Some thoughts on the incoming Govt

There have been many opinion pieces and news articles published since New Zealand First announced they would form a coalition with Labour, but it’s still not entirely clear what this change of Government will mean for business. The sooner we have more certainty on some of the comments made by Mr Peters regarding New Zealand’s fundamental economic structure and settings, the better it will be to give businesses the confidence and certainty you require.

As a Chamber of Commerce, our role is work with the Government of the day to achieve successful outcomes for business. We support the statement issued by the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce that we will continue to advocate for a strong central focus on regional development, responding on a regionally-specific basis to challenges such as improving core infrastructure, and a renewed commitment to free trade – all with the goal to make it easier to do business.

The incoming government must avoid knee-jerk responses to perceived problems in immigration. The Chambers believe stopping immigration would be bad for businesses and bad for the economy. Instead we encourage the government to work with employers, to manage requirements around talent, and the Chambers of Commerce are keen to help with this.

There are many other issues that we are keen to pursue, and we welcome commencement of a conversation on these, as well as look forward to working alongside the incoming Labour-led government to ensure we get the right outcomes.

As part of our planning for our 2018 programme of events, we will be taking our change of Government into account and looking to bring you speakers and events to provide clarity and certainty on economic settings. If you have any ideas, or specific concerns you’d like the Chamber to advocate on your behalf, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.

Register for our next BA5

Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures is a family run yacht charter business and this year celebrates 20 years in business, and are hosting our next Chapman ER Business After Five on Wednesday 25 October.

They offer skippered sailing tours of Nelson, Tasman Bay, Abel Tasman National Park and Marlborough Sounds. The tours include daily scheduled tours, private personalised day charters and multi day holidays.

Owners Jane-Maree and Martin Holmes started their business in 1997 as Catamaran Sailing Charters when they returned home, sailing through the Southern Ocean with their sailing catamaran Jamarh, and with a dream to establish their sailing business. Today, with five catamarans – including their very latest quality charter vessel Te Harinui – they are delighted to still be at the helm: “It’s something we created, enjoy hugely, and love sharing with our guests”.

Come along and enjoy informal networking with other Chamber members at the fantastic setting of 272 Wakefield Quay (in front of the Styx Bar and Restaurant) from 5.30pm on Wednesday 25 October, with an exciting opportunity to board their beautiful boats.

Register here

We’re hiring!

We’ve got a fantastic part-time opportunity for a Business Advisor to join the Chamber team.

The Business Advisor will be responsible for delivering the Regional Business Partner Programme on behalf of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The Regional Business Partner Programme builds on local knowledge and experience to support and enable small to medium enterprises to achieve their growth potential through improved business performance and innovation.

The Business Advisor will work with businesses to provide information, advice, support and access to services and funding available through the Regional Business Partner Programme.

Find out more about the role and how to apply here


Latest issue of Commerce Comment

Our latest issue of Commerce Comment features the new direction and strategy for the Chamber, as set by Grant after 8 months in the role of Chief Executive.

We also meet our impressive line up of 2017 Business Award entrants, and introduce you to some of our new Chamber members.

We also have excellent business and training advice from our sponsors BlueBerryIT, Chapman ER, Crowe Horwath, NMIT and Pitt & Moore.

Read the latest issue 

Read previous issues of Commerce Comment

Meet our 2017 Business Award entrants

Congratulations to the following businesses for entering the 2017 Nelson Pine Industries Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. We look forward to celebrating with you all at our awards evening on Friday 3 November.

Limited tickets to this premier event are still available so call us on 548 1363 or click here to secure your tickets!

Abel Tasman Canyons
Abel Tasman Canyons Limited is a Motueka-based adventure tourism business offering guided canyoning tours. In October 2012 Toine Houtenbos and Eva Maureau opened the doors of their canyoning business, and the team now consists of 9 full-time and 4 casual staff members. Guides take customers away from the coastline and off the beaten track to explore the remote canyons in the heart of the National Park. Toine and Eva consider it a true privilege to enable both locals and international visitors to explore the sheer beauty of the canyons and create unforgettable experiences.

Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures
Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures is a family run yacht charter business and this year celebrates 20 years in business. They offer skippered sailing tours of Nelson, Tasman Bay, Abel Tasman National Park and Marlborough Sounds. The company specializes in sailing catamarans and the fleet has now grown to include five sailing catamarans ranging from day sailing yachts to luxury cruising catamarans for a truly special experience. Their tours are a great way to explore our region and perfect for a relaxing holiday for you and visiting friends and family.

Access Dental
Access Dental is a family dental practice offering gentle, affordable care. With state of the art technology, Access Dental is a team of experienced, passionate dental professionals who value good communication with an emphasis on prevention/education. The Access Dental team are an authentic, compassionate and cohesive team dedicated to bringing a new dental experience. Paula Palmer, the principal, is the first dental hygienist to set up a general dental practice in New Zealand. Her passion for educating and enhancing dental experiences for patients saw her open her innovative business venture.

Elise Hair & Beauty
Elise Hair & Beauty is a destination hair and beauty salon offering a wide range of hairdressing and beauty services. Owner Sarah Nyssen has been in the beauty therapy industry for 9 years. She is extremely passionate about hair and beauty and over the 10 months she has owned the business, Sarah and her team have transformed the interior of the salon by adding two beauty rooms and giving the existing hair salon a refreshing face lift. The team is excited to meet you in their friendly salon for some well-deserved pampering.

Heke Homemade Herbals
It all started with a desire to utilise a non-productive, steep and shady urban garden, a love of herbal tea and a loathe of lawn-mowing! Initial tea trials at the Nelson Market and via social media were a sell-out success and encouraged Emma Heke to dig up all her urban lawns and plant a myriad of herbs and true tea plants. Heke Homemade Herbals was officially launched in September 2015. In 2017, with over 30 tea blends supporting health and wellbeing, Emma has a loyal, local customer base and an ever-expanding domestic postal enterprise.

Kitchen Studio Nelson
Kitchen Studio has been operating in Nelson for over 20 years and firmly believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. Avesh, Susan and the team look after the whole kitchen process from initial design inspiration through to final installation. They know any renovation or new build can be stressful so they co-ordinate with and organize the trades people you need, from electrician to plumber. With Kitchen Studio Nelson’s Total Trust Deposit and 10 year guarantee you can rest assured you’re in safe, reliable hands.

Kiwi Kai Nelson Limited
Locally owned and operated, Kiwi Kai Nelson now has a retail outlet at 41 Halifax St, and is the only Maori Kai destination in Te Tau Ihu. Kiwi Kai specialises in nourishing and finely balanced kai with exotic tastes and textures. They create almost anything with a strong emphasis on indigenous fusion and seafood with a kaupapa Maori influence – what our tupuna lived on. Fresh produce, kaimoana, quality meats and poultry are sourced, organic where possible. Kiwi Kai strives to deliver the healthiest foods for the wellbeing of guests and whanau.

McCraes Blinds and Screens
Annette and Shane McCrae started their business in 1994, selling blinds and screens as a franchisee. They sold their house and gave up well-paid jobs to start in an industry they knew nothing about. It was a challenging time but they had youth, determination and energy on their side and a conviction in their ability to make something from nothing. Fast forward to today and not only do McCraes manufacture 90% of their products, but they have extended their range to include curtains, awnings, fly screens and security doors.

Mint Flowers
Mint Flowers is an independently owned and operated florist shop with owner Kay Jordan a qualified designer ready to create beautiful bouquets and arrangements to suit all occasions. Kay and the team pride themselves on premium quality, convenience and affordability. Every customer is valued and looked after with a very personal but professional manner. Stunning corporate designs are available for local businesses, with fresh and fabulous flowers delivered every week to brighten up your workspace and help to make the overall impression of your business count.

Ngāti Koata Trust
The Ngāti Koata Trust is the mandated representative voice of the Ngāti Koata people which settled in Te Tauihu in the mid 1820s. Their mission is to create an environment in which Ngāti Koata can flourish and their guiding principle is to support the wellbeing of their people, places and treasures.
From their administrative offices in Whakatū (Nelson), Ngāti Koata develop programmes and initiatives that aim to build the social, economic, cultural and spiritual capacity and wellbeing of Ngāti Koata members wherever they may be.

Paradise Brokers
Kenn Butler has over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry and owns Paradise Brokers, a specialist provider of fully customised business insurance solutions. Paradise Brokers pride themselves on industry experience, dedication to their clients, and total commitment to their organisational values of integrity, trust, respect, care and loyalty to their community. For the team at Paradise Brokers business is about people. They have passion for customers with whom they build relationships based on listening and open communication; ensuring systems are kept simple and understandable.

R&R Kayaks
R&R Kayaks is a family owned sea kayaking business located in Marahau, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. They cater for all types of travellers, offering a great variety of guided tours, kayak rentals as well as private and customised tours. R&R Kayaks’ aim is to provide the highest quality sea kayaking adventures for their guests in the Abel Tasman. This is achieved through strong, effective and ethical management practices, high level of training for motivated staff and a clear focus on environmental values, with respect for the land and the ocean.

Sublime Coffee Roasters
Sublime Coffee Roasters was founded in 2005. From a very humble beginning, Sublime has steadily grown. In an effort to forge individuality in a crowded market place they have designed and built their own roasters and processing plant. This uniqueness allows them ultimate control over their product and product experience. Combined with careful selection of likeminded cafe supply relationships, the Sublime team has boomed into a business that now employs 23 highly caffeinated people and supplies coffee not only nationwide but also into Australia and Asia.

Wilsons Abel Tasman
People, Place and Passion are key to the Wilson family’s commitment to taking visitors to a place where life seems better. They have been welcoming visitors to this region for eight generations. People are the story-tellers, hosts, custodians of the land, and travellers on a journey of discovery. The place is Abel Tasman National Park. The passion is shared between the Wilson family, their guests and a dedicated team. Celebrating 40 years of showing visitors the best of Abel Tasman National Park, the Wilson family is dedicated to sharing the adventures that shaped their lives. They have seen how the land will reject old fashioned farming methods, and respond to the care of the modern conservationists. Their experience means you don’t have to give up modern comforts to enjoy a wilderness experience.

Sign up for HACKNELSON

Region’s talented minds will compete to solve primary sector challenges at HACKNELSON

The call is out for the Nelson Tasman region’s best minds to sign up for <HACKNELSON> – an event that aims to make a practical contribution to solving challenges faced by our region’s primary sector businesses.

<HACKNELSON> is launching on 5 October and culminates in an intensive 48-hour collaboration challenge from 10-12 November at NMIT. Primary sector businesses have the opportunity to provide real-life challenges that their businesses are encountering for the competing groups to address. Challenges include actual business data but are made anonymous so client information is protected. Groups will then work together to identify fresh ideas and create prototype solutions for Nelson Tasman businesses.

<HACKNELSON> invites participants from a wide variety of backgrounds – including but not limited to creative designers, engineers, and digital technology and software development specialists. The groups will work intensely in multi-disciplinary teams of 5-10 people to solve specific business problems presented by established regional producers. The type of challenge that might be tackled could include how to develop a 3D underwater camera system to estimate the number and size of fish inside a fish farm, or developing an artificial intelligence system to automatically write email responses, or designing a website or machine learning system to assist with a problem faced by a primary sector business.  

Participants will be supported by mentors with various specialist skills, who will educate, coach and guide competitors through the event. There will also be plenty of food and drink and a fun atmosphere. Once the 48 hours are up each team will present their results to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ of judges, vying for a prize pool that includes a first prize of $2000 cash.

“<HACKNELSON> will be a competitive but supportive environment, involving people from all backgrounds and with a variety of skills that will lead to innovative and powerful solutions produced in a very short time,” says Datacom’s Nelson Manager Matthew Dodd. “This is a model that is well proven in New Zealand and around the world and we are delighted to sponsor the event here in Nelson Tasman.

“The process provides an opportunity for professional development for participants – it’s an ideal event to send members of your team along to – it’s also a great way for people within our community to showcase their capability and talent to multiple businesses and organisations.”

The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) sees real potential for <HACKNELSON> to contribute tangible results for participants and business. “We see the event as part of a burgeoning ecosystem designed to help businesses to disrupt their thinking and really get to the heart of problems and challenges they are facing,” says NRDA Chief Executive, Mark Rawson.

“We believe that the <HACKNELSON> process can help producers to utilise local talent to unlock solutions, and to identify how to develop those solutions in a way that’s relevant for the rapidly-changing world in which we’re doing business.

“We recognise that the NRDA has a key and central role to play in this area and we’re actively engaged in a range of initiatives to support our region’s businesses to use technology and different approaches to problem-solving.

“It will be fantastic to see how businesses use the intellectual property that comes out of <HACKNELSON> – we can see that businesses who are providing challenges for the competition are already thinking ahead in terms of implementing the solutions that will be identified. We know that similar events in other locations have led to service contracts and the establishment of new business entities. We are looking forward to seeing the fresh ideas that come out of <HACKNELSON>.”

People who are interested in participating in <HACKNELSON> can register their interest at and can come along to the free launch event on 5 October to hear the business problem pitches presented by the region’s primary industry companies.