Chamber relocating to Mahitahi COLAB

Nelson Tasman ‘Mahitahi COLAB’ to become region’s innovation, economic and business hub

NMIT, Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) and the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce (NTCC) are establishing the region’s first COLAB – Mahitahi COLAB – designed to place local businesses and the tertiary sector at the heart of the innovation and business community.

The Mahitahi COLAB will provide a hub for new, existing and aspiring start-up businesses to easily connect, learn, develop and grow. The vision behind the venture is to provide the right environment for the three strategic partners to work together to influence the region’s economic development. It will provide a prime location for local and national business development, nurturing and developing talent, and creating opportunities.

The name Mahitahi COLAB was created by the NMIT, NRDA and NTCC teams and it delivers the message of coming or working together and of course it is this collaborative approach which is an important aspect of the business hub. The intention of the Mahitahi COLAB is to focus on collaboration and alignment between the “public good” and private innovation focused entities.

Located in shared space in the current NMIT campus on Nelson’s Hardy Street, the venture came about after the three partners identified several collaborative opportunities that if pursued, could assist in creating a more aligned innovation ecosystem in the Nelson region.

Each organisation will retain their own offices and will share common spaces and meeting rooms. The three partners anticipate having the shared space available later this year. The concept has been designed to complement existing private sector focused co-working spaces such as the Bridge St Collective.

“NRDA’s purpose is to partner with the public and private sectors in the attraction and retention of investment, visitors and talent who want to add value to the identity of our extraordinary region. One of our focus areas in delivering on our mission is inspiring and supporting existing and new businesses and business people to think differently, embrace new behaviours and collaborate. We should lead by example. It makes sense for us to be working more closely with our future learners and our business community to create a platform to contribute to this outcome” said John Palmer, NRDA Chairman.

Mahitahi COLAB provides multiple opportunities that will clearly benefit NMIT team members and learners and will contribute to the organisational vision of preparing graduates that are work and world ready. Learners will benefit from having direct access to real-life work experience, create new professional networks and will work with businesses on real life project briefs and identification of solutions for customers. Team members from NMIT will benefit from a range of professional development opportunities.

“Growing and developing the existing strong relationships between the partners will ensure that NMIT is better informed, connected and abreast of the employment, economic and commercial opportunities within our regions. Mahitahi COLAB will provide an exciting platform for NMIT to continue in its role as a pivotal partner in ensuring Nelson Tasman continues to thrive and develop,” said NMIT’s Council Chair, Daryl Wehner.

Chamber President Lees Seymour sees the co-location as a great opportunity for its members. “Working more closely together will allow us to connect our region’s businesses with economic opportunities, and with future capability. We know the skills shortage across the country is not going to get better any time soon, so we see the Mahitahi COLAB really helping employers tap into rising talent to help strengthen our region’s workforce. It also helps us to have a more joined-up approached when advocating to local and central government.”

NMIT will oversee the development of the Mahitahi COLAB premises on Hardy Street to minimise impact on NMIT staff and students and maximise opportunities for collaboration.

The cost of the fit-out will be shared by the core partners with the support of the Innovate Trust.

“Although each organisation will have their own designated space, the fit-out will be designed to break down barriers, ensure collaboration and creativity. There will also be some space available for partner members and others within the business community to use. This is all part of creating smarter and closer working relationships to help the region thrive and we anticipate that as the partnership develops, additional entities may choose to join us” said NMIT Chief Executive Liam Sloan.

Mayor Rachel Reese highlighted the benefits of a partnership approach such as this. “The partnership approach has been a really successful one for Council, and it is encouraging to see these three entities working together with the future of Nelson in mind. Together they will be able to position both business and education on a stronger platform to attract talent to our Smart Little city. I look forward to seeing the positive outcomes generated from this collaborative approach.”

Chamber seeking new CEO

The Chamber of Commerce is seeking a high performing CE with a strategic perspective, strong commercial acumen and a leadership presence to manage the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chambers of Commerce.

The Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce (NTCoC) and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce (MCoC) are not for profit organisations, with a combined membership of over 860 businesses. The key purpose of the Chambers is to unlock business vitality across the regions, and to help create the best commercial environment for diverse businesses to thrive and reach their aspirations. The Chambers achieve this by offering a wide range of services including: lobbying, advocacy, representation to local and central government, economic reporting, training across a wide range of topics and bringing people together.

This exciting senior role is focused on collaborating and advocating with key strategic partners and stakeholders, providing support and tools to assist business in innovation and skills and knowledge for the future, building and connecting wide reaching business networks and delivering value added services that really make a difference to the way business is done. They also have the responsibility of managing the affairs and activities of the Chambers including gaining the necessary sponsorship and growing membership.

The successful person for this role will be visionary, focused and driven, demonstrate strong commercial acumen, and have an ability to build exceptional networks across a diverse range of stakeholders. They will have a high level of leadership presence that demands the attention of others and empowers a small and motivated team over two locations. Essential will be the ability to demonstrate a strong passion and enthusiasm for the growth, success and sustainability of businesses within the region.

Intepeople is managing the recruitment process on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce. 

To view the job description, visit Intepeople, or for further enquiries please contact Melisa Kappely at Intepeople on 027 734 0392. 

Applications close on Friday 6 July 2018


Chamber BA5 with hosts Vodafone NZ

Come along to our upcoming Business After Five on Wednesday 4 July and enjoy a chance to relax and meet up with your fellow Chamber members over drinks and nibbles. 

Our hosts Vodafone will give a short presentation on their One Business plan which is a great way to build work flexibility into your business whether you are small, medium or large. 

Vodafone One Business Mobile is perfect for businesses who want:

  • One cost-effective package with no need to pay for a separate landline
  • Per user pricing
  • The freedom to work where you need and always be available to colleagues and customers
  • Customers to reach the right person first time
  • Smart calling features so you can direct or transfer calls and easily set up audio conferences
  • The control to update your call management settings in real-time.

Thank you to our partners Intepeople for supporting this Business After Five. Join us at the Vodafone Retail Store at the Richmond Mall (Pak n’ Save entrance) from 5.30pm on Wednesday 4 July. 

Complimentary for members. Register here

Chamber CEO stepping down

The Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive Grant Kerr is stepping down from his position to take up a new role at NMIT.

Grant has accepted the position of Executive Director, Strategy, Enterprise and Sustainability at NMIT, and will start transitioning into this role from mid-September. He will continue to support both Chambers in the lead up to the Business Awards held in each region in November.

“I’d like to thank Grant for the wonderful job he has done as CEO of both Chambers, leading their re-invigoration and providing members with real value and benefits” said Lees Seymour, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Board President.

“Since Grant joined the Chamber in February 2017, he has introduced a new strategy and direction for the Nelson Tasman Chamber, built excellent working relationships with NRDA and NMIT, breathed new life into the Chamber brand, and introduced a new format for the 30th anniversary of the Business Awards this year. He has also spearheaded the resource-sharing agreement with the Marlborough Chamber to provide a top of the south approach.”

Both the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Boards are committed to ensuring the ongoing relationship between both Chambers and will be looking to a new Chief Executive to continue to lead both Chambers and build on the solid platform that has been set.

“Grant will have been leading the Marlborough Chamber for 12 months when he starts to transition to his new role in September. He has been instrumental in helping to bolster the Marlborough Chamber, and I know our members are starting to feel the benefits of joint leadership and shared resource across both Chambers. It is with regret that he is stepping down from the Chambers, but we look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role at NMIT” said Nita Van Grinsven, Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Board President.

Grant’s new role will keep him working strategically across both regions as he will hold responsibility for the strategy for NMIT.

“NMIT is at an exciting point in our journey.  We were overwhelmed with the high level and calibre of applications for the role of Executive Director. We are delighted to have him join our Executive Team later this year and are pleased that he will bring with him a huge amount of experience, knowledge and passion. 

“As part of his role Grant will be responsible for ensuring NMIT remains focused on strategy, enterprise and sustainability therefore it goes without saying that Grant will be required to collaborate with a vast number of stakeholders including both Chambers so they’re not losing him completely.” said Liam Sloan, Chief Executive, NMIT.

The move was not a decision Grant has taken lightly. “This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, and not one that I was expecting to make at this point on my Chamber journey. It has been a privilege to get to know so many members who are making enormous contributions to both region’s economies. I am confident I have set a solid direction for the next Chamber leader to build on, with the assistance of the fantastic teams and Board members of both Chambers” said Grant.

The steering committee, made up of Board members from both Chambers, will be working through the recruitment process over the next few weeks, and will go to market to seek a high calibre person to take the lead and continue the growth of both Chambers.

“Both the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chambers thank Grant and the teams for doing such a great job, and we look forward to working with Grant over the new few months and through his transition period. At the time he leaves we will celebrate his contribution in an appropriate manner” said Lees.