Waikato Business News June/July 2021


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


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From the editor

Kia ora.

At time of writing,

the Waikato DHB hack

story continues to rumble and

no doubt there will be further

fallout, some of it away from

the public gaze.

Then, in a reminder of the

dark forces massing, the story

broke of a worldwide attack,

seemingly by Russian-based

cybercriminals, using an IT

management software.

Yep, it might be time to

update your processes if you

haven’t already.

This month, not coincidentally,

I interviewed a young

man who was prompted by his

grandfather falling foul of a

scam to get into the cybersecurity


Bradley Whittal is a pleasant,

mild-mannered chap who

also happens to be a certified

ethical hacker. He couldn’t be

much more different from the

non-certified and definitely

non-ethical hackers who are

cruising out there, just beyond

the sightline of ordinary folk.

It was fascinating to hear

him talk about his job and

get a glimmering of a world I

know very little about. I was

most intrigued by the way in

which hackers try to flog passwords

on the dark web, seemingly

not for particularly big

money, with the purchaser then

using them to ferret out more

before, in turn, selling them

on. A family member reckons

we might as well assume

we’ve been hacked, and after

talking to Bradley I wonder if

he’s right. But shrugging your

shoulders won’t really work.

I asked Bradley for three tips

to stay safe (and afterwards

wondered why I didn’t ask for

five), the gist of his answers

being to apply cautious common

sense. Like picking up

a phone and checking an

email has come from the person

purporting to send it. The

PSR website could be a useful

starting point for anyone

wanting to know more (https://


Not everybody can win, and not everyone can

get second or third. But even just being a part

of it, and putting yourself in that playing field, I

think is just a really good thing to do.

HCBA general manager Vanessa Williams on entering

awards Page 4


Let’s assume it’s secure.

On a personal note, this will

be my last full issue of Waikato

Business News before I leave

for a job in mainstream media.

It has been an absolute pleasure

to have had three years

as editor, and to have met so

many enthusiastic business

people along the way.

I have tried to keep the job

simple and focus as much as

possible on the people at the

heart of the stories. An all-time

favourite was a story about

Margaret Wallace Clothing

Alterations as it notched up 50

years on the same floor of the

same central Hamilton building,

and which involved an

interview with the founder and

the current owner.

Two other remarkable

women who come to mind

were Matamata-based Julie

Caldwell and Julie Blackwell,

who invented the Kitcal, a tablet

to help seniors stay independent

and connected. Probably

the biggest single thing

the role has shown me is how

connected and supportive the

Waikato business world is.

It is a great strength, and has

been particularly important

during a time shadowed by

Covid. I have been fortunate

to have experienced that kind

of support from my own colleagues

as well, and want to

say how much I have appreciated

it. I am also, of course,

grateful to have been given

the opportunity by our owner,

Deidre Morris.

I remain in the editor’s

seat until later in July, but the

next issue will come out after

I have left. I believe Waikato

Business News has an important

role to play in the business

community and wish my successor

all the best. Hopefully,

I will continue seeing some of

you around the traps.

Ngā mihi nui

Richard Walker

“ But to be honest, I guess for

me, the key thing is to keep

as much manufacturing as

possible in New Zealand. Keep

helping farmers - that has

been our key thing.”


Deidre Morris

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 228 8442

Email: deidre@dpmedia.co.nz


Richard Walker

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 814 2914

Email: richard@dpmedia.co.nz


Olivia McGovern

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Email: olivia@dpmedia.co.nz


Please contact:



Joanne Poole

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: (021) 507 991

Email: joanne@dpmedia.co.nz

Penny McNicol

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: (021) 090 52601

Email: penny@dpmedia.co.nz




News releases/Photos/Letters:





“ It’s really exciting to be able to go out and

see businesses for what they are and what a

wonderful business community we’ve got here.”





Waikato Business Awards chief judge Heather Connolly Page 12 Page 13



25 Ward Street, Hamilton

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


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Waikato confident

Waikato households were the

most confident in the country

by a large margin over the

June quarter, according to the

quarterly Westpac McDermott

Miller Regional Economic

Confidence survey. “The region’s

manufacturing and construction

industries are charging ahead.

Underpinning those sectors are

the hot housing market, as well

as the strong agriculture sector,”

said Westpac’s acting chief

economist Michael Gordon.

Comp for

female founders

Soda Inc is searching for

ambitious female entrepreneurs

from around New Zealand to

apply for its new seed grant

competition. Rise Up is targeted

at Kiwi female entrepreneurs

regardless of their age,

where they live or how much

business experience they have.

Applications close on 30 July,

with five finalists going to a

final pitch night on 25 August.

Runners-up will receive one-onone

mentoring and the winner

will receive $10,000 cash.


Support needed

A Waikato-Bay of Plenty

organisation running groups

catering for autistic people aged

five to 25 is seeking help and

assistance so it can support

the groups effectively. Enrich+

works alongside those living

with disabilities, autism or

neurodiversity, their whānau and

community.Chief executive Karen

Scott said its Enrich+ autism

group programme has offered

small group sessions for several

years. They have been running

at a shortfall of about $15 per

person, per session. There

are several ways individuals

and organisations can support

the autism groups. These are

available on the Enrich+ website

under About.

Interim chair appointed

Wellington independent

director Karen Coutts has been

appointed the Hamilton-based

Life Unlimited Charitable Trust

interim chair from July 1. She

will lead a new organisation, the

result of a merger between two

disability trusts, AccessAbility

and Life Unlimited.

Waipā CFO wins

Waipā District Council’s finance

manager Sarah Davies took

out the Emerging Financial

Manager of the Year at the New

Zealand CFO Awards. Davies

was one of three finalists in

the category which recognises

finance talent of professionals

under the age of 40 years who

have demonstrated outstanding

finance leadership.

Culinary event

Culinary Cambridge will run

from 15-19 September, aiming

to highlight the abundance and

variety of local produce, and

the talent of local chefs. This

year’s programme includes an

opening night at The Henley

hotel, degustation menus, a

mixology session, Italian long

lunches, farm and winery

tours, and a worm farming

workshop. https://www.


Vanessa Williams: “Awards are a really good time for

you to look at your business and see what you're doing.”

Celebrating the central city

Win or lose, awards are good for

businesses, providing an invaluable

opportunity to pause and take stock.

Think of them as a

health check, says

Vanessa Williams,

general manager of

Hamilton Central Business


“By being able to

look at your business,

to wrap it up for an

award, you can see how

it's working, or if there

are things that can be

improved, or efficiencies

that can be made,”

she says.

While Williams has

her own upcoming CBD

Celebration Awards to

promote, she supports

the concept generally,

including those run by

the Chamber and Property


“I genuinely believe

people should enter

awards. I'm a huge advocate

for them, I think

awards are a really good

time for you to look at

your business and see

what you're doing.”

It is, she says,

a time when people can

reinvigorate their passion

for business.

“I would assume that every

business owner should be

wanting to make their business

stand out from their competitors.

So when they're looking

at awards, they're having

to tell that story of, why they

are the best they can be, and if

they don't have a compelling

enough story, why not? And

what could they change?

“You know, not everybody

can win, and not everyone can

get second or third. But even

just being a part of it, and putting

yourself in that playing

field, I think is just a really

good thing to do.”

Hamilton’s CBD awards

open for entries on July 16

and are open until August

30, with judging to follow

through September and the

awards evening being held on

October 20.

Williams, who loves a big

reveal, isn’t quite ready to

announce this year’s venue,

but says it will have two useful

elements. “We've basically

locked in a venue that

has power and running water,

which is exciting, because it'll

be the first time we've ever

done that!”

Previous awards nights

have all included a strong element

of theatre while showcasing

the city in different

ways, from the former Hamilton

Hotel, where Williams

read out a message from the

Queen, to last year’s transparent

marquee on the river bank.

“It was a really tough act

to follow from last year. So

rather than trying to compete,

we're going very different.

Let's just say that we are suitably

wowed by the commercial

development that's happening

in the city.”

Categories include retail,

hospo and service along with

development of commercial

spaces, social media and

social responsibility.

“We're very mindful of

businesses looking at their

social responsibility, whether

that's around sustainable business,

green business, giving

back to the community. There

are some wonderful stories

out there of what different

businesses are doing to be

part of their communities, and

When street changes are trialled

Hamilton City

Council’s trial

of closing Rostrevor

Street and changes

to Ward Street have provoked

plenty of comment.

Waikato Business

News asked Vanessa

Williams for her take.

Rostrevor Street

I think that Rostrevor

Street being on that

western town belt, I

can definitely see that

as a backyard for a lot

of residential living.

Really creating those

green spaces, I think is

imperative. Does that

particular street disrupt

that green space?

There’s probably a few

streets that disrupt that

green space a little bit.

I think there's potential to

look at temporary closures of

that street. To me, I personally

would like to see investigation

into - and this is what

I understand the trials are

about - let's have it open for

commuters Monday to Friday.

Maybe let's close it Saturday,

Sunday. That's where I think

that these trials can be useful.

And maybe it's not weekend,

maybe it's just when there's

events on. I do know that

Rostrevor Street does support

commuters with parking

and with that driving. I think

that often things are looked at

as these permanent solutions

that are 24/7, and they don't

have to be.

That whole area does

require a lot in terms of amenity.

I'm very mindful that it

doesn't have that amenity yet

- toilets, tables and chairs. It

hasn't had that investment yet

to make it as usable as possible.

I think a lot more could

be made of it - you know,

could there be a skatepark put

over there? I would say yes,

I'd love to see an inner city

skatepark. I think they work

incredibly well in well-populated,

busy central cities. And

that could be a real drawcard.

Whatever is decided with

Founders - and can it be

decided quickly? - to me, it

lends itself to creating more of

that backyard space. I would

love to see some really well

thought out green space with

leisure activity in there.

Ward Street

I think a lot was tried on Ward

they're worthy of being told

and recognised. And so we

are hoping to see some really

good stories come out in that


“We have a lot of awards

because we've got that full

breadth of everybody that's

involved in being in the

CBD,” Williams says. “We

want people to come to the

awards night and be part of

celebrating the central city.

So, win or lose, you still get

to be a part of celebrating all

of that with everybody.”

As for the central city itself,

Williams says the high-profile

builds rapidly taking shape

bring credibility to the city

for organisations that might

be thinking of shifting their

head office. “These big builds

do symbolise that coming of


With that critical mass

comes boosts to hospo and

retail, particularly the independents.

She cites the “cool

mix” of predominantly independent

businesses on Barton

Street, and also points

to Alexandra Street, which

includes a cluster of Asian

food shops.

“That's one that I just find

absolutely fascinating. It's

really cool. Because it gets a

Street. So there was a lot of

disruption - cycle lanes have

been tried, changing traffic

flows have been tried, reduced

parking has been tried. It's

a lot in one trial. It's quite

visually confusing. I personally

would have liked to have

seen a lot less done and maybe

staged up on the trial, rather

than full impact at the beginning

and then stage it down.

It's a very difficult street

as well, because it is a traffic

flow street. It is a really busy

street. You've got so much

happening. It wouldn't have

been the street I picked to trial

those things.

There are business implications

for Ward Street,

some of them positive, but

unfortunately, there are some

negative implications

I get people are wanting

nightlife that's quite different

to a pub-club nightlife - which

again, we need that too - but

then you get this community

that comes down, it's not a

drinking community, it's very

much a social community

but quite late. And whether

they're going to the cake shop,

the bubble tea shop, the dessert

shop, there is a real buzz

down there.

We want people to

come to the awards

night and be part

of celebrating the

central city. So, win

or lose, you still

get to be a part of

celebrating all of

that with everybody.

“And I think that that's

what central cities create

spaces for.”

She credits Boon Street

Festival with helping create a

variety of spaces.

“So we get these different

looks, different visuals,

and different places of

interest. I think that that will

continue to grow.”

to see streets used in different

ways and that's been the

feedback, but we have public

spaces. I'm not sure that we

needed to take over a street

with that element.

I also do have to say that on

the car parking side, no place

has enough car parking, and

we don't have enough streets

for car parking. So I'm reluctant

to want to take it away

while we haven't worked

through what we're replacing

it with.

I think the concept of

doing a trial is a good one to

inform future decision making.

And this has probably

been a huge learning curve.

So there will be lessons

learned, there will be things

that went well, things that

didn't go well, feedback that

was received, all of that. So

I would imagine that going

forward, if there are more

trials, that they will just get

better and better.

World looks to Kiwi

thought leadership

New Zealand’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic created massive

interest in Kiwi thought leadership and brought many Kiwis home.



New Zealand led the

world in the fight

against COVID-19

with a hard and fast lockdown

that, for the most part, kept the

virus out of the community.

“It caused massive renewed

interest in New Zealand,” said

Hillfarrance Venture Capital

founder and managing partner

Rob Vickery.

Vickery established his

venture capital fund in Hamilton

last year, after a decade

in the highly competitive US

market. Waikato software specialist

Company-X is investing

in Hillfarrance’s $40 million

venture capital fund.

“The brain gain we’ve

experienced of entrepreneurs

coming back are building new

businesses and pitching them

for money from people like

me. That’s exactly what we

need, otherwise, they would

be doing that in San Francisco,

London or Sydney.”

“This market is on fire,”

Vickery said. “I have never

seen so many entrepreneurs in

one spot.”

The Waikato is the locus of


“I have seen founders coming

to me with much bolder

ideas, more risk-taking. It’s

cool, and I feel like the Number

eight wire mentality is

metamorphosing within this

new group of returning Kiwis.

“The Number eight wire

is going to just change into

something which is more

about being frugal with

what you’ve got but being

more audacious and more

creative with the solutions

you create.”

This market is on

fire, I have never

seen so many

entrepreneurs in

one spot.

The tech sector is the third

largest export for New Zealand,

according to NZTech,

accounting for $8.7 billion

dollars of exports. It drives

eight per cent of New Zealand’s

Gross Domestic Product

(GDP), a major contributor

to this economy and to this

country. Company-X is one

example of how the tech sector

is changing, as Rod Vickery


“It’s interesting how

important New Zealand has

become to the tech sector, but

also how important technology

has become to New Zealand,”

Vickery continued.

“I was chatting with Microsoft

about their driver for

opening three data centres in

New Zealand. It’s down to

the fact that there’s something

interesting going on in the

market here. It’s an untapped

treasure box. It’s largely

undiscovered. Even though

it’s still important to our economy,

it’s still unknown.”

Vickery said he appreciated

the technical capability

held by the University of

Waikato’s Computer Science

Department and the skills it is

passing on to students.

“The University of Waikato

produces graduates who are

pursuing ideas in the worlds

of artificial intelligence and

machine learning and this is

a major focus of our fund,”

Vickery said.

“They are going to come

up with some really cool


The University of Waikato

is renowned for producing

world-leading technologists,

including Google Maps creator

Dr Craig Nevill-Manning

and co-founder of Google

DeepMind Dr Shane Legg.

“New Zealand needs to

think about how we cultivate

more technical talent


Capital founder and managing partner Rob Vickery.

within our universities that

aren’t corralled into building

a start-up within a university,

but instead get those skills

and offer them to employers.

The only reason why Los

Angeles grew so fast as a tech

community is because we had

the University of California,

Los Angeles (UCLA), the

University of Southern California

(USC), and California

State University, Northridge.”

Vickery said it is better to

have tried and failed than not

tried at all and Kiwis returning

home after a decade or

more bring that psychology

with them.

Vickery said it was vital

founders were freed from the

shackles of excessive governance

and given unbridled

permission to pursue bold,

moonshot ideas that succeed,

fail, or fail fast in a capital-efficient

way. Figures supplied

to Vickery by Waikato law

firm Tompkins Wake showed

onshore domestic investment

into Kiwi start-ups had flatlined

to around $80,000 over

the last 14 years, while offshore

investment was about

$4.3 million.

“We’ve got to make

that void and fill it more

with domestic money,”

Vickery said.


‘So much potential

in social enterprise’

Business is one of the best vehicles to unleash the creativity

needed for change, a Waikato impact leader told a Hamilton


Impact Hub Waikato

co-founder and director

Nanise Ginnen said the

current state of capitalism has

created some major problems

socially and environmentally.

“But on the flip side of that,

it has also driven some amazing

innovation and creativity.

At heart, I firmly believe that

business is one of the best vehicles

for us to achieve change.

“And I think that's probably

at the core of what

motivates me.”

Ginnen was a panel member

at the Vision 2020 event,

held at the Meteor, and focused

on change in a post-Covid


Ginnen said she has been

involved in the Hub’s work,

not only in its central Hamilton

co-working space, but also in

the wider Waikato region and

her home town, Tokoroa.

“We've done a little bit of

work there with entrepreneurs

and I'm really looking forward

to the next phase of that development.

“I think there's so much

potential in social enterprise,

but I do think, as a community

of people - I mean everyone

in this room I think are interested

in social enterprise - we

could be doing more to pull us

together and think about some

of the ways that we could be

collaborating to make a bigger


Fellow panellist Harvey

Brookes, executive director of

the Waikato Wellbeing Project,

voiced a similar sentiment.

“To be human is to be entrepreneurial,

and is to be creative.

It's just who we are. And

so I just can't see that going

away. The question is, in what

direction do we harness that?

“I just want to help create a

system where that innovation

and that entrepreneurship can

be directed in a way which is

better for us and better for the

planet and better for people.”

He said his concern was

with finding root causes - “getting

down underneath the iceberg

and saying, ‘what's really

going on here?’

“And I think, if we do that,

as well as growing this amazing

innovation ecosystem, then

we have every chance of a better


Ezra Hirawani, founder of

Nau Mai Ra - “New Zealand's

first kaupapa Maori power

company” - said his firm’s

goal is to alleviate or eliminate

energy hardship.

He said it is wrong that

electricity is traded as a commodity.

“I don't think anyone

should have the ability, or the

power to deny a mother the

ability to feed a family. I just

think that that's wrong.”

He said the company was

driven by “the three Ts: our

tupuna, our tangata and our


“We believe that money

follows good ideas. And that if

you focus on your idea, then all

that other stuff will just come.

“There's people that are out

there that we didn't know were

out there that struggle to have

efficient energy to heat their

homes. And so what we take

for granted other people have

to fight for. So I'd love to work

with everyone in the spirit of

manaakitanga to eliminate

some of those social inequities

that are created through commercial


The fourth member of the

panel, Hamilton City Council

head of procurement Igor

Magud, said wellbeing was

core to his organisation’s

approach. “This is really about

connecting - connecting the

supply side and demand side.

If we're the ones that have

the demand, for me, a huge

component of my job is to

increase the accessibility.

Audience members are all attention

Harvey Brookes and Nanise Ginnen

“I really hope to improve

the visibility of what we need,

making sure that our community

has an option to see that,

and to be able to respond to it.”

Impact Hub Waikato is

a part of a worldwide network

focused on building

entrepreneurial communities

for impact.

The event featured a keynote

presentation via video

linkup from Impact Hub

Global executive director

Gabriela Gandel.

Vision 2030 is a quarterly

event series organised

by Impact Hub Waikato and

aimed at bringing together

thought leaders, practitioners

and experts, to search for

potential barriers, opportunities

for collaboration and

means to accelerate.

Flat as... Jet Charge denied .nz domain name

Domain name complaints

involving .nz domains

have become something

of a rare beast. In 2011, eleven

decisions were issued under the

.nz Dispute Resolution Service

Policy (DRSP). So far this year,

only one has been issued. The

decision is an interesting one,

however, and serves as a timely

reminder to businesses to futureproof

their domain name rights.

The subject domain name

was jetcharge.co.nz. The parties

to the complaint were Jet

Charge Pty Ltd and a Mr Russell

Shepherd, an Australian resident.

More about them shortly.

Under the .nz DRSP, a complainant

has to establish two

things: first, that it has rights in

respect of a name or mark which

is identical or similar to the subject

domain name; and, second,

that the subject domain name, in

the hands of the registrant, is an

“unfair registration”.

A complainant can demonstrate

‘rights’ in a name or mark

by presenting sufficient evidence

of use of a name or mark

or evidence of a registered trade

mark. An “unfair registration”

means a registration which ‘was

registered or otherwise acquired

in a manner which, at the time



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

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

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

when the registration or acquisition

took place, took unfair

advantage of or was unfairly

detrimental to [a complainant’s

rights]’, or ‘a registration which

has been, or is likely to be, used

in a manner which took unfair

advantage of or was unfairly

detrimental to [a complainant’s


The DRSP contains examples

of what might constitute an

unfair registration: two examples

are registering a domain

name to stop a rights holder

from registering it (i.e. a ‘blocking’

registration), and registering

a domain name primarily for the

purpose of unfairly disrupting

the business of a rights holder.

These two examples featured in

the jetcharge.co.nz decision.

Back to the story: the complainant,

Jet Charge Pty Ltd,

was/is an Australian company

incorporated in June 2014

providing installation, servicing

and delivery services for

electric car charging stations

in Australia under and by reference

to the trade mark JET

CHARGE. Jet Charge also

provides charging stations and

accessories, and associated firmware

and software for charging

electric cars using the JET

CHARGE mark. Its website is at


Jet Charge owns New Zealand

trade mark registration no.

1131753 which covers the trade

mark JET CHARGE in classes

9, 37 and 42. The application for

the mark was filed with IPONZ

on 7 October 2019 and claimed

priority back to 27 May 2019.

The goods and services of the

registration reflect Jet Charge’s

business as described.

The respondent was Russell

Shepherd, an Australian resident

associated with a direct competitor

to Jet Charge in Australia

called EVolution Australia.

Mr Shepherd registered

jetcharge.co.nz on 16 July 2017

- approximately two years

before the priority date of Jet

Charge’s New Zealand trade

mark registration. Mr Shepherd

claimed he had “interests, business

operations and premises”

in New Zealand and intended

“to make use of the Domain

Name for the purposes of further

extending his business interests

in New Zealand”.

Between June 2019 and

May 2020, Jet Charge tried

unsuccessfully to persuade Mr

Shepherd to transfer the registration

to it. Having failed,

Jet Charge filed the domain

name complaint.

Before the Expert, Jet Charge

contended that it had registered

and unregistered rights in the

jetcharge.co.nz domain name,

and that Mr Shepherd’s registration

was ‘unfair’ because he

did not have any “legitimate

interest in, or use for, the registration

or use of the words “Jet

Charge” either as a trade mark

or a domain name”, because

he registered the domain name

to disrupt Jet Charge’s business,

and because his retention

of the domain name, despite

requests to cancel or transfer

it to Jet Charge, meant he was

using it as a blocking registration.

(Jet Charge also contended

that a temporary re-direction of

jetcharge.co.nz to evolutionaustralia.com.au

was ‘very likely

to confuse, mislead or deceive

people’ but this argument is

not relevant to the point of

this article.)

In reply, Mr Shepherd

pointed out the two years

between registration of the

domain name and Jet Charge’s

trade mark in New Zealand,

and asserted, among other

things, that:

(a) The complaint was “an

opportunistic attempt

[by Jet Charge] to obtain

the domain name by

force which demonstrates

poor planning and

a sense of entitlement by

[Jet Charge]”; and

(b) That having “…“a (belated)

trade mark” and desires

to extend its business

operation into New Zealand

should not give [Jet Charge]

a right to the JET CHARGE

name in [New Zealand].

Applying the DRSP to the evidence,

the Expert found that

Jet Charge had rights in JET

CHARGE New Zealand by virtue

of its trade mark registration;

however, the Expert did not find

that Jet Charge had unregistered

rights – i.e. it had reputation and

goodwill – in JET CHARGE

in New Zealand before or after

the domain name was registered

because it had failed to file “any

meaningful evidence” supporting

its assertion of rights.

Even though it had rights

in JET CHARGE, the Expert

found that Mr Shepherd’s registration

– and continued registration

– of jetcharge.co.nz was not

‘unfair’. The reasons why again

came down to evidence – or

rather the lack of it. Jet Charge

failed to prove that when Mr

Shepherd registered the domain

name, Jet Charge had any rights

in the JET CHARGE trade

mark in New Zealand. It also

failed to prove that, when he

registered the domain name, Mr

Shepherd had any knowledge

of Jet Charge’s future plans for

expansion into New Zealand.

Jet Charge also failed to prove

it had an interest in using the

JET CHARGE mark in New


The domain name is not currently

being used by Mr Shepherd

or EVolution Australia. If

Mr Shepherd decides to use it in

the future, however, Jet Charge

could lodge another complaint

in an effort to retrieve it. For

now, though, Jet Stream must

find another domain to use.

The crucial lesson for businesses

to take home from this

article is that – as Mr Shepherd’s

comments highlighted – if the

future expansion of your business

potentially requires you

to register a domain name in

another country, take whatever

steps are necessary as soon as

possible to register that domain

name. Such steps might include

obtaining a trade mark registration

in a country of interest,

even if it is unlikely you will use

that trade mark in that country

for a few years.

If the future

expansion of your

business potentially

requires you to

register a domain

name in another

country, take

whatever steps are

necessary as soon as

possible to register

that domain name.

(The other lesson is that if

you are going to make a complaint

under the DRSP, make

sure you file enough of the right









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Thinking of selling your

commercial property ?

It is on a daily basis that we are now

being approached by owners pondering

the “should we be selling” question

and therefore wanting to know about

maximising value.

Two important factors:

Is there anything an owner can do that

will assist with maximising its value?

a) presentation

b) lease terms

c) documentation

Presentation is always an important factor,

particularly for investors. Often that

first impression can be critical in maintaining

or increasing a potential purchaser’s

interest. This can be from replacing

stained ceiling tiles to toilet hardware, to

outside weed removal or replacing rusted/

leaking gutters. A well-presented property

suggests to a purchaser that there are

unlikely to be future issues, the tenant is

happy and it should be relatively easy to

re-lease in the future. A poorly maintained

property suggests just the opposite, that

the obvious deferred maintenance may

just be the tip of the iceberg.

If you have a lease in place there may

be the need to carry out an upcoming rent

review or get certainty around an impending

lease renewal. The majority of purchasers

will base their value consideration

on what the property is actually returning,

not on what it might return – and certainty

on a lease renewal is incredibly important

for passive investors, who currently make

up the majority of purchasers. Conversely

if a tenant confirms that they will not be

taking up a right of renewal, this will then

clearly attract either owner-occupiers, or


Get your documentation in place. The

first question a bank is going to ask a

potential purchaser, is to confirm its earthquake

strength status. A report can often

take some time to be completed, as qualified

structural engineers are currently in

hot demand.

As part of any marketing campaign,

the vendor should supply a LIM. This

allows for any issues that may be highlighted,

to be dealt with early and potentially

rectified – anything from a Code

Compliance Certificate not being issued,

to a BWoF showing as lapsed.

Just as uncertainty can be an

owner’s adversary, certainty is

equally a purchaser’s friend.

What is the best method of selling to

maximise its value?

Every property will be different, but one

thing is for sure – a property needs to be

openly marketed and the element of competition

will be crucial in maximising its

Mike Neale - Managing Director,

NAI Harcourts Hamilton.

value. I often hear “we have a valuation,

so that must be what it’s worth?” - not

necessarily true, a registered valuation is

an opinion on value based on recent comparable

sales, often undertaken for a bank

or financing purposes. As we often say, it

actually doesn’t matter what an agent or

valuer’s opinion of value is, the market is

the only true determiner of a property’s

value – having been marketed widely and

with competition. Our job as marketing

agents is to provide good credible advice

around how we may work together to

maximise that value.

There are essentially four recognised

methods of marketing and selling - all

have different principles that will potentially

vary depending on the property and

circumstances. This could include a combination

of the location, lease terms, price

bracket, seismic rating and tenure of the


• Fixed Price

• Auction

• Tender

• Deadline Sale

It is increasingly important to provide a

deadline in which potential purchasers

must act, so as to drive urgency from


The biggest risk for a vendor? Selling

without seeing what the open market will

pay. I personally have sold several properties

in recent years and without doubt,

the marketing and competition was my


Remember – you only have one

opportunity to put your property

on the market for the first time.

Covid has led many people to reassess

their lives - and also their property holdings.

Genuine vendors are now considering

making selling decisions, due to a

wide variety of reasons. I have always

held the belief that every vendor deserves

to have the opportunity to maximise the

price that the market is willing to pay.

Vacancy rates remains low, demand for

commercial property remains high, bank

lending and deposit rates are at historic

lows, so what better time to consider the

question around selling?

How to halt

the hackers

The bad news is there’s a good chance

you’ve already been hacked, even if you

don’t know it.

And if you haven’t, it may

only be a matter of time

until you are.

Just ask the Waikato DHB,

victim of a ransomware attack

that had massive ramifications

for the organisation’s operations.

If they can’t keep the hackers

out, who can?

That breach appears to have

been as simple as someone

downloading something from an

email that they shouldn’t - something

that will be making many

wince in sympathy.

The good news is most people

reading this will be minnows

compared to the DHB whale,

and therefore of less interest to

the really big sharks cruising out


And there are simple things

you can do to minimise the risk

- up to and including buying

cyber liability insurance.

Take it from Bradley Whittal,

a Waikato cyber security expert

who manages to sound simultaneously

reassuring and alarming

in a matter of fact way while

describing what sounds a lot like

the wild west.

“The thing is, no matter who

you are, or what business you

have, it's just a matter of time

before you're hacked. If somebody

really wants to hack you,

nothing's going to stop them.”

Clearly, that includes the

DHB and while Whittal is

wary of forming a judgment

(“I'll wait for them to come out

with the finding”), he thinks

their use of physical servers is


The DHB hack has, not surprisingly,

been good for business.

Inquiries to DI Solutions,

Bradley Whittal focuses on educating staff about cyber safety.

which he founded three years

ago, jumped sixfold in the wake

of the attack.

Whittal, who is a certified

ethical hacker, provides a service

ranging from cyber security

education to ferreting out details

that may be up for sale on the

dark web. He also works with

the insurance industry to check

client vulnerability.

DI Solutions offers dark

web monitoring, looking

for any credentials that may

be exposed, and pairs that

with phishing training and


That could, for instance, see

them sending scam emails to

employees posing as their boss

or trying to deposit money into

the owner’s account. They then

educate staff where they might

have gone wrong. They also

offer ongoing support, including

making sure a firm’s antivirus is

working correctly.

“With security, it's not like

building a wall - you know,

you build the wall, and you

forget about it. Because the

online world is always changing,

so there's maintenance,”

Whittal says.

Every morning, the first thing

he does is run a check of each of

their clients, who range from

law firms to tradies and cafes.

“If you’ve got a computer, you

are vulnerable.”

Whittal, who started on this

path after his grandfather was

scammed, says the cyber security

industry is picked to grow

by 73 percent this year in New


He thinks Covid-19 has

amplified the growth, with “a

lot more people” trying to hack

information at what he describes

as the beginner level. “We call

them script kiddies, because

they're using somebody else's

program to try and hack somebody.”

DI Solutions’ distinctive

approach is to focus on educating

their clients. “Your end user,

at the end of the day, is the weakest


He says the US stats show 70

percent of all SME businesses

have already been hacked and

don't know about it. That could

mean their passwords are out

there or a list of emails is up for

sale on the dark web.

And so it goes. Someone

signs up for an online service,

with their email address and

a password; the service gets

hacked and the person’s password

and email address are


“That list then is sold on the

dark web, which your everyday

user doesn't see. And then

that's when people go, ‘I'll buy

1000-odd passwords’. And they

go through the list and try and

get into somebody's account,

and then steal information from

them and sell it on the dark web.

And, you know, the process goes

on and on.”

Whittal says an email

address and a password can sell

for anywhere between US$1 and

US$8, depending on the size of

the business.

He is able to detect if an

encrypted password has been

cracked, and points out it’s an

easier fix if the person uses a different

password for each service.

US stats also show 39 percent

of people use the same or

similar password, meaning a

successful hacker can then log

into any of their online services.

Ransom demands are one risk,

but there is also potential loss

if clients’ details are being

shared with competitors. Even

in the IT game, Whittal says,

he gets contacted by people

offering to sell lists of people’s


“If people do get emailed

lists, or called about a list, they

shouldn't be buying, because

they probably have been

acquired illegally.”

NAI Harcourts Hamilton

Monarch Commercial Ltd MREINZ Licensed

Agent REAA 2008

Cnr Victoria & London Streets, HAMILTON

07 850 5252 | hamilton@naiharcourts.co.nz



Stay safe

Regulatory changes in December

include the requirement for

anyone who has been hacked

to notify Cert NZ or face a

potential $10,000 fine and also

introduced requirements, called

PSR, for businesses to follow

around what to do with client

data and how to encrypt it.

Waikato Business News asked

Bradley Whittal for three top

tips for business owners to keep

themselves safe from cyber

attacks. He highly recommends

getting a password manager -

one password which unlocks

the others. Firstly, he says, that

means you only have to remember

one password. “Secondly,

you then have a directory of

your passwords. So if something

is compromised, you can

then search for that compromised


“Second would be setting

up second factor authentication,

via either Google Authenticator

or via text notification.”

That means when logging into

to your email account, you get

a text with six digits as part of

logging in. “If your password

for your email, for example,

was breached, they would then

be stuck there, they don't have

access to that six digit code. Or

you use Google Authenticator,

where the passwords reset

every 30 seconds.”

The third tip is simplicity

itself. Whittal says if someone

sends a request for payment,

make sure it is coming

from the right email address.

“Just phone them. It takes

two minutes; phone to make

sure that It is them.”



Craig Turner says The Comfort

Group want to build a community

Earthworks underway at Ohinewai

The digging has started at The Comfort Group’s Ohinewai site,

signalling the start of an ambitious $1 billion-plus infrastructure


The Sleepyhead Estate,

which will include a

bedding foam factory

and up to 1100 homes, has

won planning permission, with

resource consents to be considered

under a Covid recovery

fast track process.

“We are there, we are starting,

we’re not just talking any

more,” Comfort Group director

Craig Turner told a Waikato


“That is 130 truck and

trailers a day currently, 3000

tonnes of rock a day, and we'll

finish the first part in August.

And that's before we build our

main factory.”

The base for the new

Sleepyhead factory will be 4

metres thick, and sit 2 metres

above the floodplain by the

time it is finished. “We struck

sand, peat, water, everything

known to man underneath the


Building the 65,000 sq m

factory is due to start in March

next year and take about four

years to complete.

“Those of you around here

probably know the APL glassworks

down at Cambridge.

We're making ours just that

much bigger,” Turner quipped

to the audience at the event

organised by Waikato Chamber

of Commerce and hosted

by Wintec.

Turner said Waikato has

been welcoming as the company

shifts operations out

of Auckland, where it faced

capacity issues and where the

council was difficult to deal

with as the Group cast around

for fresh sites.

“We're glad to get out of

Auckland, they've treated us

badly. We've had a good time

there over the years, but they

don't want us anymore and

made it really hard for us,” he


“People know that Auckland's

had its day, and really,

where else do you go?”

He said they engaged with

the regional council, district

council and iwi before they

bought the farmland, in a process

that started three years

ago. “They were all incredibly

supportive. And I have to

say the District Council and

[mayor] Allan Sanson and his

team have been unbelievable.”

Turner said Sanson saw

that Huntly needed help, and

the jobs Sleepyhead brought

would be key.

Ohinewai was settled on

because they wanted a site

within an hour of Auckland

so people could drive if they

wanted to, and they needed

roading and rail infrastructure,

with all inward goods coming

in through the port of Auckland

and their exports leaving

through the port of Tauranga.

Settlements north of Ohinewai

were ruled out for various reasons,

while south of the settlement

the road and rail lines


We know the region

needs to provide

more housing but

it’s really important

we are building

quality and enduring


Although they won rezoning

approval in May, Waikato

Regional Council and Waka

Kotahi are appealing aspects

of the decision. Council chair

Russ Rimmington said in a

statement they have always

recognised the positives that

will flow from the proposal,

and welcome the creation of

jobs in the region.

“Our appeal seeks to ensure

that, in tandem with job creation,

we are ensuring quality

communities are also being

created,” he said.

“We know the region needs

to provide more housing but

it’s really important we are

building quality and enduring


The specific provisions of

the decision where the council

is looking for changes include

management of flood risks,

public transport and car dependency,

accessibility and urban

form, and water and wastewater


Building community was

also a feature of Turner’s presentation.

“The big thing for

us is to get the housing and the

social aspects, the social community

aspects, of this whole

project together. To do that you

need to create a community.

And that's actually what we

stand for. Because seriously,

if we can't get the community

going, Sleepyhead actually

won't be able to do what it


Turner said he and his

brother had studied German

examples as a model for community

building. “It's well

known that if you mix the

socioeconomic groups up, you

lift everyone's level, you actually

even lift the high ones up

as well.”

They will be bringing lessons

from their Auckland operation,

where they asked staff

about their lifestyles and motivations.

“Interesting thing: our

business has been around for

I think we're coming up to 86

years, and actually never asked

the question, which is appalling

I know. But you kind of

build beds, you get staff. And

that's how it's always worked.

That actually is no longer


He said they found staff

needed help to run their lives

because they were spending

their pay week to week on living

expenses with no chance of


“And so if you think about

a lot of people in our business

- and since we've been investigating

this we've been finding

it happening in a number of

businesses - that the people

come into our business with

nothing, they start with nothing,

and effectively go out with


“And that, ladies and

gentlemen, is socially unacceptable.

I'm actually quite

ashamed that we've ended up

in that way, not only from our

business, but also as a country,

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 we find that acceptable.”

The 1100 houses are more

than Sleepyhead needs for its

staff, so will be available for

others as well, and the number

was arrived at because

scope was needed to build a

community. The intention is to

get the houses under $500,000,

to make them affordable for

workers, Turner said. Comfort

Group is working with banks

on options including shared

equity and lease to own. Criteria

for Sleepyhead staff will

be based not on length of service

but on elements like attendance

and attitude, he said.

It’s an open question how

many of their Auckland staff

will move with them. Turner

said 10 years ago they shifted

their Melbourne operation an

hour and 20 minute drive, and

lost all their staff.

“We’re expecting to lose

quite a chunk of our people.

That’s inevitable. Planning for

that actually is the big thing.”

He said they are focusing on

getting training programmes in

place before building so they

can train up local people.

“This is us and the region

working together. We can't

do it without the region, the

region needs us, we need the


That included using

Waikato firms as much as

possible. “Our absolute goal

is to bring as much money

to the Waikato as we possibly

can,” he said. “You’re

going to have to be competitive,

but the opportunity

is definitely there.”



Business in

the Waikato

is strong

The recent Waikato Chamber

of Commerce quarterly

business confidence survey

has confirmed that business

is very good for the majority

of companies at the moment,

although anecdotally many

company leaders are wary

of Government reforms and

Covid-19 shocks.

The recent Wellington issue will only

reaffirm that.

Given the influence of the

farming sector on the Waikato economy,

it was great to see a booming Fieldays.

So often the barometer of agriculture

in New Zealand, it was great to see the

quality and quantity of outstanding exhibitors

and to see the public get out to

Mystery Creek in droves.

With any increase in

economic activity the

key to success is having

quality people. They are the

backbone of all successful


The quarterly business confidence

survey revealed 78 percent of our member

respondents see the next six months

will be at least the same or better than

the previous six months. A similar number

saw the opening of the bubble with

Australia and the Pacific as positive for

their businesses.

With 59 percent of respondents intending

to hire in the next three months

you would have thought this bodes well

for our economy and our companies.

However, 75 percent saw significant

skill shortages in their sectors and 81.5

By Don Good, CEO of Waikato

Chamber of Commerce.

percent were experiencing a shortage in

high-skilled workers.

But there are storm clouds on the

horizon. With any increase in economic

activity the key to success is having quality

people. They are the backbone of all

successful companies. It is concerning

when we hear of difficulties in recruiting,

as a lack of staff could stifle the boom in

demand many companies are experiencing.

Poaching staff from local competitors

is rife in some industries. It has been an

issue in the vertical and horizontal construction

industries for several years, but

it is becoming a real issue across a range

of sectors. Whilst a bubble with Australia

is generally seen as a positive, there is

a downside. With a booming Australian

economy that is generally paying higher

wages our companies are in tough competition

for good talent.

The brain drain to Australia is already

being felt and we note that even in the service

industries such as law and accounting,

Australian recruiters are already here

looking for good talent and offering excellent


In this environment some firms may be

just going for warm bodies not exceptional

people. Good people are hard to find

but remember to get the right people on

your bus. Some would advise you to go

without employing until you find the right

one. One who fits and lifts your team.

Easy to say and very difficult to do in this


It will get harder before it gets better,

but few companies regret recruiting

quality people.

Maxine van Oosten, Barry Harris, Paula Southgate and Jason Dawson

Claudelands Arena

gains key sponsor

Claudelands Events Centre marked its 10th anniversary by

announcing a major naming rights sponsorship.

The 6000-seat

Claudelands Arena will

become Globox Arena

in September. The agreement

means local digital billboard

company Globox holds the

naming rights to Claudelands

Arena for at least five years,

with the option to extend the

arrangement for another five

years in 2026.

The well-attended occasion

also featured Hero awards

being given to long-standing

partners Montana

Food and Events Catering

and Hobbiton.

Sean Murray, Hamilton

City Council’s general manager

of venues, tourism and

major events, said Claudelands

operates as a joint commercial

Peter Stark accepts the Hero award for

Montana Food and Events Catering

and community facility in a

highly competitive world.

“This facility is one of a

kind in New Zealand. It's the

only kind of facility that has

arena, major conferencing

space, major exhibition space

and incredible grounds outside,

all in one location. And

that is really what sets us apart

from most other venues.”

Mayor Paula Southgate

alluded to past criticism about

the cost to council of running


“To make positive change,

organisations like ours must

be bold and willing to make

long term and sometimes controversial

decisions. That's

our job. And thank goodness

10 years ago, the city did just

that. So I honor those people

who had the courage to

put a line in the sand about

Claudelands’ investment; it

may not have been easy, but

we now know that it was the

right thing to do.”

She also spoke about the

role Claudelands had during

Covid-19 lockdown. “During

those tumultuous weeks,

Hamilton City Council and

Montana Foods and Events

prepared thousands of food

parcels of frozen meals for

people who needed them

most. The commercial kitchens

which of course are top

notch, pumped out hundreds

of meals every day, with food

provided at cost by Montana,

for which we're very grateful.”

Geoff Taylor and Pippa Mahood

Standing room only

Sean Murray

Globox’s Sally Nicholson and Allan Nicholson

Hobbiton’s Shayne Forrest and Russell

Alexander accept their Hero award

Amy van Garderen, Andy

Boulton and Sue Esselbrugge



Lively debate at immigration

seminar highlights labour

constraints on business growth

Demand by skilled talent offshore to

enter New Zealand is at an “all-time”

high with the company having more

than 100,000 skilled candidates waiting

for border restrictions to loosen.

Almost 200 Waikato businesses concerned by recent Government

moves to accredit employers of migrant labour attended a seminar

last month hosted by Hamilton-based immigration specialists New

Zealand Shores.

The seminar, relating to

specific immigration

issues top of mind to

Waikato businesses, was held

at Zealong Estate in Gordonton,

and attracted a gamut of

employers from large organisations

employing over 40

migrants to businesses reliant

on a couple of workers.

Also in attendance were

Immigration New Zealand

managers, representatives

from Ministry of Social

Development, and Labour

MP Jamie Strange.

The lively question-and-answer


highlighted the desperate

position of businesses struggling

to retain and attract

skilled migrant labour.

New Zealand Shores

owner Allan Crome says

demand by skilled talent offshore

to enter New Zealand

is at an “all-time” high with

the company having more

than 100,000 skilled candidates

waiting for border

restrictions to loosen.

At the same time, he

says, business leaders inside

New Zealand have a skills

shortage so pernicious that

employers are poaching one

another’s labour resources.

The trend is expected to

continue as the minimum

salary threshold for employer-supported

visa applications

keeps increasing;

migrant workers opt to go for

employers who are willing

to pay the extra dollar that

will enable supporting a longer-term

visa or a residence


Business development

manager Grant Coombes

is finding the connection

between skilled workers and

employers is as critical as

ever. Employers are connecting

now with offshore

skilled workers so they can

act quickly when border

restrictions are relaxed.

Complicating the situation

is the looming November 1

deadline which introduces

mandatory Immigration New

Zealand accreditation for

employers. This will impact

more than 25,000 employers

across the country.

The changes in legislation,

coming during the pandemic-skewing

of the labour

supply, risks creating a bottleneck,

says Crome.

“What’s more, skilled

migrants currently working

in New Zealand are increasingly

asking their employers

if they are accredited.

Migrants are well aware of

the changes taking place.

“We find the number one

concern of migrant workers

is asking the question ‘is

my employer accredited?’”

Crome says.

The changes have

employers taking action now,

says Coombes. New Zealand

Shores is currently working

with an increasing number

of employers to ensure a

smooth transition to accreditation.

“Getting accreditation

done early,” says Coombes

“must be the key strategy to

be adopted by businesses to

retain and attract a migrant

work force.”

The coming changes in

visa structure will see six

types of employer-led work

visas merge to a single

accredited employer work


“It is the biggest change

Members of the New Zealand Shores team, from left: licensed immigration adviser Fabien

Maisonneuve, director and licensed immigration adviser Allan Crome, licensed immigration

adviser Charlotte Natusch Stockman and business development manager Grant Coombes.

in Immigration New Zealand

policy in recent times,” notes

Crome. “INZ will be assessing

employers across a range

of business practices before

granting accreditation. Failure

to gain accreditation

could be catastrophic for

businesses reliant on migrant

labour as migrants, in most

cases, can’t lodge visa applications

unless their current

or prospective employer has


As one of the country’s

top immigration consultancies,

New Zealand Shores is

well placed, says Crome, to

get businesses accredited and

to facilitate connections with

skilled labour both on and off


Employers are welcome

to give the team at New Zealand

Shores a call for a no-obligation

free accreditation





Retain your staff.

Recruit talent.

Become accredited.

Be ready.


07 929 2280



A dedicated team of Licensed

Immigration Advisers

at your service


8 highly skilled Licensed Immigration Advisers


Friendly, professional and personalised service


Complete management of the accreditation



Extensive reach to offshore skilled staff


Business awards launched with new sponsor

Businesses have been urged to enter

this year’s Waikato Business Awards at a

launch hosted at the headquarters of new

main sponsor Foster Group.

Fosters took on the role

after Westpac relinquished

its naming rights

sponsorship. CEO Leonard

Gardner said the board’s decision

to support the Waikato

Chamber of Commerce awards

was “a no-brainer”.

“We've got a purpose of

great communities through

strong foundations. If we

want to make the community

great we need to encourage

and support and inspire business,”

he told the 90 people in


“It's actually all about supporting

the business community

and supporting the work

of the Chamber.”

He said Foster Construction

won the Supreme Award in

2017, during a time when the

Group was looking to engage

more with the wider community,

and entering the awards

contributed to that. “It was

a fantastic process, nowhere

near as long and arduous as I

thought it would be.”

Chief judge Heather Connolly,

of Waikato University,

said entering was as easy as

answering a handful of questions

online, with the emphasis

on telling a “cool story”

with evidence, followed by

judges’ visits.

“So why should you enter?

Well, one, as judges, we are

there to support you and not to

criticise you. We are there to

actually try and get you to tell

us about what's exciting about

your business. What you do

that's different from everybody

else. What cool ideas have

your staff come up with? What

ways are you tackling problems

differently? And we are

there to listen to what you're


At the end of the process,

a business gets the judges’

feedback. “And that feedback

is: ‘this is what you're doing

great, this is where we think

you've got some great opportunities

to expand your business’.

Because it's about you,

it's about how you can move

your organisation forward. It's

about celebrating what you're

actually doing, as well.”

Connolly said there were

24 to 25 judges this year, 11 of

whom were new. “I'm excited

about constantly bringing new

people through and allowing

them to experience our businesses.

“It's really exciting to be

able to go out and see businesses

for what they are and

what a wonderful business

community we've got here.”

Chief Judge Heather Connolly

Ewan Wilson, Steve Gow and Tim Macindoe

Fosters CEO Leonard Gardner

Kelly Parker

Janet Watkins, Michelle Hopkins and Jan Thomson

Sandeep Sidhu and Tracee Hanssen with Waikato

Business NewsBusiness Development Manager

Penny McNicol and director Deidre Morris

The crowd gathers in Fosters’ lobby

Anna Clausen and Debbie Steffert

Hannah Porter and Richard Porter, with newborn Madeline

Procuta Associates

Urban + Architecture

07 839 6521




SpringArm co-founders Ric and Marianne Awburn with, back row, friends and supporters Paul Vossen and Amber Western.

Fieldays winner solves

age-old problem

The future of farming is high-tech. Collars

that remotely control where stock graze.

Satellite imagery downloaded to a phone

for farmers to measure pasture cover.

The Internet of Things

making extraordinary

amounts of data available,

including early notification

of water leaks.

Then again, the future of

farming is low-tech. There’s

still a place for old-fashioned,

knock it together in the shed,

problem solving. Like this

year’s winner of the Fieldays

prototype award.

The SpringArm is not quite

a number eight wire solution,

but it’s close.

Waikato dairy farmer Ric

Awburn came up with the idea

when watching his thirsty herd

guzzling at a water trough following

the afternoon milking.

It was his routine particularly

during hot summer

months, when jostling cows

would often break the ballcock

arm as they drained the

trough. Awburn would wait till

they had finished and fix the

arm before heading back to the

house. Autumn was similar, as

cows became thirsty after eating

the dry matter they were

fed out.

It was a wearying ritual.

Until, in February 2019,

Awburn had the thought: what

if the arm could flex?

Back home, he hacksawed

a ballcock arm in two,

grabbed a spring from one of

the kids’ bike stands, drilled

some holes, fitted the spring

between the two lengths of rod

- and solved a problem that

had dogged farmers everywhere

for ages.

So began a DIY adventure

for Awburn and his wife

Maryanne that has taken in

everything from high-powered

meetings with patent lawyers

to figuring out how to use Instagram.

First, they had to work out

a failsafe design. A friend up

the road from where they live

south of Te Awamutu had a

workshop, and they started

using his welding equipment.

Trial and error took them only

so far.

The trouble is, Maryanne

says, you can’t weld a spring

if it is going to keep its flexibility.

They shelved the idea

for a while.

That was when a friend of

a friend put them onto a guy,

the aptly named Doug Hope,

from A-Line Sheetmetals in


“We got brainstorming

around, how can we do this

differently so that it'll last, and

he took us to that next level,”

says Maryanne Awburn, who

is director of SpringArm Products.

Hope had cut-through with

manufacturers. The Awburns

were also talking to family

and friends for feedback.

Within six months, Maryanne

says, they had a good idea of

what was needed, and started

trialling the springarms successfully

in their own troughs,

while also developing the

design so it could fit a variety

of valves.

They’ve filed a provisional

patent application in New Zealand,

and are now looking to

file overseas. It has been, she

says, a steep learning curve

- all done while they worked

day jobs, in Ric’s case as a

farm manager and for Maryanne

in the education field.

A former high school science

teacher, she has recently

started a position with the Primary

ITO as a training adviser.

Fieldays, returning to

Mystery Creek with a well

attended event this year after

going virtual because of Covid

last year, has been an important

step along the way for the

startup business. Not only did

their win come with a $10,000

prize but feedback from visitors

to the innovations area

showed them they were on the

right track.

Their dairy farm solution

proved to have wider application.

Horses, they were told,

tend to grab the ball or arm in

their mouth and play with it,

while deer splash around in

the trough. Bulls, meanwhile,

break the arms by being rough,

and young stock can also damage

them through playfulness.

“It was such a confidence

boost to have all that positive


It helped that, as Maryanne

says, the product is easy to

understand. The elevator pitch

she had been told she would

need for the judges proved


The win itself was unexpected.

“On the night of the award,

they were talking a lot about

how the field had been incredibly

heavily influenced by

technology. And so, yeah, it

was totally left field when they

announced us. We had to do a

double take and look at each

other, like, ‘oh SpringArm,

that is us isn't it?’”

Fieldays has “pretty much”

done their marketing, though

Maryanne is also active on

Facebook and says visitors to

their Fieldays stand had often

already seen them via their

social media presence.

“I think that's where we're

probably lucky that the farming

community is such a close

knit community. You don't

have to use a lot of different

channels to get your message

out there.”

Close knit in more ways

than one, with their graphic

designer being a fellow mum

at their kids’ school and their

website designer coming

through a recommendation

from their Te Awamutu-based


Their IP lawyers are Hamilton

based and the rods are

being made by A-Line Sheetmetal

while, the springs are

being made by National

Springs and Wire Products in

I guess for me,

the key thing is

to keep as much

manufacturing as

possible in New

Zealand. Keep

helping farmers -

that has been our

key thing. Obviously,

we'd like to earn a

bit of money in the

process. But for us,

it's been a huge

help for our mental

health, basically;

we're able to go on

summer holiday,

without having

everything fall to

pieces, because of

this product.

Auckland - leaving Ric to put

them together in the couple’s

home workshop.

That may be about to

change, with sales due to start

soon and the couple getting

quotes from manufacturers as

they try to build up a stockpile.

Maryanne’s biggest fear is

not being able to keep up with

demand, which is why they’ve

held back on sales until now.

Feedback from Fieldays

sees them also looking at

further variations to the product.

“We've got a few ideas

in the pipeline. So there may

be more coming, and it may

develop a bit.

“But to be honest, I guess

for me, the key thing is to

keep as much manufacturing

as possible in New Zealand.

Keep helping farmers - that

has been our key thing. Obviously,

we'd like to earn a bit of

money in the process. But for

us, it's been a huge help for our

mental health, basically; we're

able to go on summer holiday,

without having everything fall

to pieces, because of this product.

“So if we can do that for

other people that would just

be gold.”

• The crowds flocked to

Fieldays this year, with

132,776 people through the



There’s no shortage of great ideas in New Zealand.

But for an innovative bunch, we’re not the best at

realising the full potential of our innovations, particularly

when exporting them.

At James & Wells, we can identify your competitive

edge, offer business strategies for specific markets and

help you own and leverage your intellectual property to

ensure no one steals the fruit of your labour.

www.jaws.co.nz | +64 7 957 5660


NZ Labour skills shortages

don’t need to be like

Game of Thrones!

Time for a Garden

Place coalition

In previous articles we have commented

that, with the border closed, the availability

of skilled workers would become a growing

business challenge.

We have also previously

reiterated the

importance of staff

retention and employers getting

alongside their existing migrant

workers to truly understand

their immigration situations and

to implement a long-term immigration

solution. In the current

uncertain immigration landscape,

undertaking a Pathways

Immigration Audit can quickly

assess a migrant worker’s situation

and identify possible

solutions, without breaking the

bank. Even after doing everything

possible to retain your

existing staff, with the border

effectively closed, businesses

face head-hunting themselves

or having their team members

poached by their competitors to

satisfy the skill shortages being


But is the border really


It has been possible for critical

health workers and their families

to gain border entry. The

Government has also approved

border exceptions for particular

cohorts of workers – and last

month approved exceptions for

some dairy farm workers, veterinarians

and agricultural machine

operators. Further exceptions for

groups of specific workers are

possible if the relevant industry

bodies can successfully lobby

the Government.

But there are also “other

critical workers” who can be

approved for a border exception.

These are workers who either

have unique experience and

technical or specialist skills that

are not readily obtainable in New

Zealand OR who are required to

undertake a time-critical role in

an approved major infrastructure

project or in a role that will bring

significant wider benefit to the

national or regional economy.

Pathways has been successful

with border exception

requests for a number of these

other critical workers. While it

may appear on the surface that

this threshold should be relatively

straightforward to meet,

it is anything but so! Determining

what constitutes “unique”

experience, and how this is

evidenced, is often the major

challenge. The fact that a person’s

skills may be pivotal or

vitally important to the business

does not make their experience

unique. What is required is very

Richard Howard

highly specialised experience

and/or training, or a combination

of experience, that can be

promoted as being unique.

Evidence that the requisite

skills are not readily available

in New Zealand is best achieved

by historical and ongoing

recruitment endeavours, and in

this regard, it is helpful to use a

recruitment company that specialises

in the particular industry/role.

Other key considerations

include the critical nature

of the worker’s role, the urgency,

expected outcomes, and the economic

and other benefits of the

work that the applicant will be

contributing to, and the impact

if that worker cannot come. The

threshold is very high but this is

still a possible option to fill that

much needed and very critical

skills shortage. So while it may

feel that working with Immigration

New Zealand is similar to

playing a character in a Game

of Thrones episode, it doesn’t

have to be that way; if you need

an ally to help in this labour

market battle, Let’s Talk



Antanas Procuta is Principal Architect at Hamilton-based PAUA,

Procuta Associates Urban + Architecture

When I walk through Garden Place, an irksome feeling

resurrects in me that somehow Garden Place seems incomplete,

unresolved, and even unsure of itself, awaiting another political

kickstart of courage to edge closer to an - as yet - undefined


Some of the irk is that there

are way too few exciting

shops or eateries at its

perimeter to draw me in, nor a

pavement-wide set of diners at

tables. Some irk is that there

is no sense of anticipation or

delight on arriving at Garden

Place as one might hope on

coming to a town’s heart. In

many towns and cities around

the world the city square would

be the key meeting place to

catch up with friends or colleagues,

to shop or to eat, or for

simply the buzz of being at an

urban heart.

Garden Place, once a hill,

has a Māori and colonial story

well-documented by Waikato

Museum online, and with the

more recent history vividly

played in Michael Switzer’s

“One Hill of a Fight”. Garden

Place has had periods of good

success as an unpretentious

lawn and fountain pool piazza,

bound by minor roadways and

street-front shopping. A number

of interventions since, however,

has fragmented the simplicity

the piazza once had.

In 2008 Hamilton City

Council actively set about to

rectify the muddle Garden Place

had become, and - with substantial

and worthwhile input from

a good handful of urban design,

retail and engineering experts

- council prepared the “Hamilton

City Heart Revitalisation

Project”. The ‘project’ was a

comprehensive plan for a set of

significant changes to enhance

the public space. The pleasing

and perhaps surprising thing is

that council actually effected

a good number of those, and

Garden Place is much better for

those changes already. These

changes included; moving the

underground carpark entrance

away from Alexandra Street

to Anglesea Street, removing

the road-blocking concrete

speakers’ podium, reconnecting

Alexandra Street to Worley

Place with a shared pedestrian

zone, and installing the popular

waterspout court. Garden Place

is now occupied with an array

of features, themes and environments.

The council seems,

however, to have shied away

from completing the original

mission. Other than replacement

street furniture and new

plantings, there appears nothing

in Hamilton City’s recent

“Central City Transformation

Plan 2021-2051” to further the

work at Garden Place, and while

the Long Term Plan has identified

$200,000 for CBD Design

Guidelines, this is unfunded.

The enhancement of Garden

Place planned in 2008 has

halted, incomplete. Nonetheless,

this may not be a bad thing.

Looking at great piazzas and

town squares around the world,

the success of such public

places is much, much less about

arranging features and activities

within the squares, and much,

much more about a bold, strongly-structured,


edge to the public space. For

examples, St Peter’s Square at

the Vatican, Venice’s Piazza San

Marco, Piazza del Campo in

Sienna and Civic Square in Wellington,

are virtually devoid of

features within the squares. It is

instead the nature of the perimeter

architecture framing the

squares that give the character

and sense of enclosure, in a way

as a city-sized ‘outside room’.

Piazza del Campadoglio in Rome

This implies for Hamilton,

that the buildings that surround

and in essence ‘create’ Garden

Place require some sense of

order, purpose, and cohesion

in their architecture, with an

accompanying vision, design

guidelines, and incentives set

in place. There are, of course,

many worldwide examples of

such a collective vision and

implementation, such as in

Amsterdam, and Telč in the

Czech Republic.

For a project of this nature

- that involves both the public

and private realm - a masterful

coalition is required, of the

private property owners, the

central business association,

property representative groups

and council to work constructively

together; and not for their

own immediate good, but for

the good of the town, its people

and visitors. Yes, ultimately, the

benefit will come back to themselves

in the town centre profile

and the rents that are grown.

The least that Hamilton city

and property leaders can do to

remotivate a vision for Garden

Place is to spend a quarter of an

hour to view Alain de Botton’s

recipe for an attractive city, and

to understand the importance

and the permission - once a plan

is in place - to implement it over

time to create Garden Place as a

satisfying place for the people

and identity of Hamilton.

Level 2

586 Victoria Street

Hamilton 3204

Level 3

50 Manners Street

Wellington 6011

07 834 9222



Piazza del Campo in Siena



Activewear startup

makes its mark

A Tokoroa mother’s love for the game

of touch has given rise to an inclusive

activewear brand.

Ashleigh Hawera

founded After Hours

in 2017 with no previous

business experience, and

worked outside of her day job

for over four years to grow the

hobby into a self-sustaining

business. As team manager for

iconic Tokorora touch team the

Mezcarz, Hawera used to film

some of the best game highlights

and tries to promote the

team on Youtube. In its 25-year

history, the team has claimed

the title of national Māori

The After Hours activewear came from a Tokoroa woman’s love of sport

touch champions in the mixed

division multiple times.

The videos proved a success

but fans in Tokoroa were less

interested in the tries. The distinctive

white team uniforms

captured all the attention.

“My partner and I were

heavily involved in the team,

and because it was so successful

in local competitions,

we had the idea to design our

own uniforms that we could

sell,” Hawera says. “Everyone

wanted the singlets and gear;

we were overwhelmed with


She made the decision to

begin designing her own range

– inclusive clothes that would

help women of all sizes feel

comfortable working out, the

sort of clothing she would want

to wear herself. With no experience

or mentor, she conducted

her own research for suppliers

and designed an entire range in

her own time after her shifts at

the plywood mill in Tokoroa.

With its range of high

waisted tights and matching

sports bras, After Hours is

now a self-sustaining business.

Hawera attends some of

the largest fitness expos in the

Ashleigh Hawera, her sister Renee

McConnon and niece Cassidy McConnon

My partner and

I were heavily

involved in the team,

and because it was

so successful in

local competitions,

we had the idea

to design our own

uniforms that we

could sell.

country, meeting likeminded

female-run small businesses

that support one another.

“We now attend around six

expos a year,” she says. “It’s

our main way to get the brand

out there. We always sell out

of all sizes – we have such a

wide range of customers loving

our stuff, from crossfitters

to women just looking for

something comfy to wear. I

love meeting the other ladies

who run small businesses, it’s

a great network of support.”

Operating from her home

in Tokoroa, Hawera hopes to

continue growing her online

store, and is about to launch a

new range.

Wintec earns

gold standard

Wintec is the first

workplace in the

Waikato to be

awarded Gold Standard

WorkWell Accreditation, having

demonstrated all the successful

components of a sustained

health and wellbeing


The award is the result of a

three-year journey with Workwell.

Wintec partnered with

the WorkWell wellbeing programme

in 2017, launching

the partnership with a series

of wellbeing expos and delivering

on agreed wellbeing

goals. Wintec was assessed by

WorkWell through staff feedback,

evidence and site visits.

Confirming the award,

WorkWell assessor Suha

Wahab congratulated Wintec

on being “the first Waikato

workplace to achieve Gold

Standard WorkWell Accreditation”.

“Wintec is definitely functioning

the way we would

hope to see a Gold Standard

workplace support staff wellbeing

at this level.”

Wintec chief executive

David Christiansen says a key

area of focus has been regular

communication with staff,

driven by Wintec’s People

and Culture team.

“As a place where people

work and learn, we have a big

responsibility to embed and

sustain a safe, healthy and

positive workplace, and this

accreditation acknowledges

that our staff and their wellness

is valued here at Wintec,”

Christiansen says.

“Working towards better

wellbeing and acknowledging

diversity and inclusion

is ongoing mahi. It’s a twoway

process and a work in

progress, and while, yes I

am thrilled we achieved this

milestone, it’s important we

continue on this journey,

and listening and actively

responding to staff is a big

part of that.”

Christiansen also acknowledged

the challenges of last

year where Wintec teaching

and learning went online,

often in challenging situations

because of Covid-19 alert

level changes.

Wintec is the first workplace in the Waikato to be awarded Gold Standard WorkWell Accreditation.

Regional events get funding


total of 15 events from

the Waikato, Rotorua,

Taupō and Ruapehu

regions will receive $1.6 million

funding from the Thermal

Explorer Regional Events


The selected events are a

mixture of new and existing

and include business, sport,

culture and exhibitions, and

will be hosted across the four

regions of Waikato, Rotorua,

Taupō and Ruapehu.

In total, the events are predicted

to attract over 120,000

attendees, with two-thirds

being visitors from outside

the host region. Some events

have three-year funding

agreements, others received

one-year investment to boost

their development.

Nicola Greenwell, lead

entity for the Thermal

Explorer Event Investment

Panel at Hamilton & Waikato

Tourism, said the eight-member

panel were pleased to allocate

the first round of event


“The panel has representatives

from the four regions

and spent many hours on

evaluations, assessments, due

diligence, discussions and

have made some tough decisions.

We are excited for the

opportunity that the funding

presents to support a range of

events being delivered over

the next four years in our

regions,” said Greenwell.

“The Thermal Explorer

Regional Events Fund Panel

received 82 Expressions of

Interest – with half of the

applications for new events

and over $16 million applied

for. Of these 82 applications,

22 were shortlisted for phase

two which involved individual

presentations to the panel.”

The $3.75m Thermal

Explorer Regional Events

Fund is part of the $50 million

Regional Events Fund

announced by the New Zealand

Government in September

2020 as a result of

COVID-19. The purpose of

the fund is to stimulate domestic

tourism and travel between

regions through hosting of

events, which is intended

to replace expenditure from

international tourists.

The contestable fund will

be utilised to focus on developing,

securing or enhancing

new and existing events to

become long term sustainable

“iconic” or “anchor” events

for the regions, plus support

capability development of

the event ecosystem in the

four regions of the Thermal

Explorer area.

Applications for round two

of the contestable fund will

open in February 2022.




The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) has partnered with an

occupational medical services arm, Health Tick.

Health Tick was successfully trialled last year in a limited number

of New Zealand workplaces. And we’re delighted to expand these

service across additional regions

At Health Tick, we help manage and mitigate work-related health

issues in your business. We provide proactive workplace health

procedures to ensure your employees are fit for work and that you

are meeting your legal and compliance requirements.

Health Tick offers a range of health monitoring services to address

your company’s specific health risks, including hearing and vision

screenings, lung function testing, musculoskeletal assessment,

blood pressure check, cholesterol check, blood glucose testing, BMI

check, and in limited regions flu Vaccinations.

Our occupational health nurse is taking bookings for preemployment

medicals, annual health monitoring and exit medicals.

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Arthur Stone’s breakaway try to take the Shield off Auckland

An early Shield parade

Tortuous route to forming

Waikato Rugby Union


The history of the Waikato Rugby Union’s

formation in 1921 has all the key elements

of a political thriller, the likes of which

Michael Dobbs or Richard Condon would

take great pride in; details too vast to be

expressed in totality on a single page.

The game of rugby

was introduced to the

Waikato region in 1874

and proved popular. However,

forming a body to run the sport

was exceedingly difficult. There

were three failed attempts, each

undone through a range of continual

disputes and acrimony.

At the conclusion of World

War I, the government stressed

the need for the returning service

men to get back into the New

Zealand way of recreational life

as soon as possible and rugby

was to play an important part in

the transition to normality.

Old clubs were established,

new clubs came into being

and talk immediately began of

reforming the old South Auckland

union. But allegiances

were divided. Most in favour

of reforming South Auckland

were from outside of Hamilton,

while the majority of administrators

wanted to stay under

the stewardship of the powerful

Auckland union.

But not the players.

They wanted to go it alone.

The NZ Herald would report

that after much gentlemanly

debate at yet another meeting,

Hamilton administrator

“Whamp” Fraser said, “the message

from all the players present

was simple … a union, with

direct afflation to the NZRFU,

centred on Hamilton just had to

be formed, so let's do it!”.

Yet there was still nothing

tangible in place come 1921 as

fighting and politicking continued

to undermine the best efforts

of many good rugby people.

NZRFU president Geo Slade

would visit Hamilton in March

2015 Shield win over Hawkes Bay

that year and delivered a blunt

message to all involved – “The

bickering must end and a new

union formed”.

That ultimatum saw matters

speed up but not without

an increased in drama and passionate

debate. Calmness finally

came at a meeting on 16 May

1921, where Bertie Chapman

delivered a plea for unity.

Recounted in The Might

of Mooloo, Mr Chapman “in

a stirring address, spoke of the

need for players spectators and

administrators to know where

they were going”.

Following more debate,

some concessions and further

discussion, the notice of motions

for the next meeting would

include the following:

A. That the name of the union

be changed to Waikato





The Waikato Rugby Union had

been born.








Shield Fever fires up the fans


The Ranfurly Shield

fires a different kind

of passion.

Rugby fans love a bout of

“Shield Fever” and the

parochial energy and

pride that comes with it.

Waikato first challenged

for the famed Log O’Wood

in 1932. While the challenge

ended in a 17-6 loss, the Mooloos

gave the powerful Canterbury

side a huge fright after

leading 6 nil at halftime.

The first of Waikato’s

eleven tenures comes in 1951

when the Hugh McLaren captained

side travelled to Whangarei

to defeat North Auckland

6-3. The province had their

first taste of Shield Fever, they

loved it and that initial reign

spawned a legend.

The first ever appearance

of Mooloo, the iconic

Waikato Rugby Union mascot,

came weeks after the win

over North Auckland. Waikato

held the shield for two challenges

before relinquishing

it to Auckland, but the desire

for that prize was now deeply

entrenched in the province, as

is the Shield rivalry against the

Blue and White hoops.

After two short tenures

ending in 1953 and 1966

respectively, Waikato would

wait 16 years to get their hands

back on the shield, which

was achieved in spectacular

fashion. Sparked by an intercept

try to 19-year-old centre

Arthur Stone, second division

Waikato stunned first division

powerhouse Auckland 7-3 to

bring the log back down State

Highway 1.

The Mooloos would repeat

the dose in 1993, ending the

near eight-year, 61 game reign

of an All Blacks-laden Auckland,

a side widely considered

the greatest provincial team in

New Zealand rugby history.

Waikato’s longest reign would

span three seasons and 21

defences from October 1997

to September 2000.

The most recent Shield victory

came out of nowhere.

Waikato lost seven straight

games to end the 2017 season

to be relegated from the Premiership

to the Championship.

They lost the first three games

of the 2018 campaign before

stunning high-flying Wellington

on a Wednesday night in


However very few people,

outside the most loyal of red,

yellow and black supporters,

expected them to back up

four days later and roll a well

drilled and confident Taranaki.

But they did and in emphatic

fashion, reigniting their season

in process and while they lost

the Shield to Otago, Waikato

would beat that same to team

a fortnight later to earn their

spot back in the Premiership.

So when can Waikato fans

expect their next Ranfurly


Circle Saturday 28 August

on your calendars. As long

as Hawkes Bay can defend

the shield against East Coast,

North Otago and Otago, that

date will be Waikato’s next

opportunity to reclaim the

Ranfurly Shield and rekindle

the love affair it’s had

with the region.

Hoisting the Ranfurly Shield in 1980

2012 Shield win v Taranaki

The Mooloo mascot


Congratulations on an enduring partnership

Waikato Rugby Union - 100 years of Rugby Excellence

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Looking to

the future


There is no shying away from the

environment that provincial rugby unions,

like the majority of businesses around the

New Zealand, is currently operating in.

As the Waikato Rugby Union head into

their second century, we caught up with

new CEO Carl Moon to discuss the future

of Waikato Rugby.

Waikato win against France 1979

How would you describe the current state of

Waikato rugby?

CARL MOON: As an organisation we are in good

shape and looking to stabilise through 2021 and

re-grow in 2022. Our people, including our players,

made significant sacrifices during 2020 to help keep

us afloat, for which we are very grateful and respectful.

Waikato Rugby staff, contractors and volunteers

are so committed to what we do here, and it is very

humbling to be part of. Longer term, there has been

a lot of effort put in to secure the financial viability

of Waikato Rugby over the past few years and we

will look forward to becoming debt free in the next

12 months or so. In terms of the game itself there

is a lot of work going into supporting and nurturing

our growth areas, such as girls and women’s rugby,

while taking positive steps to address the challenges

in other areas. Club and Secondary School rugby

has turned a corner and the future looks bright with

some progressive leaders in those spaces. We are

much more open to ideas and trying new things than

we have been as a very traditional sport across 100


What’s the most immediate challenge that you face

as CEO?

CM: The biggest challenge is keeping our staff and

contractors in one piece, and not pushing them so

hard that they fail to reach the finish line. We are

running pretty lean at the moment while we recover

from 2020 but there is just as much work to do. As

I said above, we are fortunate to have such committed

people here, but that comes with risk as they will

rarely say no because they want to ensure our rugby

community receives our full support and leadership

for the good of the game.

What is the Waikato Rugby Union view on the proposed

Silver Lake deal?

CM: Our Board and Executive continue to be very

well briefed on the Silver Lake proposal. NZR went

to extensive lengths to make sure we all understood

the proposal, and in our view, they listened and

addressed any concerns proactively. The biggest

issue from the outset was the control of our future

and ensuring we retained that through the mechanisms

in place within the fine print, and ultimately

our Board voted in favour as they were satisfied that

the requisite protections were in place. The financial

outcomes are obviously pretty significant, but more

importantly we felt that the relationship with Silver

Lake offered much stronger growth opportunities

than trying to make the much-needed shifts in the

game through internal sources.

What is your vision for the Waikato Rugby Union?

CM: To set Waikato Rugby up as a viable and financially

secure entity that is much more self-sufficient

and self-reliant in terms of revenue. Our relationship

with the Chiefs is much stronger now and will

continue to grow. This is critical as collectively we

will both achieve our goals much more efficiently.

Ultimately, we must grow to understand our place in

the community and be proud of who we are and the

impact we have had on our province over the past

100 years. We are unique; our brand is unique; our

sport offers the opportunity to grow people in a very

unique way and we need to be comfortable celebrating


What excites you about the future of Waikato


CM: The game is on the edge of a massive transition

phase at the moment, and it is exciting to be

part of. We have acknowledged and confronted

the challenges, which is an essential first step if we

genuinely want to get better. From here we need to

be brave and open to the significant change that is

required to address those challenges, and as a rugby

organisation we are definitely up for it. We might

not get the changes right every time, but in most

cases we will, and even if we don’t, the alternative is

that we do nothing which is not an option in reality.












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Cup teams, and the Gallagher Chiefs, on the field. Waitomo’s

support fuels the development of the youth and women’s

game, as well as the men’s teams, in the wider Waikato region.

We were proud to support the historic first Waitomo Chiefs

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Both clubs are committed to developing a Super Women’s

team and programme in the future.

We’re proud to support our mates at

Waikato Rugby celebrating 100 years of

Mooloo mana!



Growth in the

women’s game

Waikato women’s rugby has been growing strongly


The women’s game has been part of

Waikato Rugby for 55 years.

In 1966, the Waikato

Rugby Union formed

a committee to foster

female rugby in the province.

That same year saw the

first match played and is

recounted as a very willing

contest. Kia Ora would prevail

9-3 over Avengers at the

Frankton Railway ground.

Things would bubble away

for the next two decades

before Frankton United

entered the Auckland competition

in 1985; a much-needed

jolt at the time. Three years

later, Frankton United would

host a mini tournament featuring

Auckland clubs, while

Melville hosted Putaruru,

University and Frankton in

their now quadrangular tournament.

In 1992, Melville would

be crowned the first ever

Waikato Women’s club rugby

champions and the women’s

game was slowly building

throughout the region.

Waikato players began

gaining regular selection for

the national team, Lenadeen

Simpson Brown would captain

the New Zealand in the

Canada Cup of 1996. That

tournament was owned by

Melville’s Vanessa Cootes,

with the powerhouse wing

scoring a staggering 18

tries in the three tournament


1999 would see the Women’s

National Provincial

Championship come into

existence and Waikato were

ready for it. However, the

new century bought some

tough times with Waikato

relegated to the second tier

of domestic women’s rugby

in middle of the decade and

the club competition ceasing

for a short period around the

same time.

Waikato has never won the

national title but came desperately

close to lifting the

Farah Palmer Cup last year,

undone by a last second try in

the decider in Christchurch.

The 2020 competition benefited

from the involvement of

players from the Black Ferns

Sevens, a reflection of the

impact the seven-a-side game

has had on fifteens in the last

decade especially.

The establishment of

the World Sevens series,

the inclusion of Sevens at

Olympics in 2016 and women’s

sevens making its first

appearance at the Commonwealth

Games in 2018 have

bought increased attention

on our female rugby talent

and more participants to the


From 2016 through 2019,

the Waikato Rugby Union

reported increasing numbers

through their three main

age groups.

The figures also show that

athletes taking up the game

are staying with the game.

Participation numbers took

a small dip last year; like

many things in New Zealand,

a statistical reflection of the

impact of Covid-19.

But 2021 has provided a

bounce back with numbers

increasing again, highlighted

by the addition of five more

secondary school teams

in the Waikato.

And with the Covid-impacted

Rugby World Cup

scheduled to be played in

New Zealand next year, the

women’s game looks set for

another boost to its already

surging popularity.

Winning against

international teams


International rugby teams touring New

Zealand learnt one thing very quickly. If you

had to play against Waikato in Hamilton,

bring your A-game!

The Mooloos would

always rise to the challenge

of test nations in

all areas, spurred on by a raucous,

passionate and incredibly

parochial crowd.

While Waikato faced touring

sides prior to Saturday 9

June 1956, that date is when

the well-earned reputation

hits its zenith.

The lead up to the 14-10

over South Africa, the first

loss for the Springboks

post World War II, is best

described by Waikato rugby

historian Winston Hooper

in his book The Might of

Mooloo. Hooper’s words

perfectly encapsulate what

touring sides have to deal

with when venturing to the


“Hamilton became the

centre of the world rugby

map for a magic few days in

June 1956 and the activities

and outcome will be etched

forever in history. All the

district were involved in one

way or another. The welcome

overwhelmed the Springbok

touring party. They were

never allowed to settle and

that soon became evident

when they took to the field.”

The effervescence of the

atmosphere was perfectly

noted in a very jocular fashion

by their legendary coach

Doctor Danie Craven while

addressing fans at the pregame

Mooloo parade:

“If I had been a man from

Mars and dropped down into

your main street, I would have

said without hesitation that it

was the dumping ground for

the lunatics of the world.”

Since that game, Waikato

have beaten France (twice)

Australia (twice as well as

a draw), Fiji, Wales, Canada

(three times), Argentina,

Scotland and Western Samoa

and there was an utter dismantling

of the British and

Irish Lions in 1993.

The last international

encounter was 14 June 2003

when Waikato defeated Italy

23-3; a game which also featured

the debut of an 18-yearold

phenomenon out of

Rotorua Boys’ High School –

Liam Messam – who 18 years

later is edging closer and

closer to becoming Waikato’s

next centurion.

Waikato beat Springboks 1956

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Friday 20th August | Reunion Evening | FMG Stadium Waikato

Inviting everyone involved in Waikato Rugby to join your peers and remember the good ole days.

Tickets on sale now at mooloo.co.nz

Saturday 21st August | Triple Header | FMG Stadium Waikato

Game 1: Heartland game - Thames Valley vs Mid-Canterbury

Game 2: FPC game – Waikato vs Counties Manukau

Game 3: NPC game - Waikato vs Taranaki – just like 100 years ago when Waikato played their very first provincial game against Taranaki.

Friday 1st October | A Journey through 100 years | Claudelands Event Centre

100 years of Waikato rugby will be celebrated in style with a black-tie event at Claudelands Event Centre. Hosted by James McOnie and Honey

Hireme-Smiler, attendees will be taken on a journey through 100 years of Waikato rugby by NZ’s most well-known commentators in rugby, John

McBeth and Grant Nisbett.

Sunday 3rd October | Mooloo Parade

Bring back the Mooloo Parade we heard! Starting in town, we will invite Clubs and the community to join us on a parade that culminates at

Claudelands where you’ll be able to grab a bite of lunch before watching the Legends Game.

Sunday 3rd October | Legends Game - Claudelands Oval

History comes back to life with a free-to-attend event with a carnival atmosphere for the whole community where an Invitational South African

side take on a Legends Waikato team, re-enacting the historic first international that Waikato ever played.


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Springboks 1981: The no-game


For a fleeting moment in the middle of

1956, Hamilton was the global focal

point of rugby as Waikato bettered the

Springboks at Rugby Park.

25 years later and once

again Hamilton was the

sports epicentre for a

match between those same

two teams at the same historic


But on this occasion, the

actions that dominated the

hallowed turf involved no

oval ball, for no rugby would

be played that day.

The 1981 Springbok tour

was the scariest fusion of

politics and sports, splintering

the country as the public

protests at the apartheid

regime in South Africa collided

with rugby fans just

wanting to see New Zealand’s

most vaunted rugby

foe up close.

The match in Hamilton

was to be the second of the

sixteen-game tour. Around

90 minutes before kick-off,

a group of roughly 350 antitour

protesters invaded the

pitch having pulled down a

fence at the eastern end of

the ground.

Police began arresting

protesters, but as time

passed, they became more

and more concerned at the

anger and hostility emanating

from the crowd of just

over 27,000 in attendance.

As the crowd chanted “we

want rugby”, reports starting

filtering through that a light

plane had been stolen from

Hamilton airport and was

approaching the stadium.

Upon hearing that report,

police cancelled the game to

the disgust of the majority.

Unrest and anger would spill

out through city centre in the

hours that followed.

That fateful day is perhaps

best summed up by

two understated yet powerful

sentences in the Waikato

Rugby Union’s annual report

of that year:

“Our match was abandoned

after ‘peaceful’ protesters

had demolished the

boundary fence, invaded

the playing area and strewn

it with tacks and broken

glass. No doubt the security

forces profited by their

experience at Rugby Park

and this contributed toward

the completion of the tour,

but, for us, it was a far from

happy experience”.

Protesters break through to Rugby

Park during the 1981 Springbok tour

The 1981 Springbok tour

was the scariest fusion

of politics and sports,

splintering the country

as the public protests at

the apartheid regime in

South Africa collided with

rugby fans just wanting

to see New Zealand’s

most vaunted rugby foe

up close.

For 100 years of supporting our game

Kicking off in 1921 Waikato formed a union to represent our favourite game.

Now in 2021 more than 10,000 players, coaches, referees and sideline supporters across ripper, junior,

secondary school, senior club, representative and provincial teams will take to the fields.

Waikato is our community. Rugby is our game.

We thank you all for being part of our team.

Join us is celebrating 100 years of Waikato Rugby

20 August - Reunion at Waikato Stadium, tickets on sale now

21 August - Triple Header Heartland + Provincial games plus After Match at Waikato Stadium

1 October - ‘A Journey through 100 years’ Black-tie event at Claudelands Arena

3 October - Mooloo Parade - free to the community

3 October - Waikato Legends versus South Africa Invitational at Claudelands Oval - free





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Supporting Waikato Rugby 3 years ago

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the huge growth in the Women’s game.

I look forward to the upcoming season

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the best of luck.


to Waikato Rugby

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021 188 0764




perry.co.nz perry@perry.co.nz 07 838 3633





Women’s game goes from strength to strength


Honey Hireme-Smiler has represented

New Zealand in rugby sevens, rugby union

and rugby league. She has seen women’s

rugby game go from strength to strength

during her time in the game and has been

an exceptional flag bearer for New Zealand

women’s sport. We spoke with the triple

international turned broadcaster and

Halberg Foundation senior advisor about

the past, the present and the future:

What’s your earliest memory of playing rugby in the


HONEY HIREME-SMILER: I was 15 when I first played

rugby for Putaruru High School. That year [1997] I

made the Waikato schoolgirls team and they named

me captain. I barely knew the rules because I had been

playing league since I was 5, but we had players from

Tokoroa, Hamilton, Te Awamutu and a couple from

Matamata. I remember after one of our games we got

to watch the Waikato women’s team and that was the

first time I heard of Vanessa Cootes…she scored about

five tries that day.

What’s the most significant change that you have seen

in women’s rugby during your time involved?

HH-S: I think the most significant growth in the game

has been driven by the Rugby Sevens programme,

especially the introduction of Sevens into the Olympics,

on the back of the World Series and Commonwealth

Games. Having those high-profile tournaments and

competitions drove the women’s game to be better

resourced which then led to the contracts which

initially were part-time (semi-professional they called us)

to then full-time contracts and elite high-performance

pathways. I think what excites me is seeing the young

18-year old’s fresh out of high school walking straight

into a professional sporting environment and making a

career in rugby.

How big an opportunity to showcase the women’s

game in New Zealand will hosting the Rugby

World Cup be?

HH-S: HUGE! And when the Black Ferns win it, that will

bring our 15s players more into the spotlight.

I have no doubt that Black Ferns will take out yet another

title! We continue to be world leaders of the women’s

game, and this is a credit to all levels of the game in NZ,

be it schoolgirls, women’s club players, provincial

players. And it’s not just the players.

It’s our coaches, referees, managers, support staff,

board members. The more women we have involved

in the game overall, the better the whole New Zealand

rugby eco-system will be. I genuinely think the first

female All Blacks coach is on the horizon.

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Congratulations celebrating 100 years



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Ditch the spin

There are a lot of things that “spin.” In fact,

spinning is most often a good thing.

We want the Earth

to keep spinning –

that’s a good thing.

Those of us who spin multiple

plates simultaneously are

praised for our skill. Other

good things that spin include

cricket balls, wheels, fans,


You see where I’m going

with this, right?

While spinning can be a

good thing, in the context of

communication it’s bad. Very


And unfortunately, some

propagandists who have

wrongly assumed a PR job

title have sullied the reputation

of the public relations

profession. The result, over

many decades, is that the term

‘spin’ has wrongly become

synonymous with the practice

of strategic communication.

The reality is that spin is

propaganda. And let’s just

call a spade a spade: propaganda

– spreading cleverly

manufactured false messages

to either make you look

good or others look bad – is

lying. Spin implies there is a

devious mastermind behind

the scenes twisting words,

inventing shiny objects to

divert attention and putting

lipstick on a pig and convincing

you to call it pretty.

That’s not the profession

I’m in, and that’s not the profession

around 13,000 of my

PR colleagues around the

country are in.

The trouble with equating

propaganda with the discipline

of ethical, strategic

communications is that it all

gets thrown in the same basket

and labelled “evil.” And

evil easily gains negative

momentum. Evil fuels gossip,

evil attracts critics and

evil invites media scrutiny –

rightly so.

This misrepresentation of

the PR profession has become

so distorted that the news of

organisations hiring more

communications professionals

sparks a public outcry that

these organisations must have



something they need to hide,

distort or brainwash the public


What nonsense! The communications

industry has

grown in leaps and bounds

over the past two decades.

This is largely due to two factors:

1) the explosion of channels,

and 2) relentless public


The sheer number of communications

channels the

public demands organisations

Heather Claycomb is director of HMC Communications, a

Hamilton-based, award-winning public relations agencys.

communicate through has

skyrocketed. Twenty years

ago large organisations would

have had a call centre, put out

a media release every once

in a while and maybe pushed

out a monthly newsletter.

One communications person

could handle that.

Now, organisations are

expected to be active and

listening on a minimum of

three social media channels,

updating websites weekly,

responding to emails within

hours 24x7, replying to media

queries within minutes, all

while generating heaps of

content to feed the public

who has become an information-hungry

beast. This volume

requires a larger, skilled

team to manage.

The second factor affecting

the rise of the communications

profession is that

moreso than ever before the

public is scutinising your

organisation’s every move.

And that scrutiny is not

always well-informed or

rational. If you are on a

board, you know that companies’

risk registers are more

complex than ever before and

reputational issues are often

at the top of the page. Boards

and leadership teams rely on

communications experts to

develop mitigation plans that

safeguard the public, protect

staff, distil the truth and prevent

the spread of misinformation.

Just as organisations

require specialist legal,

finance and HR advice, PR

counsel is increasingly in


I decided to write this article

because I’ve had enough

of the “spin” references,

frankly. And also, because

I wanted to ask you – the

Waikato business community

– two favours. Don’t worry,

they are easy, yet will make

a huge difference to the communications


who support you.

The first favour I ask is

that when your organisation

is seeking communications

support, ensure you hire an

ethical public relations practitioner.

The best way to find

an ethical practitioner is to

search the member database

on the PR Institute of NZ

(PRINZ) website – prinz.org.

nz. Members of PRINZ sign

up to a Code of Ethics, which

sets out rules for ensuring

our work serves the public

interest, provides a voice for

informed public debate, is

accurate and truthful, builds

credibility and relationships

and provides objective counsel.

The second favour I ask:

ditch the word spin. If you

find yourself equating the

word spin with strategic communications,

stop yourself.

If you really mean propaganda,

call it out for what it

is. Recognise the incredible

insult it is to call ethical PR

practitioners “spin doctors”.

Not only is it offensive, it’s


And finally, the next time

you see your communications

manager or advisor, recognise

their good work. They

care about your organisation

and its reputation and they do

everything in their power to

protect it.

They deserve a “good on

ya” and to know you’ve got

their back too.


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Housing legislation

a web of complexity



Hayden Farrow is a PwC Partner based in the Waikato office.

Email: hayden.d.farrow@pwc.com

In March, the Government announced the residential bright-line

test will increase from five to 10 years and interest deductions for

residential property will be phased out.

The changes are intended

to dampen house price

inflation and are aimed

at residential investors.

However, it was also

announced that ‘new builds’

would be exempt from the

above changes, yet no detail

of what comprises a new

build was provided. This has

left the housing market in a

state of uncertainty which has

impacted new home builders.

On 10 June, IRD took the

next step in the implementation

process with the release

of a discussion document titled

“Design of the interest limitation

rule and additional brightline

rules”. The document

provides a sense of what the

new build definition is likely

to comprise, but also seeks

feedback on a large number of

complex scenarios.

As a general signpost, the

Government considers that

property should only qualify as

a new build where residential

housing supply has increased.

There are two parts to the

new build exemption: what

physically comprises a new

build and who the new build

exemption can apply to.

It is proposed that to comprise

a new build, the dwelling

must have a code compliance

certificate (CCC) issued

on or after 27 March 2021.

There is an exception for certain

builds with a CCC issued

before this date, provided the

build is acquired on or after 27

March 2021 and no later than

12 months after it received its


There are three categories

under which new builds can

fall: simple new builds, complex

new builds and commercial

to residential conversions.

A simple new build involves

adding one or more self-contained

dwellings to bare residential

land. The home can be

fully or partially constructed

on-site, capturing modular

homes and dwellings that have

been relocated onto the land.

Replacing existing dwellings

with one or more dwellings is

also acceptable. Of course, a

one for one replacement would

contradict the G overnment’s

‘increase housing supply’ mantra,

but a concession has been

made in order to reduce the

administrative costs necessary

to enforce this. A complex new

build involves adding one or

more self-contained dwellings

to residential land that already

has an existing dwelling on

it, without separate title being

issued for the new build portion

of the land. This includes

adding standalone dwellings,

attaching new dwellings into

existing dwellings and splitting

existing dwellings into multiple


The final category is commercial

to residential conversions.

For example, an office

building being converted into


Renovations that do not

clearly increase housing supply

are excluded, such as adding

a new room to an existing

dwelling or updating a kitchen.

The G overnment proposes

that differentiating between

simple renovations and reinvigorating

an uninhabitable

dwelling would be too difficult.

Consequently, they elected to

exclude such properties from

the ‘new-build’ definition. This

seems unnecessarily dismissive,

a point which the Government

concedes; therefore they

are inviting feedback on how

to verify a once uninhabitable

house has been renovated to

become habitable.

In terms of who can then

take advantage of the ‘new

build’ exemptions, the Government

proposes that you

must be an ‘early owner’. An

early owner is someone who

acquires a new build either

before the CCC is issued or no

later than 12 months after the

CCC is issued. As to how long

the exemption will apply and

whether it will apply to subsequent

owners as well is still up

for discussion. For early owners,

it is likely to either apply in

perpetuity or for a fixed period.

However, for subsequent purchasers

it will likely apply for

a fixed period, if at all. Further

consultation will be taken

before a decision is reached.

The Government is also

inviting discussion on whether

a property will cease to qualify

for the new build exemption

once it has been lived in by

an owner-occupier. If this is

implemented, only new builds

that have been used exclusively

as a rental property will

be eligible for the exemption.

The approach to the brightline

test for new builds is

slightly different in that it will

only remain at five years for

early owners that purchase new

builds on or after 27 March

2021, and is not expected to

apply to subsequent owners.

Depending on the final form

of the rules, this could lead to

cases where owners are eligible

for interest deductions but

are not eligible for the five year

bright-line period. Interestingly,

the five year period for

new builds may continue to

apply to residential land with

a new build on it regardless of

whether it’s rented; allowing

second homes and baches to

benefit as well.

The Government is yet to

decide on certain topics, such

as whether past interest expenditure

that was non-deductible

under these changes could

be treated as deductible if the

property’s sale is taxable.

While this discussion document

provides some clarity to

the topic, it also introduces a

web of legislative complexity.

The Government is willing to

make concessions in the name

of reducing ‘administrative’

burden and acknowledges it

doesn’t have all the answers.

Ordinarily, tax legislation

increases in complexity

relative to the transactions

it applies to; yet here, we are

seeing complex legislation

being applied to common place

transactions. This increases the

risk of people getting it wrong

and finding themselves on the

wrong side of an IRD ‘knock

on the door’.

The comments in this article

are of a general nature and

should not be relied on for specific

cases. Taxpayers should

seek specific advice.

What to look for in

a design partner



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

management consultancy. Email vicki@dugmorejones.co.nz

With so many online tools and resources available to us, many

small businesses try to get by without needing external support

for graphic design and creative marketing advice. But, when it

comes to seeking out extra help, what should you be looking for?

There’s a line we hear a

lot – “We offer three

kinds of services – good,

cheap, fast, but you can only

pick two.” This is an everyday

dilemma in the creative

design world and, as a client,

it is a compromise you need to

be prepared for from the start.

Rushed jobs risk falling down

on detail or quality. Budgets

set too low risk not exploring

all the possibilities or missing

opportunities to create something


Here in the Waikato there

are a range of designers you

can contract, and most of them

incredibly talented. There

are established large creative

agencies, plenty of smaller

and more boutique design studios,

and an ever-increasing

eco-system of one-man-bands.

Length and breadth of

experience means better-resourced

agencies can bring

all sorts of useful insights and

ideas to your design and you

may even choose an agency or

designer based on very specific

previous experience. Larger

agencies also offer a team to

work on your projects, bringing

more brain-power but also

more hands to the pump when

things are urgent or there’s a

lot going on. In most cases,

you pay for the privilege of

having that broader resource

available to you, but there’s

definitely value in it.

Over the years, I heard a few

clients resent paying for project

management or admin support,

wanting to deal directly with

the designer. Some designers

are great project managers and,

indeed, great strategists too –

but not all.

It’s that old myth of the

‘marketing unicorn’, where

it’s important to acknowledge

the difference in skillsets and

make sure you’re working with

the team that has strengths in

areas that will add most value

to and improve the outcomes

of your project most effectively.

Small design studios

or one-man-bands may not

have the luxury of that additional

person, and that’s fine,

but non-design tasks have to

be done by someone, so seeing

a non-designer as an unnecessary

extra is short-sighted.

Proof-reading and accuracy

are other potential traps, especially

when multiple hands

come across a piece of work.

Some designers are great with

words – but not all. Every

designer or agency will make

every effort to ensure their

work is error free, because new

work comes from good work.

You should expect attention

to detail, but also be fully prepared

to take responsibility for

the final outcome.

Value is in the eye of the

beholder. For example, I pay

my accountant to do many

things I could technically do

myself but that stuff freaks me

out and I’d rather pay! It will

take them a lot less time and

be more accurate, because it’s

something they do every day

and they know the tricks.

There’s a line from Suits

that rings true here: “You don't

pay the plumber for banging

on the pipe. You pay him for

knowing where to bang.”

Be prepared to be challenged

and seek out a designer

or agency who will do so

deliberately and sympathetically.

Your designers should

feel like part of your team, but

they should equally be the ones

to make you think differently

and bring you a creative edge

that will help you stand out

amongst your competition.

Look for designers who

will relish the chance to think

conceptually, as well as simply

making things look good.

Never underestimate the power

of a good idea and the gaping

hole the absence of one can

leave. Avoid the designers who

behave like bullies. They need

to be ready to listen and learn

– as do you – and not dictate

their own agenda and push

ideas onto you that you don’t

feel comfortable with. It’s their

job to both nurture and protect

your brand, just as much as it

to champion it.

For the most important

aspect to aspire to, there is a

clue in the headline. You need

to find someone who you feel

you can work with as a genuine

creative marketing ‘partner’,

not just because they’re nice to

work with but because you can

develop a mutual understanding

around your brand and it’s

needs, together.


Tech industry collaboration is essential

Company-X owes its existence to the Digital Industry Forum.


first met fellow Company-X

co-founder and director Jeremy

Hughes at the Digital

Industry Forum in 2009, before

we founded Company-X in


The vision for a one day

forum focussed on accelerating

the growth of the digital technology

industry in the Waikato

region was the vision of New

Zealand Trade and Enterprise

economic development manager

Steve Tritt in 2009.

Steve, who now holds the

same title at Waipā District

Council in Cambridge and Te

Awamutu, saw the need for a

unique opportunity for business

leaders to meet each other,

promote their businesses, make

new contacts, build their networks

and get six months progress

in one day. It was also an

opportunity to hear outstanding

stories of success from other


“I was working for NZ

Trade and Enterprise at the time

on regional economic development,

and there was a massive

gap in digital in Hamilton,”

Steve said. “A perception gap.

There were some really cool

companies doing things, but

there was no awareness on the

contribution of the sector.”

He engaged business incubator

Soda Inc business growth

manager Petr Adámek to write

a study on the Waikato Information

and Communications

Technology (ICT) sector.

“We did a study, worked

out there was something to

work with, and put together

the forum as a way of flushing

everybody out and giving

people a voice. A few of us got

together and created the concept

around the Digital Industry

Forum,” Steve said.

“We got a lot of support

from Soda and they were starting

as a creative sector incubator

and I was keen to take them

into the digital stream.

“We asked Next Corporation

strategist Dr Nick Marsh

to facilitate the workshop. We

had leading edge speakers, and

it was a fabulous day. It was

expensive to put on and when

the money ran out we never did

another one.

“Having a workshop celebration

was an awareness kind

of thing, and people talked to

each other and realised they

existed and that work continued

in the back rooms.”

The conversation quickly


“The agenda was subsumed

by the Digital Hamilton Strategy

run by Hamilton City

Council,” Steve said.

“In the year that followed

it was all about broadband

rollout. It was early smart city

stuff, but most of the effort

was on broadband rollout and

good on Hamilton City Council.

That’s what was required at

the time.”

Curiously, Hamilton was

ranked 21 in the 2021 Top 50

Smart City Government from

more than 230 international

applications, beating Wellington

at number 33 and Christchurch

at number 43.

“The IT sector and start-up

kind of got dissipated in

favour of infrastructure,” Steve

observed. “But that paid dividends

during the Covid-19

pandemic, didn’t it? We were

in really good shape.”

A lot of companies who met

at the Digital Industry Forum

continued working together.

“All the leading IT firms got

more global, and it was a time

to find more global markets and

be confident in Los Angeles

and San Francisco, and companies

realised they could foot it,

in the New Zealand context, in

the same paddock as Auckland

and Christchurch.”

“Looking back at the video

on YouTube, it was a great

industry forum, it was well

enjoyed, and we managed to

get some seriously senior people

to present and participate.

“The collaboration that

goes on afterwards is worth

turning up for.”

Waikato companies

Jumpflex and Manta5

are prime examples of

Company-X clients who have

leveraged changes in the technical

landscape to take on the


Perhaps it’s time for

another forum.

Steve Tritt



David Hallett is a co-founder and director of

Waikato software specialist Company-X.

Stripping cash out

of your business



Brenda Williamson runs business advisory service

Brenda Williamson and Associates www.bwa.net.nz

It seems to me that NZ business owners have quite an appetite

for stripping cash reserves out of their businesses; perhaps taking

too much too early.


am not referring to long-established

businesses who

are financially secure but

rather the businesses on the

beginner slopes.

Generally, there are two

ways of taking money out

of your business – by way of

either shareholder salaries or

drawings. Unless you are confidently

managing cashflow and

have robust financial monthly

reporting in place, you can

mistakenly think your business

has more available cash than it

has. While it is relatively easy

to move funds out of your business

by way of drawings, it is

much more difficult to find the

funds to put back in!

If you own a successful

business, your long game may

include a combination of:

• Growing your business via

vertical and horizontal integration

(starting up or buying

other businesses that

add value to your existing


• Taking advantage of opportunities

(including distributorships

and dealerships) as

they arise

• Paying off debt

• Ensuring your business

assets are well maintained/replaced

in a

timely manner.

In fact, the more successful

your business is, the more

cashflow you need. It is quite

common for growing businesses

to experience growing


Business owners often justify

high levels of drawings

because they feel they deserve

a reward for the long hours

they work and the high levels

of stress they endure. This is

understandable but by taking

cash out of the business too

early, they are increasing business

risk and may well experience

higher stress levels due to

the following contributors:

• Pressure paying creditors

on time

• Keeping up to date with

taxes as they fall due


• Covering the cost of additional


• Covering unplanned situations.

There may also be additional

funding costs via overdrafts

and more reliance on banking

relationships – and that tide

can turn unexpectedly.

High levels of drawings

may be linked to a personal

family matter or for medical

care but think carefully if you

are taking drawings for the

‘feel good’ factor: an expensive

boat or launch, a campervan, a

holiday home, overseas trips

travelling first class, a Range

Rover or two or anything else

that takes your fancy.

In addition to the risk of

running your business out of

cash, my personal advice is not

to flaunt your business wealth,

particularly in front of staff and

customers. The way in which

you display your wealth to others

can be problematic.

Of course, businesses need

to have a presence in the

market, a positive reputation

and look successful but that

is quite different to flaunting

your wealth.

You will earn respect from

your customers by being pro-

fessional, sincere, consistent,

and delivering an exceptional

customer experience.

You will earn respect from

your staff by leading by example,

being sincere and looking

out for them.

Your staff may well have

limited opportunities in growing

their wealth if they are reliant

on salaries or wages.

Many may be struggling to

make ends meet. What’s more,

flaunting your wealth doesn’t

help with the “us and them”

(workers v management)

syndrome that often exists

within businesses. Read your


If you are in the category

of growing your business but

at the same time looking for

some form of reward for your

effort, maybe consider booking

regular holidays in different

parts of the country and pay for

your accommodation as you go

(rather than having a holiday


Perhaps book a fishing trip

on a charter boat as time permits

rather than owning your

own launch.

Who has bought a season

pass at a ski field only to use it

once! Sometimes paying more

as you go is a cheaper option.

Cash is king – cash gives you

options when the unexpected

happens and increases your

chance of riding out a storm.

We all know how unexpected

the Covid-19 pandemic was.

Be humble and understated

and you are more likely to

be respected for who you are,

not what you own.



Bubble trouble: employer obligations to

stranded employees



Employment lawyer and director at Practica Legal

Email: erin@practicalegal.co.nz phone: 027 459 3375

While there was considerable jubilation when the trans-Tasman

bubble opened on 19 April, it was on a “flyer-beware” basis,

leaving travellers responsible for any costs, delays or quarantine

restrictions, should the borders suddenly close due to a

Covid-19 outbreak.

Since that time, NSW,

Victoria and Western

Australia have all had to

push pause on the bubble due

to outbreaks, while Wellington

was put into Alert Level 2 on

23 June. These intermittent

disruptions could be the new

normal for some time to come.

Many employers are left

wondering where employment

laws sit in these uncertain conditions,

and who is ultimately

responsible for their employees,

should they get stranded


The first question is, can

an employer refuse leave to

an employee planning to take

a trans-Tasman holiday? The

question of when employees

take leave is always a matter

of negotiation between the

employee and the employer

(other than in certain circumstances

when they cannot

agree, and an employer gives

the employee two weeks’

notice that they must take

leave). Pre-pandemic, however,

what the employee did

while on leave was entirely up

to them.

With the uncertainty of

an employee getting trapped

across the ditch for an unknown

length of time, employers may

be forgiven for being wary of

any leave requests that involve

trans-Tasman travel. Some

corporates swiftly instituted

policies informing employees

that if they got stuck, it could

result in the termination of

their employment; however,

instituting a blanket policy,

rather than taking an employee-by-employee

stance, may

be a bridge too far.

Whether an employer is

obliged to continue paying

an employee who is unable to

attend work, comes down to

whether the employee is ready,

willing and able to work, and

that will largely depend on the

position the employee holds.

If there is one noticeable

employment change that has

emerged from the pandemic,

it was how easy it was for

many employees to work

remotely. If an employee can

work remotely, should they get

stuck, then this may imply it is

unreasonable not to let them

go, provided they are prepared

to take whatever equipment

needed to allow them to work

remotely either from Australia

or in quarantine, should the

need arise. Issues such as who

should be responsible for any

equipment security and insurance

should be discussed prior

to departure.

Where an employee holds

a position that cannot possibly

be performed remotely, then

it is arguable that a stranded

employee may be ready and

willing to work, but in fact, is

not able to. In these situations,

the employer is not obliged to

continue paying the employee

(though they may choose to),

however, other options such as

offering the employee to take

additional leave or going on

leave without pay should be

discussed, before considering

termination of the employment

relationship. These considerations

should be discussed

with the employee prior to

the employer granting leave,

likewise the issue of whether

the employee has sufficient

leave and/or money to cover

the costs and delay a change in

Covid-19 status on either side

of the border may give rise to.

Finally, there is the situation

where an employee is

sent overseas on business, and

then gets stranded. Although

there are no judicial decisions

(that I am aware of) that have

dealt with this situation as yet,

it is likely that the employee’s

predicament is directly related

to performing his/her role,

likewise, the costs that arise

from a change in border status.

As such, the employer would

likely be expected to cover

the wages and costs associated

with the overseas assignment.

Employers need to consider

how they will deal

with these various scenarios

before they occur and

develop a policy with built-in

flexibility to accommodate

the numerous variations that

occur in the different employment

relationships within the





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Overlooking Mount Maungatautari

A Resilience Retreats workshop

New retreat helps

businesses deal

with stress, burnout

An award-winning Waikato wellness spa has launched an offering

for businesses in response to rising levels of stress and burnout.

Resilience Retreats

hosts two-night stays

in individual chalets

at the resort near the banks of

Lake Karapiro, with attendees

taking part in workshops

and also having access to the

resort’s gym, swimming pool

and in-house spa.

The brainchild of Resolution

Retreats director Joelene

Ranby, it came about after she

says she and her team were

seeing more and more participants

arriving for their women-only

retreats who were at

or close to burnout.

“And so we were thinking,

how can we encourage

people to try and learn some

tools and strategies to help



them avoid burnout in the first


She says the uncertainty

of Covid increased stress levels

for business people. She

and her team also saw people

working from home struggling

with the blurring of

boundaries between work life

and home life.

“They are always thinking

about work because it's just

down the hallway,” she says.

“People who are high performers

and have high expectations

of themselves already,

tend to be the people who are

most at risk.”

Ranby, a Chartered

Accountant, comes from a

corporate background and

was used to workplace training

around stress and wellbeing.

But more often than

not, they felt like box-ticking

exercises, with the participants

then having to go back

to the office and make up the

time. Resilience Retreats aims

to provide a more considered

approach. “Effectively, we're

encouraging people to stop

and take a break, while they

learn to stop and take a break.

We're encouraging organisations

to say, ‘Okay, this

is actually really important.

This is not just something

that we are wanting to boxtick

on, we actually want you

to stop, take care of yourself,

and go away and learn how to

take care of yourself, because

that means that you're

going to turn up to work

better every day.’”

They approached businesses

to find out what they

would want for their staff, and

the result is six workshops

covering different aspects of

wellbeing in the workplace.

The first workshop is

“essential energy”, focusing

on participants learning how

to get the most energy out of

their body.

“The second one is satisfying

sleep. One of the first signs

of people who are approaching

burnout, or have a lot of

pressure on themselves, their

sleep is quite often affected.”

The third workshop is on

communication. “That's about

learning to have the more difficult

conversations with people

in your life, either in work

or outside of work, without it

taking such a toll or being so


They give participants

scripts of prompts they can

use to have the hard conversations.

“We're giving you tools

at all these workshops, so it's

really strategy, tips and tricks


There are also workshops

on stress and heart health,

mental health and resilience,

including looking out for risk

signs, and effective habits and

productivity. The guest chalets

are each around 60 square

metres, and the central resort

complex includes a covered

swimming pool, in-house spa

, dining and lounge areas and

Yoga chalet with views across

to Maungatautari. The second

resilience retreat has just

been held, the first time the

resort has run a retreat including

men. Numbers are usually

capped around 25, with

businesses typically sending

one or a few staff members.

Two organisations are going

a step further. “We've taken

on a couple of businesses

who are wanting to send their

entire workforce through the

retreat, not only to take some

work off their plate, but also

encourage their team to take

care of themselves and know

that them taking care of themselves

is important to that


They are also able to tailor

retreats to particular organisations,

including one which

will focus on a business’s

night shift workers.

Most of their business

comes from Auckland,

Waikato and Bay of Plenty,

but they are also getting interest

from further afield.

“I think that this is something

that businesses are

really needing right now

because they are under the

pump. And, you know, burnout,

in particular, is a real

issue at the moment.”

Ranby says organisations

who acknowledge that

they at times contribute to

the pressures on their workforce

recognise they have a

role to play when it comes

to building resilience to help

combat that pressure for the

good of their people and the

organisation as a whole.

“Resilience Retreats is

helping them do just that;

helping them take care of

their people.”

Premium sections

in northern Hamilton’s most

sought-after location.

Contact sales@urban.co.nz today


The Retreat Facility

UH1101_191mmh x 126mmw_Quarter _Page_WBN_V2.indd 1

1/07/21 1:44 PM




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