Display your artwork at the Mahitahi Colab!

Are you a budding or established artist looking for somewhere to display your work? We’re putting the finishing touches on the shared space in the Mahitahi Colab and we’d love to collaborate with you.

The Mahitahi Colab is about working together to support and inspire clever business, innovation and talent in Nelson Tasman, and was founded by the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, Nelson Regional Development Agency and the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology.

We’re looking for three art pieces to display in three of our shared space meeting rooms that help to tell the story of the Nelson Tasman region. We need one piece to showcase Nelson Tasman’s stunning natural landscapes, one piece to demonstrate our clever business community and a piece to represent the region’s diversity.

Each artwork must be able to be hung on the wall (rather than freestanding), and be restricted to dimensions of no more than 1m x 1m. There are colour requirements for each piece of artwork required (as detailed in the terms and conditions).

The winning pieces will be displayed in the meeting rooms with details of the artist for up to six months, unless sold prior.

All entrants will be required to submit your artwork to the Mahitahi Colab by 14 February 2019, with the winners announced in early March 2019. An independent judge will be announced in the new year to review the entries and select the winners. There will also be a great prize on offer for the winners.

So get creative over summer and submit your work! Any questions, please contact Ru Collin at the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce – ru@commerce.org.nz or 548 1363.

Terms and conditions:

The three art pieces should meet the following requirements: 

  • An art piece (able to be hung on the wall) that showcases the Nelson Tasman region’s stunning natural landscape(s). Can include any range of materials, but must not exceed 1m squared in size. This is to be hung in The Janszoon Room at the Mahitahi Colab (colour theme of room is Teal CMYK: 80-0-20-0, RGB: 0-183-206, Pantone 312 – would be great if this colour was incorporated somehow).






  • An art piece (able to be hung on the wall) that showcases Nelson Tasman’s Clever Business community. Can include any range of materials, but must not exceed 1m squared in size. This is to be hung in The Ernest Rutherford Room at the Mahitahi Colab (colour theme of room is Green CMYK: 30-0-100-0, RGB: 191-215-48, Pantone 389 – would be great if this colour was incorporated somehow).






  • An art piece (able to be hung on the wall) that showcases Nelson Tasman’s diversity – in terms of community and/or business. Can include any range of materials, but must not exceed 1m squared in size. This is to be hung in The Braeburn Room at the Mahitahi Colab (colour theme of room is Red CMYK: 3-98-94-0, RGB: 231-38-43, Pantone 179 – would be great if this colour was incorporated somehow). Chamber members and non-members are welcome to enter, but must be 18 years and older. 





Multiple entries are allowed.

The tenants of the Mahitahi Colab will not be responsible for your artwork other than ensuring it is securely hung on the wall, and all reasonable security measures will be taken to ensure the Mahitahi Colab is secure during business and after hours.

Art pieces selected for display will be hung for a maximum of six months unless otherwise agreed by the artist and the Mahitahi Colab Board.

Give us your feedback

It’s really important to the team here at the Chamber that we continue to deliver membership value to you, and we’d like to know what you think.

We’ve put together a brief survey asking for your views on Chamber membership.

Every member who completes the survey can opt to go into the prize draw of a $200 travel voucher courtesy of our Cornerstone Partner Air New Zealand (terms and conditions apply).

The survey should take you less than 10 minutes, and we’re only asking for your name if you’d like to go into the prize draw.

We’ll be closing the survey on Monday 17 December and announcing the lucky winner on Tuesday 18 December in our weekly e-newsletter.

Thanks in advance, your honest feedback is very valuable to us.

Take the survey here



Orange Dog is 2018 Supreme Business Winner

2018 Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Winners

2018 Supreme Business Winner Orange Dog

The winners in the 2018 Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Award winners have been described by the judges as “caring as much for our people as their do their bottom line”.

The strong theme of wishing to do community or environmental came through at the annual Business Awards across all the categories, according to the independent judging panel.

This year was the 30th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, so it was only fitting that the overall major sponsor of the Awards was Nelson Pine Industries, who won the inaugural Supreme Business Award in 1988.

Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Acting CEO Ru Collin said the Awards evening was a wonderful reflection of the region’s diverse and thriving business community.

“We’re very proud of the 30 year history of the Awards. The evening itself is always a great opportunity to celebrate the great things that business does for our community.

“This year also marks 160 years of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce. We’ve been around for a long period of time, helping to shape the region into what it is today”.

This year the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce introduced new categories to mark the 30th anniversary of the Awards, and to reflect all aspects of business excellence. These included:

  • Datacom Clever Business Award
  • New Zealand King Salmon Community Impact Award
  • Wakatū Incorporation Young Business Person of the Year
  • Nelson Forests Ltd Business Person of the Year

39 entries and nominations were received across all categories. Nominations for Business Person and Young Business Person of the Year were whittled down to five finalists in each category which then went out to public vote. More than 4,000 votes were received.

In addition, two members of the Nelson Tasman business community were inducted into the Chamber’s Hall of Fame. Recipients of the Hall of Fame award are recognised for their long-standing commitment and involvement with the Chamber, the business community and the wider Nelson Tasman community.

The 2018 Award winners are:


The Winner is Orange Dog.

The judges were impressed with this clever local business. Orange Dog developed their own market where none existed before and they have continued to expand it.

This involves research and development at significant effort along the way. They provide outstanding customer service with innovative business practices…. the judges called this business a true kiwi success story.

There is a great staff culture and it is a fun place to work. Civic care is an important part of the culture, for example their ‘Scooter survivor’ programme, and they also identify charities that fit with their culture (for example Nelson Ark and volleyball).


The winner is Hemisphere Health.

Hemisphere Health is taking the visionary approach to occupational health and safety.

The judges admired the business for providing a wraparound service with the objective of getting people in the Nelson Tasman region back to work.


The winner is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nelson-Tasman (BBBS).

The demand for what BBBS offer in our community is very strong, and essential to our community health.

The strong board leadership assists the organisation’s success, with the staff being driven, efficient and passionate about providing successful relationships between mentors and mentees.

The social return to the community is eighteen times every dollar spent.
The objective was clearly articulated and understood by the BBBS team, and the procedures and policies that support this are evident in their success.


The winner is Orange Dog.

Orange Dog created their own market where previously one didn’t exist.
The business now has a number of competitors but continue to deepen their existing customer base through innovation and identifying what their customers need.

Orange Dog export outside the region and into Australia while employing 13 locals to do so.


The winner is Crombie Lockwood Nelson.

Crombie Lockwood is the deserved winner of this award due to the character of the people and their desire to improve.

Crombie Lockwood Nelson stood out for their transformation story and pursuit of excellence in their field, both at the firm and at the individual levels. Within the Nelson Tasman community they have established a strong local identity focused on partnerships within the region.


The winner is Volunteer Nelson.

The benefits to our community of all entrants in this category is immense. The judges hope that all present at the awards take the time to thank, celebrate and where possible look to help the entrants in this category and all their peer charities. We are a better community because of them.

The judges felt that despite the relatively low profile, Volunteer Nelson has the greatest reach into so many areas of our community. They are the ‘busiest, behind the scenes organisation you might never have heard of’.


The winner is Nelson Weekly Ltd.

Nelson Weekly Ltd ticked all the boxes in regards to added value to the region through their Nelson App. Digital innovation was identified as a way to move their business forward to become the leading media organisation in the top of the south.


Benjamin Clark, Master Jeweller, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Benjamin is a young and talented jeweller and entrepreneur, who launched Benjamin Black Goldsmiths in 2013 alongside his partner Amy.

Over the past five years they have built a Deloitte Fast 50 award-winning business manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling jewellery to domestic and international markets.

Driven by Benjamin’s vision to help people leave a legacy, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths works with people around New Zealand and the world, creating custom, personalised jewellery that is made by hand and made to last for generations.

His diverse approach to business has included implementing multiple revenue streams, including the introduction of a sister brand, Black Matter Jewellery.

Catering to a niche market, Black Matter has very quickly grown in popularity, most recently being picked up by a leading department store in New Zealand and international buyers in New York.

Benjamin is a proficient business person with a humble nature and exciting future ahead.


Pic Picot, Pic’s Peanut Butter

In 2007, Pic Picot, a visually impaired 55-year-old, began making peanut butter in his garage and selling it at the Nelson Market.

The company now employs 45 people across three Nelson locations, produces 20,000 jars of peanut butter daily and its premium peanut butter is sold in 13 countries, including China and the USA.

In 2015 Picot Productions was overall winner of the Commerce Nelson Business Awards, and in 2019 Pic was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to business.

Pic’s Peanut Butter World, a 4000m2 purpose-built factory and visitor experience will be opening in Saxton Road early 2019.


Posthumous Award – Terry McCashin
Chris Bowater


A link to official photos will be provided here soon.

Seeking your views on advocacy issues

The Chamber’s five pillar strategy, rolled out in late 2017, concentrated on refreshing our approach across the Nelson Tasman region. Events and luncheons were increased, and we have seen more networking between members. We continue to advance our trade and membership value aims. The next pillar is advocating for our members.

The Chamber will be looking to lift its advocacy over the coming year, however we need to ensure Chamber advocacy is focused, and represents the views of our members. Throughout October and into November 2018 we are looking for your views on broad areas that affect your business. Topics include information, environment, infrastructure, people, opportunities that could increase our competitive advantage, and science, research and innovation. We know your time is valuable, so the questionnaires should take you less than five minutes to complete.

Once the survey series is complete we will compile the results and identify the key topics of most interest to most of our members, and summarise them in our December issue of Commerce Comment and across our other communication channels.

You are welcome to complete the surveys at any time until the series closes in November. The survey links will be added below as they are created.

Survey one: Nelson Tasman infrastructure

Survey two: Regional information

Survey three: People – attraction, retention and development

Survey four: Business and the environment

Survey five: Science, research and technology

The Chamber has moved to Mahitahi Colab

The Mahitahi Colab, located at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, is about working collaboratively to support and inspire clever business and talent.

The Mahitahi Colab will provide an extraordinary location for existing and aspiring clever businesses to easily connect with local and national business development, and create opportunities to nurture and develop talent.
It will help to build a more connected ecosystem by creating stronger links between clever business, investors, researchers, business development providers, government and the education sector, in order to influence and inspire economic development in the region.

The Chamber is one of three founding partners of the Mahitahi Colab, along with the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and the Nelson Regional Development Agency. We will be working more closely with our partners to help support the growth of the Nelson Tasman region.

In addition to the founding partners, a range of key public good focused businesses and talent development organisations have been invited to be part of the Mahitahi Colab.

The Mahitahi Colab has been designed to include a range of collaboration facilities, including:

  • access to the business and talent development service providers
  • access to a range of events designed to support and inspire business growth, innovation and education in Nelson Tasman
  • collaborative shared working spaces
  • a range of event and meeting spaces
  • access to NMIT graduate students for projects and intern work placements

Some benefits of the Mahitahi Colab are already being realised, with an NMIT graduate and a current NMIT student engaged by the Colab partners to provide the interior design fit out and branding and design. This provides the students with valuable project work experience.

So drop in and visit us any time, and experience the Mahitahi Colab shared working space. You can find us by coming to the main entrance of the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology at 322 Hardy Street.

Find out more about the Mahitahi Colab here.

Atmosphere, Productivity & Cashflow in your Hospitality Business

Get Ready to Make Some Really Great Money in Your Café/Restaurant or Bakery this Summer!

Being successful in the food and beverage industry means keeping your focus on the three magic elements: Atmosphere, Productivity and Cashflow…

Atmosphere – how do we create that buzz that gets people coming back because repeat business is the secret to long term viability and profitability

Productivity – balancing staffing hours with revenue plus getting people motivated to give the excellent service to make your business memorable

Cashflow – making sure the money you bring in each week gives you the money to take home which you deserve in return for the risks of running a business

This workshop is packed full of bottom-line, common-sense strategy and techniques which is an excellent refresher for experienced operators and gives guaranteed light-bulb moments for owners in the early phases of running their business.

Date: Tuesday 16 October 
Time: 5:30 PM – 8 PM 
Venue: Mahitahi Colab Boardroom, 322 Hardy Street, Nelson
Presenter: Bruce Wilson and Martin Barnes, ActionCOACH
Cost: Members $35 + GST, Non-members $50 + GST
Click Here to register

Acting Chamber CEO

The Chamber team welcomes Ru Collin as our acting Chief Executive. Ru will remain in this role until a new Chief Executive is appointed, supporting both the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough Chambers of Commerce.  

Ru has sat on the Chamber Board since 2015, and for the last 12 months as one of two Chamber Vice Presidents. Ru is well placed to lead the Chamber in this acting capacity, with a background in the agribusiness sector and has served in numerous roles and various boards as a professional director and trustee. He also sits on the steering committee overseeing the relationship with the Marlborough Chamber.

In terms of the recruitment process for a new CEO, a recruitment committee has been focused on finding the right person to continue to implement the Chamber’s strategy and provide membership value and advocacy, and ensure we are part of the development of the regional growth strategy. Other key areas of focus include the ongoing relationship with the Marlborough Chamber, and the establishment of the Mahitahi Colab at NMIT.

Despite excellent interest in the role and a thorough recruitment process to date, the committee has been unable to find the person with the right attributes to fill the role. Whilst disappointing, getting the right person is critical so we will be going to market again.

The Chamber Board would like to acknowledge the important role former CEO Grant Kerr has had as CEO of the Chamber. Grant has taken the Chamber to the “next level” and has significantly lifted the Chamber’s profile and has increased engagement with partners, sponsors and members. He has done a wonderful job and we thank Grant for his term and we wish him all the best in his new role at NMIT. 

Lees Seymour (Chamber President) and Peter Pattullo (Chamber Vice President) will also step up to support the Chamber as required.

Thank you all for your support during this time of change. We will keep you posted when recruitment begins again.

July issue of Commerce Comment out now!

Our latest issue of Commerce Comment is out now!

We take a look at the issue of sustainability in business, and meet two local businesses winning the war for a more sustainable future for our region – New Zealand King Salmon and Ideal Cup.

We also introduce you to our new Business Building Block workstreams and sponsors, helping you to map out your professional development in the year ahead.

We also acknowledge our Partners and sponsors, and encourage you to enter the 2018 NPI Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Read the July issue of Commerce Comment here