Regional Business Partners Programme




Regional Business Partners are responsible for the delivery of the NZTE Capability Development Voucher Scheme and R & D funding through Callaghan Innovation through specialist services, support and funding to enhance business management capabilities, to help businesses grow and develop.

We are the first point of contact for businesses wanting to access business assistance in our region.  It is the aim that a business receiving support would demonstrate a desire to innovate and grow and want to improve their management capability.  The regional partner considers if the investment in the business would have an impact on the businesses ability to grow and contribute to economic development within the Nelson Tasman region.

Of particular focus in our region, is that the business has growth ambitions internationally or is part of the international value chain.

NZTE Capability Development Voucher Scheme

To be eligible for a voucher a business must be:

  • Operating with 50 or less FTEs
  • Be GST registered in New Zealand
  • Operating in a commercial environment – i.e. is currently trading
  • Be privately owned or a Maori Trust or Incorporation or similar organisation managing Maori assets under multiple ownership
  • Have undergone assessment by a Regional Business Partner.

Businesses should also:

  • Be exporting, have export potential, be involved in the export supply chain or have the potential to contribute to economic growth in the region
  • Demonstrate commitment to improving management capability. Indicators of commitment include the fact they have sought advice, have worked through the assessment process and are willing to co-fund capability building activities and make the required time commitment; and
  • Have an identified gap in its capability that can be addressed through management capability building and training.

Capability Development Vouchers are used to subsidise training and capability development up to a maximum of $5000 per year per business. The business must pay at least half of the training costs.

Training would need to be done through a NZTE qualified training provider and in the management capability areas of;

-Business Planning
-Marketing strategies
-Business systems
-Business sustainability
-Managing resources
-Lean manufacturing

To see the training and coaching available under the scheme go to the Regional Business Partners website.  Contact Sandra Crone at the Chamber for more information and to organise your discovery meeting call 03 548 1363 or email

R&D Funding through Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation invests in businesses with the potential to transform our economy and who have the aspiration and ability to be globally competitive through R&D. Currently three business R&D grants are available:

  • R&D Growth Grants – targeting businesses with a strong record for R&D spending in New Zealand
  • R&D Project Grants – targeting firms with smaller R&D programmes and those that are new to R&D, typically providing 30-50 percent co-funding
  • R&D Student Grants – providing support for undergraduate and postgraduate work within R&D active businesses


Key eligibility criteria for all businesses are:

1  The business must have at least one director who is a NZ resident;

2  The business must have at least one FTE; and

3  At least one of the following must be true:
a) the business is GST registered or incorporated in NZ;
b) the business has a centre of management in NZ; or
c) the business has a head office in NZ.

What do we look for in a project funding application?

All R&D grant applications cover the following key areas:

  • Return on investment – What are the potential commercial returns to the business?
  • Pathway to market – How capable will the business be at successfully commercialising the results?
  • Ability to deliver – How capable will the business and expert(s) be at successfully delivering the technical aspects of the project?
  • Develop R&D programme – To what extent will the project be a technical stretch for the business and contribute to the development of a New Zealand-based R&D programme within the business?
  • Grant impact – How strong will the impact of grant funding be on the delivery, scale, quality or commercial success of the project?
  • Benefits outside the business – How much potential is there for benefit to accrue outside the business to other New Zealand businesses or society?

Contact Mark Maguire at the Nelson Regional EDA on (03) 923 2053 to discuss your project.