We’re hiring!

We’re looking for two superstars to fill vacancies at the Chamber. 

We’re seeking a Communications Manager to help promote the Chamber’s role of unlocking business potential for our hundreds of members in Nelson Tasman, and a Business Support Coordinator to provide assistance with export documentation, Chamber finances and general office support.

With a new Chief Executive coming on board in mid-February, this an exciting time to be joining this small, dynamic team.

Click here to view the position descriptions.

To apply, send your CV and cover letter, stating clearly which role you are applying for, to Ru Collin (Acting Chief Executive) – ru@commerce.org.nz

Applications close at 5pm on Friday 8 February

Ali Boswijk announced as new Chamber CEO

The Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Board is pleased to announce Ali Boswijk has been appointed to lead the Chamber.

President Lees Seymour said the Chamber had conducted two rigorous recruitment processes, with a focus on taking as much time as necessary to select the right person for the role. 

“Overall we have been really impressed with the calibre of applicants, and we are confident that Ali is well placed to lead the Chamber into its next phase”. 

Ali has lived in Nelson for 22 years and during that time has worked in both the public and private sector.

A communications specialist with over thirty years-experience, Ali started her working career with London-based, international news agency, WTN. Since then, has worked with a wide range of organisations from large international Blue-Chip companies and start-ups, to governments and NGOs. In recent years she has moved increasingly into positions of strategy development and taken on a number of governance roles. The most significant of these was as a Councillor with Nelson City Council, and in her second term she was appointed Deputy Mayor. 

Since 2012 she has worked on international projects for World of WearableArt (WOW), and in recent years has held the position of Head of International Projects and Business Development. In this role, she has been responsible for, among other things, delivery of all WOW activity in oversea markets including a successful exhibition that has been touring since 2014 and is currently in St Petersburg, Russia.

The Nelson Tasman Chamber Chief Executive will continue to work closely with the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce as part of a ‘top of the south’ approach on issues affecting the wider region, however will not be required to lead the Marlborough team as well. 

“At our recent review the joint steering committee recognised the need to adjust the resource sharing agreement with Marlborough one year on” said Lees. “The Nelson Tasman Chamber has successfully assisted the Marlborough Chamber to lift their presence, refresh their brand and improve their membership value offerings, and they are now well placed to continue this work on their own. We’ve developed a great working relationship and will continue to collaborate on key issues affecting the top of the south”. 

Lees thanked Chamber Board Vice President Ru Collin for stepping into the CEO role in an acting capacity since September. “Ru has overseen a particularly busy period for the Chamber team, with the move to the Mahitahi Colab and the highly successful 30th anniversary of the annual Business Awards, and we’re grateful to him for stepping in during this interim period”. 

Ali will take up her new role on Monday 18 February 2019. Ru will stay on until the end of February to assist with handover. 

Energy Savings


Energy savings a new offering from the Chamber

Spending $1500 or more on your electricity or gas?

Last year Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce entered into a partnership with Saveawatt, an energy procurement company. Their market knowledge and in-depth analysis means that they’re well positioned to find the best deals to suit the specific energy needs of businesses. Their ‘bulk tender’ process means that by joining in, 25 energy retailers across New Zealand are put on notice of your potential custom. Saveawatt’s ‘No savings/No fee’ offer means they only get paid if they negotiate savings for your business. Their one-off procurement fee is 25% of total projected cost savings.

Why is my Chamber of Commerce involved?

Two reasons:

  1. We exist to unlock business vitality in Nelson Tasman, and many of our members face set costs that are prohibitive to growth. Saveawatt procures real cost savings on gas and electricity and that’s positive for the business community. There are already businesses in Nelson Tasman benefitting from this service.
  2. Savewatt would be servicing this region regardless of Chamber involvement. This partnership offers a funding opportunity for the Chamber as we get a small margin of the one-off fee charged by Saveawatt. (Remember, they only charge this fee if they secure the savings). This additional revenue opportunity though modest, still helps us fund the work we do locally in unlocking business vitality; the membership and business support services we provide, business upskilling workshops, advocacy, networking events, business awards and the many workstreams involved in delivery.

How can I save?

Even if you already have a contract, Saveawatt may be able to help you.
If you’re spending $1500 or more per month on gas or electricity, it’s as simple as supplying us with copy of a recent energy account and we’ll liaise with Savewatt to see if they can save you money on your energy rates. 

Email a copy of a recent power account to: members@commerce.org.nz



Proposed changes to temporary work visas

Just before Christmas the NZ government published an all-important Cabinet Paper on proposed changes to temporary work visas, inviting submissions by 5pm, 18 March 2019.
At a very high level, here is what employers and migrant workers can expect in the future:

  • more paperwork, red tape and fees for employers
  • even more focus on employer compliance with immigration and employment law
  • tougher labour market tests particularly for the low-skilled occupations as well as those industries that are heavily reliant on migrant labour
  • even greater scrutiny of roles to ensure no abuse of the immigration system

Overall, these proposed changes could mean that employers would have a much higher onus to provide information in preparation of employing migrant workers. As part of this process, employers would need to demonstrate to Immigration New Zealand that they have good track records and comply with New Zealand’s employment and immigration laws.
Here is a link to the Govt’s summary of the proposals: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/consultation-on-a-new-approach-to-employer-assisted-work-visas-and-regional-workforce-planning
We encourage employers to carefully review the Government’s proposed changes and to participate in the consultation process. Pitt & Moore Lawyers are happy to assist employers with the preparation of written submissions. For more information contact Nick Mason, Associate Pitt & Moore Lawyers 03 548 8349 or nick.mason@pittandmoore.co.nz.

Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce submission on the Nelson Tasman Future Development Strategy

February 2019


This submission is made on behalf of the members of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has approximately 500 members in Nelson and Tasman. This submission is based on current and long-held views of our members obtained through a series of surveys run by the Chamber, and by asking members directly for their views on this strategy.

As the independent voice for business in the region, the Chamber’s role is help members unlock their vitality by advocating for the right economic settings to enable them to grow their businesses.

The submission on future development is based on several factors important to the chamber;

  • An effective local government.
  • Adequate infrastructure to support current needs and for future developments.
  • Preservation of natural landscape.


 Which of the following are most important to the Chamber in considering urban settlement and growth in the region? Please select your top five:

  • An effective local government.
  • Preservation of natural landscapes.
  • Better road/transportation connections.
  • Ensuring that new development does not place people at risk from natural hazards, like flooding.
  • Smart infrastructure/technology enabled.

Further commentary:

The Chamber is positive about the projected future growth of the region, as it represents opportunities for our members. However, we know that our members have long held concerns over inadequate infrastructure (transport and the Waimea Dam) so any future growth plans would need to be supported by upgraded and new infrastructure to cope with increased demand.

Attracting new businesses to the region is an important part of economic growth, and good transport infrastructure is an important factor when considering doing business in a region. We know that existing constraints on the transport network have led to delays affecting freight, tourism, business and residential growth. An increasing number of extreme weather events have shown the vulnerability of SH6 and its susceptibility to closure.

We also know our members want to see our natural resources protected and enhanced, particularly the foreshore and marina, and high-quality productive land in Tasman.

Finally, we also know many of our members struggle to attract staff, particularly young people, due to the perception around career opportunities and progression and ‘sunshine wages’. If housing is unaffordable this will also be a factor in whether someone decides to relocate to Nelson Tasman.

Growth scenarios

  1. Should the Councils focus on growth on the outskirts of existing urban areas and settlements? Why or why not?

The Chamber is supportive of growth on the outskirts of existing urban areas and settlements provided there is already adequate or planned infrastructure in place. Too much urban sprawl will add to network congestion and pressure on infrastructure.

The Chamber is of the view there should be no new growth in areas already vulnerable to extreme weather events and rising sea levels.

  1. Should the Councils focus growth in and around existing centers? Why or why not?

 This is the Chamber’s preferred approach for managing growth from the perspective of making it easier to do business for our members.

Infill housing, town houses and terrace housing provides a range of living accommodation, and could help to address affordability, helping to attract more skilled workers to the region. It also avoids too much urban sprawl and network congestion, helping the region’s many primary industries get their goods to market more efficiently along transport corridors. The Chamber fully supports the sentiment that the economic wellbeing and safety of the region’s residents is dependent on an efficient and effective transport network.

Our members have also expressed a desire to see a vibrant Nelson CBD. This can be assisted by focusing growth in and around Nelson City, and intensifying accommodation in the town center, encouraging people to live and work nearby. It will also assist the retail and hospitality industries with more people choosing to do business in the CBD as a matter of convenience.

The Chamber supports this option provided the Councils ensure ageing infrastructure is upgraded and can cope with increased demand in existing centers.

  1. Should the Councils focus growth in new settlements? Why or why not?

This is the Chamber’s least preferred option. Our concern with creating new townships or settlements is the impact on our natural environment, and the potential removal of highly productive land in favour of new development.

As per the response to the previous growth scenarios, the Chamber is concerned about the impact on transport networks and the substantial investment required to create adequate services and infrastructure to support new settlements.

The Chamber is of the view that creating new settlements is unnecessary when there are existing areas that can be better utilised for residential and business growth.


The Chamber supports the approach of focusing growth in and around existing settlements, and in principal supports growth on the outskirts of existing settlements provided there will be adequate transport networks and development infrastructure to cope with the additional growth.

The Chamber would be interested in sharing with its members how both Councils intend to work together to manage the growth, the investment required in infrastructure and the congestion in and out of their respective jurisdictions.

Ru Collin

Acting Chief Executive.

Jan 2019.