Time to Transform

Our team of five million has been congratulated many times for our success in dealing with the COVID-19 public health crisis. We now need the same effort in dealing with the COVID-19 business crisis. Several factors make this a crisis: some of our sectors like shopfront retail were already under pressure from on-line competitors and have been further

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NIB Go! Magazine

This month we’re excited to share another great publication from our partners nib Health Insurance.

The latest version of their workplace wellness magazine has just been released and it’s well worth a read. Articles include how to build a healthier body, tips for working parents, how to stay mentally healthy and more…

Alan McDonald

Advocacy in real time

Member feedback was a critical component of the EMA’s advocacy programme during the peak of the COVID-19. Advocacy can often be a slow moving process but the almost real-time feedback we were able to provide government, from the calls, emails and conversations with members, helped shape and change the government’s response during the fast-moving crisis period in the first few weeks of lockdown.  That feedback enabled the advocacy team to help cut through the usual mountain of red tape and get a faster response to help under pressure members. For example, when there was a 12-week delay on sourcing hand

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David Spratt

Tiwai Point – an avoidable disaster

Last week Rio Tinto announced that they will be closing the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter in August 2021. It will be interesting to see the Government’s response to this.  What is clear is that Rio Tinto has lost patience with Transpower charging  huge costs for transmission from Lake Manapouri to Tiwai Point  when these assets have been well and truly bought and paid for in the fifty years the smelter has been running. This leaves NZ Inc with some challenging problems. The closure will result in the direct loss of 1000 jobs, with another 1600 jobs indirectly connected to the

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Paul Jarvie

Preparing your businesses for the cannabis referendum

In September 2020, New Zealanders will be asked to decide on whether or not cannabis should be legalised via a referendum. https://www.referendums.govt.nz/cannabis/summary.html In a nutshell a ‘YES’ vote will allow a person aged 20 or over to be able to: Buy up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) per day only from licensed outlets Enter licensed premises where cannabis is sold or consumed Consume cannabis on private property or at a licensed premise Grow up to 2 plants, with a maximum of 4 plants per household Share up to 14 grams of dried cannabis (or its equivalent)

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Persia Templeton

First out of the Gate: Covid-19 wage subsidy blunder

The first decision of the Employment Relations Authority in respect of the COVID-19 wage subsidy has been released. As has been anticipated, many employers may soon be found liable for wage arrears where there has been a misapplication of the subsidies granted in the wake of COVID-19. In the decision of Sandhu v Gate Gourmet New Zealand Limited [2020] NZERA 259, one of the key issues considered was whether reducing non-working employees’ pay to 80 per cent, where they are on the minimum wage, breached the Minimum Wage Act 1983 (MWA). The employer, Gate Gourmet, is a global company providing

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Bev Edwards

Working remotely – will permanent change result from the pandemic?

In a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak, New Zealand employers put in place precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19 including remote working – where employees were based partly or fully from home. If you had an existing Working from Home Policy this transition may have been smoother than scrambling to come up with resources and procedures to allow remote working to occur. Now that we are in Alert Level 1, many employers are investigating permanently implementing the flexible remote-work model that was so successful over lockdown. Location bias is a critical and as yet, poorly understood factor standing

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Kent Duffy

Contractor Courier Driver found to be an Employee – Contractor v Employee

Mr Leota was a driver for a courier company, Parcel Express Limited. He asked the Employment Court (“the Court”) for a declaration that he was an employee of the company. Parcel Express said that Mr Leota was an independent contractor, not an employee. This case involved a dispute about employment status. Namely, the distinction between a contractor and employee. Employee status is the gateway to access various statutory entitlements including holiday pay, minimum wages, KiwiSaver, parental leave and the personal grievance procedures. There are legal tests that allow the Employment Relations Authority (“the Authority”) and the Court to make decisions

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Callaghan Innovation

Doubling down on R&D will help us to build back better

It can be a tough call to continue growth plans during such turbulent times. But some NZ businesses doubling down on R&D are reaping the rewards. As the struggle to contain the spread of COVID-19 around the world continues, one of the most significant global R&D efforts in history is gathering pace. The Americans call it “Operation Warp Speed”, the massive effort to develop and produce an effective COVID-19 vaccine in record time. Similar efforts are playing out everywhere. Our own government has pledged $37 million towards vaccine efforts, including developing the capacity to manufacture a vaccine locally. Based on

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Thomas Manning

Into the Breach

According to Economic Development NZ’s Dr David Wilson, New Zealand can emerge relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic if businesses focus on being connected, responsive, adaptive and fleet-footed in a joined-up NZ Inc. approach. Dr Wilson’s advice is particularly relevant for the export realm. As one of only a small number of countries that responded quickly and successfully to the pandemic, financial services company Standard & Poors Global predicts New Zealand will  suffer the least recessionary effects in the Asia Pacific region with a 2.7 per cent cost to its real GDP over the next two years, slightly less than

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Frank Olsson

Welcome to Sweden

Geographically Sweden is one of the biggest countries in Europe with almost 100,000 lakes and over 200,000 islands, although less than 1000 of these are inhabited. Bordering Norway and Finland and connected to Denmark via a series of bridges, it sits at the centre of Scandinavia. The countries capital Stockholm encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges offering a a vibrant culture of music, theatre, dance and film, like the other larger Swedish cities. Stockholm is also the location of the New Zealand embassy for the Nordic Region. The Swedish and Scandinavian approach to life is very similar to

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COVID-19 Web Series

The EMA, ATEED and the Regional Business Partner Network have partnered to bring you a free webinar series to help combat the ongoing issues businesses are facing during COVID-19. The webinars cover health and safety, workplace culture cashflow and redeployment and other key areas all designed to help you get through. The series is full of practical tips to help your business rebuild and regenerate.




MEMBER PROFILE | Technology | Training

Catherine Beard

ChargeSmart adjusts to COVID-19

ChargeSmart chief executive Nigel Broomhall was on his third trip to the US in 2020 when countries started going into COVID-19 lockdown. “I was in New York of all places,” said Nigel. Up to that point, things were running very smoothly for this entrepreneur, but when the pandemic arrived his reaction involved ‘a couple of expletives’. ChargeSmart sources electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure from Europe and installs and sells it in New Zealand. New Zealand’s EV fleet now sits around 20,000, up from 13,000 this time last year, making it an exciting sector to be in.  But COVID-19 put things

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Rohan MacMahon

Time for a tech-led recovery

“Technology was critical during the pandemic lockdown; now it can play an equally important part in NZ’s economic recovery”.  It’s fair to say that most of us haven’t experienced anything quite like a global pandemic before. It’s been a strange year, not least from a business perspective. What is now clear is that New Zealand has emerged from the worst risks of COVID-19 much faster than other developed countries. That means we can get on with economic recovery and while some industries like tourism and education will be heavily affected for months or even years to come, some industries can

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Jay Amelia Stone

Lockdown highlights the power of virtual training

The EMA faced many challenges during the COVID-19 lockdown, including how to offer courses to members when our training rooms were suddenly out of bounds? There were also questions around if there would still be an appetite for training when everyone was focused on keeping their businesses afloat. Demand for some of our courses did drop, but we also saw an increase in members looking to make productive use of time in a ‘bubble’. This desire for professional development prompted the EMA to pivot and deliver courses via ‘virtual training rooms’, putting Microsoft Teams to good use. What we learnt

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COVID-19 Business Helpline and additional support for small and medium-sized businesses.

There is now a free helpline to provide all New Zealand businesses with advice and to connect them with additional support around COVID-19.

The helpline numbers are 0800 500 362 for the North Island and 0800 505 096 for the South Island.

The helplines offer businesses:

  • specific advice and access to Government-funded business support
  • advice on what Alert Level 1 means for business
  • general business advice and access to online resources and webinars
  • connections to business advisory services
  • HR, employee relations, and health and safety advice.

If the issue is more complex, the helplines can provide a referral to an expert advisor either through advisory services via the Regional Business Partner Network (RBP) or within the EMA/CECC.

The RBP have received additional funding on top of an initial $4 million to deliver support in areas of need for businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic such as: marketing support, business strategy and digital enablement services.

Changes have also been made to the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Business Support Fund, lifting the number of full-time employees cap from 50 to 100 as well as removing the co-funding requirement.