Dominick Stephens says while there are many positives to be found provincially, Hawke’s Bay businesses should be aware of the risks of regional growth “such as difficulty finding labour and the rising minimum wage, the changing environmental standards society expects including the likelihood of an Emissions Trading Scheme in the future, and a slowing housing market.”
Mr Stephens is well placed to address these challenges, having enjoyed a stellar career in the financial industry, including a stint at the Reserve Bank. Now, he heads up a “small but passionate team of economists” – a role he relishes.
“We have editorial independence from the bank – we come up with our forecasts and commentary within our team alone and send those out direct to customers. Our key role is to help the traders in the dealing room, who need to understand what economic events and news might mean for interest rates and exchange rates, but we also provide forecasts and commentary to the wider bank, customers and the media. I’m free to say whatever I like about the economy, but that does mean the views expressed are my own and not Westpac’s. The buck stops with me and everything we say is public, so my reputation is on the line all the time. I take very seriously the fact that what we say can influence people’s business decisions.”
Mr Stephens – an avid tramper and traveller - says he is looking forward to an open debate and lots of questions at his Business Breakfast, which will be held on Friday 8 June at the Napier Conference Centre. “Personally, I’ve never had the cajones or the nous for entrepreneurship,” he admits. But with his expertise and experience, he hopes people will come away from his presentation having sorted the facts from the fantasy and knowing much more about the New Zealand economy relative to the global economy, “as well as the impact of Government policies, interest rates, and of course they will hear my views on whatever else they ask about!”
The Business Breakfast Series is organised by Napier City Council for anyone in the business community of Hawke’s Bay. A quarterly event, businesses large and small are encouraged to attend and to learn from the range of inspiring business leaders who speak and lead discussion on a variety of topics.
Tickets to the Napier City Council Business Breakfast are $25 which include a light breakfast, tea and coffee, beginning at 7am. The presentation kicks off at 7:30am and wraps up by 8:30am.
For registrations and for more information please go to: www.napier.govt.nz and search the keyword #businessbreakfast