Don’t miss out on Business Awards earlybird tickets

Don’t miss out on securing an earlybird ticket or table for the 2017 NPI Chamber of Commerce Business Awards – book by Thursday 31 August.

The annual Nelson Pine Industries Chamber of Commerce Business Awards celebrate innovation and creativity in the business sector, and have been a highlight of the region’s business calendar for 29 years.

Book your tickets now 

Thinking about entering the Business Awards?

Winning an award provides you with an opportunity to gain profile, tell your story and acknowledge all the hard work your team has put in. The awards also offer you the opportunity to benchmark your business and gain expert advice on how you can continue to grow.

Entries close at 4pm on Friday 29 September.

The awards night is a black-tie dinner on Friday 3 November at the Trafalgar Centre.

For more information contact Louise at the Chamber:

Annual Daffodil Day Golf Tournament

The Annual Daffodil Day Golf Tournament, with support from ANZ Bank, is being held on Thursday 17 August 2017. This year is the 27th Anniversary of Daffodil Day and the Nelson Cancer Society is hoping to raise as much as possible from this fantastic fundraising event.

The cost is $400.00 per team of four including sponsorship of a hole OR
$300.00 per team of four OR $75.00 per individual entry.

The cost includes green fees, on-course drinks and a sausage sizzle, a number of holes with competitions and challenges as well as “social hour” finger food, great prizes and an auction back at the clubhouse at 4.30pm.

  • Shotgun tee off at 12.00 noon sharp
  • Format: Ambrose

Registrations close on 14 August 2017.

To register please contact Cancer Society Nelson (03) 539 1137 or James Cooper 021 044 1526

Chamber Board election results

Thank you to our members for taking the time to vote in the recent Board election for the 2017/18 Chamber Board, and to the high caliber of nominees who put themselves forward for the two Board positions.

Congratulations to Ru Collin, who was a Board member and went through unopposed as Vice President, and we welcome two new Board members Robyn Wilson and Nigel Andrews.

The Board now consists of:

  • Lees Seymour, President
  • Patrick Smith, Past President
  • Peter Pattullo, Vice President
  • Ru Collin, Vice President
  • Emma McCashin, Board member
  • Manoli Aerakis, Board member
  • Robyn Wilson, Board member
  • Nigel Andrews, Board member

The overall voting response rate was up seven percent from the Board elections in 2015, reflecting the high engagement of our membership. 

A special thank you to our two outgoing Board members, Vice President Gillian Wratt and Vice President Marina Hirst-Tristram for their enormous contribution and guidance during their tenures on the Board. The Chamber wishes them well for the future.

Meet our new Board members

Robyn Wilson

Robyn has an extensive background in commerce, having spent 30 years in the banking industry in various roles and locations, including 6 years overseas. In her current role as Commercial Business Partner with the BNZ, Robyn works with local businesses helping them achieve their growth aspirations, and understands the challenges and successes of doing business in the region.

“I am genuinely excited about this opportunity to be involved with the Chamber and I thank the members for their support. As a voice for local business, I believe the Chamber is a key conduit to driving the success of the local economy through engagement with local government and the community. I’m passionate about the Nelson Tasman region and am looking forward to adding value through my experience and common-sense approach.”

Nigel Andrews

Nigel Andrews became the youngest Shell retailer in NZ in 1995 aged 25. In 2000, he left Christchurch to operate three Shell stations in Nelson, which grew to 12 incorporating Nelson, Marlborough and the West Coast. More recently Nigel has been an elected representative of all Z Retailers, and was awarded ‘Nelsonian of the Year’ for business in 2015 and a Civic Award in 2016 for Leadership in the Community.

“I feel honoured to have been elected to the Board and trust that my experience as a Shell, and now Z, retailer since 1995 will add value. Having achieved many of my personal business ambitions, my passion is now the safety and development of my teams, and making a positive impact in the areas that I operate. I look forward to working with the other Board members towards the advancement of Nelson as a place of business”.

Business sets expectations for incoming government

Setting strong expectations for an incoming government to support sustainable development, address the current skills gaps, reduce red tape compliance, and regionalise policy solutions are key planks of the Business Election Manifesto released today by the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce (NZCCI).

As part of NZCCI’s collective advocacy mandate, it commissioned a report in April to understand business needs across New Zealand ahead of the general election. More than 990  businesses across New Zealand were surveyed, and they identified the following expectations of the government post-election September 23:

  •  Be overtly supportive of sustainable business development.
  • Recognise and support the link between strong businesses and strong communities.
  • Address skill shortages through education reform, skills development and online support of targeted migration
  • Reduce compliance costs across business in areas such as health and safety, resource management and taxes.

“Solution-based thinking is exactly what we need right now,” says Michael Barnett, Auckland Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive. “In Auckland, especially if the council and Government continue to be unwilling to lift the pace and investment needed to solve congestion and other transport issues Auckland has, it won’t just be our transport crisis that will continue to get worse, but the city’s employment and other problems exacerbated by the cost and frustration of moving around the city.”

Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford says the survey found that there was a real consensus that government has to continue to get the platform right for business. “This isn’t a ‘nice to have’ wish list – these expectations are fundamental to New Zealand’s economic growth and success.”

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Peter Townsend says it’s critical that an incoming government recognises that different regions require different inputs from central government. “For example, there is an undisputed need for continued strong migration in Canterbury.  A one-size-fits-all approach on this issue, to address a perceived problem in Auckland, across the country will simply not work.”

Otago Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Dougal McGowan says local and central government partnerships are essential to maintaining and growing infrastructure in order to cope with growth throughout the country.  “It’s essential for business across many sectors that the right scale of investment is made to ensure productivity is not compromised.”

 Key recommendations in NZCCI’s manifesto to the incoming government include:

  •  Make a deliberate effort to ensure better collaboration across government platforms so that we can get better whole-of-government solutions and opportunities. Businesses want to see better collaboration and communication across government ministries, and further identified the need for central and local government to work much better together.
  • Bring focus and strength to regional development. The need to regionalise economic development and policy was also high on businesses’ mind, believing that there is a need for government to respond on a regionally specific basis.
  • Provide democratic comprehensive support for policy settings that will encourage and promote sustainable business growth. There was also a view that the incoming government should make further investment in quality infrastructure, with the goal to make it easier to do business.

Each Chamber of Commerce will be advocating on behalf of their chamber members locally ahead of the election.

Download the NZCCI’s full message for the incoming Government.


Changes to temporary work visas

Last week the Government announced decisions on proposals announced in April to change the settings for temporary migrant workers under the Essential Skills policy.

The changes include:

  • The introduction of remuneration bands to assess the skill level of roles offered to Essential Skills visa applicants
  • The introduction of a maximum duration of three years for lower-skilled Essential Skills visa holders, after which they will need to spend 12 months outside New Zealand before they can be granted an Essential Skills visa to work in another lower-skilled role, and
  • Requiring the partners and children of lower-skilled Essential Skills visa holders to meet the requirements for a visa in their own right (they will still have access to short-term visitor visas).

The changes will be introduced on 28 August this year.

For more information read the media release and questions and answers on the New Zealand Immigration website.  

Originair to fly between Nelson and New Plymouth

Originair is extending its airline services by adding direct flights between Nelson and New Plymouth which will take approximately 50 minutes.

Initially there will be eight flights a week between the two cities, taking off from September 29. The airline will be flexible around scheduling, reflecting extra demand during school holidays and long weekends.

Originair managing director Robert Inglis says they are introducing the direct flights after listening to business and leisure travellers.

“Currently anyone travelling between the two cities may spend lengthy periods transiting via Auckland and Wellington instead of less than an hour with direct services”.

“We believe the Nelson and New Plymouth communities will support this service.

“It will appeal to travellers who want to spend a weekend in either city and to business travellers commuting for a week’s work or a short stay,” Mr Inglis says.

The airline currently flies between Nelson and Palmerston North, a service which started in 2015 and is popular with business and leisure customers.

The company’s British Aerospace 18-seat Jetstream aircraft will fly the route and the company is adding another Jetstream to its operations to cover contracted charter flights, tours and maintenance coverage.

For more details on flight times and costs visit the Originair website,

Origin aircraft landing in Nelson


Cawthron Foundation and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) have launched a new scholarship for Māori undergraduate students wanting to pursue a career in science. The scholarship, ‘Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi’, is valued at $5,500 and will be available for the first time this coming 2017/2018 summer.

Cawthron Foundation Manager, Elizabeth Bean said, “we are excited to add another summer intern scholarship and are especially happy to offer it in partnership with Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence. 

“We recognise that there is an under-representation of Māori who choose to pursue a career in science and our goal with this scholarship is to offer undergraduate Māori students the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experience for 10 weeks at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson over the summer months.

“Our scholarships provide an opportunity for students to learn from practicing scientists, who provide intellectual stimulation and ongoing support. Working alongside Cawthron Institute scientists, recipients gain insight into fields they want to pursue.”

For NPM Deputy Director and Cawthron Institute Ecotoxicologist and Māori Business Development Manager, Dr James Ataria the name given to this scholarship, ‘Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi’, is very apt. The word Pītau has dual meaning. The Pītau is the carved figurehead at the ihu (bow) of the waka and so suggests the breaking of the waves ahead, or a student starting out on their journey. The Pītau is also the young succulent shoot of a fern frond (leaf) and so alludes to unfurling potential. One meaning of Whakarei is to ornament; and this scholarship will embellish the recipients’ qualifications through their experiences at Cawthron. Karahipi is te reo for scholarship.

Dr Ataria said, “For the past 15 years, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga has been focused on Māori success and excellence in research and science. Partnering with Cawthron for this scholarship delivers a further and specific opportunity for our students. 

“Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi will enable the successful intern to build a deeper understanding of scientific inquiry and research processes through experience and immersion in the research environment.  Our hope is that this will add to the considerable work underway across our sector of creating more Māori scientists and increased pathways for greater Māori tertiary education success.” 

Te Pītau Whakarei Karahipi will join the Cawthron Foundation funded Sir Theodore Rigg Scholarship for undergraduate students and the Kathleen Curtis Scholarship for undergraduate women. All three scholarships are made possible by generous support from individual donors and grant agencies.

Scholarships will be advertised via all tertiary education providers in July, with applications closing 7 August 2017. Visit

Ransomware – practical tips

WannaCry is the computer malware “worm” that has been infecting computer business systems around the world in the last few days. It reportedly attacks a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows operating systems and locks users out of their own computer systems, demanding a ransom of about $300. Hence the name -“ransomware.”

New Zealand businesses have not featured widely in media accounts. But computer experts are expecting a second wave.

Drawing on suggestions from computer commentators, here are some suggested steps to protect your business in relation to this and future ransomware events, you may want to consider actioning the following practical steps, Click Here