end of July.

Continued on page 32

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Celebrating success

with the Rocketspark


at the 2021 Waipa Networks Business Awards

Every year, finalists in the Waipa Networks

Business Awards come together to celebrate.

This year Rocketspark were crowned winners in

the Excellence in Large Business category and

the Supreme Award.

But that wasn’t the only win for the Cambridge

based tech company, over half the other winners

were also Rocketspark clients.

Homebrew Coffee

Community Contribution Award

Waste Minimisation - Environmental Award (Highly Commended)

Kaz. Design. Brand. Web. (Highly Commended)

Design Partner

since 2014

Customer Choice Award (Winner)

Client since


Waste Minimisation - Environmental Award

Digital Strategy and E-Commerce Award

Accounted4 (Winner)

Client since


Flourish Wellness (Winner)

Client since


Ag Drive Limited

Excellence in New / Emerging Business Award (Winner)

Innovation & Adaptation Award

Innovation & Adaptation Award (Winner)

Client since


Good Union (Highly Commended)

Client since



Leader of the Year Award

Excellence in Large Business Award (Winner)

Hamilton Airport - Mark Morgan (Winner)

Client since


Supreme Award (Winner)

Beautifully simple websites



Cambridge roaring ahead

From page 30

Eight months later, they

have placed more than 60

people in jobs, and have

even taken on one graduate

themselves, a former pilot

who is now managing their

warehouse. Others have been

employed by firms including

Wealleans and Waharoabased

horticulture company


The AgDrive idea wasn’t

actually mine, it was an

off the side comment

made by a friend of

mine. He made the

comment completely

out of the blue. He said,

‘What’s going to happen

to all these contractors

when they can’t get

overseas staff?’

AgDrive not only gives

trainees the driver training

but also supports them in

their job applications.

Along with redeploying

Ag Technology engineers,

they have taken on four new

staff for AgDrive, and have

just signed a contract with the

Primary ITO to run both tractor

driving and motorbike and

quad driving microcredential

courses for NZQA credits.

Aimed at people already

in employment, the weeklong

tractor course will have

intakes of 10 or 11, while

the bike training is set to

become a twice-weekly, twoday

course, with a 10-strong

intake for each.

General manager Janine

Peters says the AgDrive ITO

initiative came after they

were looking for other avenues

to ensure the business’s

long-term future.

Early signs were encouraging

after Syben’s wife

posted the news on their

Facebook page. “All I heard

all night was ‘ping’ ‘ping’ on

her phone. It was inquiry, just

unbelievable,” Syben says.

They have built an indoor

bike training track at the back

of their warehouse, meaning

the training can be held in all

weathers. It is carpeted with

astroturf Syben bought before

Christmas from the Cambridge

tennis courts, with the

planned track in mind.

But they are also looking

at taking the offering

on-farm for employers such

as iwi with a large number of

employees on grouped farms

Ag Technology is also

growing its Diesel Tune

business with the addition of

imported TJM four-by-four

accessories, the first time

they have sold a physical

product through the business.

Meanwhile, their 2500

sq m warehouse, a business

which they started just before

Covid lockdown, is almost


Business leader of the year

Having a plan to deal

with Covid-19 and giving

the team confidence

there was light at the end of the

tunnel were key elements in

Hamilton Airport chief executive

Mark Morgan winning

Waipā business leader of the

year. The airport is setting

records despite experiencing

lockdown and uncertainty

because of the pandemic.

“The award represents

a few things, I think it represents

the fact that we got

through Covid,” says Morgan,

who was nominated by

his team.

“A lot of it was about the

success of the business in the

past year. And whilst I can

take some of the credit for

the leadership aspect, it was

a much wider leadership contribution

by the whole team

that got us to that point.”

Faced with the uncertainty

of Covid, it was important to

hold the long-term course, he

says. The airport put together

a Covid response leadership

team, and Morgan says his

approach was for people to

be clear on what needed to be

done and then getting on with

doing it.

“I think I’m pretty clear on

my expectations,” he says. “I

was conscious of hopefully

never portraying to the team

any uncertainty, any kind of

inability to make decisions.

I just tried to get the team to

focus on what we could control,

what we needed to do.”

His background in operations

management, including

leadership stints at Smith and

Smith, Scenic Coachlines

and Budget Rent A Car, gave

him a solid background in

crisis management.

“I learned very good communication

skills, good delegation

skills, but also I think

I’ve got a pretty good sense

for when stuff’s getting done

and when it isn’t getting done

and seeing roadblocks.”

The wage subsidy helped

them retain their airport hotel

staff in particular, with a further

boost coming when it

became an MIQ facility, and

there were only “one or two”

redundancies in the terminal’s

retail store, which they

decided to amalgamate with

the Propellor Cafe upstairs in

the terminal building.

Morgan says in the early

days of lockdown, he couldn’t

be sure about the security of

his own job, nor those of his

leadership team and staff,

however he chose to move

forward in as positive and

transparent manner as he

could. “We took things one

day at a time and responded

quickly to what was needed,

but always had a strong focus

on the future,” he said.

AgDrive took out both Excellence in Emerging/New Business and the Innovation and

Adaptation Award at the Waipa Networks Business Awards. Photo: Cornegiephotography


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Leader in legal services

Committed to the vision of each client

and the culture of teamwork.

Since its establishment in 1906 Lewis

Lawyers has been part of the fabric of

the Cambridge community.

Built on more than 100

years of client relationships

and service to the

community, Lewis Lawyers

today is Cambridge’s largest

law firm – a progressive,

modern law firm with offices

in Cambridge and Hamilton

serving the greater Waikato

region and beyond.

Lewis Lawyers prides itself

on the quality of its advice

and the integrity of its

people. The team at Lewis

Lawyers draw on their knowledge

to add value to transactions

and resolve disputes for

clients. Lewis Lawyers is a

switched-on practice, a young

firm in its approach, built on

tradition. The team are always

ready to roll up their sleeves

and do what is necessary to

get the job done and clients

benefit from a high level of

commitment and attention

to detail whilst receiving a

cost-effective service.

With a visionary strategic

plan in place, Lewis’ is growing

alongside Cambridge and

the Waikato in a sustainable

way. Lewis’ has undertaken a

rebrand and will soon launch

a new website which truly

reflects the Lewis’ brand –

modern, progressive, and innovative.

During 2020, Lucy Young,

Mayuan Si and Monique

Medley-Rush were appointed

as partners to join existing

partners Lisa Ware and Matt

Makgill, with Simon Makgill

becoming a Consultant. The

new partners have brought

strong reputations, in-depth

knowledge, and experience to

strengthen our existing business

and provide quality advice

to our clients.

Following the end of

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Waikato’s housing market to

become one of the hottest in

New Zealand.

Our conveyancing team

has been busy, navigating

clients through highly competitive

multi-offer scenarios

and providing responsive and

clear advice in what has been

quite a confusing market and

of late, providing advice on

the extension of the brightline

period. Solicitor Lisa

Lynch came on board in October

2020 and brings valuable

property law experience to the

conveyancing team.

We also continue to experience

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Major investment in

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development continues

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further enhancing Waikato’s


Lewis’ has considerable

expertise and vast experience

in both commercial and

property law and transactions.

Lewis’ routinely advise individuals,

families, businesses,

and local authorities in

relation to the buying and

selling of commercial property,

commercial leasing, and

property development, from

small scale subdivisions to

the sale of multi-apartments

in newbuilds.


Farming and agribusiness

continue to be a critical pillar

of Waikato’s stability. “Farm

sales are up this year as the

rural sector remains resilient

despite challenges”, indicates

Matt Makgill. We have extensive

experience and expertise

in providing legal services to

the rural sector including sale

and purchases, rural leases,

equity and debt financing,

contractual arrangements, and

farm succession planning.

It has been particularly

busy in the Trusts space. With

new Trust legislation going

live on 30 January 2021,

our Trusts team led by Lucy

Young has spent considerable

time working with clients and

advising on the relevance of

retaining Trusts and how any

variations, resettlements or

wind ups should occur. New

solicitor Bhavin Parshottam

joined the team in May 2021

and will specifically work in

the Trust Law area.

Continued growth in the

family and relationship property

areas of practise has seen

Lewis’ recruit two additional

Solicitors, Keryn Morgan

brings five years’ experience

to this team and Grace

Goodger brings experience

and passion in the relationship

property area.

Finally, we see immense

value in investing in our


As a Cornerstone sponsor

of the strong and vibrant Cambridge

Business Chamber, we

provide funding and support

to enable the Chamber to lead

and support a strong connected

business Community.

As part of our community

philosophy, we also

undertake pro-bono work,

particularly to support local

organisations and provide

lawyer assistance to support

the Citizens Advice


Lisa Ware



Matt Makgill


Lucy Young


Monique Medley-Rush


Mayuan Si


Simon Makgill


Lesley Nielsen


Fiona Ferrier


Donna Lee

Senior Solicitor

Caroline Gregory

Senior Solicitor

Naomi Lee


Lisa Lynch


Keryn Morgan


Grace Goodger


Bhavin Parshottam


Leanne Wood

Legal Executive

Holly Watson

Legal Executive

Mifa Lin

Legal Executive

Lynn Williams

Legal Executive

Tui-Emma Tyler

Practice Manager























Corner Dick and Alpha Streets, Cambridge | Ph 07 827 5147

45 Seddon Road, Hamilton | Ph 07 848 1222




Rocketspark’s Launch draws a crowd


Tonia Hill-Greenhouse Creative.

Partner of the Year Winner

Website of the Year:

Razor Sharp Knives by LW Creative

Best Branding Package:

Riverside Escapes by Magic Fingers Graphics

Best Client Impact:

Magic Fingers Graphics

Community Good Award:

Quick Brown Fox

Fastest Growing Partner:

Kaz Design. Brand. Web.

Best Ecommerce Website:

Honest Kitchen by Repeatable Design

New Partner of the Year:

Frank Communication

Partner of the Year - Grand Award:

Greenhouse Creative

Cambridge-based website builder

Rocketspark drew a crowd of over 100

people from all around New Zealand for

its annual awards dinner.

Rocketspark has a network

of design partners

who create websites for

people all around the globe.

To give back, Rocketspark’s

CEO Grant Johnson,

after speaking on the company's

2021 vision which aimed

to make the world a better

place, announced they would

be giving each Design Partner

a free not-for-profit website -

for life - voucher.

The partners would be able

to choose who they designed

and gave the website to.

“With over 750 registered

partners, we expect this to

have a big impact. If only

500 of those partners use

this voucher, that would be

$650,000 worth of value each

year. We can’t wait to see what

kind of impact that can have

on the world,” Johnson said.

Rocketspark’s design conference,

Launch, held for

the first time in 2018, spans

two ac-tion packed days

of inspiration.

One of the biggest highlights

of the event is the

Rocketspark Partner Awards,

which saw eight designers

recognised for their work in

different areas.

Partner of the Year

went to Tonia Hill of

Greenhouse Creative.

Head of partnerships Jason

Tiller presented the award

saying Greenhouse Creative

was a standout because of

their incredible efforts over

the year.

“What I love about Tonia,

is that the way she works represents

what we stand for in

the wider world. Her level of

business and design excellence

is fantastic and I couldn’t be

prouder to call her one of our

partners,” Tiller said.

Hill said she was incredibly

humbled by the award.

“Thank you so much, it

means a lot to me. In the same

way I’m invested in seeing

my clients succeed, I feel that

Rocketspark is invested in seeing

me succeed,” she said.

For more information about

Rocketspark and Launch, see


Airport sees record

passenger numbers

Mark Morgan at Hamilton Airport as a new

Origin Air service begins to Palmerston North.

Hamilton Airport is

racking up records as

it rebounds from the

onslaught of Covid-19, though

chief executive Mark Morgan

says they remain cautious

about the future.

In March, the airport had

a record 38,000 passengers,

the most it has ever seen for

a month including when there

were flights to Auckland

and Australia. The previous

record of about 37,000 was in

November 2019.

While Air New Zealand’s

domestic market has

rebounded to the same level

as pre-Covid, Waikato has

exceeded that, at about 120

percent of pre-Covid volumes.

Capacity has also

increased, with Christchurch

up 24 percent and Wellington

14 percent as the airport hosts

more flights than ever before.

“Wellington and Christchurch

are very good routes

for Air New Zealand out of

Hamilton, because of a good

blend of corporate business

and leisure travel,” Morgan


He says his sense is the

previous 55:45 mix in favour

of business travel is likely

to have been reversed post-

Covid, though no survey has

yet been undertaken.

In May, Originair’s Palmerston

North route was

boosted by the addition of

morning and evening flights

meaning business travellers

can fly out and back on the

same day. Regular flights

are also departing for Nelson,

leaving on Friday and returning

on Sunday for travellers

wanting a weekend getaway.

All in all, confidence

levels are high.

Hamilton has been

quite unique in that

we’ve benefited

strongly from

national lockdowns,

border restrictions

and Auckland’s

periodic lockdowns.

“All in all, confidence

levels are high. Hamilton

has been quite unique in that

we’ve benefited strongly

from national lockdowns,

border restrictions and Auckland’s

periodic lockdowns,”

Morgan says.

He gives the example of

Waikato people planning a

holiday in Queenstown who

may decide to fly out of Hamilton,

rather than risk Auckland

being in lockdown.

Passenger volumes are up

so much that an overflow car

park has been built, and the

long-term intention is to shift

the car rental companies into

a separate area on the left as

people leave the airport. That

would free up about 100 further

public car parks.

Nevertheless, the leadership

team is taking a cautious

approach to its forecasting

and is budgeting only for a

near recovery to pre-Covid

levels for the period from

July 1 this year to next June

30. The airport delivered a

profit in June 2020 and is on

track for a record profit in

June 2021.

Morgan says cash flow

was strong right through

Covid because of their existing

diversification strategy,

including property development

in Titanium Park, ownership

of the Jet Park Hotel,

and ownership of the farm

north of the runway.

Jet Park, with about 60

rooms, is operating as an

MIQ facility and is likely

to remain so until at least

April next year. Debt levels

declined during Covid

following successful land

sales. Stage four of the Central

Precinct is sold out, and

development is due to start in

spring on stage five, with two

lots already pre-sold. Morgan

expects they will begin issuing

titles in about 12 months.

Morgan says they are

working closely with Waka

Kotahi NZTA and Waipā

District Council on the farm,

with a private plan change

to rezone the area industrial-commercial.

He hopes

they will be lodging a consent

application towards the

end of the year.

“There is still demand for

larger blocks, and there’s a

shortage of industrial land

in the region. And we are

more affordable than north Te


That area is, he says, a 15

to 20 year project with major

infrastructure work required.


‘Great team’ key for

Construction Advantage

When the Little Thinkers Kindergarten in

a new Cambridge subdivision opened on

time for the new term this year teacherowners

Alicia Oliver and Ilonca Raymond

breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Two years in conception,

the new build was still

in the planning stages

when the Covid-19 lockdown

brought business across New

Zealand to a halt in March

last year.

Luckily, the team at local

commercial construction firm

Construction Advantage met

the demanding circumstances


Construction Advantage

makes a point of detailed client

consultation. Lockdown meant

it could not follow its usual

practice of careful face-to-face

meetings with Alicia and Ilonca

in the lead up to the build’s start.

Not daunted, the team

designed and consented the

three-room, high-vaulted project

over Zoom, keeping Ilonca

and Alicia in the loop via email.

But, says Construction a timber-framed roof structure were happy to let us be in contact

disruption of Covid, the build-

Advantage director John on a 45-degree angled roof on

with the architect so that ing was still finished, as per the

Mason, the result required the high profile site, but it gives we could design the building original time line.

an accelerated delivery programme

the centre a spacious, quality according to what we wanted. “During lockdown, we

starting in July 2020.

Despite the Covid delays, the

Construction Advantage team

met the original completion

date of December 1, allowing

the centre to open for term one

feel,” John says.

Ilonca says they could not

fault Construction Advantage.

“I have owned my own kindergartens

in Hamilton running

out of renovated houses. Alicia

As we are not only the owner

of Little Thinkers, we are also

teachers, teaching in the classrooms,

we wanted to ensure

that the building was workable

for us.

were kept informed via email

of where we were at, in terms

of the build. Our building was

started in July and we took over

at the beginning of December.

Even after we took over, they

this year.

Oliver and I were keen to start “Construction Advantage were very supportive of any

For the company, Covid-

19 was just one of the challenges

the kindergarten posed.

Detailed planning and coordination

was needed to carry out

the build in conjunction with

busy adjacent subdivision and

tenant works.

our own kindergarten in Cambridge

as we could not find one

with a similar philosophy here.

“We were fortunate to be

contacted by the developer

of the subdivision and John

Mason the owner of Construction

Advantage. They were

were amazing throughout this

whole project. We felt that we

were an integral part of the process,

always welcome to come

on site and definitely our ideas

were always valued. When we

had our first meeting with them,

they were very confident that

issues that arose and are still

contactable now five months


“We cannot fault Construction

Advantage. They were so

supportive of us and so happy

for us to be fully part of this

“As well, it was time consuming

and a challenge to build vision in early childhood and ished on time. Even with the extremely supportive of our the whole project would be fin-

Continued on page


Our commercial team gives your

construction an advantage

Development & Project Management

Level 1, 3/48 Empire Street, Cambridge


& Build





Phone 07 823 0331










‘Great team’ key for Construction Advantage

From page 35

project. We have a beautiful

building and the building complements

our amazing programme

and amazing staff.”

A second recent challenge

for the company was the construction

of the new Professional

Farm Services building,

with high-end architectural finishes,

in Cambridge.

The rebuild was complex

because it involved the demolition

and re-building of a

retail space while the business

remained operational.

The high-profile site is

bounded on two sides by overhead

power lines and tucked

up against existing buildings.

As always, the team loved the

challenge, and while careful

consideration of the building

sequencing and methodology

was needed, they landed precast

panels on an existing party

wall stabilised by a steel frame

founded on concrete piles.

Professional Farm Services

owner Lynda McMillan was

rapt with the entire build process.

“We were considering

knocking down our old showroom

and office area and were

keen to deal locally. We met

with John and his team and

both my business partner Dave

and I came away feeling confident

about using them. John

was easy to deal with and, after

a second meeting, we did not

really want to go anywhere else.

“We both felt confident

Construction Advantage would

get us through. They proved to

be efficient, were a pleasure to

deal with, their quantity surveyor’s

attention to detail was

impressive, and the site manager

lovely. I often say you are

only as good as your team and

John has an awesome team.

That said, he personally stayed

in touch throughout.

“We are pleased with the

end result, completed to a high

standard and any little issues

after handover were dealt with


“John asked me afterwards

if there was anything his team

could have done differently to

improve but I could not think

of anything. This was a big deal

for us but we felt we were in

good hands and I would, and

have, recommended him.

“They were a pleasure to

deal with and nothing was hard

work. Throughout the course of

the build, including the interruption

of Covid-19 our project

ran efficiently and was handled

in a professional manner. We

witnessed a 'great team' who

worked well together to provide

results on a very high standard.

We can highly recommend

Construction Advantage Ltd

as a construction company and

would not hesitate to engage

them again."

It is this attention to teamwork,

careful client consultation,

and a firm commitment

to deliver on time – all aspects

of the Little Thinkers and Professional

Farm Services builds

– that remain at the core of the

company’s approach to doing

business today.

Construction Advantage

offer a complete property

development package to their

clients – from initial feasibility

studies and cost consultancy,

through project, development,

and construction management,

and design and build. As a

result, the company can manage

everything from property

purchase, tender for services,

cost containment and on-time

on-budget project completion.

The teams sees itself as

Waipā-centric and pride themselves

on keeping a lid on costs

through their excellent working

relationships with local contractors,

tradespeople, engineers,

designers and architects. As

well, the Construction Advantage

team is proactive in buying

local whenever practical.

John sees his company sitting

neatly in niche development.

“We provide end-to-end

services, managing projects

from start to finish, dealing with

everyone from real estate agents

through to project funders. Typically,

our team starts with feasibility

studies and a look at the

numbers. We always strive to

formalise a bankable project at

the start, rather than confront a

set of unaffordable drawings.”

The success of the team’s

business philosophy perhaps

can be measured in the extraordinary

amount of repeat business

(up to 90 percent) offered

to the Construction Advantage

team. This, says John, is a direct

result of “the time we take to

look after the client”.

Construction Advantage’s

first big private job was the

Hillcrest Medical Centre in

Hamilton. Again, this was an

end-to end project delivered on

a very short timeframe on a difficult

site surrounded by busy

roads, with minimal parking

and difficult access.

Starting the double storey

build in February 2017, the

team worked closely with their

clients to deliver consulting

rooms to doctors two days early

in November that year.

However, all previous builds

have been eclipsed by Construction

Advantage’s latest

project – a $14-million development

in town consisting of

a two-storey residential block

atop a floor of retail with underground


The team are currently preparing

to build the new Hunting

and Fishing on another site in

Cambridge, the combination

of the two projects is great evidence

of the way Cambridge is


While many of the team’s

projects involve the latest

in building technology, the

company last year completed

the Tapapa wharenui, outside

Tirau, using a traditional

rammed earth building technique.

The wharenui is the first

of three buildings on the site.

Started right on lockdown the

build, during which the company

worked alongside members

of the Tapapa Marae Trust,

was completed six months later

in October.

Whānau Project Manager

Martin Miles said whānau

found Construction Advantage

open and interactive in their

communication and reporting.

“They are cognisant of the

statutory requirements and their

application to tikanga; and have

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Waipā set for continued growth

High growth, low debt - Waipā is in an

unexpected sweet spot that gives the lie

to early Covid forecasts.

Mayor Jim Mylchreest

says he’s thankful the

economists’ predictions

haven’t come to fruition

in the district.

“The growth, both in subdivisions

and households,

and industrial growth, is far

exceeding expectations.”

Infometrics research shows

Cambridge and Waipā have

held up well against Covid,

with a report recording the

district with a modest 0.5 per

cent increase in GDP for the

12 months to December 2020,

well above the national 2.6 per

cent decrease.

Mylchreest acknowledges

the downside around affordability,

but says the council is

flat out keeping up with the

development coming its way.

Industrial development is

pronounced around Hautapu

and the airport, and Mylchreest

says Te Awamutu is also picking

up with a new Bond Road

development starting, and also

some redevelopment in the


Major earthworks are also

underway on the western outskirts

of Cambridge in growth

cells dubbed C2 and C3.

Mylchreest says Waipā’s

policy is that growth pays for

growth, with developers footing

the bill for much of the

infrastructure work around the

three waters, and the costs then

affecting section prices.

“And then of course, as we

get increasing capital value in

the district, there's more ratepayers

to pay for what needs to

be done.”

That sees Waipā proposing

what it says are some of the

lowest rates rises in the country

over the next 10 years, with

the long-term plan proposing

increases of 4.2 percent and 4.1

percent in the first two years,

averaging out at 1.8 percent

over the decade.

Mylchreest says they are

helped by going into the

growth period with historically

low levels of debt, following

more than a decade of paying

it down. There will be a “massive

increase” in borrowing,

which will be at low interest


“In the last 10 year plan, we

were talking about a debt level

of about $13 million. And now

with all of the infrastructure -

and a lot of it will be funded

by that growth - we're talking

about a peak debt over our 10

year plan of about $340 million.”

Mylchreest says that still

gives them about $100 million

in “freeboard”.

Cambridge Chamber of

Commerce chief executive

Kelly Bouzaid, however,

sounds a note of caution.

She says on the surface the

Jim Mylchreest

town and district are doing

“incredibly well”. But she

warns that fatigue remains a

factor for some Cambridge

businesses after a year of

Covid. Business continuity

issues, the ability to find skilled

and unskilled labour and the

challenge of rebuilding remain

real challenges, and economic

recovery should remain part of

the conversation, she says.

“There's a lot more under

that surface.”

Part of her issue is a lack of

Cambridge-specific statistics

to know exactly how the town

is travelling.

She has a foot traffic count

for the town, and would like

similar levels of detail for other

indicators as well, and says

businesses are also looking for

the data.

As someone close to the

business community, she

says the uncertainty when the

region went into level two worried


“There's also still a high

Kelly Bouzaid

level of fatigue. And you

know, those choices: Do we

hire someone? Don't we hire

someone? What do we do?

“And then you see the

braver people making those

decisions and flying, but

they're in the IT and construction


It is tougher in some industries

than others, she says, with

hospitality definitely struggling

with a lack of staff.

On the positive side, she

says the “totally locally” culture

is embedded, with people

spending more, including

a welcome increase in spend

from Hamiltonians.

Local body reforms

With local authorities

facing upcoming

change over the provision

of the three waters and a

government-announced review

of the local body structure,

Mylchreest has strong views

on keeping decision making

close to communities.

“I'm a great supporter of

decentralisation, I suppose,

rather than centralisation -

getting the services delivered

close to the population that

they're supposed to be servicing.

“There's some opportunities

for councils to become

more responsive to their communities.

So from that perspective,

I think there's some great

opportunities there.

“But if the intention for the

review is to reduce the number

of local government entities,

take more services away from

rural and provincial New Zealand,

then I'm dead against it.

“We just need to be open

minded and try and influence

the direction that government

is taking.”

The difficulties will come

if the Government fails to take

note of what local government

is saying, and is instead driven

by bureaucrats in Wellington,

“who probably don't really

understand rural and provincial

New Zealand”.

Waipā is in a good position

when it comes to the three

waters. “We've invested heavily

in infrastructure, we've

been funding depreciation and

keeping up with our renewals.”

There is still a lack of detail

coming out of central government,

and Mylchreest’s question

is how areas struggling

with their infrastructure will be


“Our responsibility as

a council is looking after

our ratepayers, and I don't

want to see our ratepayers

paying twice.

“If the government stepped

in and said, ‘Look, we're going

to be helping out these other

localities,’ well then I'm pretty

relaxed about it. But if there's

going to be cross subsidisation

across the territorial boundaries,

then it's a question we're

going to have to ask the community,

are they prepared to be

into it?”

Mylchreest says he goes

along with some of Waikato

Chamber of Commerce chief

executive Don Good’s comments

around the difficulties

posed to business by different

standards and development

requirements across

local body areas.

The growth, both

in subdivisions and

households, and

industrial growth,

is far exceeding


“Making it easier for businesses

is obviously something

that we should be looking at


“But local bodies are not

just set up for businesses,

they're set up for the community

as well. So it's always a

balancing act.

“You know, what are the

community values that people

want to see happening in their

own local area, as opposed to

just being purely focused on




0800 924 723



Waipa Networks CEO Adam Fletcher

Rotary Cambridge Urban Miners




It was a night to remember when 14

awards were handed out at the Waipa

Networks Business Awards, held at

Mystery Creek in April.

Supreme Award:


Excellence in Emerging/New Business:


Excellence in Small Business:

Cambridge Top 10 Holiday Park

Cambridge Top 10 Holiday Park

Excellence in Medium Business:

Resolution Retreats

(Highly commended: Essential Insurances)

Excellence in Large Business:


(Highly commended: Magills Butchery)

Innovation and Adaptation Award:


(Highly commended: Good Union)

Digital Strategy and E-Commerce Award:

Flourish Wellness

Waste Minimisation – Environmental Award:


(Highly commended: Homebrew Coffee,

Rotary Cambridge Urban Miners)


Christmas Festival Society

Contribution to Tourism – Regional Award:

Cambridge Top 10 Holiday Park

Community Contribution Award:

The Christmas Festival Society

(Highly commended: KAZ)

Leader of the Year:

Mark Morgan (Hamilton Airport)

Employee of the Year:

Lily Hooker (More Real Estate)

Customer Choice:

Homebrew Coffee (Cambridge)

Magills Butchery (Te Awamutu)

Judges Choice Award:

Magills Butchery



Flourish Wellness



Resolution Retreats

A night for celebrating success

Homebrew Coffee



Essential Insurances

Mark Morgan

Lily Hooker with team





Waipa Networks

congratulates the

winners of the 2021

Waipa Networks

Business Awards









Choose from a


variety of:



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a wide variety of:




waipanetworks.co.nz • 07 872 0745

240 Harrison Drive, PO Box 505, Te Awamutu

Phone: 027 027 328 328 5191 5191


Young entrepreneurs

turn out in numbers

Waikato’s budding entrepreneurs came

together at Wintec’s Atrium, for the

annual Lion Foundation Young Enterprise

Scheme’s Kickstart Tīmata event.

Speed coaches Don Scarlett

and Hollie Wilson of Mercury Energy

Entrepreneurs and Waikato business

leaders in a brainstorming session


record turnout of more

than 400 year 12 and 13

students took part in the

day, where they had the opportunity

to pick the brains of over

60 Waikato business leaders in

a speed coaching session.

Regional coordinator Penny

Bunting is thrilled with the

enthusiasm and support for

the experiential business programme,

in which the years

12 and 13 students start up and

run a real business.

The young entrepreneurs

will conduct market research,

plan, budget, and turn problems

into challenges in the

year-long competition.

“Supporting YES is really

important, as some of these

young people go on to become

the employers of the future,”

Bunting said.

“The business skills they

develop are complemented

by team work, communication,

negotiating and decision

making. It’s a great learning


YES Companies enter

regional and national competitions,

culminating in the

National Awards where the

Lion Foundation Young Enterprise

Company of the Year is

announced. Regional awards

will be held in November.

Jamie Russell of Loop Carshare, Senga Allen

of Everest, and Linda Nelsen Caie of Smart Waikato

sharing key advice in an expert Q&A session.

Speed coaches Mark Donovan of Cabernet

Foods, Ra Piripi of the Southern Trust and

Linda Nelsen-Caie of Smart Waikato.

Penny Bunting, YES Regional Coordinator

with students from Sacred Heart Girls College

John Gallagher talking business with

students from St Peters School, Cambridge.

Speed Coaches Jason Nepia of Te Waka

and Nanise Ginnen of Impact Hub

James Rhynes of Lasertec Imaging

mentoring students from St Peters Cambridge

Dion and Donna Wright of Oak Financial, Gina Scott and Corren Ngerengere of

Waikato District Council and Mary Jensen of Smart Waikato preparing to speed coach

Young Entrepreneurs from Hamilton Girls High School


Don’t let gold slip though your fingers….

Last month I addressed the employment market in the

Waikato and the war on talent. This month let’s have a chat

about retaining your stars – and most certainly not letting

that gold slip through your fingers.

Contrary to popular

belief, most people

don’t leave a good

job for more money. The

number one factor why

people leave employment

is because of their direct

supervisor, and most importantly,

their direct supervisor’s

behaviour. That’s kind

of scary, isn’t it! Covid has

amplified employee attraction

and retention even more.

Let’s break that down – if

you were truly valued during

Covid, cared for, supported,

and even developed, then it’s

less likely that you’re on the

prowl for a new job right now.

However, if during Covid you

felt isolated, your boss wasn’t

living up to the company’s

publicised values, or you

felt vulnerable and exposed,

then chances are the loyalty

to your current employer has

been tested – and you may

feel the need for change.

In the current talent short-

age, it’s vital that businesses

focus on retention. I mean

truly focus on retention! If

you’re waiting until an exit

interview to tell you what’s

going on, then you’ve missed

a golden opportunity. Not just

to keep a productive member

of your team but to identify

and fix problems in your business

before you lose other

people. Employee retention

is a critical issue as companies

compete for talent in a

tight economy. The cost of an

employee is around 2.5 times

an employee’s salary depending

on the role – let alone the

other soft costs such as lowered

productivity, decreased

engagement, training costs

and cultural impact.

If you google employee

retention you’ll find a myriad

of solutions and strategies to

help you retain valuable team

members, but let me take you

back to what I said before –

the direct supervisor has the

most impact on why employees

move on. When was the

last time you or your people

leaders took a long hard look

at what their behaviour was



Managing Director, Everest – All about people TM


doing to the culture and climate

of the business? What

pain points are you creating

in the business? What

could you be doing (intentionally

or unintentionally)

that could be leading your

employee to the exit sign?

When was the last

time you or your

people leaders took

a long hard look at

what their behaviour

was doing to the

culture and climate

of the business?

Do you actually know why

people leave your company

or do you just guess? Personally,

I think this is the first

place to start if you want to

retain the golden stars in

your team. Ask yourself….

“what could I start, stop or

keep doing that would make

my workplace better?” And

then – ask your people the

same questions! You might

be delighted and surprised by

their responses.

Once you understand why

people stay or leave your

company, then you can go

about making improvements

or changes as you need to.

Beware though – one size

doesn’t fit all. Flexible work

hours, for example, are very

attractive to some employees,

but not to others. There are

many employees who thrive

on the whole 8am start, 4pm

finish routine because it’s how

they structure their world.

Lastly, some employee

turnover is healthy for business

– we get that. Change is

good! But you certainly don’t

want your best and most productive

employees leaving in

droves because they can find

a culture and leadership that

empowers them elsewhere.

When was the last time

you sat down and put some

thought into retaining your

best employees?

Keep putting yourself out there



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

management consultancy. Email vicki@dugmorejones.co.nz

When your order books

or appointment

schedules are full,

it’s tempting to pull the plug

on marketing, for fear of being


There’s nothing worse

than having to say ‘no’ to new

business because you’re too

busy. Or not being able to supply

your customers because

you can’t get stock in quick

enough, or are understaffed.

But that doesn’t mean marketing

shouldn’t still be high

on your list of priorities.

Cast your mind back to the

heady days of adolescence.

Picture yourself day-dreaming

about that divine being in the

year above you at school, the

one you really hoped would go

out with you.

You had to do all you could

to make sure they noticed

you. You went to the parties

you thought they’d be at. You

tried to be on the same bus

home. You even joined some

random club in which you

had no real interest, purely

in the hope they’d notice you

and fall in love.

Even if they were dating

someone else, you still tried

to stay on their radar. You

never know, right? Their date

would let them down eventually,

wouldn’t they? And

you’d be there, perfectly positioned

for them to fall into your

loving arms.

You didn’t want to come

across as a creepy stalker, but if

you weren’t in the right place at

the right time, some other lucky

person would be, and no-one

wants that heart-wrenching


The business of attracting

customers is (for most of

us!) far more competitive and

even more fickle than teenage

angst-ridden romance.

After what has been a hard

year for many, it is not surprising

that tough decisions

needed to be made about

marketing and advertising

investment. If the money’s not

coming in, or your logistics are

impacted, you’ve naturally had

to rethink.

As much as I may roll my

eyes at the vagaries of digital

marketing and social media, it

has been a cost-effective life

saver for many a small business

over the last few months.

Through creative thinking,

and often with only moderate

technical know-how, many

businesses have embraced digital

marketing more effectively

than they previously might

have done.

To stand out, they had to

think differently, come up with

new offers or partnerships,

or simply tell their story in a

whole new way. And that’s no

bad thing.

For some businesses, it’s

been a time to take stock and

take a good hard look at where

their marketing was heading.

When things get tough,

you really get to realise how

tough your brand is. If it’s not

strong enough to stand out or

be admired in difficult times, a

shift is needed.

Turning up at all those

parties isn’t going to work

if the object of your unrequited

affections doesn’t

notice you – or notices you for

the wrong reasons.

I was pleasantly surprised

during 2020 at how many

small businesses focused on

how they presented themselves

to the market, using the time to

come up with a more contemporary

look. Not just change

for the sake of change, but an

update to genuinely reflect the

truth about their business.

For some, the need to bring

greater clarity to their message

has been highlighted as the battle

for customers got harder.

In that crowded room at the

high school party, a distinctive

look might have helped you

stand out.

But when that special person

finally talked to you and

you waffled like a gibbering

wreck, or had nothing sensible

to say, what were the chances

of them talking to you again?

Pretty low, right?

Or, it all went OK but, by

the second date, they realised

that you were really not

the person that matched the

initial impressions. Ghosting

or a painful dumping

probably ensued.

We marketers talk a lot

about brand character, personalities,

attributes and human

personas for businesses and

there are good reasons for that.

As consumers, we generally

relate our relationship with a

business like we do with an

individual. We fall in and out

of love with brands because

of bad or good experiences,

just as we do with people.

So, taking the time to maintain

your story and ensure the

way you present it is a true

and fair reflection of how you

want to be perceived, is useful

at any time.

Taking time to work on

your brand is valuable investment

for future development.

Whether your dance card is

full or if times are tough, this

reflection and reassessment is

likely to bring you greater dividends

when it is time to get

yourself back out there. But

don’t leave it too long to search

for love again.







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Walter van den Engel - Director, Ebbett Hamilton


is a culmination of 3 years of construction

which had been in the planning stages on

and off over the last 30 years. The new

25,000m² site was purchased in 2018 and

designed as a one-stop-shop to showcase

VW and Holden, along with servicing, sales,

parts, paint and panel and a tyre shop.

Ebbett Group Director Walter van den Engel

explains that they wanted a building partner

who could manage a complex project,

ensuring different functional spaces would

work together as a customer-focused facility.

“Foster’s values and credentials were the

right fit” says Walter. “We were confident in

their ability to deal with a major build - where

things change and don’t always go to plan.”

Walter speaks from prior experience; Foster

having worked on Ebbett Toyota and the

refurbishment of Ebbett’s city site in 2002.

Stage 1 saw the construction of the VW

dealership and workshop. Suddenly, in

February 2020 Holden pulled out of New

Zealand and the project had to change to

accommodate other brands. Then, in March,

the country went into Covid-19 lockdown.

“This was the real test” continues Walter.

“Our development was well underway when

all this happened. We asked a lot from

Fosters and this was where they shone.

It was never a case of ‘we can’t do that’,

rather it was ‘let’s see how we can make this


“The project became a moving target – what

was the dealership to look like and how

would it function with VW, GMSV, Seat,

Cupra and Isuzu? Plus, we still needed to

accommodate Holden used cars, parts and


“Thanks to the trusted relationship we enjoy

with both Foster and our architects Chow:Hill,

and their interpretation of our needs, the

result is fantastic. We’re very happy with our

new home.”

FOSTERS.CO.NZ . 07 849 3849

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