Statement by Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler: The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75 percent. Global economic growth has increased and become more broad-based. However, major challenges remain with on-going surplus capacity and extensive political uncertainty. Headline inflation has increased over the past year in several countries, but moderated recently with the fall in energy prices. Core inflation and long-term bond yields remain low. Monetary policy is expected to remain stimulatory in the advanced economies, but less so going forward. The trade-weighted exchange rate has increased by around 3 percent since May, partly in…
Rockwell Automation has appointed Scott Wooldridge as Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. In the role, Wooldridge will oversee sales and business operations in Australia and New Zealand and be responsible for the company’s Growth and Performance Strategy, involving the overarching responsibility for people and strategy in relation to sales, service, delivery, projects and customer care. “I’m looking forward to working closely with our key distributors, system integrators, end users and OEMs to make sure they continue to be well supported with industry leading power, automation and data management solutions and services,” said Wooldridge. “These Rockwell Automation solutions provide…
A leading New Zealand tech businessman and a former refugee, Mitchell Pham, will deliver a speech in Auckland tonight as part of World Refugee Day. Pham runs the Augen Software Group and is chair of NZTech and Fintech NZ. He is a trustee of the Auckland Refugee Family Trust (ARFT) which has helped settle 116 people in Auckland over the last five years. The families have come from Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan, Somalia and Uganda. Pham will be a speaker at the ARFT and New Zealand Red Cross art exhibition and charity fundraising event in Devonport, Auckland,…
Listed companies and other financial markets businesses will now have alternative options for sending annual reports, saving them money and time, says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean. “Cabinet has agreed to changes to the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014 which will allow ‘FMC reporting entities’ to reduce the number of annual reports they send,” Ms Dean says. “This will result in time and cost savings, and a reduction in the amount of paper required. “Currently companies are required to send to every shareholder a hardcopy of their annual report or a notice asking if the shareholder would like…
The Commerce Commission has published one-page summaries of key performance measures for each of New Zealand’s 29 electricity lines companies. The summaries are designed to promote a better understanding of each lines company’s performance by providing high-level statistics such as profitability, capital and operating expenditure, asset condition, revenue and network reliability. Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale said that the Commission has pulled together the data to make it easily accessible for industry, Government agencies and consumers, and to enable comparison across lines companies. The statistics are sourced from more detailed public disclosures. “Electricity companies reach every New Zealand household and business…
The government's principal means of evaluating the success of Callaghan Innovation, the agency tasked with accelerating the commercialisation of innovation, is how much businesses are spending on research and development, Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith told Parliament's education and science select committee. So far, it's falling short of its target. This year's budget included a $373 million increase in spending for science and innovation in a bid to help diversify the economy support more jobs and higher wages, including a $74.6 million boost for Callaghan Innovation R&D grants. In response to questions from Labour's research and innovation spokeswoman Megan…
A record number of entries to the Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Challenge resulted in tough competition with six schools selected for the national final. The annual competition attracted entries from 53 secondary schools from across New Zealand to step into the shoes of a Reserve Bank economist. Four Auckland schools – Macleans College, Takapuna Grammar, Kristin School and Auckland International College were named as finalists, along with James Hargest College, Invercargill and St Patrick's College (Kilbirnie), Wellington. Kristin School is the only school from the 2017 finalists to have previously won the title. The competition is designed to increase students’…
Steel & Tube Holdings is facing 29 court charges of making false and misleading representations about its steel mesh product SE62. The Commerce Commission filed the charges in the Auckland District Court under the Fair Trading Act, relating to conduct between March 1, 2012, and April 6, 2016, the Wellington-based regulator said in a statement. Steel & Tube has been cooperating with the commission throughout the investigation and is working with the regulator to reach an appropriate resolution of the charges, the Lower Hutt-based company said in a statement to the stock exchange. The regulator started its investigation in August…
Small Business Minister Dean has today welcomed the release of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s 2017 Small Business factsheet. “The factsheet brings together statistics that relate to small businesses, and provides us with an overview of how valuable they are to the New Zealand economy,” Ms Dean says. “Businesses with fewer than 20 employees make up 97 per cent of all enterprises in New Zealand, and contribute almost $65 billion to our GDP. “Small businesses employ 29 percent of all workers in New Zealand, and it is important that we continue to support these businesses and help them…
Hexcel Corp. (Stamford, Conn.) has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire all of the shares of Structil SA (Structil), a French producer and supplier of high-performance composites to the aerospace, defense and industrial markets. The proposed transaction is subject to review by relevant employee representative bodies and approval from the applicable French authorities. Assuming those reviews and approvals are successfully completed, the acquisition is expected to close in 2017. Structil is a joint venture between Safran Ceramics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Safran, and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (formerly Mitsubishi Rayon Corp.). The company employs approximately 70 people at a 68,000-square-foot…
Auckland Airport today formally launched Ara, its South Auckland jobs and skills hub. Ara has connected 211 people living in the airport’s South Auckland neighbourhood with long-term employment and training since it began as a trial in November 2015, and will connect thousands more local people with employers based at the airport over the next 30 years as the company builds its ‘airport of the future’. Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport’s Chief Executive, says: “People in the South Auckland community tell us that having stable work near their homes is important to them. Our location in South Auckland and our 30-year…
According to the Australian Business Traveller, the airline’s own-brand credit card will be a new Platinum-grade MasterCard, and will display the Qantas brand alone. ABT reported that 35 per cent of all credit card spending in Australia is already happening through co-branded Qantas credit cards, in partnership with banks, American Express, and retailers like David Jones and Woolies. Now, with Qantas not co-branding with any other company, Qantas is likely to steal a bigger slice of the profits. It comes as Virgin Australia’s own Velocity program conducted research that found that Australian credit card use is motivated by loyalty rewards,…
New Zealand headquartered intangible asset specialist EverEdge expands into Asia through key cooperation with the intellectual property office in Singapore EverEdge Global Ltd, the New Zealand headquartered, global intangible asset specialist, and IP ValueLab, a subsidiary of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), have signed an agreement to cooperate on providing strategic intellectual property and intangible asset advisory services in Singapore. The agreement positions the locally founded, private commercialisation firm well to expand into a burgeoning intellectual property market in Asia, through its new office in Singapore - its first in Asia - joining its existing offices in the…
Balex Marine, the automatic boat loader maker, has been washed away after the high cost of manufacturing and slow sales saw the Tauranga-based company burn through the crowdfunded $330,000 it raised last October. BDO's Kenneth Brown and Paul Manning were appointed liquidators of Balex and sister company Suelex on May 1 after events conspired to drain the companies coffers without an immediate lifeline. Balex raised $330,000 through 80 investments via equity crowdfunder Snowball Effect in October, just above its minimum target. However, Brown and Manning's first report says that was $700,000 below target, leaving it in a tight cash position…
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand hosted the 22nd annual Executives' Meeting of East and Asia-Pacific (EMEAP) central banks in Auckland yesterday. EMEAP is a co-operative forum of eleven central banks and monetary authorities in the East Asia and Pacific region comprising the Reserve Bank of Australia, the People’s Bank of China, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Bank Indonesia, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Korea, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of Thailand. Governor Graeme Wheeler, who chaired the meeting, said governors exchanged…
Thursday, 11 May 2017 14:15

Debt to Income Caps Recommended

Debt to Income caps (DTI) have been highlighted in a recent IMF report as an important measure to build resilience in our banks and housing market to protect financial stability. The Government needs to be willing to give the RBNZ the power to implement these DTI caps, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA). NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam says, “Financial stability remains an issue for our economy, particularly with a rapidly increasing housing market, despite some recent moderation, and high private debt levels. All parts of the economy are damaged in any financial downturn, especially the tradable…
Statement by Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler: The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 1.75 percent. Global economic growth has increased and become more broad-based over recent months. However, major challenges remain with on-going surplus capacity and extensive political uncertainty. Stronger global demand has helped to raise commodity prices over the past year, which has led to some increase in headline inflation across New Zealand’s trading partners. However, the level of core inflation has generally remained low. Monetary policy is expected to remain stimulatory in the advanced economies, but less so going forward. The trade-weighted…
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have launched a new edition of an investment guide into New Zealand’s fast growing technology sector. The Investor Guide to the New Zealand Technology Sector showcases the breadth and variety of technology companies in New Zealand. “The tech sector is New Zealand’s third largest exporting sector, contributing $16 billion to GDP and it is growing fast,” says Mr Bridges. “It presents multiple opportunities for New Zealand and international investors. “New Zealand technology is gaining recognition internationally along with our innovative and can-do culture, and the fact that we…
More than 100,000 employment agreements have been completed using an online tool refreshed by Business.govt.nz just over one year ago, says Small Business Minister Jacqui Dean. “As a Government we are committed to helping New Zealand’s small businesses thrive, and the Employment Agreement Builder is just one way we’re helping small businesses get ahead,” Ms Dean says. “Using the Employment Agreement Builder you can create employment agreements tailored to meet the needs of your business, with clauses clearly labelled mandatory, recommended, or voluntary. “Accessible online, mobile-friendly, and with the ability to save users progress, this tool adds up to more…
New Zealanders will have to pay an extra 40% in their insurance fire levy from July despite the key selling point of the Government’s amalgamation of fire services being ‘efficiency’ - according to a new report being published today by the Taxpayers' Union. The Government's reform package will result in an immediate cost increase of $80 million for little or no increase in services, despite claims by Peter Dunne, who has driven the reform, that the amalgamations will save money. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Total fire services costs will shoot up by $80 million per year despite…
Yesterday, the CTU publicly called for a return to centralised wage bargaining. Max Whitehead, CEO of Small Business Voice, says they have made their motivation for pushing for pay equity clear: The CTU thinks one shoe fits all employees. “The unions are out of date and no longer relevant, despite having infiltrated Parliament and introduced a myriad of overzealous employment laws,” says Mr. Whitehead. Mr. Whitehead says the unions’ overzealous laws are so difficult to handle that employers have spent the last ten years removing employees and replacing them with self-employed contractors. Consequently, New Zealand has become a nation of…
We use linked employer-employee data from 2004–2012, combined with individual qualifications data from 1994–2012, to study how graduates with different skills fare in the labour market in the six years after studying. We find that graduates experience improvements in earnings, and that they systematically move between jobs, industries and locations in a pattern that is consistent with their securing better job matches, particularly for high level STEM graduates. We then estimate joint production function and wage equations to see how the skill composition of a firm’s employees correlates with productivity, and compare this with how the skill composition correlates with…
Inquirers back off one step short of the Supercat Issuers The arrival of Erin Brokovich (pictured) in Christchurch and her call for those at the wrong end of insurance compensation to “speak up” about the injustice of it all is a further reminder of the obscure role in the earthquake aftermath of the global re-insurers. Among the most powerful forces force in reinsurance is Berkshire Hathaway. It is considered within the industry to be the leader in supercats which is the category of reinsurance involved in major disasters such as the Christchurch earthquake. Berkshire Hathaway sells sell policies that insurance…
The Reserve Bank today published an updated assessment of the money laundering and terrorism financing risks that face the financial sector. Head of Prudential Supervision Toby Fiennes said: “The sector risk assessment is designed to help financial institutions to better understand their own exposure to money laundering and terrorist financing risks.” The risk rating for the banking sector is in line with similar international assessments. It is rated high risk largely due to factors such as the wide accessibility and availability of banks, the global nature of some banking products, and the volume of transactions (including cash) that banks handle.…
Friday, 07 April 2017 08:00

Govt $1b richer than expected

$1.4b surplus in Crown Accounts to February.  The Crown accounts for the eight months to 28 February posted a $1.4 billion operating surplus before gains and losses, $912 million better than expected at the half yearly update, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. “Higher tax revenues and lower than forecast expenditure mean the OBEGAL surplus is better than expected,” Mr Joyce says. Tax revenues from the last year are 3.8 per cent ahead of Budget 2016 expectations and 7.7 per cent ahead of the same period last year, with all categories of tax growing. “The Government has collected $3.5 billion more…
The Reserve Bank today began publishing new monthly statistics that will provide greater insight into the structure and activities of the banking sector. Head of Macro Financial Stability, Bernard Hodgetts, said the Reserve Bank has worked closely with banks to develop the new statistical collection on the sector’s balance sheets. “Since the global financial crisis there has been increased demand from the general public, media and financial analysts for more detail in financial statistics, and for these statistics to cover more areas – particularly in banking.” The new banking statistics include breakdowns of financial instruments, including loans, securities, deposits and…
Auckland – The Kiwi Connection Tech Hub is working with NZ businesses, industry and government across multiple initiatives to support 100 Kiwi entrepreneurs, managers and executives to visit major South East Asia markets this year to increase exports, access investment capital and tap into the talent pool that New Zealand lacks. Hub director Mitchell Pham is working with organisers of the significant landmark business trip to Vietnam, Thailand and possibly Myanmar in a giant leap forward to boost New Zealand exports.In partnership with Augen The tech hub is a partnership between Augen Software Group and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise…
Rising property values helped lift New Zealand’s net worth to just over $1.39 trillion at 31 March 2015, up 9 percent on 2014, Stats NZ said today. “Net worth reflects the balance of what New Zealanders own and what they owe – that is, assets minus debts held by households and government,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said. Except for a 3 percent decline in 2009, net worth has grown steadily since 2007 – from just over $1 trillion in 2007 to $1.39 trillion in 2015. Graph, New Zealand's net worth,at 31 March, 2007–15 From 2007 to 2015, household…
Twelve of the 15 regional economies in New Zealand recorded nominal GDP increases in the year ended March 2016, Stats NZ said today. Provisional estimates show the largest percentage increases were in the Bay of Plenty (7.7 percent), Auckland (6.0 percent), and Otago (4.8 percent). The national increase was 4.1 percent. “The Bay of Plenty’s increase was underpinned by strong performances across the professional and administrative services, and agriculture, primarily kiwifruit,” senior national accounts manager Gary Dunnet said. “The increase in Auckland was driven by the professional services, finance, and transport industries.” Decreases were recorded in Taranaki (8.5 percent), the…
More subdued growth, due to persistent spare capacity in the global economy following the global financial crisis, has been a key feature of the current New Zealand business cycle. This is a key take-out from a review of the current business cycle, published today in the Reserve Bank Bulletin.  Listen to the Behind The  Bank Bulletin The article summarises developments in the New Zealand economy since 2008 through the lens of monetary policy. The article identifies five key phases: the global financial crisis of 2008-09; ‘green shoots’ recovery (mid-2009 to mid-2010); domestic caution and global uncertainty (mid-2010 to late 2012);…
Computer services and machinery manufacturing firms led the way in an almost 30 percent lift in business spending on research and development (R&D) in 2016, Stats NZ said today. Businesses spent $1.6 billion on R&D in 2016, up $356 million (29 percent) from 2014. The computer services sector had the biggest dollar-value increase in R&D within the business sector, up $125 million (40 percent) to $436 million in 2016. Computer services firms include New Zealand businesses providing services such as producing and distributing software, and web design. The second-largest increase in business-related R&D spending was for machinery and equipment manufacturing,…
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 10:07

Diagnose your colour woes at PacPrint

Colour Graphic Services is offering free ‘colour health checks’ for offset, digital and wide-format printers at PacPrint in May. Printers can print the free test forme to the best of their ability on the device of their choice and bring it to CGS’s stand B62 at PacPrint, where ‘Colour Doctor’ David Crowther will analyse and provide feedback on their colour performance. “The test provides printers with a report and detailed information about where their colour quality is at on the device they printed it on. We’re measuring it against the ISO standard for print, which is the basis for colour…
With its complex rules, fine print and lengthy processes, it’s little wonder that the $NZD1.85 trillion dollar insurance industry has a terrible reputation for trust and customer service. In a recent global survey from accounting firm E&Y, consumers ranked insurance below banks, car manufacturers, online shopping sites and supermarkets for trustworthiness. A newcomer to the field, Auckland based Digital Squad hopes to reverse that reputation by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) - more specifically technology and behavioral science to create a faster and more transparent service. The start-up, a collaboration of behavioural economist, Shane Chand, and AI and cryptography specialist, Anvesh…
University of Auckland and Victoria University of Wellington have put their academic shoulders to the wheel in backing Newsroom online alternative to print media. Their other foundation partners include auto company Holden and telecommunications lines outfit Chorus. The association will allow the US auto manufacturer Holden a fresh opportunity to counter the Japanese auto manufacturers which dominate branding on the free-to-air television channels. Chorus, which is restricted to wholesale activities only, will benefit from additional use of its telecommunications circuits. It is unsure at this stage if the two universities will contribute from an investment point of view, supplying content,…
The Minister for Seniors Maggie Barry says changes to Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) forms will make them easier to understand and use. “Knowing you can chose people you trust and who understand what you want, who will make important personal and financial decisions for you if you can’t, gives you peace of mind,” Ms Barry says. “It should be set up when you are fit and healthy – mentally and physically.” “The changes, which come into effect tomorrow, make it much easier to take that first step towards protecting your future life wishes on your personal health and well-being…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:52

Toshiba Now Considering Selling Westinghouse

Executives at Toshiba are now actively considering selling Westinghouse, among other options to deal with the troubled nuclear developer. The company has expanded a probe into Westinghouse and missed an earnings report deadline for a second time, Reuters reported. Officials at Toshiba believe it could find buyers for a majority stake in Westinghouse even though it recently lost $6.3 billion. Industry executives believe South Korea’s KEPCO could be a potential buyer. KEPCO indicated it would consider an offer. However, CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa dodged questions about a potential bankruptcy filing for Westinghouse, indicating only that there are multiple options. Company sources…
Will purchase appease shareholders and their class action? The acquisition by Toronto’s Resolver Inc of assets of Wynyard Group points up the need for an international partner by New Zealand technology companies. Resolver has taken over a slew of products from the Wynyard Group which went into liquidation. In doing so the Canadian company also acquires a user base, notably in the public sector. Resolver’s activities in the crime-fighting, counter insurgency, and security IT application sector mirrored those of Wynyard. The failure of Wynyard much earlier to acquire a big league international collaboration is all the more strange bearing in…
Entries open today for the 2017 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships, which offer New Zealand’s managers and executives the opportunity to improve their skills at the world’s best business schools. Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges says the scholarships are designed for managers and executives of companies involved in exporting, who are looking to expand their expertise through international study. “We want New Zealand’s business leaders to have an opportunity to learn from some of the best overseas business schools and institutions,” Mr Bridges says. “The aim of the scholarships is to make it easier to access these institutions, in turn increasing…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 05:21

Vector Expands Its Energy Solutions Business

Vector today announced another step in its strategy to deliver efficient, sustainable energy solutions to consumers, with the acquisition of two companies, E-Co Products Group and PowerSmart. E-Co Products, better known as HRV, is a total home solutions business that has built a deep and strong connection with New Zealanders, helping to create healthier homes. PowerSmart is a leading provider of innovative large scale sustainable power solutions in New Zealand and the South Pacific. Vector Chief Executive, Simon Mackenzie, says the businesses will continue to operate independently and provide Vector with complementary channels to deliver innovative technological energy solutions directly…
Story So Far---Newspaper Managers Ironical and Touching Failure to Cooperate The extra month of unexpected additional breathing space allowed before the promulgating of the final verdict of the Commerce Commission in the matter of the proposed merger of the two newspaper chains, NZME and Fairfax, will allow all interested parties more time to study the implications of the word deceive. Deceive features in the Commerce Commission’s own glossary of words, the ones that fall into heavy use in its own jurisdictional bailiwick. Indeed, as a helpful compendium this technique might well be used by other such official authorities. The Commerce…
The latest Alleasing Equipment Demand Index for New Zealand shows businesses expect to substantially grow their asset base this year - and they are increasingly likely to consider leasing as a funding option. In a first for the quarterly Index, which launched in August 2015, more than half (51.2%) of the 250 businesses surveyed indicated they have plans to increase their asset base. For the first quarter of 2017, the average growth is expected to be 8.9%. This is the first time the quarterly increase has exceeded 8%. Just 3% cent of businesses have plans to lower their asset base,…
Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding and entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire Air Liquide’s subsidiary, Air Liquide Welding. Air Liquide Welding is subject to a definitive agreement between the parties and customary conditions and provisions for a transaction of this type, including the “information-consultation” process with the employee representative bodies and the applicable competition authorities’ approval. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as the financial adviser and Jones Day is acting as legal adviser to Lincoln Electric. |  A n AMN release  |  march 06, 2017  ||    
Thursday, 02 March 2017 09:07

Reserve Bank sees risks equally balanced

Risks around future Official Cash Rate movements are equally weighted, reflecting balanced risks around inflation, Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said today in a speech. Speaking to Craigs Investment Partners’ Investor Day in Auckland, Mr Wheeler noted that the Bank’s February Monetary Policy Statement included a neutral bias with an unchanged OCR track until late 2019. Expanding on the main risks around the interest rate projections, Mr Wheeler said: “In effect, there is an equal probability that the next OCR adjustment could be up or down. We consider the balance of risks for the global outlook to be downside. For…
In a first for a New Zealand university, Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law is now offering accredited courses under the new trans-Tasman patent attorney registration scheme. Commencing on 24 February 2017, the new scheme merges the New Zealand and Australian regulatory regimes for patent attorneys, allowing them to practice in both jurisdictions. Completing a series of courses accredited by the Professional Standards Board (PSB), such as those offered by Victoria University, is compulsory to qualify under the new scheme. Professor Susy Frankel, an expert in intellectual property law, says that providing world-class postgraduate training in support of New…
The trans-Tasman patent attorney regime, a system for joint regulation of patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand, is now in effect, helping to create a seamless trans-Tasman business environment. Reforms as part of the Single Economic Market agenda, agreed to by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand in 2009, have created a single body to regulate patent attorneys in both countries. The trans-Tasman patent attorney regime is designed to increase business confidence in the service provided by patent attorneys, to streamline processes, to minimise the cost of regulating patent attorneys in both countries, and to facilitate competition…
Saturday, 18 February 2017 07:10

HR health check for business launched

Human resources consultancy, Dough HR, says small and medium-sized businesses need just as much human resources support and assistance as the big guys. Hence, they’ve recently launched a health check service which is already proving popular. “We understand that with a growing business, sometimes you need to access HR skills and ideas but can’t justify investing in a part or full-time HR employee. That’s where we can help,” says Dough HR director Diana Barry. She says workplace litigation is on the rise and inadequate or out-of-date human resources management can result in great risk to businesses, regardless of how positive…
Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins has today announced a Market Study into fuel prices/returns to be undertaken by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The Fuel Market Financial Performance Study, which is expected to be completed by the end of June is designed to determine how fair petrol and diesel prices are at the pump. “MBIE data shows that fuel margins have more than doubled over the last five years. The Market Study will report on fuel company returns and will include in-depth analysis of oil companies’ finances. The Study will focus on the returns on average…
Uninitiated can wreck their public service careers by mishandling them Jargon in its politically correct form it is now being actively promoted and thus its adoption officially encouraged.Instead of relying on jarring clunky acronyms or neologisms, made-up new words, the new jargon is dangerous in that it is comprised of everyday words that have become re-purposed. Peter Isaac is the author of The Definitive Bureaucrats’ Survival Guide to Workplace Jargon and also The New Gobbledygook. This selection cites the face-value innocuous words that in recent years, months even, have suddenly become perilous to their unindoctrinated users. Community Now refers only…
Thursday, 09 February 2017 06:33

Callaghan Innovation appoint a new CEO

Sue Suckling, Chair of Callaghan Innovation, is pleased to welcome Ms Crone to lead the next phase of the organisation’s development, following its establishment and consolidation phase under the inaugural CEO. “Vic brings a track record of leading and implementing organisational strategy to achieve challenging outcomes, through a customer-driven approach and building the strong organisational culture necessary to deliver results.” “Her significant executive and governance experience in the tech and innovation sector, and her broader profile, also position her well to drive Callaghan Innovation’s connectedness with all key stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem,” says Ms Suckling. Ms Crone was previously…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 14:56

Carl Bass steps down as CEO of Autodesk

On Monday, Carl Bass, the CEO of $18 billion Autodesk, gave an interview with Pando Daily’s Sarah Lacy where he described President Donald Trump as “actingsomewhere between a dictator and a small business owner.” On Tuesday, Bass announced that he’s stepping down as Autodesk CEO, effective immediately. He’ll stay on the Autodesk board and assist with the search for a new chief executive, with senior executives Amar Hanspal and Andrew Anagnost holding down the fort as interim co-CEOs. Autodesk is best known as the company behind AutoCAD, the ubiquitous design software for the worlds of architecture, manufacture, and construction. In…
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith has today announced the reappointment of Claire Robinson, Brett Hewlett, and Suse Reynolds to the Callaghan Innovation Stakeholder Advisory Group. “The reappointment of Ms Robinson, Mr Hewlett, and Ms Reynolds recognises the valuable skills and insights they all contribute to the advisory group, as well as their work to ensure that Callaghan is connected and engaged with its stakeholders,” says Mr Goldsmith. Callaghan Innovation is the government agency tasked with growing New Zealand’s economy by helping business succeed through technology. The seven-member Stakeholder Advisory Group provides independent, expert advice to the Callaghan Innovation Board.…
Tuesday, 07 February 2017 13:52

New tool provides easy access to economic data

New tool provides easy access to economic data A new online tool will make it easy for businesses and decision makers to access a rich set of data on the performance New Zealand’s industrial sectors, Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges says. Launched today, the New Zealand Sectors Dashboard provides the latest available data on twenty-six different sectors covering the whole economy, from the primary industries, manufacturing and services sectors to government, education and health. ‘The New Zealand economy is diverse and dynamic. Strong GDP and job growth, together with the impact of technology, is driving change in every sector.…
Wednesday, 01 February 2017 06:47

Callaghan Innovation reviewed

A review of the government's flagship agency for commercialising innovation has found Callaghan Innovation has "weak" management, and is "struggling internally" to complete a strategy guiding how it offers services to companies with high-value, high-tech commercial ideas. Three and a half years after its creation from the Crown Research Institute, IRL, Callaghan appears to be "caught mid-stream between two very different operating models", the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) review by former public sector leader Paula Rebstock says. Compared to the needs of an organisation intended to bridge the gap between its mission as a "customer-driven, integrator" of commercialisation assistance to…
Thursday, 26 January 2017 22:05

Government accounts ahead of forecast

Higher than forecast tax revenues are the primary reason the Government accounts for the first five months of the financial year are ahead of forecast, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. The Government’s financial accounts to 30 November 2016 were released today, and they show that the Crown’s Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) was a deficit of $768 million, which was $936 million better than the Treasury projected at the Half Year Fiscal Update (HYEFU). "Stronger economic growth is flowing through to the Government's tax take'" Mr Joyce says. "Tax revenue for the five months to November is $460…
Fuss about citizenship reminiscent of Takaro Lodge Flap. Midas Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel backed Facebook, Paypal, and Xero. But his founding of crime and insurgency systems developer Palantir currently valued at $20 billion can be considered less than helpful to floundering New Zealand law-and-order systems producer Wynyard Group. On Wednesday, 02 November 2016 in:-  Wynyard Class Action Must Identify Litigation TargetsMSC Newswire reported: “Wynyard for example walked into this kind of Silicon Valley deep-pocket storm when it found itself confronted with sometime New Zealand resident and Tolkien buff Peter Thiel’s Palantir crime product.” Underpinning Mr Thiel’s right to New…
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 14:54

Minimum wage to increase to $15.75

The minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $15.75 an hour on 1 April 2017, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced today. The starting-out and training hourly minimum wage rates will increase from $12.20 to $12.60 per hour, remaining at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage. “The Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting our lowest paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost,” says Mr Woodhouse. “An increase to $15.75 will benefit approximately 119,500 workers and will increase wages throughout the economy by $65 million per year. “At a time when…
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 06:31

Auckland Chamber launches Paycheck NZ

Auckland Chamber launches confidential service to ensure employers meet New Zealand wage regulations. Increasing numbers of migrants and younger workers being taken advantage of by employers; notes Auckland Chamber head Michael Barnett. Anyone who believes they have been underpaid, had their passport confiscated or wanting to clarify their employment conditions can register confidentially on a dedicated website: www.paychecknz.co.nz. “We will investigate the situation in complete confidence,” said Mr Barnett. He stressed that the Chamber was not being anti-employer in setting up the service. “But we don’t want the vast majority of good employers to be branded by the minority.” Through…
Thursday, 19 January 2017 08:51

APSCo to open New Zealand office in 2017

The UK's Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) plan to open an office in New Zealand in 2017 according to an article in Recruiter titled 'May’s way means recruiters must think of new ways to attract talent'May’s way means recruiters must think of new ways to attract talent'  Samantha Hurley, operations director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), welcomed the PM's commitment to continuing to attracting the “brightest and the best” from across the globe to work or study in Britain. “All the countries interested in negotiating trade agreements with the UK – Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and…
MELBOURNE, Australia, Jan. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) has reached an agreement to sell most of its grocery business in Australia and New Zealand to Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA) for $460 million AUD. The transaction adds the iconic VEGEMITE brand and other well-established grocery brands to Bega’s portfolio. The move enables Mondelēz International to further focus its portfolio and drive profitable growth by investing in its core snacks categories and Power Brands, including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and Oreo biscuits. “We’re extremely proud of our history as the custodian of the VEGEMITE brand for over 90…
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 13:05

New Zealand Oil & Gas Moves to 50.01% of Cue

New Zealand Oil & Gas has secured a 50.01 per cent holding in its subsidiary, ASX-listed Cue Energy Resources. “Our controlling interest in Cue provides diversified exposure to Cue's production and exploration interests in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia,” New Zealand Oil & Gas Chief Executive Andrew Jefferies said. Cue has production from its interest in the Maari oil field off Taranaki, and from the Sampang PSC in East Java, Indonesia. It has a portfolio of exploration including the substantial Ironbark prospect in the Carnarvon basin off West Australia, and in Indonesia. “Cue has cut costs significantly, and refined its…
The Reserve Bank has appointed Klarissa Plimmer as Chief Information Officer and Patrick Hoerler as Head of Risk Assessment and Assurance. As Chief Information Officer, Klarissa Plimmer is responsible for the Bank's information management and technology. Ms Plimmer was previously the Director ICT Solution Delivery at the New Zealand Defence Force, and has worked in a number of ICT leadership roles at the BNZ for 13 years. Patrick Hoerler heads the Bank's Risk Assessment and Assurance unit, which is responsible for ensuring that financial, operational, and reputational risks faced by the Bank are identified, monitored and managed in line with…
HNA Group bought Ingram Micro last year in a US$6 billion deal which closed in December and which makes Ingram Micro a subsidiary of HNA’s Tianjin Tianhai logistics, supply chain and financial services company. HNA, which has a financial arm which operates a diverse set of businesses in equipment leasing, insurance and credit services, will pay $660 million for UDC Finance with the deal expected to close in the second half of 2017, subject to approvals. UDC provides specialist asset-based finance to Kiwi businesses for plant, vehicles and equipment. Adam Tan, HNA Group vice chairman and chief executive, says UDC’s…
The Reserve Bank has released a new animated video explaining banking sector stress tests. Stress testing is a tool to assess how banks might cope with a severe economic downturn. The two-minute animated video explains how stress tests work and why the Reserve Bank uses them to monitor and respond to risks in the banking sector. The video is part of a series of animated videos prepared by the Reserve Bank. These include ‘The OCR and how it works’, ‘What is the economy?’, ‘Compound Interest’ and ‘What is money?’. Watch the video here: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/videos/stress-testing-animated-video    
Friday, 16 December 2016 07:15

Appointments to WorkSafe Board

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse today announced two new appointments to the WorkSafe New Zealand Board. Stephen Reindler and Nikki Davies-Colley will join the board from 16 December for three year terms. “These appointments bring to the Board strong governance skills and experience in sectors which WorkSafe is particularly focused on,” Mr Woodhouse says. “Stephen Reindler is a very experienced director and engineer who has led health and safety programmes in large manufacturing, engineering, and transport companies. “Nikki Davies-Colley brings her governance experience in the farming, forestry and energy sectors and her health and safety initiatives have become…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 10:49

Appointments to transport sector roles

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has made some appointments to the Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) Board. Commercial law partner, Kylie van Heerden, has been appointed as a new member. “Ms van Heerden has experience advising clients on corporate and commercial matters, including company compliance and governance. Her appointment will bring commercial legal skills and an injection of fresh energy to this Board,” Mr Bridges says. Mr Bridges has also reappointed Belinda Vernon who has been a member since May 2013 and chairs its Audit and Risk Committee. “Ms Vernon’s reappointment will provide continuity, and she brings financial and business skills in…
Leading Japanese manufacturer, Oji Holdings Corporation (Oji Holdings), through its New Zealand subsidiary, Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS), is investing A$72 million in a new corrugated box manufacturing facility in Queensland. The investment is a boost to the region and will create an initial 55 jobs in the Gold Coast suburb of Yatala. OjiFS will manage the new automated facility, and will manufacture a range of quality packaging products to meet increasing needs for use with fruit, meat and consumer goods in Queensland, New South Wales and Northern Territory. In a press release, OjiFS Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jon Ryder, says…
The latest New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions completed during November 2016, shows total sales in October 2016 decreased 6.81% (year on year export sales decreased by 20.72% with domestic sales increasing by 20.14%) on October 2015. In the three months to October, export sales decreased an average of 7.0%, and domestic sales increased 13.9% on average. The NZMEA survey sample this month covered NZ$288m in annualised sales, with an export content of 56%. Net confidence rose to 42, up from -23 in September. The current performance index (a combination of profitability and cash flow)…
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which is battling rival ResMed over intellectual property for face and nasal masks, has succeeded in overturning the second of two preliminary injunctions against it in Germany, allowing the company to resume sales of the affected products in that country. The District Court in Munich in August granted two preliminary injunctions preventing the sale of F&P Simplus, Eson and Eson 2 masks in Germany by F&P Healthcare's German subsidiary. The first injunction was overturned on Nov. 17, and the second on Dec. 1, allowing the company to resume sale of the products, Auckland-based F&P Healthcare said…
Private equity-owned Patties Foods, the maker of brands such as Nanna’s, Herbert Adams and Four’N Twenty pies, has bought New Zealand company Leader Products, a manufacturer of frozen convenience food products. Patties Foods, bought by Pacific Equity Partners for $232 million in September, says the two companies are natural partners, both focused on manufacturing high quality frozen foods. Leader, started by Tony Peterson and Richard Crabb in 1998, exports to Australia and Asia and has doubled revenue in the past five years. The product range includes meatballs, burger patties, toppas, finger foods and meal solutions under the brands Leader, Tony’s…
Diverseco, Australia's leading integrated measurement, packaging and product inspection solutions provider, is delighted to announce the acquisition of Robot Technologies/Systems Australia (RTA). RTA is Australia’s foremost integrator of robotic automation, with over thirty years of experience and expertise in industrial robotics, manufacturing automation, process automation and factory automation. The company supplies and services robotics equipment for businesses within a broad range of industries across Australia and New Zealand. These include manufacturing, mining, commodity handling, defence and pharmaceutical. The company’s suppliers include leading brands Kawasaki, Staubli, Kyokutoh, Servo-Robot, Nitta and Pro-face, with RTA currently providing applications for material handling, sorting, machine…
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 08:43

Kennards Hire opens in Tauranga

Kennards Hire finds itself quite at home in New Zealand. So much so that they continue to build the family-owned business with the acquisition of Tauranga Hire - its 17th branch in New Zealand. Kennards Hire is an equipment and tool hire company with almost 170 branches across New Zealand and Australia. Following their recent branch opening in Hamilton in August this year, the Tauranga branch opened as Kennards Hire on Monday, 31 October and characterises Kennards Hire’s aim to offer New Zealanders the best of the hire and rental industry. Tom Kimber, General Manager of Kennards Hire New Zealand…
Saturday, 26 November 2016 10:54

Acquisition of TechRentals NZ Ltd

Vp plc, the equipment rental specialist, today announces the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of TechRentals NZ Ltd ("TRNZ") for a cash consideration of NZ$2.592 million (New Zealand dollars). TRNZ is engaged in the specialist rental of test & measurement equipment and calibration services in New Zealand.� The business, which has been established for over 30 years, currently operates from a single location in Auckland, New Zealand. In April 2016, Vp plc announced the acquisition of TR Pty Ltd ("TR"), also engaged in the specialist rental of test & measurement equipment and provider of calibration services in Australia…
Friday, 25 November 2016 07:19

Ensuring copyright protection

The government is updating copyright regulations to ensure the Copyright Act 1994 full takes account of New Zealand international copyright obligations, says Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith. “When a foreign work is protected by copyright in New Zealand, it is protected because of international agreements to which New Zealand is a party to. Our Copyright Act needs updating from time to time to ensure continuity with our international obligations,” says Mr Goldsmith. Amendments to the Copyright (Application to Other Countries) Order 1995 (the Order) will provide nationals of countries who have recently joined the World Trade Organization, the…