Business NZ Conference Part V

CEO Phil O’Reilly reported on the results of their survey of members. Over 2,000 members responded – mainly small business:

  1. Skills Shortage biggest issue – can not get skilled staff despite rising unemployment
  2. Firms want to innovate but don’t feel well positioned to do so
  3. Concerns about “environment” for business  – Holidays Act, ERA, ACC


  • 72% say education system not meeting skills gap
  • 94% say more work needed on apprenticeships and industry training. Need action not rhetoric
  • 91% say all school leavers should achieve NCEA Level 1 for literacy and numeracy
  • Not just student loans driving people overseas
  • The underlying problem is competitiveness
  • NZ economy not growing enough high-paying jobs so skilled Kiwis being sucked overseas


  • 89% say R&D tax credits will nit lift R&D spend. Pointed out many small business who responded do no R&D
  • 54% say policies needed to improve access to venture capital
  • 54% say government assistance should be through a contestable fund

Environment for Business

  • 71% say the dismissals provision in ERA is below average
  • 54% say ERA collective approach is wrong way – less than in past
  • 89% do not want laws for work-life balance
  • 61% want ACC opened up for competition

Open ACC to Competition (Bus 61% yes)

ACT – yes
Labour, NZF, Greens, UFNZ – No
National, Maori – will consider it

Flatter Taxes

National, ACT, UFNZ – Yes
Labour, Greens, Maori – No
NZF – no clear policy

Local Government stick to core business (Bus 64% yes)

ACT – yes
Labour, Greens, Maori – no
National, NZF, UFNZ – no clear answer

Support FTA with China (Bus 55% yes)

Labour, National, NZF, ACT – yes
NZF, Greens, Maori – no

Should NZ be international leader on climate change? (Bus 73% No)

Labour – yes
ACT, UF – No
National, NZF, Greens – unclear answer

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