Business New Zealand
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Business New Zealand Inc. (operating as BusinessNZ) is New Zealand’s largest business advocacy body, headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand. The president of the BusinessNZ council is Tony Sewell and Kirk Hope is the chief executive.
BusinessNZ was formed from the 2001 merger of the New Zealand Employers' Federation (formed 1902) and the New Zealand Manufacturers' Federation (formed 1927). Its four regional business associations were established in the four main centres of New Zealand around the turn of the 20th century. BusinessNZ is certified carbon neutral.
Membership is drawn from the Major Companies Group and four of the country’s largest regional business organisations: the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA), BusinessCentral, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers’ Association, which offer services and support to over 14,000 member companies.
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. 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 Company Group is carried out 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 also represents more than 70 of New Zealand's national industry associations with a combined membership of 76,000 employers, which together employ about 80 per cent of the country’s private sector employees.
BusinessNZ advocacy is aimed at promoting economic growth through free enterprise. It promotes policies for international competitiveness; balance between employment, economic and environmental legislation; limiting compliance and tax demands on business; innovation and skill development; and the production of high-value goods and services.
ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ are specialist divisions of BusinessNZ. Catherine Beard is Executive Director of ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ, and speaks on behalf of New Zealand exporters and manufacturers.
BusinessNZ is governed by an elected council, with its 17 members drawn from the four regional associations. Laurie Margrain is the President of the BusinessNZ Council, which meets six times a year.
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