Business New Zealand

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Business New Zealand Inc. (operating as BusinessNZ), New Zealand's largest business-advocacy body,[1][failed verification] has its headquarters in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.[2] Vaughan Renner became the president of the BusinessNZ council in 2017[3] and Kirk Hope[4] has served as the chief executive since 2016.[5]


The history of BusinessNZ dates back more than 100 years.

In 1902 several regional employers' associations came together to form the New Zealand Employers Federation.

The motivation for the formation was to present a unified employer voice in collective bargaining and labour disputes arbitrated by the Arbitration Court. While the impetus for its founding was to defend employer interests in bargaining and labour disputes, the Federation emphasised that this did not entail opposition to workers seeking to advance their legitimate interests, and that it supported profit-sharing, co-partnership and the work of labour organisations in working for fair terms and conditions for their members.[citation needed]

The Federation was founded for the overall purpose of ongoing advocacy on behalf of business, economic and community wellbeing.

In 1905 the constitution of the Employers Federation of New Zealand was formally adopted.

By 1908 the Federation represented around 6,000 members.

Throughout the Great War (1914-1918), the Great Depression of the 1930s, World War II (1939-1945) and the ensuing post-war boom, the Federation advocated for business, economic and community wellbeing, and worked constructively with all successive governments.[citation needed]

In 1951 the Employers Federation became an incorporated society and by 1971 represented around 10,000 members.

In 2001 the New Zealand Employers Federation merged with the New Zealand Manufacturers Federation to form Business New Zealand (BusinessNZ),[6] advancing the scope of the new organisation to cover greater numbers and types of businesses.

As of 2018 BusinessNZ comprises regional organisations EMA, Business Central, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers Association, with direct membership of around 14,000 members and more than 50,000 indirect or affiliated business members through the Affiliated Industries Group.

From 2009 BusinessNZ established new divisions to promote manufacturing, exporting, energy companies, larger businesses and companies working towards environmental sustainability:


Membership is drawn from the Major Companies Group and from four of New Zealand's largest regional business organisations:

BusinessNZ's Major Companies Group (MCG) helps ensure that New Zealand's largest companies are heard in policy, business and economic debate. The MCG is a working group with a collective weight of influence that enables it to provide strong counsel to government and other key decision makers.[citation needed] Around 70 members, representing a large proportion of New Zealand's GDP, have joined the MCG since its establishment in 2008. The work of the Major Companies Group takes place within the overarching governance of the BusinessNZ Council. Membership of the MCG provides:

  • access to specialised policy forums
  • contribution to research and policy development
  • specialist independent policy advice
  • an opportunity to engage in influencing the political and regulatory business framework
  • national and regional representation


BusinessNZ advocacy focuses on growing prosperity and potential.

Key policies promoted by BusinessNZ include:[citation needed]

  • competition in markets
  • international free trade
  • innovative, competitive exports
  • product and service integrity
  • sustainability
  • high productivity
  • high priority on education and skills
  • high priority on science and innovation
  • adequate investment in infrastructure
  • respect for property rights
  • focused monetary policy
  • a stable investment environment
  • restraint in new laws and regulations
  • light-handed regulation and responsible industry self-regulation
  • restraint in government spending and taxing
  • company taxes less than major trading partners
  • lower, flatter personal tax rates
  • restraint in local-government spending and rating
  • no business-specific taxes or rates without business-specific benefits
  • resource policies serving the environment and the economy
  • environmental stewardship using education and voluntary action
  • secure energy-supply using all forms of natural energy resources
  • workplace fairness and all protections under human-rights legislation
  • diversity and equal opportunity
  • freedom of choice in bargaining agents and employment agreements
  • safety the responsibility of all in the workplace
  • a sound, competitive ACC system that incentivises safety
  • social-welfare policies that incentivise self-reliance and enterprise
  • immigration policies that bring needed new skills and capital
  • focus on "New Zealand Inc."

Governing bodyEdit

BusinessNZ is governed by an elected council, with its 17 members drawn from the four regional associations. The council meets six times a year.


  1. ^ "'Mood change' on climate change". Stuff. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  2. ^ "Business New Zealand hunts for a new head". Indian Newslink - Indian Business Awards. Retrieved 2015-11-17. Wellington based BusinessNZ is looking for a successor to Phil O’Reilly [...].
  3. ^ "New President for BusinessNZ". BusinessNZ. 2017-12-15. Retrieved 2018-05-19. Wellington businessman Vaughan Renner has been elected President of BusinessNZ. [...] He replaces outgoing BusinessNZ President Tony Sewell of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC).
  4. ^ "Meet the BusinessNZ Team". BusinessNZ. Retrieved 2018-05-19. Kirk Hope is Chief Executive of BusinessNZ [...].
  5. ^ "New BusinessNZ Chief Executive". BusinessNZ. 2015-11-27. Retrieved 2018-05-19. The BusinessNZ Council has appointed Kirk Hope as new Chief Executive of BusinessNZ. [...] Mr Hope takes up his role at BusinessNZ in February.
  6. ^ Arnold, Terry (2003-09-17). "The Case for Growth: Address to Reception, Dunedin Club". BusinessNZ. Retrieved 2018-05-19. Business New Zealand is a national business organisation that was formed a little over two years ago when two old and well-known national federations, the Employers' and the Manufacturers Federations, came together to form this new organisation.
  7. ^ "Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Business Central". Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2012-03-19.

Further readingEdit

BusinessNZ election manifesto

BusinessNZ wish list targets tax and local government

What will the pay equity deal mean for small business

Businesses prepared for earthquakes

The lessons for business from Team NZ’s America’s Cup win

Room for improvement in the way NZ taxes businesses

Paying for water should be a consistent policy

NZ needs skilled migrants

Business wants stable taxes and RMA reform from election

Simple steps to transform business environment

External linksEdit