Waikato Business News May/June 2021

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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.

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Call to council:

Spend

local

By RICHARD WALKER

Hamilton developers are leading the

way when it comes to supporting local

businesses, and the council is being urged

to play its part.

With an annual procurement

spend of

about $420 million,

the council’s impact is potentially

profound, but lack of

data means no one can be sure

how much is being spent on

local suppliers.

The lack of data also makes

it difficult to measure any possible

improvement in the wake

of Covid, when shopping and

supporting local became a

mantra and even a campaign.

Hamilton Central Business

Association general

manager Vanessa Williams

says Union Square and Tristram

Precinct are two good

examples of developments

where the investors are vocal

in their support of local contractors,

subcontractors,

designers and consultants.

That sees them providing

significant economic benefits

as well as validating local businesses’

capabilities, she said

in a presentation to the city’s

Long-Term Plan.

“There is currently little

visibility on Council’s current

procurement strategy

and we believe that Council

could be more transparent in

their process and selection to

support local business,” she

said. “There is an opportunity

to promote an authentic

buying process that supports

a local economy.”

Williams cites the example

of Preston in north England

PICTURED: City councillor Maxine van Oosten in front

of the colourful mural at the site of the Hillsborough

pump station upgrade, a project by HEB Construction,

a national firm which has an office in Hamilton and

employs locally. Local artist Gemma Yiannoutsos was

selected by Waikato iwi to create the mural.

where she says public organisations

have pooled procurement

resources and

are fostering the growth of

jobs in the area.

She says it would be good

to hear more from the council

about how they are supporting

local and backing the reputation

of existing businesses and

their capability.

Continued on page 4


2 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

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’s lead

story comes from a

conversation with Vanessa

Williams, general manager of

Hamilton Central Business

Association. Vanessa mentioned

to me that she had spoken

about local procurement

in her submission to the city’s

long-term plan. She also told

me about a scheme to boost

local spending in the northern

England city of Preston, and

later sent me a link to an Atlantic

article on the scheme.

The gist of it is that Preston

councillor Matthew Brown,

faced with cuts to government

funding under an austerity-driven

government in

the wake of the GFC, took a

different tack. Realising there

was a substantial collective

pool of funding available

through local public organisations

including the university

and police, Brown led a move

to coordinate their spend with a

view to supporting local businesses.

Alongside that was a

drive to help develop co-ops,

with the aim of increasing

local capacity. The results have

been impressive. The Atlantic

article said that in 2019 UK

councils received on average

60 percent less central government

funding than they did in

2010. It said the institutions

that signed up increased how

much they spent in Preston

from £38 million in 2012–13

to £112 million in 2016-17. In

the same period, the Preston

council doubled the proportion

of the money it spent locally to

28 percent, despite a shrinking

overall pool of funds.

I reckon we’ve gone from being

anonymous as a council from a central

government perspective, to now one

where we are recognised by the right

people for doing the right things.

Hamilton City Council chief executive

Richard Briggs Page 9

This is clearly a model that

can be applied elsewhere in

the world, including here in

the Waikato.

Enter a pandemic, the call

to support local, and the 2019

amendment to the Local Government

Act to reinstate the four

wellbeings: social, economic,

environmental, and cultural.

Together, those provide an

imperative for councils to look

to their procurement spending,

not just for its value for money

but also for its ability to support

local businesses and Māori and

Pasifika businesses.

With a total procurement

spend of about $420 million

annually, Hamilton City Council

has heft. Head of procurement

Igor Magud is clearly

sympathetic to supporting

local, while also under pressure

to get value for money.

WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

But the data is lacking, and

it’s not possible to quantify the

council’s impact.

Having a local procurement

focus could see a

requirement for external firms

that win major contracts to

have a component of local

input. It could see a greater

ability for local firms to tender

for smaller contracts. It could

see the council actively trying

to support consortia of local

firms to bid for larger contracts.

Everything is possible,

and the impact for local businesses

is potentially profound.

While Covid has thrown the

buy local movement into

relief, this is an approach that

should outlast the ill effects of

the pandemic.

Ngā mihi

Richard Walker

“ Where are your worthy rivals?

They may not even be in your

industry. But where are your

worthy rivals? Who are they and

what are they doing? What can

you learn from them? ”

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“ When you cut interest rates to

record lows it’s designed to

encourage people to take risks, and

people are doing that with gusto ”

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner

on the Covid economy Page 13

The Icehouse

head of

growth Liz

Wotherspoon

Page 14

25 Ward Street, Hamilton

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

www.wbn.co.nz

When its time to sell your business, or invest into a business,

talk to the people who get results

Scott Laurence

027 473 5425

Suzanne Boulle

Office Support

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027 293 0377

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029 200 6515

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021 786 496

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027 495 3413

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027 232 1516

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Licensed REAA 2008


4 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Call to council: Spend local

From page 1

Change may be coming, but

it will take time. City councillor

Maxine van Oosten accepts

the council is coming from a

standing start when it comes to

local and social procurement.

Van Oosten, who is on a

working group looking at the

issue, says for a start there is

the absence of data. “We don't

necessarily know from a company

what level of localism

they have.”

Having the data will be key

to measuring whether future

measures to support local

businesses bring about any

improvement. The solution

could be as simple as conducting

regular surveys with existing

contractors.

Vanessa Williams says the council could be more transparent

in its process and selection to support local business.

Van Oosten thinks attitudes

have changed with Covid, with

expectations of job opportunities

for locals.

“It's a slow process, sometimes,

working through council,

so it’s a bit of a journey.”

The working group provides

the opportunity to look

at the council’s role. “How can

we advantage local impact,

social impact? You know, what

might it look like? It's a chance

for us to explore what avenues

are available.”

In 12 months she wants the

council to be in a position to

make changes. “What I'd really

like to be able to do is to be able

to form an up-to-date strategy

around [procurement].” That

may include changing current

weightings relating to expertise,

environmental impact and

localism.

Van Oosten says she wants

local small businesses and

Māori and Pasifika businesses

to see they have an opportunity

to win council contracts.

“I'd really like to focus

around how we can advantage

Hamiltonians, especially as it's

the ratepayers’ funds that we're

spending.”

City head of procurement

Igor Magud makes the

point that measuring the

extent to which individual suppliers

are local is not a simple

calculation - does a firm with

a head office elsewhere but a

substantial staffing in Hamilton

count as local, for instance?

Nevertheless, he says the

city has an extensive local network

of suppliers. Of about

1500 total, 1200 “absolutely”

would be local.

“We have extraordinarily

prescriptive rules about how

we go to market and how we

tender. And quite rightly so.”

The policy follows seven

principles, of which value

for money is a “very important”

one on a list that also

includes the likes of openness,

fairness, accountability and

sustainability.

The principles do not

include supporting local, but

Magud says that is covered

under the attributes they use

when procuring.

Magud says the practice

from a policy perspective

hasn’t changed since Covid.

“However, we are putting forward

in the upcoming months

a set of changes or a set of suggestions

for our leadership and

for our elected members.

“We were very conscious,

however, of our supply chain

and our vendors through that

Covid period. So, in practice,

what we did was really work

hard to make sure that they

were paid, that there were no

issues with payments. And

actually, we changed our own

accounts payable process

during that time, to process

invoices faster.”

Van Oosten says the council

is looking at running

workshops for businesses and

contractors to give them an

understanding about how to

engage with council to get

information about upcoming

projects.

“We see that as being a

really enabling way to make

meaningful connections with

people.” It may also mean

council can engage directly

with businesses to let them

know when something in their

field is coming up. She makes

the point that larger companies

have greater capacity to do

some of that groundwork, but

it is much harder for smaller

businesses.

Well-established Hamilton

printing firm

Print House says it

can be difficult to know who

to deal with at the city council

when it comes to quoting for

printed material, and they are

seeing some jobs being produced

outside the region which

they have not had an opportunity

to bid for.

They do have some council

contracts, including a

long-standing stationery one,

but have capacity to do far

more for the council and are at

a loss to know when and how

firms from outside the region

get this opportunity ahead of

them.

“We can't work out, from a

print point of view, their procurement

protocols, because

I suppose if we have a single

gripe, it's that we don't get

much opportunity to quote for

their work,” says CEO Brett

Phillips. “So, how do we get

that opportunity?

“There are other companies

we deal with who use

other printers as well. Along

with us, they may have two

or three preferred suppliers,

so you at least get an opportunity

to quote no matter what

the job is.” Phillips says he

knows other long-established

business owners who have

Continued on page 6

Business ownership seven times more

profitable than NZ sharemarket

Investing by buying a business, rather than

investing in other people’s businesses on

the New Zealand sharemarket (NZX50), can

deliver up to seven times the return.

That is the key finding from

data released by ABC

Business Sales comparing

average returns (dividends) on

New Zealand’s stock exchange

(NZX50) with the country’s

average returns (profit) for small

to medium sized businesses

(SMEs).

“There’s potentially a seven

times greater return on offer

from investing in a business

compared to investing in the

NZX50,” says ABC Business

Sales Waikato owner Greg

Dunn.

“The NZX50’s average pretax

yield (dividend) is 4.2% on

cash invested whereas the average

pre-tax yield (profit) for

New Zealand SMEs equates to

a 29% return on cash invested –

effectively a seven-fold return.”

Greg says the analysis

excludes any capital gains for

each asset class, and the pre-tax

profit for business ownership is

also based on the business being

fully managed with limited input

from the investor.

“That means we’re comparing

passive investment scenarios

as much as we can, so it’s not

like these are businesses where

owners are expected to work 12

hour days or anything like that.”

Additional supporting factors

for business ownership in

this comparison is that effective

due diligence can mitigate many

of the risks involved in purchasing

a private business, and an

owner’s level of control/management

in a private business

investment is much greater than

the limited influence shareholders

have over businesses listed

on the NZX 50. Greg says this is

the sort of information that could

be encouraging young New Zealanders

towards a goal of saving

to buy their first business instead

of speculating in the sharemarket.

“It’s also about helping to

educate people on the positive

trends of SME business ownership

in New Zealand.”

*The average business price

in New Zealand is currently

$703,000 and based on an

EBITDA average multiplier of

3.5x the average pre-tax yield

(profit) equates to a 29% return

on cash invested.

The NZX50’s average pre-tax

yield (dividend) is 4.2% on cash

invested. The NZX50 average

EBITDA multiple is 14.5x which

is significantly higher than the

3.5x EBITDA average multiple

for SME businesses.

The data, sourced from our

ABC Business Sales’ Market

Intelligence Report shows that

the average business sales price

for SMEs in New Zealand is

approximately YTD March

2021 – $703,701.

This data is derived from

ABC Business Sales annual

activity. ABC enjoys a dominant

30%-40% market share in

the $0-$5m SME business sales

market.

In total there are approximately

just under 1000 sales per

year within the entire NZ SME

business sales ($0-$5m) market.

In keeping with ABC’s dominant

share of that market, their averages

were derived from sales

volumes of YTD March 2021

– 380 business sales. The data

specifically looks at completed

transactions in the $0-$5m price

bracket of business sales which

represents 90% of New Zealand

businesses. There are 167,000

NZ businesses designated as

SMEs with employee numbers

ranging from 1-19.

Institutional transactions

(which can be in the hundreds of

millions) have not been included

to prevent a skew in the data.

10 ways to maximise profit

for a small business

Tips supplied by Greg Dunn of

ABC Business Sales Waikato.

Business profitability is the

result of revenue less costs, so

these are the two levers we can

pull to improve profits.

How to increase

revenue/sales:

• Find new customers.

• Provide new services.

• Increase your service levels

to existing customers (essentially

up-sell to your existing

customer list).

• Increase conversion rates

(increasing the proportion of

sales inquiries into confirmed

sales)

• Concentrate on quality

and service and avoid

discounting.

How to decrease costs:

• Ask suppliers for discounts

if you pay by cash or it is

a prompt payment (debt is

cheap so worth utilising an

overdraft to promptly pay a

supplier in return for a discount)

• Keep your internal systems

at optimal levels. This will

reduce any theft/slippage in

the business.

• Provide appropriate incentive

schemes for your staff

so their pay increases only

when your profitability

increases (do NOT align it

with sales only).

• Understand your financials

in detail so you understand

which products and services

make the highest margin

(you do NOT want to spend

all your time selling products

that don’t make you profits).

• Put a system in place that

makes you review all your

overhead costs at least quarterly,

many of your suppliers

will often have CPI increases

built in annually and you

need to be able to make sure

these increases are debated

and controlled.

The overarching point I’d

say to any business owner is

great people make great businesses,

so take the extra time

when you are recruiting people

as it will pay off in spades!

Alongside the comparative

data ABC has also been spending

time on how to best utilise

the data we accumulate as part

of our day-to-day operations. 35

years of history in the business

sales market has provided ABC

with rich data regarding business

sales statistics.

In particular, we have just

compiled a business multiples

database that allows all our brokers

to look at average multiples

per industry based on thousands

of transactions over the past

decades.

Business multiples are

still the most commonly used

method to value a business in

today’s market; the simplicity of

using EBITDA/EBIT x industry

multiple allows this process

to be easily understood and

widely used.

For any business owners

who want to understand what

the average business multiple is

for their industry, please feel free

to contact me or one of the ABC

Waikato team.

We are the industry

experts and have the data to

prove it! Feel free to give me

a call on (027 2930377) or

Scott (027 4735425) for a no

obligation chat.

- Supplied by ABC Business


Digital start-ups boom

Kiwi digital start-ups have never had it better.

The provision of new

technology toolsets by

big tech companies,

coupled with more accessible

venture capital funding

in New Zealand, means it is

now easier than ever before to

fund a digital start-up.

Waikato software development

specialist Company-X

has worked with start-ups,

alongside government agencies

and big tech, since it was

founded by software specialists

David Hallett and Jeremy

Hughes in 2012.

“There’s a whole toolset

now that enables that,”

Hughes said. “There’s a lower

bar to entry and a higher

chance of success.”

Building a minimum viable

product with enough

features to be usable by the

client has become a popular

and efficient way to validate

an idea.

“You can completely

re-factor what you started

with,” Hughes said.

“You don’t have to do these

big think waterfall projects.

You can start with something

and if you do it right, that

sets the basis going forward.

That completely changed

the game.”

Before the advent of cloud

services, like Amazon Web

Services, start-ups needed to

buy a lot of hardware and the

costs were huge.

“You had to go and buy or

lease all this infrastructure so

that you could put your app

on it,” Hallett said.

“Now you can build in a

serverless environment which

is elastic.”

The elasticity of a serverless

environment makes projects

scalable, with start-ups

able to dynamically increase

and decrease resources based

on requirements.

The introduction of follow

the sun servers, delivering

minimal lag time, was also a

game changer.

You don’t have to

do these big think

waterfall projects.

You can start with

something and if

you do it right, that

sets the basis going

forward.

“With Amazon Web Services

you just click a button

and say where your application

is housed to move around

the globe, so that it’s close to

where the users are awake,”

Hughes enthused.

“Crazy stuff like that was

not available 10 years ago.”

“Amazon is the thought

leader in this space, and

also the tech leader,” Hallett

added. “To think they started

building this to provide the

infrastructure for their own

online book store. They

built this because they saw

it as necessary for their own

e-commerce solutions.”

“Those things have

enabled a substantially different

approach all the way up.

Start-ups can begin without

much venture capital because

they don’t need big severs and

data centres, or have the big

costs that come with those

things,” Hughes said.

The adoption of app stores

means software no longer

needs to be shrink-wrapped

and shipped to a reseller.

“You used to need a huge

marketing campaign, but

now you can publish apps

in the app store that aren’t

advertised but are accessible

to users. You can just tap

a button on a website and

the app is on your device,”

Hallett said.

“These are technical things

that are way below the radar

of investment companies and

founders, but they have profoundly

changed the game,”

Hughes said. “All of that

reduces your investment, that

increases the number of people

that can play, a lot greater

catchment of innovators to

actually get as far as getting

something out there, instead

of getting stumped on how to

pull that together.”

Better access to funding and

new tools meant the creatives

of the world could afford to

explore their ideas earlier.

BOOMING: Company-X co-founders David Hallett, left, and Jeremy Hughes.

“University graduates can

get together and just start

building an idea and see if it’s

going to work because they

have got distribution channels

and they have got scale

from all of these services,”

Hallett said.

“In the past you rarely saw

graduates able to do this. It’s

always they have had a job in

Silicon Valley or somewhere

else and they have made some

money for the company and

gone back and done it whereas

now, actually, they can come

straight out of college, give

it a crack, and use the knowledge

they’ve obtained in their

doctorate.”

The domestic IT skills

shortage is amplified by big

tech sucking up the talent.

“The likes of Amazon and

Google have become talent

vacuums of really high level

New Zealand graduates,”

Hughes said.

“The best ones disappear

overseas,” Hallett agreed.

“In the last year, with the

COVID-19 pandemic, there

has been a lot more graduates

sticking around in

New Zealand. We were augmenting

the Company-X

team with skilled migrants,

whereas now we are hiring

more local talent.”

Navigate the

digital landscape

with us


6 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Call to council: Spend local

From page 4

indicated similar concerns.

Print House sales manager

Steve O’Toole says they have

had frustrating dealings in the

past with multiple council staff

often leading nowhere, made

more difficult by regular turnover

of their staff. “The staff we

do get to deal with are always

very good and appreciate the

working relationship that we

have with them, but in overall

terms it seems the council does

not have a preference towards

using local print suppliers.”

Magud, who has been in

the job two years, acknowledges

that for people looking in

from the outside, the council’s

procurement rules can appear

complex.

However, the council is

open to feedback and improvement.

“We genuinely like to

have access, open and transparent

and available to the public,

make sure that they've got good

access, make sure they know

the processes of how to bid

and what [are] the items we’re

looking for,” he says.

“Historically, there’s probably

been room for improvement

in that respect.”

As well as the potential

open day workshop sessions

for potential suppliers, Magud

floats the idea of putting an

information pack out, while

he is also looking at posting an

enhanced programme of projects

on the council website,

including where to go to bid.

In the meantime, registering

for free on the council’s

Tenderlink portal provides a

way for potential suppliers to

both tender for work and keep

an eye on what’s coming up.

He says Tenderlink provides

a transparent chronology for

the council receiving tenders,

while it also sends out notifications

to registered potential

suppliers of tender activity.

Phillips says council staff

he and O’Toole have dealt with

have always advised them to

use the Unimarket portal for

quotes, notifications, receiving

orders and billing purposes.

"We have used the Unimarket

portal for at least 12 years

and pay a transaction fee based

on a percentage value of any

job processed for the council,”

he says. To his knowledge they

had not been informed about

the Tenderlink portal, and he

suggested it should have been

presented to potential suppliers

when it was initiated.

“It seems rather strange for

the council to have two systems

operating for similar procurement

purposes.”

Hamilton architect Antanas

Procuta says one

potential barrier for

firms such as his is a system

of panels of preferred suppliers.

He says the initiative was

started by MBIE and is filtering

down through public funders

generally including councils

and, locally, Waikato Local

Authority Shared Service

(WLASS).

On the face of it, the principle

is simple, and intended to

aid efficiency of procurement.

“The intent is that, for every

project you do, you don't have

to go to tender to lots of businesses

and to an open market,

you've got a limited market.”

I’d really like to

focus around how

we can advantage

Hamiltonians,

especially as it’s the

ratepayers’ funds

that we’re spending.

In practice, Procuta says, the

matrix applied in order to select

panel members seems to favour

larger providers with a range of

capabilities, more often nationals

or even multinationals.

His firm spent 16 years

undertaking projects for

Waikato University, where

he says the people doing the

procuring had their ear to the

ground and would try out different

firms for different jobs.

That saw Paua doing some

award-winning work for the

university and yet, when the

new procurement system was

brought in three or four years

ago, Procuta’s firm failed to get

on the panel despite its prior

record.

“The local is definitely disadvantaged,

and that's really

unfortunate. And the other

thing it prevents is the young,

new firms getting a step in with

those larger clients.

“So that's really problematic,

because younger people

that have come through the

universities have new ideas,

new learnings, they're excited,

they can do things differently.”

He cites architect Jørn

Utzon, who was just 38 when

he won the competition to

design the Sydney Opera

House.

It can become self-perpetuating,

with firms excluded

from the opportunities unable

to build the capability to then

make it on to the panels.

“My concern is that it

almost seems anti-competitive

and almost anti-democratic.

I don't know if that's the right

phrasing to use, but basically,

it's using ratepayers’ money,

taxpayers’ money, to support

fewer larger firms and the

smaller local firms miss out.”

Procuta returned from leading

Wellington firm Athfield

Architects to set up a practice

in his hometown Cambridge,

because he wanted to contribute

to his local area, which

has seen him involved in

supporting a number of projects

including Embassy Park

and the refurbishment of the

Meteor in Hamilton.

“That would be the same for

consultants all over New Zealand.

If they're local, they'd like

to be doing work in their local

area for their community.”

By comparison, he says, in

parts of Europe and in Victoria,

Architect Antanas Procuta says procurement panels can present

a barrier to local firms, which want to contribute to their

community. He was involved in the refurbishment of the Meteor.

Australia, there is a requirement

for architectural commissions

above a certain value to

go to a competition.

“The beauty of an architectural

competition is that

suddenly it's a level playing

field. We've actually won our

large projects through design

competitions, and we've been

up against some large, large

firms.”

Procuta says it was to the

credit of Waipā District Council

that when Covid arrived, it

adopted a policy of trying to

procure more locally.

Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest

says his council has done

what it can to support local in

the Covid era but makes an

intriguing point around the limits

of such procurement - essentially

that the risk for Waipā

firms, for instance, is that they

get locked out of other markets.

Hamilton City Council

chief executive Richard Briggs,

who views localness as meaning

Waikato-wide, says there

is a challenge around having a

big enough local pool and the

question of the council’s role in

fostering a “rich market”.

“Do we encourage collaboration,

because it may be that

what we want is a multidisciplinary

outcome but only international

firms have a multidisciplinary

outcome, or [do] we

create and foster and make it

easy for a cluster of individual

disciplines?”

More radically, with recruitment

difficult at the moment,

he ponders whether procuring,

rather than recruiting, could in

some cases provide an answer.

“Could we encourage the market

to respond, could we create

a market for someone to make

some money out of it?”

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WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

7


On our course, we look at the many

aho or strands that are woven together

to make up the fabric of te ao Māori

t

r.

Māori tikanga increasingly

important for business

Learning about tikanga, the protocols and practices of the Māori

world, is increasingly important for businesses, according to Te

Wānanga o Aotearoa kaiako (tutor) Tiriana Anderson.

He teaches TWoA’s Te

Whāinga o Te Ao Tikanga

Level 3 Certificate

programme, at the Apakura

campus in Te Awamutu.

“Understanding te ao

Māori, our world, and knowing

how to act within it are skills

modern Kiwi business people

need to know to operate most

effectively,” says Tiriana.

“Māori rituals and tikan-

ga are an increasingly common

‘shared space’ between

all New Zealand cultures and

learning about tikanga helps

businesses inhabit that space

authentically.”

The 25-year-old has

strong whakapapa (genealogical)

links to Waikato iwi,

affiliating with

Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti

Rārua and Waikato on his

mother’s side, and to Ngāti

Rereahu, Ngāti Hikairo and

Ngāti Maniapoto again on his

father’s.

He has a passion for teaching

and inspiring pūrākau (stories),

kōrero tuku iho (ancestral

knowledge), whakapapa and te

ao Māori generally.

“On our course, we look at

the many aho or strands that

are woven together to make up

the fabric of te ao Māori.

“People come to know and

understand some of the Māori

cultural practices, and can navigate

them with confidence.”

These include but are not

limited to formal pōwhiri

(welcome rituals), tangihanga

(funerals), whakatau (general

welcomes) and karakia

(prayers).

Tiriana says tikanga also

helps businesses establish a

model or basis for relationships

in the workplace, and

with clients and stakeholders,

particulary Māori.

“Tikanga allows people to

define and describe for themselves

what their purpose is.

It’s like a road map of what

teamwork looks like and how

effective relationships can

work in any context, and to

develop relationships through

a principled approach.

“In the business scene relationships

are some of the most

important things and tikanga

provides the tools to work out

where these relationships fit in.

It’s a bit like a SWOT analysis.

We encourage businesses

to consider sending members

to our tikanga courses to help

them develop effective relationships

skills, in their own

worlds and particularly if they

engage with te ao Māori.”

On the rituals of te ao Māori

– such as pōwhiri and karakia

– becoming an increasingly

shared common space for Kiwis,

Tiriana feels this space is

boosting mutual understanding

around reciprocity (mutual obligations

to each other).

“For example, in class we

teach about the aspect of aroha

(love) involved in recognising

that we sometimes need to

change and adjust the way we

do things to end the distress

of others or to help them be

their best.”

For Māori, the course offers

a chance to connect in detail

with te ao Māori and the history

of tangata whenua, while

for non-Māori it provides a

foundational understanding of

that world and helps people to

confidently engage with it.

“For non-Māori, I have a

saying, that in order for you

to understand te ao Māori you

need to see yourself in it. This

course will help you find your

place there.”

The mana of people, the

land, te reo Māori and the natural

world are all key “pou”

or pillars supporting what’s

taught on the course.

“These are the four key pou

of tikanga. They encompass

the complexity and entirety of

tikanga Māori,” says Tiriana.

He sees clear benefits for

everyone of having more people

– Māori, Pākehā and other

ethnicities – understanding and

incorporating authentic tikanga

Māori into their lives.

“It helps them understand

their place individually and

shows them the Māori world is

not only just for Māori. This is

everyone’s world.

“It’s also about feeling

more at home in Aotearoa,

feeling more at home within

yourself. Tikanga takes people

on a journey of reflection,

and development. You can

find a spiritual awareness and

confidence you never knew

you had, enhanced by an

understanding you never

thought existed.”

Learn about

Māori culture

Tikanga is about purpose, practices and protocols, and you’ll

find it in every aspect of te ao Māori (the Māori world).

This introductory programme gives you the foundations

of understanding what tikanga is, why it exists, and how

it manifests itself in practice.

Te Whāinga o te Ao Tikanga Level 3

No fees - apply now

0800 448 962

twoa.ac.nz/whainga

Visit our webpage for detailed information about our programmes.

All programmes are subject to approval and class numbers.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa © 2021 | 194


8 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

CONVERSATIONS WITH MIKE NEALE

OF NAI HARCOURTS HAMILTON

Seismic ratings for

commercial buildings.

Who needs them ?

- A real estate agent’s

perspective

Seismic ratings for commercial and

industrial buildings are becoming

increasingly important for both

building owners and tenants – and also

those with other financial interests in the

buildings, such as banks and insurance

companies.

What are the legislative requirements?

In 2018 the government introduced legislation

for building owners to ensure the percentage

of New Building Standard (NBS)

is above 33% of the current building code.

Seismic Rating Grades

A Grade 80% - 100% NBS

B Grade 67% - 79% NBS

C Grade 34% - 66% NBS

D Grade 20% - 33% NBS

E Grade BY ANTANAS PROCUTA

Antanas Procuta is Principal Architect at Hamilton-based PAUA,

Procuta Associates Urban + Architecture

Boldness will

reap rewards

Hamilton City Council recently

adopted their 2021-2051 Central City

Transformation Plan, a refresh of an

earlier plan set in 2015.

The plan looks to put in

place projects and strategies

over the next 30

years to make the city centre

attractive for investment and

a better place to work and

live. The plan is restricted

to strategies that are immediately

available to council;

therefore transport and roading,

streetscaping, park and

reserves enhancements, and

District Plan and Long-Term

Plan changes.

The plan acknowledges

that it is “high-level aspirational”;

however, being so

high-level has the potential

to limit its effectiveness. The

transformation plan doesn’t

set a vision on the nature,

scale or character of what

the privately-owned built

environment and commercial

property might work

or look like.

This may be what Councillor

Ewan Wilson spoke of

when addressing the adoption

of the plan at council’s meeting,

reported as saying “that

we could have been more

transformational; that streets

in the CBD are empty, and

that some of the north-end city

centre be bowled and replaced

with high-density residential”.

Hamilton is now very

well-placed to “pause, set and

engage” to establish the nature

and character of the city it

wants to be. At a time when

much of the CBD between

London Street and Liverpool

Street is simply swathes of

carpark asphalt and low-scale

buildings of one, perhaps two

storeys, we have the once-ina-lifetime

opportunity to significantly

re-shape the living,

working and built character,

not of just that precinct, but

also of the broader city centre.

This is especially important

at a time when Hamilton is

spreading out into productive

farmland to build extensive

suburbs for people to live,

and requiring substantial new

roading and infrastructure to

be built.

Hamilton is now

very well-placed

to “pause, set and

engage” to establish

the nature and

character of the city

it wants to be.

A contrasting example is

that of a place known as Bo01;

a redevelopment of retired

docklands in Malmo, Sweden.

Bo01 is a comprehensive

precinct of high-quality residential

and mixed-use design

initiated in the late 1990s. It is

considered to be a sustainable

development model, much

of its energy is sourced from

renewable resources, and the

residents are able to live there

sustainably. And while the

architecture rises to five or six

stories, the design philosophy

means that over 50 percent of

the neighbourhood is in green

space.

Alongside the focus on

connecting people with

nature, lead designer Klas

Tham predicated the character

and design of the neighbourhood

on the walkability of old

towns, and therefore smaller

streets and quirks to bring

a more intimate scale to the

development.

Union Square will have pedestrian pathways

and landscaped courtyards set through it.

The published Hamilton

Central City Transformation

Plan is insufficiently bold,

visionary, or directive to provide

an effective guide to

property owners, developers

and residents a sense of what

the city will work or look like,

or - most importantly - how to

achieve a concept across the

private as well as the public

land ownership.

Certainly a comprehensive

design and methodology integrating

a vision for the private

land as well as the public

land is required. The intent

requires many more people to

be living and working in the

city centre to provide the population

and activation to create

the vibrancy and vitality

to which the transformation

plan aspires.

Auckland’s Hobsonville

Point took on such a masterplanning

exercise for a

large development of primarily

high-density residential

houses, some schools and

retail, and large-scale greenspaces.

Although undertaken

by a range of developers and

architects, owing to a singular

overarching development

plan, the overall neighbourhood

is cohesive, structured,

and also has an environmental

programme behind it.

Currently under construction

in Hamilton is Union

Square built over a half city

block; a multi-building tower

development, with pedestrian

pathways and landscaped

courtyards set through it.

Both Hobsonville Point

and Union Square have a key

attribute for development, and

that is a large, singularly-controlled

parcel of land at the

outset. The London - Liverpool

Streets precinct - which

is a significant land area - is in

fragments of multiple ownership

and control.

This is where Hamilton

City Council must play a

significant role to enhance

the mechanisms and incentives

for bringing together the

whole precinct.

It does require significant

boldness and collaboration

amongst politicians,

landowners and developers,

but the outcome - especially

if focussing on the quality

of the development outcomes

and sustainability -

will also be significant.


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

9

The candid Richard Briggs

‘Driven, strategic, relentless’:

Livewire boss bowing out

By RICHARD WALKER

Seven years ago, Richard Briggs was

appointed chief executive of Hamilton

City Council.

He had two years as

council CFO under his

belt when Barry Harris

- “one of the best chief executives

in the country for local

government” - stepped down in

2014.

Briggs wasn’t so keen on

working for an unknown quantity,

so he threw his hat in the

ring and got the job.

The announcement didn’t

quite go as he had expected.

Mayor Julie Hardaker called

him into her office to give him

the good news and then called

a meeting to tell senior leadership.

“She told them and they

thought she was joking. 'Oh

yeah, who's the other one? Who

is it going to be?’ And I was just

sitting there thinking, none of

these guys believe it.”

It’s the kind of story Briggs

is happy to tell about himself.

He is, as he deadpanned to

Linda Topp when she singled

him out from the crowd at this

year’s Bucket List Banquet,

the chief entertainment officer

of Hamilton City Council. For

once, the effervescent Topp,

who clearly didn’t know him,

seemed bemused.

Apparently, that’s a term

bestowed on him by his staff,

rather than a self-description,

but anyone who has seen him

in action will testify that he can

appear to veer alarmingly off

script. During interviews, he

talks at warp speed, sometimes

in multiple directions at once.

With that comes a candour

that is unusual among bureaucrats,

but it is allied to an astuteness

which has seen him win

the confidence of successive

councillors and mayors.

Not that it has been all plain

sailing. His worst moment in

the job came less than a year

after his appointment.

Hamilton zoo keeper Sam

Kudeweh was fatally mauled

by a Sumatran tiger on September

20, 2015.

“That was really hard. There

was huge national and international

pressure, a staff member

who was loved had passed

away. I knew her through

engagement as a staff member

previously. You know - national

pressure, family was hurting,

the zoo community was hurting,

the media onslaught…”

He describes it as an “absolute

low”. “It was a stressful

time and some staff are still

impacted by that.”

Briggs’ concern for staff

shone through again when

Covid hit, and he was quick to

put the focus on employees’

wellbeing.

I reckon we've

gone from being

anonymous as

a council from a

central government

perspective, to now

one where we are

recognised by the

right people.

“The team did an amazing

job during Covid. We probably

stood up our [leadership]

team quicker than anyone in

the country because of our high

performance programme, and

high trust.” He says the elected

members were also quick to

respond. “That was quite a

proud moment.”

The high performance programme

is about connecting

people with their community,

he says. “Our purpose is to

improve the wellbeing of Hamiltonians.

It is really simple.”

He says they have partnered

with a third partner in the programme

which wraps together

strategy, culture, leadership and

mindset in performance management.

“I've religiously driven it

into the organisation for the last

few years and it's bred results. I

reckon we've gone from being

anonymous as a council from

a central government perspective,

to now one where we are

recognised by the right people

for doing the right things, and

we're getting a fair cut of the

coin for doing so.”

That’s not necessarily

readily quantifiable, but from

Briggs’ point of view, the key

is that they are credible and

push hard, and he cites the government’s

HIF (Housing Infrastructure

Fund) investment in

Peacocke. “We were recognised

at that stage as being progressive,

influential, we got the biggest

chunk of change.”

It seems possible the livewire

Briggs is both uplifting and

exhausting as a boss. He is

certainly sure of himself and his

approach.

“I've got a mindset of being

driven, strategic and relentless.

The relentless part is I never

walk past an opportunity to

enable someone to be the best

version of themselves. So I've

got this theory whereby I do

everything I can, for someone

to be the best they can be,

recognised for being the best

they can be on a national stage

or whatever, to the extent that

they become entirely marketable

outside the council, but I

create an environment where

they enjoy the job so much they

never want to leave. That's what

I'm trying to do.”

With councils facing reform

of three waters, the replacement

of the RMA and a review of

the local body structure itself,

Briggs wants to see the city

get “front and centre”. When it

comes to three waters, he says

they are working with a consortium

of local authorities and are

ahead of central Government in

some aspects. He has his team

looking at whether there is a

bigger opportunity for shared

services with other councils,

and even nationally on procurement

and innovation.

“We try to influence the best

outcome. That might well be a

Waikato-Bay of Plenty solution,”

he says. “The other aspect

that I've pushed with central

Government myself is to what

extent can we think nationally

on some of these things. And if

you've got a national body, you

can start having a conversation

about where you place infrastructure

that's boundaryless.”

Experience care as it

should be, experience

the Braemar way.

Braemar Hospital is one of the largest

private surgical hospitals in New Zealand,

and it’s here in Hamilton.

With more than 100 world class specialists,

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

including 32 private rooms, at Braemar

you’ll receive the highest level of care.

Choose the very best.

Choose Braemar.

That comes with ensuring

the community voice is still

heard. “And we've done a lot of

that, in terms of the engagement

model, really getting engaged

with our community.”

An inventive campaign to

boost the vote lifted the turnout

slightly at the last city elections.

Since then, the council has also

fielded a record 5674 submissions

to its long-term plan. As

well as the numbers, Briggs

is equally pleased to see the

diversity of people attending

hearings and submitting, which

included video submissions.

“Definitely the engagement

space has been great,” he says.

“The challenge is to find

ways to work with the community.

I'm working on a proposal

right now to think about how

we can really leverage flexible

working.

“What I want to do is go to

the market and say, hey, look,

I've got no sacred cows, what

I want to do is make sure that

I've got a really safe and productive

environment for my

team - what does it look like?

So rather than going to the market,

and asking for, you know,

a building to be built, or this

building to be re-kitted or the

status quo, I'm going to put the

problem statement.

“And I'm not taking a

bricks and mortar approach. I

don't have any particular view

whether we should own this

building or not.”

But come October it will

be time for Briggs, a

chartered accountant, to

find a new role. Council rules

mean they must advertise his

position this year, and that’s an

opportune time to step down, he

says. “I could have done a year

or two more, I think I've got

more things I want to achieve.

But I don't think it's fair [on

council] to have that sort of an

interruption.”

Aged 47, he is seeking fresh

challenges, with a return to

the commercial sector likely

as well as playing a part in the

community sector - definitely

in Hamilton, the “cool city” he

is passionate about. “Getting

back in the commercial world,

in some form or another, would

be quite enjoyable.”

He has loved the chief executive

role, though. “I love seeing

change in the community

and knowing my guys are doing

such a great job.”

He has also enjoyed working

with elected members,

saying he takes a forthright

approach with them. “One of

my ‘superpowers’ is I can, for

the most part, understand what

their intent is. And so that has

probably given me the ability

to be quite resilient when they

can be a little bit hot-headed at

times as they're driving a really

passionate point.

“It's just good fun. You

know, we've got 27, 28 business

units, really complex, it is really

interesting. It's really exciting

work we do and most people

come here because they really

want to make a difference.”

Sometimes it’s the little

things, like a staff member who

gave a bike to a homeless man

whose bike had broken down.

Or watching a City Safe worker

helping an old gent across the

road into his car. Or the dog

control woman who drove to

Napier in her own time to return

a lost dog to its owners.

“Those stories are cool,

you know, we're talking about

improving the well being of

Hamiltonians, there's individuals

making a difference.”

braemarhospital.co.nz


10 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Welcome to

Sleepyhead

The Chamber welcomed the

news of the successful rezoning

approval of the giant Sleepyhead

development at Ohinewai recently.

While there has been opposition

to the development, the Chamber

has staunchly promoted the

project with local councils as we believe

it will make a significant economic contribution

firstly as a development and

then ongoing as a major employer in the

Waikato. This sort of development that we

are beginning to see emerge in the Waikato

should be embraced for the economic

prosperity that it creates.

Sleepyhead’s vision is to create a

genuine community in a beautiful setting

for people who want an affordable,

quality home, a stable job and a thriving

community they can be part of. This

is a long-term development that will

add value to the Waikato District, to

Ohinewai, Huntly and Te Kauwhata and

the surrounding region.

After 90 years in Auckland, it is a

big change for Sleepyhead but one that

brings an existing, proven and thriving

industry to the district and the potential

for over 2500 jobs. When completed

the development will see a fully master-planned,

178-hectare mixed-use urban

development located around 7km

north of Huntly on State Highway 1 and

the North Island Main Trunk Railway.

It will comprise a 100,000sqm

By Don Good, Waikato Chamber

of Commerce executive director

Sleepyhead factory (on a site of 37ha),

which will bring together all of The

Comfort Group’s Auckland-based production

and warehousing operations and

will employ more than 1000 staff once

fully operational. Additionally, the development

will provide for a further

106,000sqm of general industrial activity

(on a further site area of 26ha) with

an estimated 32,400sqm of commercial

gross floor area (8.7ha) and potential

for a further 1600 jobs. The residential

component proposes 1100 homes.

The beauty of the Ohinewai site it

that it will drive the economic development

of an undeveloped region that is

strategically situated on an arterial route

in The Golden Triangle between Auckland,

Hamilton and Tauranga. Just imagine

what new industries would happen

if the Expressway extended all the way

through to Tauranga. In the meantime,

do join us in welcoming Sleepyhead to

the Mighty Waikato.

Waitomo Group to

open flagship service

centre at Ruakura

Superhub

Waitomo Group will have the first service

and retail offering for the Ruakura

Superhub currently under development on

the eastern boundary of Hamilton.

Waikato-based

fuel distributor

Waitomo Group

has signed an agreement with

TGH to develop a fullservice,

flagship site accessible

off the Waikato Expressway

via the Ruakura interchange.

The 1.6 hectare site will

incorporate a Waitomo Fuel

Stop with alternative energy

options including hydrogen

refuelling and EV charging

stations as well as commercial

truck refuelling lanes.

A touch-free carwash, two

quick-service restaurants, a

café and a convenience store

will round out the offerings.

The new site is planned to

be open by mid-2022.

Jimmy Ormsby, Managing

Director of Waitomo

Group, said the business is

proud and honoured to be

the first retail/service tenant

to sign for the Ruakura

Superhub.

“This partnership with

TGH to develop our flagship

Waitomo site at Ruakura

cements our commitment to

the region we call home and

builds on our rapid growth in

the market over the last five

years. We’re proud, and honoured,

to work with our partners

at TGH to help bring the

vision of the Ruakura Superhub

to reality. The service centre

development will reflect

the scale and quality expected

from a project of national significance,”

Ormsby said.

Waitomo was founded in

Te Kuiti in 1947 by Desmond

Ormsby, and is now managed

and owned by the third generation

of the Ormsby family.

The company will mark its

75th anniversary next year.

The company is committed

to disrupting the New Zealand

fuel market with competitive

choice and pricing through its

network of more than 80 Fuel

Stops and Diesel Stops stretching

from Paihia to Dunedin.

“We are delighted to welcome

Waitomo Group to

Ruakura Superhub. With

almost 75 years on the clock,

we are confident they know

and understand locals and

visitors to our region. It is

great to see a locally-founded

company take advantage of

the opportunities provided by

Ruakura and to deliver the

kind of excellent experiences

we aspire to provide,” said

Chris Joblin, Chief Executive

of TGH.

He said confirmation of

the new service centre added

to the momentum around

Ruakura Superhub. Extensive

earthworks, construction of

local connecting roads and

leasing negotiations are now

in progress right across the

first 92-hectare first stage of

the 480 hectare-site.

Ruakura is amongst New

Zealand’s largest developments,

spanning logistics,

industrial, retail and residential

development areas.

It will be anchored by a

30-hectare inland port, with

the first 17-hectare stage now

in development by TGH and

Port of Tauranga, in a 50/50

joint venture announced earlier

this year.

The inland port will be serviced

by high-capacity rail and

roading infrastructure, with

the East Coast main trunk rail

line running along the Port’s

northern boundary and the

new Waikato Expressway on

the eastern boundary. Initially,

rail services will be provided

by the existing MetroPort

trains running between Auckland

and Tauranga.

The Ruakura precinct

is estimated to accommodate

6,000-12,000 jobs once

it is fully developed. The

Ruakura Superhub inland

port and adjoining logistics

hub is on track to open in

early/mid 2022.

Sealed with a handshake: Jimmy Ormsby and Chris Joblin.


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

11

A new way of

working - Digital

Workspaces are

enhancing the

modern workplace

Josh Davies - Managing Director, Richie Jenkins - Director - Sales,

John Calland - Director - Operations, Marty Thompson - Head of Platform

There’s also the expectation

from employees

to have the ability to

work and collaborate from

anywhere, and at any time.

This is, in essence, what

is commonly referred to as a

“modern workplace”, which

is a term used to define organisations

who recognise digital

collaboration, technology and

tools as the way of the future.

Yes, the world has

changed, and if you weren’t

on the modern workplace bus

before COVID, you certainly

are now. So what’s changed

aside from significant worker

dislocation?

Yes, the world has

changed, and if

you weren’t on the

modern workplace

bus before COVID,

you certainly are

now. So what’s

changed aside from

significant worker

dislocation?

Sure, you have access

to everything, but do you

know how to get to it? and

do you remember all those

login details to various applications

and websites?

Have you ever just given up

or called IT support? You’re

not alone.

On average, kiwi businesses

lose 1 hour per employee,

per week on technology

related disruption and

this is the new challenge for

organisations, with so many

apps, files and tools, how do

I ensure my people get to it

efficiently?

And now that our teams

It’s a fact that as a business you will continue to adopt and

rely more on technology, whether it’s a new application, tool,

or digitising and automating a previously manual process to

make teams more productive and deliver better services to

your customers.

can work from anywhere,

how do we engage, train and

help them to adopt new systems

or tools?

Enter the digital workspace.

A new concept changing

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12 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Time to grow up, not out

By RICHARD WALKER

A leading property organisation has

welcomed Hamilton City Council’s boost

for urban design, while warning developer

discontent is likely to persist.

As part of its 10 year

plan, the council has

overhauled its developer

contribution (DC) settings

while also proposing an average

8.9 percent rates rise.

Among a raft of changes,

builds in the CBD of six storeys

and higher are set to gain

a full contribution remission,

dropping to 50 percent for

other buildings. The remissions

depend on engagement with

the urban design panel.

Elsewhere, industrial, commercial

and retail contributions

will be capped citywide, while

growth cells Peacocke, Rotokauri

and Ruakura continue

to attract substantially higher

residential contributions than

elsewhere.

In the absence of the muchtouted

special purpose vehicles

to take some of the burden, and

with high debt levels, the city

is constrained in what it can do.

Thomas Gibbons, who is on

the Property Council Waikato

regional executive, emphasises

the city has engaged with his

membership-based organisation

over the changes.

“There have been some

robust discussions about the

background to those and the

evidence base for them, and

the implications of them. From

a Property Council point of

view, I think there has certainly

been a degree of positive

engagement.”

However, he says there

remains a view that the city’s

DCs are still too high, and

a current court challenge to

Hamilton City Council may be

just the tip of the iceberg when

it comes to developer dissatisfaction.

It is really important

for Hamilton city to

get the balance right

around community

interest and the

interest of being a

city that is open to

growth.

“Among the overall development

community, there has

continued to be a lot of angst

around DCs,” he says.

“There are still many examples

where people are dismayed

or concerned or even

outraged at the level of DCs in

Hamilton.”

City Council chief executive

Richard Briggs acknowledges

the concerns, but says part of

the issue is the difficulty in flexing

around the District Plan,

with development requirements

potentially changing

years later, after infrastructure

has already begun in an area.

“It is really complex, and

that leads to lack of transparency,

and I can understand

why the developers find that a

challenge. But ultimately, I've

got confidence in the model.”

When it comes to the caps

for non-residential development

contributions around the

city, Gibbons says they are not

enough.

“There's really a lot of work

to do around having a simpler

policy that is more enabling of

development.”

Gibbons says his organisation

supports remissions

as a way of encouraging further

development, though it

remains to be seen whether the

six storey limit will encourage

buildings of that height. The

Property Council is also very

supportive of the boosted role

for the urban design panel.

“We've been aiming for

some time to have the design

panel to have a more empowered

role. The experience of

those who go through the

urban design panel is almost

always positive. It really does

achieve good things for development.”

Gibbons also sees an

important role for the panel

throughout the city as intensification

continues.

“There is a real need for

more housing and in particular

more affordable housing.

Balanced against that are some

of the community expectations

around how that development

will happen and what it will

look like,” he says.

“Principles are more

important than the rulebook,

and one of the things we'd

really like to see there is the

ability to use the design panel

Intensification and good design can go hand in hand.

Thomas Gibbons has

welcomed the urban design

panel’s greater role.

to allow greater levels of departure

from the strict rules of the

district plan where good design

outcomes are created.

“An example which comes

to mind is there are some sites

in which you might see three

sets of duplexes on them,

because the district plan clearly

allows for duplexes. Now, it

might actually be much better

from a design point of view

to have two sets of triplexes,

that might look a lot better.

But that's harder to do. And

therefore, a lot of the time people

work to the basics of what

is in the plan, and to some

extent council planners do as

well.”

Gibbons says it’s important

that “the right voices” are

heard. “I think it's very easy for

local government to get tied up

with community resistance to

certain proposals, for various

reasons,” he says.

“I think it is unfortunate at

times that we don't give a voice

to those families who will be

moving into the new houses

that are put up. Every duplex

unit is a new home for someone,

and it might be a home

that they're actually very proud

of, even if the neighbours don't

like it.”

Growing concerns around

carving up productive farmland

for housing and around

urban sprawl present barriers to

future greenfield development.

Gibbons says regional

sprawl can also become an

issue as DC costs are passed on

to home buyers, raising house

prices in the city and potentially

driving drift to smaller

towns, in turn putting pressure

on the roading system and

commuter times.

That could be exacerbated

by the “easy alternatives” to

Hamilton when it comes to

commercial and industrial

developments. “From an individual

developer or business

owner point of view, some of

these decisions [to go out of

Hamilton] become almost a

no-brainer. From a regional

point of view, it enhances those

issues of sprawl and so on, and

isn't always the right answer.”

Briggs accepts there have

been examples of companies

choosing to go outside the city,

citing Visy setting up at Hamilton

Airport. He says that is

partly around the level of service

the city provides, including

a tertiary level wastewater

treatment plant and water plant.

“We provide that for everyone

in the city. Not all businesses

want that. And if they

don't want it, they're not necessarily

prepared to pay for it.”

Gibbons acknowledges

DCs have been a hot topic in a

number of high growth areas,

including Auckland. “At the

same time, I think Property

Council’s view over a number

of years has been that Hamilton

city has taken a very assertive

view on DCs. It's acknowledged

that reflects the pace of

growth and the difficulties of

working out how to fund that

growth. But Property Council

has taken the view that

even though there has been

good engagement, there have

still been some real concerns

about the impact of Hamilton's

DC policy in the sense it's

making Hamilton something

of an outlier.

“It is really important for

Hamilton city to get the balance

right around community interest

and the interest of being a

city that is open to growth.”

Come in, SPV

Growth doesn’t come

cheap, with infrastructure

a major

cost for councils. One

potential solution often

mentioned is a special purpose

vehicle (SPV), similar

to a targeted rate, whereby

the cost of development

is taken off the city’s

balance sheet.

It is among the solutions

proposed by the Property

Council, with Thomas Gibbons

saying his organisation

has pushed over a number of

years for the city to be more

innovative in how it funds

infrastructure.

“The obvious examples

are targeted rates, use of

special purpose vehicles, in

some situations public-private

partnership. So there

are those tools there and

particularly in a place like

Hamilton, that has high growth,

they need to be used.”

Milldale in Auckland is the

prime example of an SPV, with

ACC stumping up with longterm

finance and house buyers

paying an annual $1000 levy

over 30 years. Hamilton has

yet to get a similar arrangement

off the ground, though council

chief executive Richard Briggs

says it’s not alone in that.

He says managing risk tolerance

requires work but Hamilton

is “right up the list” in

terms of councils that are most

prepared to do something.

“We've done our numbers,

and we know what it looks like.

We know how we can do it.”

Peacocke is a prime area

where a “conversation” is being

held. “I suggest that holdups

aren't at our end, it's more of a

case of getting everyone in the

right position.”

Optimising your digital strategy

A

digital strategy needs

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DNA to succeed,

was my key message

at May’s Waikato Business

Summit.

I was asked to join a

panel discussion with Chooice

founder Sarah Colcord,

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WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

13

Grant Robertson at Union Square: “It’s

busy in the Waikato at the moment.”

Luxury vehicles and the

state of the economy

A year ago, ANZ chief economist Sharon

Zollner told the Waikato Business Summit:

“It’s getting really scary out there.”

This year, she told them:

“Lamborghinis are sold

out.” During that 15

month period, after staring at the

brink, New Zealand has returned

to something approaching

normality, albeit with a major

impact on tourism. The Reserve

Bank was picking a deflationary

shock as recently as November,

when it thought people and

machinery would be underutilised

in the style of the GFC,

Zollner said. By February, “they

had decided it’s more like 2014,

which was halfway through a

business cycle”.

“It is very clear this is a much

less deflationary shock than the

Global Financial Crisis was.

It's more like a war in that it's

had really negative impacts on

supply as well as on demand,

but central banks globally have

just doubled down when that

became apparent.”

When asked, households

say this is not a good time to be

buying a major household item.

However, they are actually out

there “buying cars and e-bikes

and jetskis” - along with Lamborghinis.

“We are seeing a bit of a

‘risk, schmisk’ attitude out there

- not just in New Zealand, globally

- towards investment and

that's what happens when you

cut interest rates to record lows.

It's designed to encourage people

to take risks, and people are

doing that with gusto.”

In comments echoed later by

Finance Minister Grant Robertson,

she said firms are saying

they’ve got the same problems

as before Covid, including not

being able to find staff.

“Covid appears to have

brought about the living wage

on a number of occasions,” she

said, citing an anecdote about a

hotel paying $27 an hour rather

than $20 in order to get staff.

The labour market is tight and,

because the economy is distorted,

workers tend not to be

in the right places or with the

right skills. “You can’t turn an

unemployed barista from Te

Anau into a plumber in Napier

quickly.”

She said the Government is

doing what it can to help, including

the apprenticeship scheme,

but school leavers have a range

of options. “So we would expect

more wage inflation than that

unemployment rate would normally

suggest.”

Meanwhile, house prices

“absolutely” could fall, Zollner

said. “The house price index

is up 26.7 percent in the last

12 months and this is in a year

when migration is zero and

household incomes have taken a

hit, so you've got to question the

sustainability or sanity of that.”

The housing investment tax

changes raise the odds on investors

selling when mortgage rates

rise. “The incentive to borrow

up to the hilt if you are an investor

has now reduced significantly.

We have seen investors

step back a little bit in the auctions

but not much sign that millennials

are stepping back. They

are, I think, a bit brainwashed by

this story that New Zealand has

a housing shortage and is never

going to fix it, which is a valid

viewpoint, but they've incorrectly

taken from that that means

house prices can't fall and they'll

just keep going up, and that is

not true.”

Supply constraints are affecting

the construction industry,

which accounts for about 10

percent of employment, she told

the audience at Wintec’s Atrium.

“The construction cost inflation

is going to be spectacular over

the next six months.”

Robertson, whose trip to

Hamilton also took in

visits to Ruakura and

Union Square, addressed the

audience the week following the

Budget, which he said continued

to be based on the wellbeing

approach.

“One of the good pieces of

news out of the Budget is that

New Zealand's wellbeing overall

survived pretty well through

Covid. And I think one of the

significant reasons for that was

our stocks of social capital, the

trust there was in one another,

and the trust that we have in

institutions of governance.”

He said wellbeing was still

significantly challenged among

some New Zealanders, particularly

sole parents, the unemployed

and those with sickness

The Waikato Business Summit audience is all attention at Wintec’s Atrium

Sharon Zollner presents at the summit

or disability. Barriers around

health and education continue to

be an issue for Māori and Pacific

people.

“What we do know is that

New Zealand has come through

Covid-19 remarkably well,

when we compare ourselves

to the rest of the world.” That

includes unemployment lower

than the OECD and Australia.

“It is an interesting time to

now be here when people are

back to their pre-Covid number

one issue they raised with me,

which is access to skilled labour.

That's not where we thought we

would be a year ago; we thought

we'd be having a discussion

about who they'd lay off rather

than who they could take on.”

He said in the face of volatility,

the Government would

take a balanced approach to the

management of the economy.

“Investing money, making sure

that we're putting it where it's

needed the most, but also being

aware that we want to bring our

levels of debt back down, and

we want to work our way back

into surplus, in order to manage

our way through that uncertainty

and volatility.

“I do think and I've been saying

this publicly over the last few

weeks that we do need a conversation

in New Zealand about

public debt, and what public

debt is for.” He said New Zealand

had traditionally targeted

a much lower percentage of net

core crown debt than the current

levels. “And that is because

New Zealand is a small country,

we're prone to natural disasters,

we're prone to the effects of economic

shocks. But when we are

investing in the productive economy,

when we are investing in

the infrastructure that we need,

managing that against our very

strong balance sheet is okay, so

long as the trend continues to be

downward.”

Robertson said the result of

changes in housing, including

$3.8 billion towards infrastructure

and changes to interest

deductibility, would see house

price inflation drop to around 1

percent in a year.

“New Zealand needs to get

itself away from growth being

based on selling houses to each

other and the growing population,

and this Budget is set up to

try to do that.”

In a return to the theme of

the year since the last Business

Summit, Robertson said nothing

is more important this year

than rolling out the Covid vaccination

programme. “And so

here's my plea to you as business

owners and those who lead in

your business. Please be a part

of that vaccination programme,

support your workers to be vaccinated.

From July onwards,

we're moving into the mass

vaccination process. That will

require a high level of cooperation

and collaboration. We have

never done a campaign like this

before. And so we are very, very

keen to get your help in making

sure it happens.”

Robertson also visited Ruakura

and office building Union

Square, which is rapidly taking

shape in central Hamilton,

and commented on the level

of activity in the region. “It’s

pretty busy in the Waikato at

the moment, which is a fantastic

sign for this region and for

Hamilton as well, to see so much

activity, so much interest in both

the good quality developments

here in the CBD, but also in the

surrounding areas.”


14 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Clifford Buchler, Liz Wotherspoon and Jon Calder field questions at the forum.

Leadership in a

time of upheaval

The disruption caused by Covid is not

going away, The Icehouse head of growth

Liz Wotherspoon told a Waikato business

audience at a forum held in Hamilton.

“What we realise right now

is that uncertainty equals

reality. Change is not

going to slow down. The sense

of instability that we felt over

the last little while is going

to characterise the rest of our

lives.”

What that means from a

leadership perspective is that

communication becomes

“incredibly important”,

she said.

And that is a two-way process,

about listening as well as

talking, Tompkins Wake chief

executive Jon Calder told the

forum, which had a focus on

leadership and was organised

by The Icehouse customer

growth partner Maryse Dinan.

Calder told the audience

Covid has helped his

firm improve its levels of

transparency.

“It's about communication,

probably ramped up to

another level again. Something

that I think Covid

taught us really well was to

listen to our people.”

They conducted regular

surveys during lockdown to

gauge where staff were at.

“It was very much focused

on, what do they need from us?

And overwhelmingly, it was

that they wanted clear, regular

communication and effectively

just reassurance that we were

going to be okay.”

Wotherspoon said The Icehouse

similarly increased the

frequency of its surveys, while

also having more one-on-one

conversations.

She said during the last year

communication with their own

people, their customers and

suppliers was important.

“But you had to be comfortable

with the fact that you

didn't necessarily have all the

answers. So when you were

communicating, it wasn't communicating

that you had certainty

about what was coming,

or what was going to happen.”

Mitre 10 Mega Hamilton

chief executive Clifford

Reality check

Ask Your Team chief

executive Chris

O’Reilly says his company

conducted a heartening

survey around workplace trends

and the response to Covid.

“One of the surveys that we

did was about 26,000 employees,

we saw an initial fantastic

response around flexibility,

autonomy and trust.”

But it didn’t last. O’Reilly,

who was speaking at the

Waikato Business Summit,

says employees have since

reported seeing that dwindle

quite significantly “like it was a

temporary blip”.

At the same time, he said it

was interesting the number of

people who said they had seen

productivity rise as a result of

the flexibility.

“We need to challenge ourselves,

we need to be thinking

differently,” he said. “It is a new

world, it is changing, it's only

going to change more. And just

the fact is that the way that we

used to think, the way that we

used to operate, the way that we

used to lead, the way that we

used to engage and partner with

our clients and our people most

Maryse Dinan

Buchler, like Calder a former

Waikato Business Awards

Chief Executive of the Year,

also stressed the value of transparency

in his presentation.

That sees all staff at the Te

Rapa and Ruakura stores having

up to date information on

sales, growth, profit and budget.

“I really believe if you

want to motivate a team, how

do you motivate them without

any information?

“It's quite a difficult thing to

get across to most companies,

because they want to keep

everything closed and quiet.”

Buchler said great business

results come from having a

motivated team. “And how I

importantly, has changed.

“But we're not seeing that

change. We're not seeing that

change in leadership, we're not

seeing that change in organisations.

And that's flowing

through to a really high level of

frustration, which converts to

lack of productivity and lack of

opportunities.”

The answer is simple, he

said. It’s to change from hierarchical

command control,

to empowering people. That

means getting to know staff

personally.

It also means “getting

to know what they're actually

thinking, creating a safe

environment or mechanism

or processes for them to

actually tell the truth”.

believe you help with motivation

is clarity.”

He cited his own absence

from work for two months

with a health issue. “I got back

to work - there was nothing for

me to do.

“I think that's one of the

best rewards for having a motivated

team. And a lot of them

did it for themselves, they saw

opportunities, a lot of them did

it for me, a lot of them did it for

their colleagues.”

He said he saw exactly the

same happen when Covid hit.

“Motivation is definitely one

of the key fundamentals. And

the rewards are absolutely

magnificent.”

Wotherspoon echoed his

experience: “Great leadership

is not about what happens

when you're there, it's

about what happens when

you're not.”

I think that's one of

the best rewards for

having a motivated

team. And a lot

of them did it for

themselves, they saw

opportunities, a lot of

them did it for me, a

lot of them did it for

their colleagues.

He questioned the extent to

which New Zealanders hold

honest conversations, and said

leaders should be hungry for

feedback.

“It's really hard to get that

feedback as a leader if you're

doing what you can. And when

you get that feedback, it can be

quite heart breaking. But it's the

truth.

“So be hungry for feedback

and try to take feedback

as a good. Unless somebody

is being absolutely vitriolic,

all feedback is a gift.

It's either reinforcing and appreciating

something you're doing

or it's giving you the opportunity

to improve on something.

So embrace it, even though it's

not easy.”

Buchler also said leadership

requires clear accountability,

which requires measurable

goals.

“I really believe that something

that's fundamentally

missing in a lot of retailers

that I've been with - the

goals are not clear, and more

Leadership tips

Liz Wotherspoon on learning from others:

“Where are your worthy rivals? They may not even

be in your industry. But where are your worthy

rivals? Who are they and what are they doing? What

can you learn from them? What can you steal from

them - and I don't mean literally stealing from them,

but what could you do in your organisation that

they're doing and you'd be a better organisation?

That's worth leaders spending some time thinking

about.”

Jon Calder on acknowledging your limits:

“I'm very much big picture, blue sky. And what I

know I need around me is a team that can help fill in

the detail and then execute. One of the things that

I find most liberating is I can run off a list of all the

things I'm no good at. The flip side is I know what I

am really good at. And I've got a good team around

me. I've got 24 partners who I lean on to help me

with the stuff I'm not good at. You can get really

comfortable with the stuff you're not good at, as well

as the stuff you are good at. I think that's what really

takes you forward.”

Clifford Buchler on networking:

importantly, they are not

measurable.”

• The Icehouse has worked

with more than 5000 SME

owner-managers and leaders

since 2001 through

learning programmes,

workshops and coaching.

“I ended up in New Zealand through a network

and my career since I've been here has all been

around networks. If you want me to go run for

cover it's about psychometric testing. I really find

them intimidating, I don't enjoy them. So therefore

I believe in networking. I also believe you should

network within the company. Networking politically

- again, I think it's good to know what your political

landscape is, you have to make the effort. And

the one that I really believe has helped a lot is

international networking. So when it comes to

leadership, for example, one of the people I worked

with and still keep in touch with is from Brazil.

He's one of the finest leaders I've ever met, in my

opinion. Networking internationally, I think, gives you

a taste of a foreign culture. It gives you a taste for

foreign ideas. And I think it helps you as a person,

as a leader, to just think of it wider than your own

environment.”


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Employers - start

your engines!

From 1 November, the new Accredited Employer Work Visa

(AEWV) replaces six existing work visa categories, and all

employers employing migrant workers on an AEWV must first

become accredited by Immigration NZ.

15

Foster’s Ross Pacey and Leonard Gardner with the Chamber’s Paula Sutton and Don Good.

Fosters to sponsor

Waikato Chamber

Business Awards

This new work visa places

more responsibility on

employers for the visa

process, and the well-being, of

their migrant workers. This new

regime is intended to simplify

the work visa process and to

minimise migrant exploitation

by some employers.

So what do employers actually

need to know at this time?

• From 1 November every

employer who wishes to

employ a migrant worker

on an AEWV will first need

to be accredited by INZ.

The AEWV will replace

the Essential Skills and

Work-to-residence work

visas (and others)

• Other work visas, such those

issued under post-study and

partnership policies, are not

impacted by these changes

and do not need employers

to be accredited

• The new accreditation will

comprise three streams –

standard, high volume (for

6 or more AEWV workers)

and labour hire/franchise

accreditation. Initial accreditation

will be given for 12

months

• The AEWV process

involves three stages –

the employer check, the

labour market check and

Richard Howard

the migrant worker check

• The salary threshold for

work-to-residence visa

applications under the new

regime will be set at twice the

median wage (expected to be

around $112,000pa)

At this time employers

just need to be aware of these

changes and to ensure they

maintain compliant employment

practices – and to proactively

manage their migrant worker’s

visa situations.

Currently the NZ labour

market is experiencing significant

pressure and competition

for skills, and this situation is

expected to be exacerbated as

Australian employers experiencing

similar pressures extend

their reach across the Tasman.

Migrant workers face significant

challenges with the suspension

of the skilled migrant residence

category and the recently

announced reset of immigration

policies. The retention of skilled

migrant staff is significantly

dependent on their long-term

visa security and it is in employers’

best interests to proactively

assist and support their migrant

workers now by:

• Transitioning eligible

workers onto 30-month

work-to-residence work

visas to secure their pathway

to future residence.

Eligible workers employed

by an existing INZ accredited

employer must be paid

at least $79,560 pa. Workers

may also qualify for a

long-term skills shortage

work-to-residence work visa

• Applying now for new

long-term work visas for

employees who have work

visas expiring in the next 12

months.

• Undertake a Pathways

Immigration Audit of your

migrant workers to assess

their visa situation and future

visa options

Employers, you do not have

to hit the accelerator pedal just

yet, but it is advisable to take this

current opportunity to secure

your team for the long term –

and be in a position to win many

future Bathurst 1000’s!

The Waikato Chamber of Commerce has announced Foster

Construction Group as the new primary sponsor for the

upcoming 2021 Business Awards which have opened for entry.

The Chamber has long

enjoyed a positive and

productive relationship

with Fosters who were previously

the category sponsor of

the Community Contribution

Award. Fosters will now be

the sponsor for the Supreme

Award category and the event

will be renamed the Waikato

Chamber of Commerce Business

Awards supported by

Foster Construction Group.

Chamber CEO Don Good

is excited by the new sponsorship.

“We have always

worked closely with Fosters

and we think the relationship

between them and ourselves

is one that is beneficial for the

Waikato region. Fosters has

long been a vocal supporter

of smaller businesses looking

to make an impact in the business

world and we are thrilled

to have them on board as the

primary sponsor for the Business

Awards.”

Founded in 1973 by Graham

Foster and Graham

Mallett, Foster Construction

Group has been responsible

for bringing some of the most

prominent public and private

commercial construction projects

in the Waikato to life.

These include Claudelands

Events Centre, Deloitte

House, Genesis Energy offices

and the current Union Square

project. The Foster Construction

Group have always prioritised

healthy communities

and are aware of their responsibility

in the Waikato community

as a major employer.

This sponsorship is the next

iteration of Fosters’ continued

investment into the Waikato

region.

“Fosters’ purpose is Great

Communities through Strong

Foundation,” says Leonard

Gardner, CEO of the Foster

Construction Group.

We have always

worked closely with

Fosters and we think

the relationship

between them and

ourselves is one that

is beneficial for the

Waikato region.

“One of the foundations of

our community is the strength

of Waikato business. When

presented with the opportunity

to serve the Waikato

Chamber of Commerce Business

Awards with sponsorship,

we saw the alignment with

Fosters’ purpose. As a community,

we need to celebrate

success, and the awards do

this well.”

This brings an end to the

Awards sponsorship agreement

between the Waikato

Chamber of Commerce and

Westpac NZ. Westpac have

been the primary sponsor of

the Business Awards for the

past 21 years and together

with the Waikato Chamber

of Commerce have built a

strong reputation for the

Awards to celebrate business

achievement in the

Waikato community.

“We are immensely grateful

to Westpac for the relationship

we have had with

them over the years and for

their assistance in growing

the Business Awards into the

event that it is today,” Good

says. “It is always sad when

a great partnership comes to

an end but at the same time

exciting for the potential

for new growth that Fosters

will bring to the Awards. We

thank Westpac for their past

investment in the Awards,

and as we have several events

planned with Westpac, they

will continue to be active

investors in our community.”

The Awards are open to

any business based in the

Waikato, and there are categories

for small to large businesses,

in a range of fields

including Service Excellence,

Marketing & Social

Media, and Community Contribution.

Information and

instructions on how to enter

the Awards can be found on

the Waikato Chamber of

Commerce website.

Level 2

586 Victoria Street

Hamilton 3204

Level 3

50 Manners Street

Wellington 6011

07 834 9222

enquiries@pathwaysnz.com

pathwaysnz.com


16 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Jean McKenzie says adults

are increasingly realising the

importance of education.

Tutoring business

sees stellar growth

A Te Awamutu tutoring business is seeing huge growth because

of Covid, with an increasing number of adult students looking to

their future.

While much of the

Covid recovery talk

has been around

industries such as construction

and primary production,

Impact Tutoring founder Jean

McKenzie says in the calendar

year to January 2021

her business has more than

doubled in size, with a significant

boost from an online

offering.

Adult students in some

cases have been made redundant,

but also include those

still in work and seeking to

broaden their options.

“A lot of adults are realising

how important education

is - that education is king,

basically,” McKenzie says.

“So they are wanting

to protect themselves by

gaining more knowledge

and more qualifications.

“The interesting thing

I find is it doesn't matter

whether they're in Taupō,

it doesn't matter whether

they're in Canterbury, it

doesn't matter whether

they're in Dunedin, the conversations

are still the same.”

Often the adult learners

need to refresh their memory

in things like how to write an

essay.

“For example, a month or

so ago, I had a guy call us

from the outskirts of Canterbury.

He lives in a rural

area. He's doing online university

work, but he had a

compulsory maths paper that

for him was really difficult

to manage.

“So he contacted us and I

was able to put him in touch

with my tutor in Kerikeri.”

Impact Tutoring now has

five online tutors as well as

those teaching face to face in

its Te Awamutu hub, four of

whom also tutor online.

Covid has also shown

many parents the advantages

of online learning.

“The kids themselves

have always been comfortable

with technology.

And parents were forced

to step aside, because that

was the only way forward.

And so what they've found is

that it's actually a really good

way to learn, that online

learning is actually accessible,

and a way around lots of

obstacles that were in place

before.”

In some cases students in

Te Awamutu are choosing

to do their learning online

because of the convenience.

The change, accelerated

by Covid, has also

seen the business growth

model change, with a shift

from setting up branches

KNOWLEDGE CAN

BE TAUGHT, BUT

VALUES CAN’T BE

SO THAT’S WHAT

I’M ALWAYS ON THE

LOOKOUT FOR.

outside Te Awamutu to

recruiting “outstanding”

online tutors.

McKenzie has a range of

tutors, from university students

to qualified teachers

and says the key when she is

employing is the applicant’s

values.

“Knowledge can be

taught, but values can’t be so

that's what I'm always on the

lookout for.”

Impact Tutoring is also

developing online modules

for families that may struggle

to pay the cost of the face-toface

learning.

“Education just opens

doors for people. That's our

focus all the time.”

• Impact Tutoring was

a finalist in the Innovation

and Adaptation

category of the

Waipā Networks Business

Awards.

Climate-related disclosures,

are you ready to report?

Late last year the Government

announced

its intent to make climate-related

financial disclosures

mandatory for all

publicly listed companies

and large financial services

organisations.

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

> BY VICTORIA ASHPLANT

Victoria Ashplant is a PwC Director based in the Waikato office

Email: victoria.j.ashplant@pwc.com

This includes large insurers,

banks, non-bank deposit

takers and investment managers.

According to the Ministry

for the Environment the

purpose of mandatory climate-related

disclosures is to:

• ensure that the effects of

climate change are routinely

considered in business,

investment, lending

and insurance underwriting

decisions;

• help climate reporting

entities better demonstrate

responsibility and foresight

in their consideration

of climate issues; and

• lead to more efficient allocation

of capital, and help

smooth the transition to

a more sustainable, low

emissions economy.

What will be required?

The Bill is currently before

Parliament but impacted

organisations could be

required to make disclosures

as early as 2023.

The External Reporting

Board (XRB) is responsible

for developing the reporting

standards which are

expected to closely align with

the recommendations from

the Task Force on Climate-related

Financial Disclosures

(TCFD).

In order to meet the disclosure

requirements being

proposed, businesses will

have to demonstrate how they

embed environmental and

social practices through their

strategies and risk frameworks

into the core of board

level decision making.

These disclosure requirements

are likely to change

the way companies evaluate

business decisions, including

the way they gather information

and present business

cases or investment returns.

What can be done now?

Even as the proposed disclosure

requirements are developed,

there is still an obligation

for businesses to think

about this now.

Organisations must still

meet requirements under

existing NZ IFRS standards

(such as the impact of

environmental risk on your

impairment testing under NZ

IAS 36, provisions NZ IAS

37, such as cost of remediating

environmental damage

and if your business model

presents risk of being unsustainable,

going concern).

What will the proposed

changes mean?

When they come into force,

these reporting requirements

will drive greater transparency

around climate change

related risks and opportunities,

helping markets to more

accurately value climate

risk, and supporting New

Zealand’s transition to a low

emissions future.

+++++++

+++++++

+++++++

+++++++

+++++++

Procuta Associates

Urban + Architecture

Contact us 07 839 6521

www.pauaarchitects.co.nz


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

17

Fast 50 entries open

Marketing the Mighty

Waikato proposition

TELLING WAIKATO’S STORY

> BY JASON DAWSON

Chief Executive,

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

The Deloitte Fast 50, the

index that ranks fast-growing

Kiwi companies, is open for

entries until July 30. The 2021

results will be announced on

September 30. The Fast 50

programme, now in its 21st

year, includes the national

Deloitte Fast 50 index and

associated regional awards

and the Master of Growth

index recognising established

businesses achieving longer

term sustained growth. For

more information, visit

www.fast50.co.nz

Heritage on show

Destination marketing involves more than just ‘selling’ the

region as a place to visit and have a short break.

Marketing a region

involves everyone

– from word-ofmouth

recommendations,

locals talking up the place

they call home, celebrating

our award-winning businesses,

sectors and hospitality

providers, telling our

Waikato food story proudly,

and positioning our region on

its strengths in the primary,

medical, tech, agri-tech, science,

education, food production,

tourism and construction

sectors.

Tourism and events are

seen as a ‘window or gateway’

into a region’s DNA.

If you have an exceptional

visitor experience or attend

an inspirational event, you

are more likely to return to

visit again, plus eventually

live, study or invest in the

Waikato.

The marketing mix has

also changed from mass marketing

to trade, business or

consumers, through to more

personalised, co-curated and

geo-centric channels.

It’s also more than traditional

advertising in print

or broadcast media, where

digital advertising now leads

from outdoor and indoor

channels through to direct on

your mobile phone.

However, the good thing

which is still common across

all marketing channels is

that content is king, which is

where we focus a lot of our

efforts to support our other

destination marketing efforts.

The May edition of Air

New Zealand’s Kia Ora

magazine is a good example

where we successfully hosted

a travel writer for three

days which led to an eightpage

feature on the Mighty

Waikato.

This not only provides an

independent view of their

experience and what makes

this region so special in their

own words – it also has a high

conversion rate to inspire visitors

to Waikato.

Working with the producers

of The Apprentice

Aotearoa to bring the

teams to Hamilton for a

tourism marketing challenge

didn’t happen by

accident either.

There was clear intent in

working behind-the-scenes

to ensure that Hamilton was

shown in a positive light on

national television and the

audience has been quick to

share their thoughts as well!

We have been working

tirelessly with a range of

media organisations like

travel bloggers, podcast producers,

social influencers and

magazines like Cuisine and

House & Garden, to make the

Mighty Waikato top-of-mind

in travel destination choices.

This has been more important

than ever to reposition

the region in the domestic

market.

We are also rolling

the successful Ambassador

programme which was

first piloted in Kirikiriroa

Hamilton, and is now

being developed for five

other regions across

the Waikato.

The three-hour training

programme helps expand

residents’ local knowledge

by providing simple tools to

create positive and memorable

experiences for leisure,

business and family visitors.

These include the history,

unique stories and

colourful characters who

helped shape the region.

To find out more and register

for the next Kirikiriroa

Hamilton course, visit www.

waikatonz.com/ambassador

Lastly, we all have a part

to play to be proud and promote

our community, businesses,

events and people.

If you have a story to

share or something to celebrate,

make sure you let us

know. Remember, we live in

an amazing part of the world

and the rest of New Zealand

needs to be reminded about

how special it is.

A collection of heritage

Hamilton photos are being

given an interactive twist in

a window display in Garden

Place. The photos in the

Hamilton Central Business

Association window respond

to onlookers’ movement

and have been installed as

part of the CBD activation

programme. The association

put together the Storybox

display in partnership with

the Heritage section of the

Hamilton libraries which

provided over 500 images of

the city.

Hamilton’s heritage is on display

“ It is a pleasure to announce that we are

expanding our business and with your

continuous support we are very excited

by the growth and success that we have

achieved in this nine short years.

The years of service has been a privilege and would

like to take this opportunity in announcing that we

are moving into our purpose-built Office by the end of

October 2021.

This is a celebration of what we have been able to

accomplish together - with the focus on quality and

trust, we have built enduring relationships with our

clients and we will very much strive to continue

providing you with a better service.

We will advise you as we get closer to our move, until

then business remains as usual with Office Location,

Phone Contact Numbers, Record Drop-off Box etc

remain unchanged.

Singh & Associates Limited provides the

expertise you need to grow your business

to next level.

A personal & professional service to assist

with every successful outcome.

Moving October 2021

OUR NEW HOME

145 Ossie James Drive,

Titanium Park, Hamilton.

singhandassociates.co.nz | 07 843 6004


18 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Investors return

to market

Lodge Real Estate reports

that the agency’s number

of Hamilton home sales

rose marginally during May.

As investors re-entered the

market the median price in

the city eased, as investors

tend to buy in lower price

brackets. Lodge Real

Estate Managing Director,

Jeremy O’Rourke, said

almost all properties that

went to auction in May

sold under the hammer or

soon after, belying talk of a

cooling market.

201ha for

development

Waipā District Council has

designated 201 hectares

of industrial land for future

development to keep up

with projected population

growth and demand.

Council’s district growth

and regulatory group

manager Wayne Allan

said there was a steady

flow of enquiries for new

commercial and industrial

land. “Through the Waipā

2050 Growth Strategy,

we have provision for

201 hectares of industrial

zoning, located in Hautapu

and Te Awamutu. We

anticipate these new

industrial areas will be

quickly snapped up by

developers when they

are made available for

purchase.”

The council has also

received its latest credit

rating. Fitch Ratings has

assigned Waipā a local

currency Issuer Default

Rating (IDR) of ‘AA-‘ with a

stable outlook and a shortterm

local currency IDR of

‘F1+’. This is the council’s

fourth review and in all

four the ratings have been

retained.

Boost for Te Huia

Waikato Regional Council

will be rolling out more Te

Huia train services and

sooner in response to

public feedback on its long

term plan. More than 80

per cent of all submissions

to the council’s longterm

plan were on the

proposal to extend the

new Waikato to Auckland

passenger rail service. Of

those 1240 submissions,

95 per cent were in favour

of improvements to the

service with many wanting

it to happen sooner than

the proposed 2023/24

timeframe.

Councillors decided an

inter-peak service will be

trialled for 12 months,

starting no sooner

than December 2021.

Councillors also approved

an extension of Saturday

Te Huia services to The

Strand in Auckland’s CBD

at a cost of $10,000 per

annum. A start date for the

extended service is to be

confirmed.

A photo from the early days shows the family building in

central Hamilton with the Bettley daughters on the verandah

Family farm gets

chic new look

A piece of enduring rural Hamilton history

has an eye-catching new chapter in the

form of a refurbished shipping container

fitted out as a cafe on the city’s outskirts.

The petting zoo is a hit

Think of it as a slice of

Melbourne in Matangi.

The brainchild of

couple Sarah Carty and Keir

Bettley, Front Paddock cafe

evokes Carty’s inner- city

Melbourne background in its

chic container design along

with Bettley’s long-standing

farming family association

with the land it stands on.

Opened after Covid lockdown,

the Matangi Road cafe

is a “passion project” for the

couple, who live just a couple

of hundred metres away.

Carty is an account director

with Melbourne-based iD Collective,

who are developing

their New Zealand presence,

and Bettley is a co-director

of Signature Homes Waikato

having bought the franchise

with two others nine years

ago.

It helped that Bettley was

able to do the build himself

with the help of a few mates.

The refurbishment includes

large windows at either end,

providing welcome light and

warmth. Carty, who manages

the cafe and its social media,

says she wasn’t initially convinced

by Bettley’s idea for

a plywood interior but now

thinks it works well, reflecting

the earthy surroundings.

With the Bettleys well known

in the area - Keir’s brother and

parents also live nearby on

the former family farm - once

work started, curious locals

would stop and ask what was

happening.

“I loved the process -

designing it and seeing how

it was going to work,” Bettley

says. “It was quite a tricky

undertaking, but we figured

things out as we went. I’m

really pleased with it.”

The job was carried out

mostly at weekends, and completed

after Covid lockdown,

with the cafe opening on May

18. Carty says the timing was

“probably a bit nuts” but paid

off, providing an opportunity

to connect with locals who

had just come off the back of

a lockdown.

“As soon as level two hit,

we took the opportunity. It

was good because people were

super keen to come and get

takeaway coffees.”

Front Paddock features

a playground and a petting

zoo shared with the neighbouring

Meadows Early

Learning Centre.

Local suppliers are to the

fore, with the cafe’s kombucha

coming from Gutsy,

which is based in Riverlea,

and raw treats courtesy

of Hamilton-based

Little S and P. There is also a

plant stall from The Plant Girl

and an organic vegetable stand

courtesy of nearby Tomtit,

a fellow startup.

The counter food comes

from Volare while Carty says

Ben, the barista, knows their

regulars by name, along with

their life stories.

Through Signature Homes,

Bettley had already built the

Meadows centre, and he and

Carty could see the value

in building a cafe for parents

dropping off their children.

Staff from Atawhai

Assisi Home and Hospital

across the road are also

customers, as are other locals.

Carty says they have aimed

to make Front Paddock a destination,

particularly at weekends,

helped by the petting zoo

and playground. Long term,

expansion of the cafe is in their

sights including a commercial

kitchen on site.

While the cafe is the

result of Carty and

Bettley’s individual

stories, it also reflects a

wider Hamilton and Waikato

history as urban settlements

have gradually encroached

onto their rural outskirts,

changing the land use. Originally

used for dairying, later

converted to maize cropping

and subsequently divided by

Front Paddock founders Sarah Carty and Keir Bettley

the expressway, the former

farm alongside Matangi Road

is now largely residential with

some haymaking and grazing,

as well as supporting the early

childcare and cafe businesses.

The cafe’s name, Front

Paddock, evokes that background,

with Bettley recalling

a time as a youngster when he

would be kicking a rugby ball

around on what was the farm’s

front paddock and the only one

not planted in maize.

Family history, as recollected

by Keir’s parents Zane

and Sheryl, takes the story

back to Hamilton’s early days

when a Bettley who was an

officer in the British army

was allocated rural and town

properties.

The early Bettleys had two

town properties. One was in

Victoria Street and was a tearoom

and a butchers, with a

boarding house upstairs. The

second was a house situated

opposite the courthouse where

Countdown is today. The

rural property was eventually

divided into three.

A great-uncle of Zane’s,

called Jack, had one portion

and ran a butchery on his farm.

It is his former land where

Front Paddock now stands.

Meanwhile, Zane’s grandfather,

Arthur, had a portion that

has now been subdivided. The

third portion was for Jack and

Arthur’s sisters, Maude, Lottie,

Mabel and Nora.

Jack did not marry, and

left half his portion to Zane’s

father, George, and the other

half equally between Zane and

his brothers Craig and Warren.

The three brothers and their

father formed a company in

the early 1970s and continued

to run a dairy farm of about

200 acres before changing to

cropping maize in the late 70s.

Further change came about

20 years ago, when Transit

New Zealand designated part

of the farm for the expressway,

which virtually cut

the farm in half.

The government agency

purchased about 110 acres off

the company and eventually

sold back about 30 acres. Too

small to be used as a farm, the

excess land has been leased

out for potatoes and pumpkins,

and for hay and grazing.

In continuing development

of the block, about six years

ago Keir Bettley built the

home he and Carty now live

in, on an 8000 square metre

lot. Their trans-Tasman relationship

became a Waikato

one after Carty shifted from

her native Australia, initially to

Auckland and then two years

ago to Hamilton where she is

enjoying the lifestyle.

Two and a half years ago,

Bettley’s Signature Homes

then built a house for his

brother on the second of three

titles on the block of land,

while their parents are currently

building a retirement

home on the remaining title.

Its use has changed markedly,

but the block of land with its

farming history remains solidly

in the Bettley family.

• Front Paddock is open

6.30am-2.30pm weekdays

and 8am-2pm weekends.


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

19

ley

New premises signal next

chapter for Zero Fire

Opening the doors of its new Hamilton

premises to clients in May marked the

beginning of the next chapter for fire

protection specialists Zero Fire.

First established in 2015

with a handful of key

staff, Zero Fire was originally

based out of the home of

its director Travis Pocock.

“It really was just small

beginnings for us,” he says.

“As the business grew I kept

adding more Portacoms and

sheds at my property to cater

to the additional staff.”

Significant growth over the

past six years means Pocock

now employs close to 50 staff

and offers a range of fire protection

services including fire

sprinkler systems, fire alarm

systems, fire hydrant systems,

passive fire protection as well

as testing and compliance and

service and maintenance of

these systems. A purpose-built

premises designed by Edwards

White and constructed by Fosters

was completed late last

year, with Zero Fire holding

an open day for its clients,

suppliers and industry partners

on site in May.

“Relationships are key for

us; they are the foundation for

Zero Fire and the reason we

have experienced such significant

growth over the past six

years. So it was fantastic to be

able to welcome our valued

Matt Bryson (Hydroflow) with Manual Mahuta

from Zero Fire and Jonathan Hooper, Zero Fire.

Travis Pocock, managing

director Zero Fire

clients, suppliers and partners

at our new premises on Ossie

James Drive and celebrate just

how far we have come,” says

Pocock. The premises enables

staff to work together more

efficiently and has allowed

Zero Fire to expand its services

even further into the new

areas of testing and compliance,

and service and maintenance.

“Having more space has

allowed us to fill some key

roles in order to provide the

new services – this means that

regardless of whether we were

the installer or not, we can

now service and maintain all

fire protection systems.”

Heading up the new services

are Shannon Sanson and

Alun Rodgers who between

them have an impressive 29

years’ industry experience.

“This is a bit of a theme

here across Zero Fire,” says

Pocock. “A lot of our staff

have clocked up a vast amount

of fire industry experience

which is invaluable to us.”

Pocock says when Zero

Fire was first established it

was focussed solely on delivering

fire sprinkler systems

and soon expanded to include

the key services of fire alarms

and passive fire protection.

“Each time we’ve expanded

our services we’ve welcomed

on board new specialists who

continue to broaden our collective

skillset and expertise,

enabling us to provide a more

comprehensive and higher

level of service to our clients.”

Pocock says Zero Fire is

committed to further expanding

the team’s expertise

through ongoing professional

training and development

opportunities, as well as nurturing

new industry talent.

“Currently we have several

young employees on board

who are keen to make a career

for themselves in fire protection.

It is great, not only for

Zero Fire but the wider industry,

to have the next generation

of talent making their way

through the ranks.”

Over the past few years

Zero Fire has also branched

out into Bay of Plenty,

where its sprinkler general

manager Scott Taylor has

taken the lead.

“Scott is well known and

respected in the industry, so

Zero Fire at 162 Ossie James Drive

Amy van Garderen, Shannon Sanson

and Keryn Ingram, Zero Fire

having him lead the way for

us in the Bay of Plenty makes

sense and means we know

we’re in safe hands.”

Pocock credits his exceptional

staff as the catalyst for

Zero Fire’s growth and success

over the past six years,

and says having an in-house

design team has also been an

important point of difference.

“The benefit to our clients

is their plans can be adapted

quickly to respond to any

changes that might arise,

ensuring onsite teams and

other sub-contractors are not

held up. This can really mean

all the difference during an

important project.”


20 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

The art of delegation

and escalation

Unless your business is a one-person

band, you will need to delegate authority

to your staff, authorising them to make

decisions and to sign certain documents

on your behalf.

The level of delegated

authority you hand

over should be relevant

to your needs and relevant to

their skill set. Some questions

you may like to consider

include:

• How much control do you

want to relinquish?

• What level is the staff

member currently operating

at?

• Are there any historical

trust issues you need to

consider?

• What risks are created and

how do you manage them?

Delegated authority may

apply to a particular role or in

some cases it may be specific

to a particular person. Either

way, you need to document

and discuss the details:

• What decisions are they

allowed to make?

• What types of documents

are they allowed to sign?

• Is it acceptable for the delegated

authority to be redelegated

down the ranks?

• At what stage do you

want them to escalate

issues back up to you?

Be particularly careful when

staff are signing contracts on

behalf of your business as

this area is fraught with difficulty

- contracts are legally

binding and lock you in to a

certain course of action with

consequences.

It only takes a third party

to convince one of your staff

to sign a contract, or perhaps

a naïve or over-confident

manager who is prepared to

take matters into their own

hands, and WHAM you have

a problem!

Levels of delegated

authority need to be reviewed

regularly: as the business

grows and roles develop, you

will need to modify levels.

Review annually at least.

The more you delegate,

the more you risk becoming

isolated and ill-informed as

to what is happening in the

business.

How many times have we

witnessed CEOs in the media

providing the stock standard

answer “I didn’t know

anything about this”, when

being held accountable for

some serious situation. Of

course, this generic line can

be an indicator they are disconnected

and out of touch

with the business; however,

it is often a symptom of delegation

in play without escalation.

The person with the

delegated authority needs to

know the risk they are sitting

on, the decisions they

are expected to make and the

stage they should let you (or

their manager) know of an

unravelling situation.

When a problem is spiralling

out of control, the

quicker you step in and provide

advice, clarity and offer

THE BUSINESS EDGE

> BY BRENDA WILLIAMSON

Brenda Williamson runs business advisory service

Brenda Williamson and Associates www.bwa.net.nz

possible solutions, the sooner

you will be able to contain the

problem and ensure you minimise

reputational damage and

possible financial loss. Problems

start small and grow

with time.

I always found that weekly

meetings with my direct

report managers kept me in

the loop of what decisions

they had made, what decisions

they were intending

to make, and it gave me the

opportunity to offer advice on

how they could handle tricky

situations.

Setting clear expectations,

ensuring communication is

effective upwards and downwards

within the business and

being accessible to your team

will all help.

At what stage is that person

(with delegated authority)

able to ring you after

hours to discuss an out-ofcontrol

problem? I personally

operated with an open-door

policy.

In addition to weekly

meetings, they knew they

could pop in discuss a problem

any time, including ringing

me day or night. This

gave them confidence to

actively manage and gave me

confidence in knowing I was

connected.

Be present – stay

connected and look out

for your team.

Confession of a

District Court Judge

By ANGELA VANDERWEE

Retired District Court

Judge Rosemary Riddell

returned to Hamilton

in May to launch a memoir

of her time on the bench.

Judges, court staff and lawyers

from around the Waikato

came to congratulate her on

Angela Vanderwee, Daniel Wein, Judge

Geoghegan, Judge Riddell and Judge Spear

the achievement, and to hear

her reading from the book.

Hamilton law firm, Ellice

Tanner Hart hosted the book

launch of To Be Fair – Confessions

of a District Court Judge

on 14 May.

Host Angela Vanderwee

and directors Paul Ellice, Rob

Hart and Daniel Wein were

delighted with the turnout.

Riddell’s excerpts were both

witty and poignant and made

for an entertaining evening.

Riddell sat as a judge in

Hamilton so launching her

book amongst her old friends

and colleagues held special

importance for her.

Her book is a collection of

reminiscences about her time

on the bench, both funny and

sad. She says she wanted to

show that judges are not high

and mighty, but very human.

“It was also a good opportunity

to describe what goes on

in a court room for those who

have never darkened its doors.

People generally have opinions

about sentencing and criminals.

I hope that after reading

this book, they might reconsider

some views, or at least

gain some knowledge about

the judicial process.”

The idea of writing a book

came out of the blue. “I was

feeling a bit sorry for myself,

having resigned as a judge

and was wondering ‘who am

I now apart from being a pensioner?’.”

Her husband Mike encouraged

her to write so one day she

wrote out chapter headings and

then away she went. The memories

spilled out faster than she

could write them down and she

found it quite therapeutic.

“I had loved the judging job

and could see myself doing it

into my seventies. But a combination

of factors interceded.

Mike has prostate cancer and

there are various trips to oncology.

My Mum came to live

next door and it was important

to spend time with her. And

then finally, I found the travel

to courts around the country

from Central Otago to be too

onerous. So the job had to go.”

She never contemplated

writing such a book while she

was a judge.

“I was never sitting on the

bench thinking that all this was

fodder for a book. That said, it

really was a unique experience

being a judge and a humbling

one, constantly dealing with

painful situations in people’s

lives, particularly in the Family

Court.”

Riddell says she hasn’t

breached any confidences

and that names and scenarios

have been changed. The stories

are also interspersed with

her views on topics such as

poverty, racism and domestic

violence.

“I have of course ventured

strong views on laws that I

consider should be changed.

Now I couldn’t have said that

while a judge!”

Angela Vanderwee is an

Associate at Ellice Tanner

Hart Lawyers

Rob Hart, Judge Riddell, Paul Ellice and Daniel Wein

Angela Vanderwee and Judge Riddell


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

21

Insurance up-and-comer has eye

on the future

Tech risk and cyber attacks are set to

become an increasingly important part

of the business insurance sector, says a

Hamilton advisor.

Cyber crime is the new

frontier when it comes

to insurance, with the

digital side of business just as

important as physical assets,

Ryan Mulder says.

The risk, foregrounded by

the recent high-profile hack

of the Waikato DHB’s computer

system, will continue

to grow with the increasing

takeup of technology by business.

Mulder says the insurance

industry has previously been

focused on physical assets,

where there can be a direct

loss through the likes of theft,

breakage or fire.

But the use of technology

is introducing a new realm of

risk, particularly around privacy.

“We had changes in the

Privacy Act in December

2020, which holds business

owners a hell of a lot more

liable with their client information

than they used to be.

“New business risks are

coming into the industry and

it's important to make sure that

you're not only covering your

physical asset, but you're also

covering your digital asset.”

That includes client information,

bank account numbers

and passwords.

I want to be able

to bring technology

change effectively

into the industry

to make it simple,

make it easy and

affordable for

people to use and

understand the value

of insurance industry

a lot more.

Mulder works with a

certified ethical hacker to

help businesses understand

whether any of their information

has been leaked, potentially

exposing them to hackers

making demands such as

untraceable Bitcoin.

“It's really interesting to

have those chats with people

and help them understand

how that kind of thing may

potentially unfold, and then

how we utilise insurance

to make sure that they don't

have a financial loss if anything

like that happened.”

Mulder, who has been

working in insurance for

three years, has picked up

national recognition from

the industry, making the list

of Insurance Business NZ

Young Guns for 2021.

He is an adviser with

Quantum Finance, one of

two in the general and fire

part of the business, and has

built a significant book of

business while also creating

a standard operating procedure

used throughout the

firm for customer service and

onboarding. Mulder says his

approach has been to bring

an empathetic approach, and

help clients understand what

they are paying for.

“With me coming into the

industry with no prior knowledge,

I understand the need to

make things simple and easy

for people to understand.

“Because these are relatively

large costs for people

each year, and there's no

point in paying for something

that you don't understand, or

paying for something that's

not going to be of use to you

at the time that you need it the

most.”

Mulder, 30, joined the

Hamilton firm at the end of

2018, the year after it had

Ryan Mulder has

made the Insurance

Business NZ Young

Guns list.

started. While Waikato is

their hub, Mulder’s clients

come from around the country

and range from single-person

outfits to larger corporates.

“I want to be able to

bring technology change

effectively into the industry

to make it simple, make

it easy and affordable for

people to use and understand

the value of insurance

industry a lot more,” he says.

“I really do impress on

people that we are going to

see a massive shift in the

industry, towards more technical,

technological change,

and the utilisation of digital

assets, whether that be apps

or AI, all of these new mediums

that are coming into play.

They're going to be taken up

into this industry a lot more.”

Peacocke contract

out for tender

Hamilton City Council has

moved to the final stages

of procurement for a major

Peacocke wastewater

connection. The contract

to build a wastewater

transfer pumping station

and associated works

is out for tender. The

project is expected to cost

around $25 million and

is the last major piece of

infrastructure needed to

service new housing in

the area.

Hamilton’s Lime

and Dine food

guide kicks off

Hamilton food lovers are

being encouraged to

leave their cars at home

and take a Lime scooter

to visit the city’s eateries

as part of a collaboration

aimed at supporting local

businesses. Hamilton

Central Business

Association and Lime

scooters have worked

together to create the

“Lime and Dine” food

guide, an initiative that

provides discounted

scooter travel for new

customers who scoot to

participating restaurants

and cafes in the CBD.

The “Lime and Dine”

guide can be viewed

at https://www.

hamiltoncentral.co.nz.

Duo on a mission: Time right for rainwater

harvesting tank startup

A

Waikato startup

is catching the

wave of water conservation

awareness as householders

turn to its practical,

attractive solution.

Designer Tanks, founded

in 2019, is poised to further

boost sales after attracting

investment from NZX-listed

Just Life Group.

The rainwater harvesting

tanks, imported from Germany,

come in a range of

shapes and styles and in a

complete kit ready for the

householder to install. Buyers

can easily connect the

Graf above-ground tanks to

downpipes and then use the

gravity-fed supply to water

their gardens.

Co-directors Chloe Barrott

and Ingrid Cook say they

have been seeing people’s

mindset changing in the short

time since they have been

operating from their Rukuhia

base.

The two Cambridge

women say most customers

are retro-fitting the tanks out

of conservation awareness

or in order to keep watering

their garden during restrictions.

Barrott describes the process

as a change management

exercise.

“What we're saying is,

rainwater is free! It's crazy

how much of it goes down the

drain when it could be saved

and used,” she says.

“But the solution doesn't

have to be ugly. A lot of it

is change management. It's

about taking people on the

journey.”

Cook says they are seeing

particularly strong interest

in the Bay of Plenty, with its

stringent water restrictions,

and at the recent Tauranga

Home Show they sold almost

everything on their stand.

Home shows have proved

a happy hunting ground for

the pair, who are now also

set to support one of their

partners at Fieldays, sharing

a stand with tiny home company

Amazing Spaces.

“Each time we attend

a show, we notice how

much people's mindset has

changed,” Barrott says. “Now

what we're finding is people

are saying, ‘oh, I've been

looking for you, this is such a

good idea’.”

Cook says that includes

one woman who had seen

their social media feed

and sought them out. “She

couldn't look at anything else

in the show until she'd seen us.

She bought two tanks.”

Styles range from the

Antique Amphora terracotta

urn shape to the Silver and

Lava cylindrical stone look,

and the Barrica, which resembles

a wine barrel.

There is also an unobtrusive

brick wall style that

takes show visitors by surprise

when they realise its

function.

Many of the tanks have

a planter cup on the top that

can be used to grow plants in

them.

The investment by Just

Life, which has bought a 60

percent stake, not only injects

funds for increasing product

volumes but also provides

valuable support in marketing

and logistics.

The two women say Just

Life founder and chief executive

Tony Falkenstein has

also given hands-on support,

attending the Tauranga Home

Show and talking to customers.

“He’s genuinely really

interested, and the whole

management team at Just Life

Group are wonderful, positive

people to be around.”

The firm sits under GOAM

(Girls on a Mission) which

is about women helping

women. “There are so many

women who leave the workforce

to raise a family and

lose their confidence along

the way. We really want to

help upskill and provide a

supportive environment for

people to grow.”

The impetus for Designer

Tanks came from Barrott’s

experience in 2018 of Outward

Bound, where as part

of the Solo Expedition the

attendees bring their human

Ingrid Cook and Chloe Barrott with one of their Amphora tanks.

waste back to Anakiwa

for recycling so it is fit for

drinking. One of the leaders

said he didn’t want to

be telling his children in

10 years’ time that they

used to use drinking water

to flush toilets.

“It just sat with me for

ages and to be honest, it still

hasn't left me,” Barrott says.

“I thought, there's got to be

a way to at least contribute

to this in a sustainable way,

and a way that most people

would want and can afford

and is helping at least a little

bit. I didn't see why it needed

to be ugly.”

That led her to sharing the

story with Cook who, similarly

keen on the conservation

message, was quick to

join her in the formation of

GOAM and Designer Tanks.

“Sustainability, getting

back to the basics of doing

your own garden and growing

your own veggies, that's

really important as we move

forward in this day and age -

and rainwater is the best thing

for plants,” Barrott says

Cook adds: “Rainwater is

free, everyone should really

be collecting it.”


22 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

HR AND RECRUITMENT

Your recruitment

asset in Waikato.

Employers urged to reassess

recruitment process in tough

Waikato labour market

Looking for staff? You’re not alone. With New

Zealand’s unemployment rate at an almost

record low (4.7% at the end of the first quarter

of this year), securing candidates for new and

vacant roles is a tough process.

Locally owned and operated, Asset Recruitment

has been established for more than 30 years.

We’re specialists in temporary, permanent,

executive and industrial recruitment.

We align great candidates with great opportunities;

‘positioning excellence’ throughout Waikato. So, if you’re

currently looking to hire or would like to discuss your career

opportunities, get in touch with our team.

07 839 3685 | www.assetrec.co.nz

Temporary

recruitment

Permanent

recruitment

Executive

recruitment

Industrial

recruitment

For many companies in

Waikato, and indeed

throughout New Zealand,

migrant workers make up a significant

part of the workforce,

both in permanent and temporary

positions.

But, since COVID-19 closed

New Zealand borders, and

in light of the Government’s

recent budget, not to mention

the Economic Minister’s introductory

speech about an immigration

reset, New Zealand’s

migrant workforce is much

depleted. Furthermore, temporary

work visa changes look set

to favour highly skilled migrant

workers while the Government

encourages businesses to first

consider New Zealanders for

roles, and to reassess the skills

and training on offer.

So, what does that mean for

the recruitment sector? And

how can organisations gain a

competitive advantage in areas/

roles where labour is desperately

needed?

“It’s going to continue to

be tough to find candidates

initially, which means businesses

will need to reconsider

their recruitment strategies,”

explains Judith Bright, Asset

Recruitment’s Permanent

Recruitment Specialist. “Hiring

for a position that may

have been filled relatively easily

18 months earlier will be a

very different process this time

around.”

“We’re encouraging organisations

to see this as an

opportunity to reflect on their

recruitment process, reassess

roles and think about what it is

they’re looking for in a candidate.

Approaching a vacancy

differently can open up a pool

of candidates who may not

have been considered previously.

This may call for a wider

recruitment reset, which Asset

Recruitment can advise and

help with, and that’s likely to

bring about positive changes in

the long run,” Judith says.

Asset Recruitment is also

encouraging businesses to

evaluate what kind of impression

potential candidates may

receive of an organisation.

“What does your company

brand say about you?”

asks Judith. “How proactive is

your communication? Is your

company’s public persona

reflective of the organisational

culture within? Candidates do

Judith Bright

have a choice in the current

market. How can you ensure

they choose to join your team?”

Judith says another factor

businesses are up against

is the potential brain drain of

young and skilled people heading

to Australia, now that the

Trans-Tasman bubble is open.

“It’s really tough to be

an employer at the moment.

That’s why we’re encouraging

businesses to utilise

the services of a recruitment

company. Our team know the

market, we have candidates on

our database, we can work in

with companies to assess their

recruitment needs, and we can

advise on how to recruit candidates

who will fit your company

culture. Yes, it’s tougher

than ever before to position

excellence, but it’s not impossible

and our team can provide

that solution for you.”

Judith Bright is a Permanent

Recruitment Specialist at Asset

Recruitment, Waikato’s leading

recruitment company for temporary,

permanent, executive

and industrial recruitment.

An HR consultancy

with a difference.

Helping our clients leverage HR

as a tool for business success.

We can help with:

• Outsourced HR

• Organisational

Development

• Employee Relations and

Problem Solving

• Change Management

• People Strategy

• Leadership and Employer

Development

• Performance and

Development

• Pay and Benefits

Contact us for a chat

on 07 2420 447 or hello@stapleton.consulting

Visit our website at www.stapleton.consulting

Top HR challenges

facing business: Talent

attraction, retention,

productivity

The Covid-19 pandemic

has propelled HR into

the spotlight and helped

business leaders focus on what

is important, says Waikato HR

firm Stapleton Consulting.

“Retention, talent attraction

and productivity are the

big issues we see facing NZ

businesses in the wake of

Covid-19,” said the firm’s Director,

Catherine Stapleton.

“Now more than ever,

business leaders realise the

importance of attracting the

right people, keeping them

in their roles for longer, and

making sure they’re engaged

and productive,” she said.

Catherine said businesses

need to look ahead and plan

for the skills they’ll need in 2

- 5 years, and find and invest

in the right people now.

Taking a strategic approach

to HR, managing change effectively,

and creating positive

employment journeys

and culture, are key to overcoming

these challenges,

said Catherine.

Talent shortages aren’t

new, but current immigration

policies have created more

barriers for employers. “It’s

going to be competitive, and

businesses will need to be creative

with candidate attraction

strategies,” said Catherine.

“It’s the experience you

offer your employees day

in, day out that keeps them

coming back to share their

expertise with you.”

“Mental health is a talking

point, and this is a great

move,” she said. “We often

see life events and difficult

situations affect employees,

but they don’t feel safe to

talk about it with their managers.

This can have a huge

impact on job satisfaction and

productivity.”

Stapleton Consulting is on

a mission to make HR simple,

clear and accessible for businesses,

helping leaders understand

the big picture, and create

strategies for success.

The Hamilton based team

delivers HR support at all

levels, from HR strategy and

management to day-to-day administration.

The firm launched

DIYHR.CO.NZ earlier this

year, with its first online

course The Change Game,

designed to equip leaders to

manage change or undertake

restructures.

“We’re genuinely intrigued

about the barriers facing businesses,

and work with the

decision makers to co-design

solutions that give clarity.”

“We often talk about helping

clients see the forest for

the trees - we see our role

as helping them navigate

the blurry grey areas and

bringing colour and clarity

to the picture.”

“If you’re asking yourself

the big questions like, “how

do we make more from what

we have and keep the skills we

have for as long as we can?”,

then we suggest you give our

team a call.”


HR AND RECRUITMENT 23

WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

HR and immigration

support for employers

of migrant workers

Critical immigration changes are about to impact the ability

of employers to keep their migrant workers.

Do you employ

staff on work

visas?

Businesses employing

migrant workers can

get specialist HR and

Immigration support to ensure

they are well positioned

to support and retain those

workers through the changes.

Neazor Brady are experts

in helping New Zealand

businesses manage and retain

their migrant workers.

They offer a unique blend of

comprehensive HR, employment

law and immigration

expertise, including 15 years’

specialising in work visas.

This enables them to ensure

their clients meet all the HR

compliance and documentation

requirements needed

to successfully support

their employees’ requests

for work visa extensions

and residency.

Neazor Brady Partner,

Catherine Neazor Brady,

says, “Significant immigration

and visa changes are

being implemented this year

that will impact all businesses

employing migrant workers,

and especially those that

employ six or more migrants.

It’s important that employers

understand how these changes

will affect their business,

and how they can best prepare

for them.”

From 1 November 2021,

Employer Accreditation

with Immigration New

Zealand will be compulsory

for all employers who

sponsor work visas.

Changes will also be made

to the types of visas available,

the level of compliance

required for accreditation,

and remuneration thresholds

(likely to increase on 1 July).

The entire

landscape for

employing migrant

workers has

changed. This has

created a lot of

uncertainty for

those workers and

heightened the need

for businesses to

be well prepared to

support them.

Catherine, who is a Chartered

Member of Human

Resources New Zealand and

a Licensed Immigration Advisor

says, “The entire landscape

for employing migrant

workers has changed. This

has created a lot of uncertainty

for those workers and

heightened the need for businesses

to be well prepared to

support them.”

Neazor Brady is currently

helping businesses put the

necessary processes and documentation

in place to secure

their critical employees’ work

visas before the new changes

take effect.

Catherine adds, “The accreditation

process for businesses

employing six or more

migrant workers is expected

to be robust and many employers

may be in for a shock

at the level of HR and compliance

related documentation

required.”

Applications for the new

visa accreditation open at the

end of September, and with

up to 30,000 employers needing

accreditation, Catherine

urges employers to act now

to avoid inevitable delays in

processing applications.

Neazor Brady offers a free

no-obligation consultation to

discuss how the visa changes

will potentially affect your

business and what you need to

do to prepare for it. Book your

consultation today, email:

info@neazorbrady.co.nz

What you need to know:

From 1 November 2021, Employer Accreditation with NZ

Immigration will be compulsory for all employers who

sponsor work visas.

After 30 June 2021, you will not be able to apply for/

renew accreditation under the current schemes.

Applications under the new scheme open late

September 2021.

Your staff can only apply for Essential Skills Work Visas

and Work to Residence until 31 October 2021.

Your business cannot support Temporary Work Visa

applications after 1 November 2021 (until accredited).

Immigration estimates 1 month processing time for

employers with


24 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

HR AND RECRUITMENT

NZ’s Employment

Market Report -

top trends explored

By Luke Horton, Manager Waikato and Bay of Plenty

who are committed to their

role and to the business.

Over the prior year we

have experienced plenty

of change. Words

like ‘bubble’ and ‘team of 5

million’ are now firmly part of

our vocabulary. It is clear that

the COVID-19 pandemic has

resulted in major disruption for

businesses. It has transformed

the way people look for jobs,

and what they consider when

changing roles. It has accelerated

some trends and reversed

others. From the introduction

of what ‘essential workers’

mean, to fundamentally changing

the way we work, today’s

workplaces look different compared

to 18 months ago.

With these changes in the

employment market, there are

growing numbers of employers

looking to attract new talent.

So, what does it take to attract

and retain the people your business

needs to grow and thrive?

Each year Madison conducts research

to understand the needs

of job seekers and employers,

and we publish our findings

in our annual Employment

Market Report. Three of key

trends we have explored in this

year’s report, that are particularly

prevalent in the Waikato

region, are flexibility, employee

wellbeing, and an increased

focus on work-life integration.

1. Flexibility. The most common

theme amongst our

clients is the offering of

flexible hours. One of my

clients is specifically focused

on attracting job

seekers to work-from-home

roles, and whilst a benefit in

and of itself, the ability to

layer flexible hours is an appealing

addition that allows

candidates to consider how

they will manage full time

employment around their

already busy personal lives.

2. Wellbeing. Today’s conversations

between employees

and current or prospective

employers are about much

more than just remuneration.

What other benefits

can your organisation offer?

From bringing your

dog to work, to working

from home, birthdays off,

subsidised health insurance

and mental health

initiatives, there are many

opportunities to support

employees’ wellbeing.

Organisations that offer

wellbeing initiatives in the

workplace will see a return

in the form of the attraction

of broader range

of job applicants, alongside

engaged employees

3. Work-life Integration. You

could say that both flexibility

and wellbeing contribute

positively to good work-life

balance. With the appreciation

that people’s lives

are busy, some of the employers

we work with are

supporting their employees

by offering increased flexibility

for balancing personal

commitments with work.

We see evidence of the impact

of this trend published

in our survey, and anecdotally

we are already hearing

of increased employee

happiness and productivity

from our clients.

These three themes are a key

selection of the trends that we

have seen rise to the top of our

job seekers’ and employers’ list

of priorities for this year – and

we think they are here to stay.

More themes and insights

are shared in the full report,

along with industry trends

and regional salary guides

for various industries and

sectors.

To get a copy of our newly

published 2021 New

Zealand Employment Market

Report you can contact

us on 07 839 5660 or visit

madison.co.nz/emr2021 to

download the report.


Front-foot it or

cross fingers?

Does anyone else feel like May was crisis

month? The HMC team sure had our fair

share of issues and crises come across our

desks recently.

Complimentary Ed

19.1x6

part – that companies (just

like people) make mistakes

sometimes.

And, you’ll put a lot of

goodwill in the trust bank

when you admit you’ve done

wrong, apologise to those

hurt and show proof of how

you are rectifying the situation.

And don’t forget to circle

back at a future date to let

people know how the situation

has been resolved and

why your organisation and

your people are better for it.

Since issues are on my

mind, I thought I’d talk

about one subject that

comes up repeatedly when

working with boards and

leadership teams to manage

reputational crises, in

particular.

Inevitably, as reputational

issues emerge, there are

going to be facts and stories

that will damage your organisation’s

reputation if and

when they become public.

So, how do you deal with

those facts? Do you frontfoot

them and lift the veil

yourself by making them

public? Or do you cross fingers

hoping media, staff or

stakeholders don’t uncover

them?

From my experience, in

nearly every situation the

best way to deal with a reputational

issue is proactively

and with honesty.

I told a client recently, it’s

like tearing off a plaster. Just

do it, say it, and let’s deal

with it.

Taking the “front-foot”

approach is far from easy

- but doing the right thing

in life rarely is, right? The

initial announcement will

be tough and you’ll need

to brace yourself for what

comes next. But the great

thing about front-footing a

negative situation is that you

control the timing, which

allows you to prepare for just

about anything that comes

your way.

There are four good

reasons to front-foot

a reputational issue:

Gives you time to plan

PR AND COMMUNICATIONS

> BY HEATHER CLAYCOMB

The best thing about

front-footing an issue is that

you take control and you can

plan when and how you’ll

make the announcement.

Work through what you’re

going to say and think about

all the communications

Heather Claycomb is director of HMC Communications, a

Hamilton-based, award-winning public relations agencys.

you need to do. This might

include staff briefing notes,

emails to key stakeholders, a

media release, social media

posts, a website story and

more.

Once you pick the day and

time, take the leap. Then,

make sure your spokesperson

– your Chair or CEO

– has cleared the decks and

is ready to talk to staff, take

phone calls and do media

interviews.

Being available is incredibly

important so you don’t

look like you are hiding from

the bad news.

Avoids a defensive position

Social media and the 24-hour

news cycle means crises

break online at any hour of

the day or night. And when

that happens and bad news

comes to light unexpectedly,

you’ll quickly be put in the

defensive position. And

anyone who’s played sport

knows it is difficult to ‘win’

when you don’t control the

ball.

If you’re caught unaware

and start bumbling around

asking your colleagues or

advisors, “what should we

say?,” there’s never going to

be a good ending. Get on the

offensive instead.

Demonstrates integrity

Your staff, customers and the

community where you operate

understand – for the most

Shows you’re not hiding

anything

Public outrage can quickly

gain momentum and skyrocket

out of control when

people think an organisation

is trying to hide something.

And when you don’t respond

immediately when a negative

situation comes to light, people

will automatically assume

you are hiding something.

Be as transparent as you can

in times of crisis and it will

help you weather the reputation

storm.

So, if I’ve convinced you

that front-footing is nearly

always the best strategy, when

is it not the right approach?

When individual privacy

issues are involved, or when

there is a legal process taking

place are two such instances

which add complexity that

must be taken into account.

In summary, however,

remember that crossing

fingers is rarely the

smart thing to do when a

reputational issue rears its

head.

Instead, put on your big

kid boots and front-foot it.

When good employees go bad...

Senga Allen

Managing Director

Everest – all about people TM

What happens when

one of your stars

begins to underperform?

What do you do?

Have you ever considered

it could be a bit of the old

“chicken and the egg” conundrum

– what comes first bad

management or bad employee

behaviour? In the long run

it may not actually matter,

but there is a mutual culpability

that must be addressed.

For employees, under-performing

behaviour can manifest

in lots of different ways

– increased absenteeism,

just doing enough to get by,

low energy levels, decreased

interaction

with co-workers, reduced

contribution to projects, negativity

slipping into conversations

– and the list goes on!

For employers, a visible

lack of “good management”

can have a significant impact

on the workplace. Research

shows us that money isn’t the

primary motivator for leaving

a job. In fact it’s about 10th

on the list. The biggest single

reason good employees leave

is because of the behaviour

of their direct supervisor. So

what contributes to ineffective

management?

• Lack of direct communication

and information

• Lack of clarity and the

provision of standards/

expectations

• Lack of positive reinforcement

or acknowledgement

of successes

• Lack of face-toface

communication

– these days

there appears to

an over-reliance on passive

communication techniques

such as electronic

media to convey critical

information rather than

sitting down face-to-face.

For employers,

a visible lack

of “good

management” can

have a significant

impact on the

workplace.

Direct face-to-face communication

might also enable you

to find out if there are other or

external factors which could

be affecting their performance.

If a good employee

starts to perform poorly we

need to examine why. Typically

stars don’t get up

one morning and make a

decision to under-perform.

Consider the

following when

diagnosing

what might be affecting your

star employee:

• Does the employee have

the capability to do the

task – if they did it before,

then they can do it again.

• Has the employee been

trained on the correct way

of doing the job – how

long ago was the training?

If they’ve carried out the

tasks correctly in the past,

then it’s likely they can do

it again properly.

• Does the employee use

the skill often enough to

remember how to do the

job next time?

• Does the employee know

he/she is doing it correctly/incorrectly?

What quality checks are in

place to give the employee

feedback on their performance

– who is responsible

for giving that feedback?

• Are you punishing exceptional

performance? By

this I mean – do you

swamp your star with lots

of extra projects because

they are always capable of

taking on more?

• Are you rewarding poor

performance? Has your

superstar been switched

off because they regularly

stand by and watch you

rescue poor performing

employees by handing

their work over to good

employees – rather than

dealing with the problem

employee?

There are always genuine

reasons why performance

slips away – our role as business

owners and managers is

to find out why.

That might also include

looking in the mirror and

asking questions about

our own management

techniques.


26 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Hamilton’s ecommerce

success stories

The world of retail has changed. Retail was

once confined to a physical store, but now

Hamilton-based retailers sell to customers

all around New Zealand, and even the

world, through the power of ecommerce.

Fifteen years ago, way

back in 2006, I was privileged

to be in a small

group of young entrepreneurs

who were taken on a personalised

tour of Torpedo7’s

warehouse in Melville by

co-founder Guy Howard-Willis.

He told us how Torpedo7

had begun from his son and

co-founder Luke’s passion for

mountain biking. Launched in

2004, Torpedo7 had quickly

experienced explosive growth.

Standing in their large

warehouse packed with bikes

and bike accessories, and hearing

their story of growth, it

seemed amazing that people

would buy bikes and accessories

online, in such large numbers.

It was one of the first very

THE DIGITAL WORLD

> BY JOSH MOORE

Josh Moore leads the team at Duoplus - a Hamilton-based

digital marketing agency that helps businesses grow through

highly measurable online marketing. www.duoplus.nz

successful ecommerce stores

in New Zealand.

But it turned out that what

felt like an enormous warehouse

at that time was just the

beginning. Guy told us that

they were working on launching

another idea which they

thought might be even bigger

than Torpedo7. The next year

they launched 1-day.co.nz,

which expanded their target

audience from biking and

sporting enthusiasts to “anyone

with a credit card” as Guy

put it. The 24-hour daily deal

concept put their growth on

steroids.

Every day at 11:51am the

email announcing today’s

crazy deals would arrive in

hundreds of thousands of

inboxes across the country.

The specials would go live at

noon and every day thousands

of items would be sold. During

their famous “bag of crap”

sales they sometimes sold over

40,000 items within 24 hours.

All of this from an ecommerce

store based in Melville.

In 2013 The Warehouse

Group purchased a 51 percent

stake in Torpedo7 for $33

million, and then went on to

acquire full ownership. It was

only after this acquisition that

Torpedo7 moved into bricksand-mortar

stores. Before

that, they were exclusively an

ecommerce store.

Ecommerce has the power

to break down geographic

barriers and help local stores

reach customers around New

Zealand, and even the world.

While Topedo7 might be

the pinnacle example of ecommerce

success from Hamilton,

there are many other ecommerce

success stories to be

told.

Many Hamilton bricksand-mortar

retail stores have

successful ecommerce sites.

Health2000, whose head office

is in Hamilton, has 64 stores

around New Zealand, and a

thriving ecommerce store too.

Mobility Centre has stores

around the North Island, as

well as a booming ecommerce

store.

EquipOutdoors in Frankton

launched initially purely

online, with a DIY website and

a TradeMe account. Now, even

with only one physical store, it

is one of the large camping and

outdoor equipment retailers

in New Zealand, thanks to its

ecommerce site.

Other local ecommerce

success stories include Eliot

Jessep’s Costume World,

which was acquired by an Australian

supplier, and his current

business Game Kings which

Eliot says did just shy of $200K

in sales just in the period of

Black Friday to Cyber Monday

last year. Game Kings is partly

owned by Alex Mark, who also

owns Sportsfuel, which has a

thriving ecommerce site and

a growing number of physical

stores.

Then there are the little

companies you have never

heard of that are taking on the

world from Hamilton, such as

Block Blue Light – a highly

successful ecommerce store

that sells their products in New

Zealand, Australia and UK.

And PressureBall – an innovative

tennis product that sells

to customers all around the

world.

Further Hamilton ecommerce

success stories include

Patney (the anti-snoring

pillow), Greenlea Butcher,

MotoX Parts, Powerhouse

Fitness, BuggyBoard NZ, and

many more.

Ecommerce does an amazing

job of removing barriers

to business growth. However,

having an ecommerce store

isn’t a guarantee of nationwide

expansion. One local shop I

spoke to has an ecommerce

store with over 1300 products

available, but gets very few

online sales.

The key comes down to

having the right online marketing

to put your product in front

of your ideal target market.

“Build it and they will come”

doesn’t work in ecommerce.

Once you have an online

store you need to use a combination

of digital marketing

methods to get hungry buyers

to your site. Depending on your

products and target market,

your digital marketing could

include Google Ads (search

ads, shopping ads, display),

SEO to get ranked highly in

search engines, Facebook and

Instagram ads, YouTube ads,

organic social media, email

campaigns and more.

The power of ecommerce

combined with the right digital

marketing mix is immense.

Especially with how measurable

results are online.

The online version of this

article on the Duoplus blog

will include a list of ecommerce

stores based in the

Waikato. If you run an ecommerce

store from here in the

Waikato, I’d love to include

you on the list. Just email me

at josh@duoplus.nz

Let’s continue to create

more amazing ecommerce

success stories!

What the zero carbon bill and carbon

neutrality mean for business

By RACHAEL GODDARD

Consensus on human-induced

climate change

is unequivocal. The

International Panel on Climate

Change (IPCC) states that 100

percent of global warming

over the past 60 years is predominantly

human caused.

Since the Kyoto Protocol

in 1997, atmospheric carbon

dioxide has risen from

364ppm to 417ppm. The current

rise in CO2 is at least 300

times faster than the combined

effect of natural processes

during the last ten thousand

years.

Scientists predict by the

end of the century that, if we

do not act now, forecasted

3-4°C temperature increases

will be devastating. For

New Zealand this will mean

increased drought, as evidenced

in Waikato with four

out of the last five years being

declared droughts. On farms,

dry matter production was

down by 20 percent over those

5 years. The Ministry for the

Environment (NZ) predict

that temperatures will be 1

degree higher within 25 years,

and that the length of time in

drought will increase. Spring

rainfall is likely to decrease

by 4 percent, whereas heavy

rainfall events are likely to

become more frequent.

There is consensus from

climate scientists that temperatures

must be stabilised

at 1.5°C. Globally, this means

halving greenhouse gas emissions

every decade from now

to approach net zero emissions

by 2050.

In 2019, the New Zealand

Government passed the Zero

Carbon Bill, a piece of legislation

which sets an ambitious

target: to reduce all greenhouse

gases (except biogenic

methane) to net zero by 2050,

and a reduction of between

24 percent and 47 percent of

methane emissions by 2050.

These targets are intended to

keep global warming to within

1.5°C by 2050.

Public sector and crown

entities in New Zealand are

now either being ‘encouraged’

or ‘directed’ to track, certify

and report on the greenhouse

gas emissions to achieve carbon

neutrality by 2025. For

example, the DHBs have to

measure, verify and report

their emissions annually, set

gross emissions reductions

targets with longer-term

reduction plans for the next

decade and, by December

2025, offset any remaining

emissions to achieve carbon

neutrality. Other requirements

include an immediate focus

on phasing out the largest and

most active coal boilers. Government

agencies are also now

required to purchase electric

vehicles and reduce the size

of their car fleet, and Green

standards are required for all

public sector buildings.

In addition, trail blazing

legislation from the Government

has rendered climate-related

disclosures mandatory

for 200 of New Zealand’s biggest

businesses by 2023.

It is likely that the Government

will adopt the Climate

Change Commission recommendations

(there were over

15,000 submissions on this),

which, amongst many things,

suggests that targets should be

strengthened and our international

agreements and commitments

(such as the UN

Climate Pledge and the Paris

Agreement, to limit our global

warming at 1.5°C) be revised

and improved.

Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern declared a climate

emergency last year and set

the target for 100 percent

renewable energy by 2035.

She confirmed that the Government

would be revising the

climate pledge this year, coupled

with a draft carbon budget

that sets targets for reduction.

The draft carbon budget

aims to ensure that New Zealand

will emit 5.6 percent less

greenhouse gases than it did

in 2018, each year from 2022

and 2025. Between 2026 and

2030 the target will jump to

14.7 percent for each year, and

25.9 percent for every year

between 2031 and 2035.

The cost of being carbon

neutral has been estimated

by the Commission at around

1 percent of projected GDP,

or $190m a year over the

next four years, $11.5 billion

($2.3b a year) over the following

five years and $21.5b

($4.3b a year) from 2030-35.

Another report by NZIER,

suggests it could cost $85

billion annually, 16% of projected

GDP, by 2050.

The cost of not doing anything

is predicted to be much

higher. In 2020, Deloitte

reported that inaction on climate

change could reduce

Australia’s economy by 6

percent, resulting in 880,000

fewer jobs by 2070, losing

A$3.4 trillion (NZ$3.6t) over

the next 50 years.

As these major and crucial

changes are implemented, it

is predicted that other sectors

will also be obliged to report,

track and offset their emissions.

Now is the time for all

businesses to start preparing

for these changes.

Deloitte Head of Strategy

and Sustainability Deborah

Lucas said, “companies which

Rachael Goddard

fail to deliver on climate

change commitments could

end up facing reputational

damage and lost sales”. She

also suggests that “companies

who don’t act proactively

could find themselves forced

to change by legislation and

regulation”.

So, what can businesses do

to prepare?

There are numerous tools

online that can assist, such as

the SBN climate action toolbox,

which is free. This can

help you understand the areas

you need to focus on and the

carbon calculators that you

can use to track greenhouse

gas emitting activities: travel,

waste, water, energy, accommodation,

hire cars, possibly

gases and freight. The next

step is to produce a plan or

strategy for setting targets

and reducing emissions. This

needs to involve and engage

staff and be embedded into

practices. Offsetting is not

mandatory at this stage, but

likely in the future.

In 2018, a survey by IAG

highlighted that climate

change was important to 79

percent of New Zealanders.

There is no doubt that this

is one of the most pressing

and challenging issues of our

time, and we will need to

adapt and act.

• Rachael Goddard is the

director of ECOES, which

specialises in sustainability

planning, mapping, frameworks,

and tracking greenhouse

gas emissions.


Vetro marks

eight months

Wine, cheese, nibbles - that was the tasty

fare with a Mediterrean flavour laid on by

locally owned specialty food store Vetro

Hamilton as it marked eight months of

business in its spacious Rostrevor Street

premises, with support from Hamilton

Central Business Association.

Co-owner Anna Greentree

outlined a five year

journey, starting when

she and her husband shifted

to Cambridge from Rotorua,

where there was a Vetro store.

“We were used to being

able to get lovely, obscure and

exciting ingredients.”

They saw a gap in the market,

reached out to the Napier-based

Vetro founder and

spent three years looking for a

building before finally clinching

their current site thanks

to Mike Neale of NAI Harcourts.

They are working with

local suppliers including the

Grumpy Baker, Red Cherry

and Red Kitchen, and are also

supplying some local cafes

and restaurants.

“And here we are, it's been

a really cool journey. Ever

since opening, we have very

much felt a part of the Hamilton

CBD,” Greentree said.

Mike Neale, Vanessa Williams and Sam Chatterjee

Vicky Redwood, Natalie Jessup and Andy Mannering Vicki Wallace, Graham Harkness and Andy Collins Anna Greentree and Jo Maxwell

505 Grey Street

Office

space for

Lease

High profile city fringe

modern office building

on Bridge St corner site

over 3 levels

Ground floor Office:

278m2 at $55.6k rent pa + opex

1st floor Office:

290m2 at $58k rent pa + opex

Basement Carparking:

9 parks + 3 on site at $35 pw

Ring your local agent or

owner on 0274742326


28 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

CONFERENCE AND EVENTS

Claudelands 10-year

re-opening anniversary

Hamilton’s showpiece event venue is turning 10.

Claudelands marks a decade of diversity in June, having hosted

international sports teams, some of the music industry’s biggest

names, as well as community events, corporate functions and

trade shows.

Sean Murray, Executive

Director of H3 – the division

of Hamilton City

Council responsible for management

of Claudelands – says

the venue and the staff who

manage the venue have built

on the rich history of the site,

welcoming close to 2.5 million

attendees through the door for

more than 2800 events over

those 10 years.

“We’re really proud of what

we’ve delivered at Claudelands

– from Bob Dylan and Ricky

Martin to international netball

and the Great New Zealand

Beer Festival – so I can confidently

say there really has

been something for everyone.

“And I think our community

would agree.”

Mr Murray says the wider

impact Claudelands has on

the city is significant: “The

events we host are huge

boosts for the local economy,

with guests staying in

nearby accommodation, dining

out in local eateries and

spending in shops.

That makes a big difference

to the city and regional

economy, keeping people

in jobs and contributing to

The extensive

transformation of

Claudelands has

given Hamilton

a diverse hub

for events. It has

evolved the Hamilton

events scene by

providing a space

with endless

opportunity and

versatility for event

organisers and

promoters.

making Hamilton a interesting

and lively city its residents are

proud of.”

The success of Claudelands

– and the commitment and

expertise of the H3 team –

have earned the venue several

industry accolades including

the Event Venues Association

Supreme Venue of the Year

and Large Venue of the Year

in 2014, and Large Venue of

the Year for 2019. It’s also

claimed a New Zealand Institute

of Architects Award for

the colour palette – a key feature

of Claudelands striking

exterior appearance.

Previously the city’s harness

racing venue, with an adjacent

basic hangar-like building

and stables, Claudelands has

been hosting events since the

late 1800s. The transformation

of Claudelands into the

modern multi-purpose events

space – comprising an arena,

conference and meeting rooms

and exhibition halls – began

in 2007 and took four years to

compete.

It was formally reopened in

June 2011 by then-Mayor Julie

Hardaker and hosted a public

open day for the community

to explore the new facility and

its features – with an estimated

12,000 people attending for a

sneak preview. An essential

element to the achievements

and uniqueness of Claudelands

is the people – past and present

– who have contributed to the

shaping and development of

Claudelands Events Centre.

“The H3 team has always

strived to make Claudelands

more than just a venue,” Mr

Murray says. “We’ve always

put a huge amount of effort

into being accommodating,

committed and affable to clients

and guests - and leaving

a lasting impression. The fact

we’re seeing a lot of returning

business and familiar

faces in the crowd shows us

we’re doing that.

“The extensive transformation

of Claudelands has

given Hamilton a diverse hub

for events. It has evolved the

Hamilton events scene by providing

a space with endless

opportunity and versatility for

event organisers and promoters,”

Mr Murray says.

Throughout the month of

June, you can hear more about

the achievements, milestones

and enter in 10-year anniversary

giveaways through the

Claudelands Facebook and

Instagram pages.

Home to Hamilton’s premier events venues

Contact us for all of your event needs w / h3group.co.nz


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

29

Sleepyhead construction

planned for 2023

Craig Turner

Construction is planned to start on the

Sleepyhead Estate factory in Ohinewai in

early 2023, with occupation mid-2024.

The application to

rezone 178 hectares

of rural land owned

by The Comfort Group at

Ohinewai was approved in

May by a Hearing Panel

appointed by the Waikato

District Council.

The Comfort Group is

Australasia’s largest bedding

and foam manufacturer, and

includes the Sleepyhead,

SleepMaker and Dunlop

Foams brands.

The Sleepyhead Estate is a

master-planned development

at Ohinewai which comprises

a $1.2 billion, 178-hectare

manufacturing hub and

residential community that

would create up to 2,600 jobs

in the area and provide up to

1100 new homes, over the

next 10 years.

The Comfort Group,

which has manufacturing

facilities at Avondale and

Otahuhu, will consolidate

and expand its operations at

the new Ohinewai site, which

is adjacent to both SH1 and

the North Island Main Trunk

Railway.

The company will also

develop a residential community

as part of the development

to provide housing

for the company’s staff, their

families, and other residents.

There will be more residential

land than is needed to

cater for Sleepyhead’s needs.

Comfort Group director

Craig Turner said the rezoning

decision was a major

milestone.

“We want to create a legacy

that will continue to add

long term value not only to

The Comfort Group but to

the part of Waikato District,

including Huntly, that we

have chosen to make the new

corporate home for The Comfort

Group after nine decades

in Auckland.”

The construction timeline

is dependent on earthworks

and the compaction

of the ground. Waikato

Regional Council is considering

whether to appeal the

rezoning decision, and has

We want to create

a legacy that will

continue to add long

term value not only to

The Comfort Group but

to the part of Waikato

District, including

Huntly, that we have

chosen to make the

new corporate home

for The Comfort Group

after nine decades in

Auckland.

until July 12 to appeal the

whole decision or part of

the decision.

Grants help boost economy

Waikato Regional

Council has

approved its first

grants from the regional

development fund, with a

combined total of $2.575 million

going to two different

projects. Hamilton-Waikato

Tourism on behalf of the

Waikato Screens project will

get $575,000 over a three year

period, and Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf

Wharf Ltd (ATSWL) will

receive $2 million.

Council Chair Russ Rimmington

said the projects

promised to deliver significant

economic benefits to the

region, including employment

opportunities.

An agreement will

be signed with Hamilton-Waikato

Tourism on

behalf of Waikato Screens

following decisions to award

the grant in a public-excluded

meeting at the end of April.

The one-off grant of

$575,000 will be distributed

over three years to build

capability as the Waikato’s

regional film office.

The goal is for the Waikato

Screens project to actively

promote the region as a place

to film, as well as to work

with the film industry scouting

shoot locations.

Councillors felt the benefits

of the investment would

be shared right across the

Waikato. Hamilton constituency

councillor Angela

Strange acknowledged the

work Waikato Screens had

done already to attract three

films to the region over the

past eight months.

“Imagine what more they

could do with our support.

I’m really excited by this proposal

and can see that it will

bring millions of dollars into

the region, create jobs for

locals as extras, and inspire

young people,” she said.

Taupō Rotorua constituency

councillor Kathy White

was pleased it would benefit

a number of industries across

the whole region. “Hospitality

in particular has been hit

hard by Covid-19 and this

would be a real boost in that

area,” she said.

As with the Ariki Tahi

Sugarloaf Wharf grant, there

will be conditions prior to

funding being released that

Waikato Screens will need to

meet, and further conditions

following years one and two.

The grant for the Waikato

Screens project is a capability

grant, so the additional

monitoring and partnership

approach over three years

offers all parties assurance

that the project will be supported

as it progresses.

Councillors heard that

growth of the marine farming

sector in the Coromandel

Peninsula is contingent on

appropriate wharf infrastructure

to bring product ashore.

The funding agreement to

be signed with ATSWL will

include a number of conditions,

including a requirement

that all consents are first

approved before the grant is

paid, as well as the setting of

performance expectations.

The expansion of Te

Ariki Tahi/Sugarloaf Wharf

will ensure the movement

and processing of product

through Thames-Coromandel

and other districts.

The activity is likely to

grow ancillary service industries

that are not in existence

now or are currently at a very

small scale, and often seasonal.

“Our council’s funding

will contribute to marine

farmers having more confidence

to invest in growing

their on-water operations,

rather than on the expansion

of the wharf,” Rimmington

said.

“The potential to change

lives, to boost the local and

regional economy through

this work, is the reason why

this council has committed

funds to it.”

Central government threw

their support behind the project

last year with nearly $20

million from the Provincial

Growth Fund.

The project to upgrade

the wharf at Te Kouma will

unlock approximately $822

million of economic benefit

over 35 years and is projected

to support 880 jobs.

Imagine what more

they could do with

our support. I’m

really excited by this

proposal and can

see that it will bring

millions of dollars

into the region,

create jobs for locals

as extras, and inspire

young people.

Purpose PR the

focus of awardwinning

agency

Hamilton-based public

relations agency

HMC was named the

winner of the BusinessDesk

PR Consultancy of the Year

in the small-to-medium category

at the Public Relations

Institute of New Zealand

(PRINZ) annual industry

awards.

The agency won the same

award in 2018.

HMC provides strategic

communications and digital

marketing services to companies

in a wide range of industries

from agriculture, dairy

genetics, real estate, medical

cannabis, skincare and more.

Director Heather Claycomb

says, “I’m so proud of

our team. We are small but

mighty and enjoy the privilege

of working with some

amazing clients across the

Waikato and New Zealand.

We are in our 17th year

and continue to grow from

strength to strength.”

The 2020/21 financial

year was the first full year

the public relations agency

operated as a social enterprise.

“Two years ago I decided

that 100 percent of profits

from my business would be

donated to my family charity,

All Good Ventures. What

this means is that HMC clients

not only receive excellent

PR services, they also

get to partner with us to ‘do

good’ in the world. Around

the office we’ve coined the

term for what we’re doing as

‘Purpose PR.’”

Claycomb’s family charity,

All Good Ventures, is

a registered New Zealand

The HMC team, from left, Heather Claycomb (director), Rosie Miller,

Kate Robinson and Antoinette Brandt (absent is Hariet Waffenschmidt).

charity that provides money,

mentorship and ‘muscle’ to

support budding social entrepreneurs

to start up businesses

for good.

New Zealand organisations

supported by the charity

over the past two years

include Morningside Urban

Market Garden by Grow

Space, Whistlebox, The Good

Karma Company, The Good

Fale, Whistlebox and One-

Day Health in Uganda. The

PRINZ awards are designed

to recognise outstanding

public relations work and

highlight the importance of

good communications across

every aspect of society.

The PRINZ Awards

gala dinner was held at the

end of May at The Aotea

Centre in Auckland.


30 WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

Imitation is the highest form of flattery

Copying can be a compliment but not when you’re in competition.

But it happens because trends naturally evolve. So, is looking to

your competitors acceptable or even advisable?

Since the earliest days of

retail stores and selling

services, businesses have

been taking on each other’s

ideas. This is undoubtedly

because they’ve seen how customers

have reacted to their

rivals’ marketing approaches,

with open wallets.

I can picture the Victorian

gentlemen’s outfitter admiring

new ornate golden swirls on

the signage on his competitor’s

window, then getting out

his paintbrush to do the same.

Or imagine being the first

business to have put up a sign

that wasn’t on the side of your

building, but down the street

instead? The first ever billboard

must have really turned

heads, but now look.

Forever, businesses have

studied their competitors’ marketing,

branding and advertising

and borrowed ideas.

We look at successful businesses

and try to identify what

they’re doing to be ahead of

the game. We look for inspiration

and to see what the next

trends will be.

Marketing and advertising

are more susceptible to the

follies of fashion than pretty

much any other business activity.

We don’t need to be experts

in human behaviour to know

that people are attracted to the

latest shiny new thing, the latest

humour or styling.

But equally, many businesses

face the dilemma of not

wanting to put off customers

who feel safer in their comfort

zone. We’re scared they won’t

love our brands so much if we

choose to tell our story differently.

That comfortable space is

not surprising. Many consumers

like the familiar. We often

don’t want to be challenged

and can be suspicious of the

maverick.

For example, for many

decades we expected a

reserved formality in how

banks and lawyers presented

their services to us. Imagine

how radical it must have been

to be the first legal firm not to

use a staunchly traditional copperplate-style

font, or a colour

other than dark blue or green?

A prospective client would

ask “Can I trust this firm with

something so important when

they look so different to the

others?”

In agency-land, a competitor

audit has long been a starting

point with any new client

brief, whether it’s coming up

with a new look or a marketing

campaign. But, if you’re planning

these things correctly, it

should never be to copy, but to

understand.

A bit of research can give

you a clearer picture of what

has appealed to customers

before, which is valuable, but it

can also tell you want to avoid

so as not be copying.

Even if those law firms of

TELLING YOUR STORY

> BY VICKI JONES

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

management consultancy. Email vicki@dugmorejones.co.nz

old were known for having

similar styles, for example,

nowadays it’s better to steer

clear of too much obvious

similarity, especially if there’s

only a few players in your marketplace.

If an established local

business like the one you’re

launching is known for having

red vans, have blue ones. Not

only is it just the right thing to

do, it’s your differentiator too.

It’s a busy, over-crowded

world in the design and marketing

stratosphere and it’s

hard to believe that there could

be anything new in it. Most of

what we see now is a slightly

differently nuanced version

of what’s gone before. When

you’re struggling to come up

with a creative idea that will

make your business stand out,

it can be incredibly disheartening.

Businesses we admire for

their branding, their creative

approach or their marketing

messages may attract us with

only subtle differences from

the rest of their competitors.

But even if it is those slight

nuances that make positive

connections with our customers,

for so many consumers

now these connections are

made as much by what businesses

say as by how they say

it.

Increasingly, consumers

make decisions around purpose

and values, with authenticity

being as much as a driver

for falling in love with a brand

as presentation and style.

Understanding your competitors

and keeping an eye

on how they are telling their

stories is still important, to

keep your finger on the pulse

of the environment in which

you operate. Looking at your

own business to understand the

heart of your own story is even

more valuable.

You can’t share your own

story authentically if you’re

not nurturing it, if you’re too

distracted by looking around

you and reactively following

trends.

The less you truly understand

your own brand story,

the harder it is to reflect it in

a way that your customers will

connect with. If you don’t,

your own competitors probably

won’t be giving you a

second thought.

Foster’s investment in leadership

is all about a better future

Leadership is recognised,

encouraged and celebrated

at the Foster

Group; strong leaders being

key to the Foster 100-year

vision for a sustainable and

resilient business. The group

is well invested in leadership

training, currently rolling out

a three-tier leadership programme

in collaboration with

Wintec.

THE THEORY BEHIND

THIS INITIATIVE IS TO

GROW AND DEVELOP

FUTURE LEADERS IN

ALL LEVELS OF OUR

BUSINESS, FORMING A

POSITIVE CONNECTION

BETWEEN OUR SENIOR

LEADERS AND THOSE

WHO ARE ON THE

LEADERSHIP LADDER.

They are also foundation

sponsors of the Community

and Enterprise Leadership

Foundation (CELF) enabling

6 senior leaders from Fosters

and 6 Waikato community

leaders to grow their leadership

capability.

Founded in 2019, Foster’s

Leadership Programme has

been modelled on the Fosters

values and leadership culture

– teaching future leaders ‘the

Foster way’ and providing

them with practical management

tools and a pathway to

leadership.

“The theory behind this initiative

is to grow and develop

future leaders in all levels of

our business, forming a positive

connection between our

senior leaders and those who

are on the leadership ladder”

says Foster COO Nigel Sun.

“In essence, we’re wanting to

ensure a total alliance around

what leadership means and

looks like.”

The group recently celebrated

the graduation of nine

leaders from their inaugural

Intermediate Leadership Programme.

Intermediate graduates

have been in leadership

roles for a minimum of four

years and represent different

parts of the business, including

Foster Construction, Foster

Maintain, site managers

and quantity surveying. Two

of this group were from the

Bay of Plenty and the rest

from the Waikato.

Foster’s Environmental,

Health, Safety and Regulatory

Co-ordinator Jade Walker

was rapt at being selected

for the leadership pathway.

“Selection means that management

holds you in high

regard and that meant a lot to

me” says Jade.

“Also, Nigel knows I have

aspirations to lead, and this

supports me in that journey.”

She adds that the course

was challenging but highly

beneficial.

“I find myself using the

tools in my daily work. I deal

with some difficult situations,

and it’s been so helpful to

adopt tactical ways to have the

difficult conversations.”

Fosters CFO Lee Patchett

reflects on his experience having

completed CELF’s Elevate

Leadership Programme

in conjunction with the University

of Waikato.

The programme was

specifically ‘designed for

Foster’s 2021 Future Leaders Programme participants. (Left to right )Dylan Pemberton, Dexter

Sutherland-Smith, Caz Marsh, Oliver Dent, Liam Cleland, Hendrix Pakoti, Jade Walker and Mitchell Sun

regional impact’ – harnessing

partnerships, nurturing

diversity and inclusion and

increasing regional prosperity

- CELF works with local leaders

to ‘reimagine a stronger

Waikato’.

“With CELF, you are

reminded of the need to lead

yourself, that is understanding

your own character and how

to apply your values, in order

to lead others” says Lee.

“It’s also an excellent

opportunity to connect with

other Waikato business and

community leaders.”


WAIKATO BUSINESS NEWS May/June 2021

31

Hamilton entrepreneur inspires youth

to follow cybersecurity career path

When more than 150 hackers descend on the Waikato in July for

the final competition of the University of Waikato’s Cyber Security

Challenge 2021, one young Hamilton-based entrepreneur will be

there to cheer them on and encourage them towards a career in

cybersecurity.

Ankita Dhakar, Managing

Director of Hamilton-based

SecurityLit,

who established her business

just 18 months ago, is passionate

about making cybersecurity

easy for businesses big or small

and positioning cybersecurity

as a rewarding job.

After moving to New Zealand

from India in 2015 Ankita

saw a gap in the market to provide

organisations with affordable

cybersecurity services.

Since then, she’s attracted nine

team members – based in New

Zealand, Hungary and India

– who support businesses all

around the world. SecurityLit

focuses on vulnerability assessment

and penetration testing

for mobile, web and network

applications. Ankita’s team has

extensive experience in testing

and finding vulnerabilities in

large corporate networks and

systems and help companies

fight cyber-attacks.

“The idea is that everyone

in cyberspace – big or small

– can operate confidently and

securely. A lot of small businesses

don’t have a budget for

IT security, so I wanted to start

educating small businesses and

start-ups about cyber security

threats and how they can protect

themselves as they are at

big risk,” says Ankita.

I am delighted to

be able to give

back by supporting

local businesses

and by getting

involved in this

exciting challenge

at the University of

Waikato.

Ankita says New Zealand is

facing a “cyber-pandemic”, because

of COVID-19, with more

businesses at risk following the

increase in cloud computing

and mobile technology use.

With 97 percent of businesses

in New Zealand small

and medium sized enterprises

(SMEs)*, and news that cyber-attacks

reached a record

high in 2020, statistics show 43

percent of cyber-attacks target

SMEs**. This not only results

in financial loss to businesses,

but also damages a company’s

reputation and impacts the

sector that makes a significant

contribution to the New Zealand

economy. Ankita is driven

to change this.

“We simplify cybersecurity

for businesses and look

at where their gaps are and

help them become hole-proof.

There’s a lot to be done in this

space – cybersecurity isn’t a

technology problem, it’s a human

one. To compete against

the army of hackers we need to

build an army of good ethical

hackers. So how do we build

that army? By promoting cybersecurity

awareness in the

community, by educating people

and by encouraging more

people to join this sector.”

Ankita, who is a finalist in

the entrepreneur category of

the Reseller News Women in

ICT Awards (WIICTA), with

Ankita Dhakar, Managing Director of Hamiltonbased

SecurityLit, has a dream to see the Waikato

become the Silicon Valley of New Zealand.

the winners set to be announced

on 8 July, has recently appointed

two interns at SecurityLit as

part of her drive to encourage

more people to consider cybersecurity

as a career path.

“If people choose a career in

cybersecurity they are contributing

to society. I want more

people to join the cyber security

industry and help SMEs

in New Zealand as there is a

serious skill shortage in this industry.

It’s a rewarding career,”

says Ankita.

Ankita moved to New Zealand

when she was just 22,

and while studying towards

her degree in business administration

and management, she

worked part time as a retail assistant

at Number One Shoes

in Auckland before working

in a variety of office and

administration roles.

“When I moved to New Zealand,

I knew no-one, I was driven

and determined to start my

own business. I moved to Hamilton

as I wanted to collaborate

with the University of Waikato,

which was the first university

in New Zealand to provide a

Masters Degree in Cyber Security.

I didn’t have many connections

when I first arrived,

but I’ve developed them, and

taken on some local clients,

as well as aligned myself with

groups in the community that I

feel passionate about supporting.”

Backing the University

of Waikato’s Cyber Security

Challenge 2021 (NZCSC’21)

as a Platinum Sponsor is another

way for Ankita and her team

to give back to the community.

SecurityLit has designed

challenges for the hackathon’s

Round 0 and Round 1 for high

school students, tertiary students

and industry members

from across New Zealand. The

competition is taking place this

month and the final two rounds

(rounds 1 and 2) will take

place at Waikato University

on 17 July.

“I’ve come a long way in six

years. I’ve gone from new arrival

in New Zealand to student

and shoe salesperson to business

owner. I’ve learnt so much

and the people of this country

have been so good to me,” says

Ankita.

“Now I am delighted to be

able to give back by supporting

local businesses and by

getting involved in this exciting

challenge at the University

of Waikato – giving back

to the Waikato community

is the least I can do. It is my

dream to see Waikato become

the Silicon Valley of New Zealand

and I am working hard

towards my dream.”

Website: www.securitylit.com

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Fosters want

their team to

succeed. They’ve

offered me

career security

by identifying

areas for me

to develop as

a leader in the

construction

industry.

Dexter Sutherland-Smith

4th Year Apprentice Carpenter

Why Dexter chooses to work at Fosters...

P we recognise his potential and offer

him a career pathway

P we are committed to developing our

people and promoting from within

P we provide our team with confidence that

they have a future at Fosters

If you value being

valued, join our

community.

fosters.co.nz/careers

P we empower our team to ‘dream big’

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