CEO comment 30 July 2020

30 July 2020

Virginia webWe are delighted to host the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern at a business breakfast in Dunedin on Thursday, 27 August.  Please save the date in your diary, and we will provide more information shortly.

We continue to advocate for an extension to the closure of the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter.  This will give us more time to focus on the economic options to fill a $595m economic contribution to NZ, as well as a loss of 1,000 jobs and a further 1,600 indirect jobs in Southland.

We are concerned with the recent wage subsidy ERA cases which sound a warning to employers.  You can read more in our opinion piece in the ODT .

The report by the Resource Management Review Panel (Randerson Report) on the Resource Management Act could provide a more helpful environment for businesses wishing to grow.

Several recommendations in the Randerson report would appear to help address the issues on reducing consents which are difficult, costly and uncertain.  BusinessNZ will now analyse this significant 500-page report and gain the views of businesses on the potential to achieve resource management change.

We are delighted that Otago Polytechnic, will get a $28 million grant and loan for a new purpose-built centre in Dunedin devoted to training qualified workers for the building, construction and related trades. This shovel-ready project is expected to create up to 200 jobs during construction and put money into the pockets of local businesses, suppliers and workers. 

There have been a number of other announcements that have recently benefited our region, including the establishment of the ‘workforce central Dunedin’s construction industry jobs and skills hub’.  This is an investment of $3.5 million to help 1,500 people to initially become work-ready for the construction of the new Dunedin hospital.

The PGF fund has also funded $30 million for stopbanks and flood protection work in Otago and Southland and the Outram flood remediation project.

The Government is also investing $25 million which will create 180 jobs and improve the safety and resilience of the Homer Tunnel on the Milford Road tourist route linking Te Anau and Milford Sound.

The Prime Minister has also announced a plan in the event we have a new case of community transmission of covid-19.

The first youtube episode of BusinessNZ Roundtable which reviews the economy for the past week is available here.

As always any feedback is welcome.

Ngā mihi nui \ with kind regards,


Virginia Nicholls | CEO |

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