FOCUS on People & Culture Autumn 2020

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u p d a t in g a n d in f o rmin g t h e Gre a t e r E a st Ta ma ki b usin e ss co mmu n it y




Editor: Jane Tongatule E Advertising: E

From the Chair

PO Box 58260 Botany Auckland 2163 P 09 273 6274

Welcome to the Autumnal issue of the GETBA e-zine, where we FOCUS on People and Culture. If your business is like mine, these are arguably the two most important things in your brand that can impact customer experience. While we talk about ‘change’ and the unpredictability of the future… who could have anticipated a global COVID-19 Pandemic and nationwide Government imposed lockdown, its breakneck pace and huge business and personal impact. Like most of you, we had a couple of days to prepare closure and mothball our businesses. In a time of huge uncertainty, we had to give certainty to our people about the immediate future and life after the lockdown. We had no precedent and no one who had done it before. Thank goodness the Government had already come up with an employee subsidy, and I hope you were all able to navigate the application process, what it means to go to 80% work hours reduction (as we have had to apply it), and the HR processes to support this contract variance. The challenges are huge; as leaders we have to interpret what’s going on around us and give meaning and context to our people. How we respond results in the culture that we create with our people. We can win and lose in an eye-blink. Old adages spring to mind, even with millennials! We need to connect with our people, give them meaning and purpose and rally them to a goal, walk the talk. The name of the game today is Survival, our BHAG.

Upcoming webinars 14 April, 10am-11am Re-setting your business strategy in the face of COVID-19 15 April, 11am-12noon Working remotely without feeling remote 17 April, 1pm-2pm Compassion and business survival – the balance when managing your team through COVID-19 22 April, 11am-12pm The insider’s guide to Digital Technologies for business



The only positive way to view COVID-19 is that it is an external impact and affects every business and every person, employee or not. The challenge now is how do we keep our people and culture alive in the lockdown. How do we maintain morale in the months ahead and motivational challenges we will face? I hope this e-zine has some people and culture tips that you can use in these tough and fast changing times.



Consider a change in thinking to get you through

by Mike Kensington, Leadership & Strategy Partner, POD/Advice First

Many of you reading this may have had your world tipped upside down over the last month. In fact, there are very few of us who have not. So, now more than ever, we should be considering what we need to do to support our employees, our businesses and, most importantly, ourselves.

so they can get the job done? Are there smarter ways to use technology? Are you open to ideas and innovations from our team to overcome obstacles? Let’s also consider what resources are available to people to support their emotional state – time-out, exercise, meditation, sleep and heathy eating.

At times like this, it is worth reflecting on the Stockdale Paradox – a concept named after James Stockdale, former USA vice presidential candidate, naval officer and Vietnam prisoner of war. Stockdale was held captive for seven years, repeatedly tortured and often feared for his life. As we know, often in times of extreme adversity, there are learnings and realisations. What Stockdale found was that he could stay alive by balancing two things: the reality of his situation, with a sense of optimism and hope.

Supporting each other needs to go beyond just asking if someone needs help. You may need to discuss the re-set of expectations and objectives with them, so they know what to focus on. You may need to learn how to be open to feedback and different opinions from people so that you can understand what’s going on and get the best information coming to you. People may need different skills to get the job done, so how can we coach, develop or mentor them through? Above all, the key to supporting people is communication. Communicate regularly and often, communicate the right information so it is clear and concise, and create lots of opportunities for people to communicate back to you and others around them.

Put simply, it is about hoping for the best while accepting and preparing for what you have in front of you. This may be a new way of thinking and behaving for many of us, but it is not something that needs to be difficult or complicated. Whilst hope and optimism are fantastic sentiments, we often need practical things to use in our businesses. When we look forward, we think about having a business plan, setting realistic goals and objectives, and identifying key actions that will get us

where we want to be. We recruit the type of people who will form our core culture, take responsibility for what needs to be done, and perform at their best. Above all, we look ahead, put plans and strategies in place, and support the people around us to be successful. When we reflect on the reality of the situation around the world right now, it may seem hard to have hope and optimism. That’s where our ability to be resilient kicks in. This is not about ‘pushing through’ or ‘getting tough’. It’s about calling on the resources and support you have around you, to manage yourself and others through adversity. In terms of resources, it may be worth asking yourself; have we reviewed our business plan and adjusted what we can expect to deliver? Have we re-set our goals to ensure we are being realistic? Are we focusing on the things that we can control? Are we focusing on the true priorities in our business? You might also want to consider what flexibility you are offering people

So, whilst there might be many things changing around you and it appears as though everything is out of your control, there are ways to re-set, focus your thinking and get through.  A U T U M N 2 0 2 0 FOCUS ON PEOPLE & CULTURE



WE CARE, WE ACT, WE SUCCEED Our people “We are quite intentional about fostering a great culture at Vitaco. The culture is committed and strong, which is a reflection of who we are and what we do – our people are very connected to our purpose and vision to ‘empower healthier lives’. This year, one of our key people and culture objectives is what we call ‘Culture by Design’ and we will be looking at how we build on that connection to purpose, by delivering programmes with deliberate alignment to our vision and objectives,” says Rose Powell, General Manager People & Capability at Vitaco. Vitaco Health Ltd is an inclusive, vibrant and enjoyable place to work. It began as a company in 2007 as a merger of two Australasian health & wellness companies: Nutra-Life Health & Fitness and Healtheries of New Zealand – one of New Zealand’s most trusted brands and largest and oldest health food and supplement manufacturers. The company has built a reputation for world-class manufacturing and knowledge based on 45 years of industry experience and knowledge. They provide their employees with a work environment that is happy and harmonious and have developed a culture that helps employees become the best that they can be professionally, so that they can achieve their career goals whilst keeping sound work / life balance. “We don’t use the words, Human Resources or staff; and rarely, employees. We are people not resources; therefore, our department name (People & Culture) reflects that,” says Rose. Her role was created by the Chief People and Culture Officer (based in Australia) in early 2017 to really focus on building capability within the company, especially in New Zealand. Training and on-going developmental programmes are integral to Vitaco operations and excellence is recognised and rewarded regularly through a companywide rewards programme. 4


“I’ve had so many growth opportunities here, it’s not quite 12 years yet and I’ve had seven job changes. I think our people feel very well supported and appreciate the accessibility of leadership.” Leeza – almost 12 years at Vitaco

Challenging the status quo Core values at Vitaco are simple but powerful. “We care, we act and we succeed” says Rose. An important part of Vitaco’s recruitment process is looking for evidence of these values in potential new people. Some call it cultural fit but Rose says that Vitaco looks for team members that bring a little something different or extra too – people who will challenge the status quo, inspire and encourage others to “sit up a little bit straighter.”

Giving back The organisation has experienced incredible growth and diversification over the years. “Because we control our own supply chain, it has allowed us to create many different kinds of roles requiring diverse skills and knowledge; it’s very inspiring,” continues Rose. “Empowering Healthier Lives is very important to the team; and our values aren’t just pictures on the walls, rather they underpin our policies, our KPI’s, our job descriptions and the decisions we make every day as a business. “We ask our people where we need to be stronger and we do our best to respond in a purposeful way. We conduct engagement surveys and don’t just share results but rather personalise them by team, workshopping action plans that really make sense to the priorities of that team. That’s part of our Culture by Design strategy; it’s showing our people that they own the culture within their teams; and they influence the culture in the other teams they work with. “A key driver of satisfaction with our people is the very high touch points across the company; for example there is not a single person who couldn’t approach the COO (or any other senior member of the team) and talk openly to them. Communication lines are always open, and our people appreciate that.”

The company celebrates success through rewarding performance on a quarterly and annual basis. There are awards for health and safety, quality, sales and marketing, living Vitaco’s values and more. They offer very generous staff, family and friends discounts and provide their people with gift packs of supplements for the flu season. There is also a subsidised cafeteria for all staff which will be refreshed very soon. “Shortly we will be launching a new programme which takes a very holistic view of wellbeing. Obviously, wellbeing is part of Vitaco’s DNA anyway but with this, we expect to see an even bigger impact and connection to our vision. We encourage people to participate in activities that are

“I love the business we do; I love the people and love the products. It’s an amazing company to work for because we care for our people and our customers.” Janine – 22 years at Vitaco

meaningful to them; and we support them as much as we can. Whether it’s a shared lunch, pulling together a fundraiser for Pink Ribbon Day; or a sports team for a good cause, our people love to participate, compete and do things together; we are a fun bunch. However, none of these group activities are practical right now during COVID Alert Level 4. As an essential business, many of our team are working from home while others continue at our manufacturing and distribution sites; connection has never been more important for our business which is inspiring a lot of creativity.” says Rose. For many, working at Vitaco is like an extension to their own family and it’s not unusual for a staff member to do something for the business or colleagues in their own time. From lunchtime art classes offered by Lorraine (who has been with the company over 20 years), to evening Yoga sessions by Ranjileen, Vitaco people are happy to offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities for their team mates. The company also has a flexible working policy that applies in some way, to everyone. Where practical, people are able to work from home and this is very much the case for many of Vitaco’s essential workers right now. Recent survey results showed that people at Vitaco feel that they have the flexibility they need to rearrange their working hours to fit around their family obligations and other commitments.

“I wanted to share my yoga and meditation teacher training and experience with like-minded people; people who care about their physical and mental health. The practice of yoga cultivates health and wellbeing (physical, emotional, mental and social) so it was a no brainer that I start out with my Vitaco family who are all about empowering healthier lives.” Ranjileen – 10 years at Vitaco – teaches free yoga on Friday evenings for all interested staff

Opportunities within Vitaco offers professional development planning and skills development opportunities for their people on an ongoing basis. “We have an in-house leadership development programme; great online opportunities as well as a Skills Matrix Programme for our manufacturing and distribution teams. This programme enables people to increase their skill level which is then linked to remuneration. It’s good for the business and good for our people also,” says Rose. “When I ask our people about what they love here, the first answer is always the people, but this is closely followed by the opportunity for career progression and a very strong sense of job security. We have been around a long time and are a reasonably big employer in the area. The size of our business and being vertically integrated opens up a whole lot of opportunities, and the flexibility we provide means a lot to them. Our turnover is around

11% so it’s pretty low compared to the industry average of 16%,” continues Rose. Attendance figures at Vitaco sit around 95%. People are committed and connected to work in more ways than one. This is evident right now as the Vitaco Team continues to supply grocery stores and pharmacies in the middle of the COVID situation. “We have a pretty happy bunch here,” smiles Rose. 

“I’m a loyal person and the company has enabled me to grow and do new things with all the new opportunities here.” Peter – 16 years at Vitaco): A U T U M N 2 0 2 0 FOCUS ON PEOPLE & CULTURE



BUILDING A GREAT LEARNING CULTURE New neighbours on the East Tamaki block, Waste Management NZ, purpose-built their new site to drive people and culture, relationships and engagement. In addition to this, National Corporate Services and HR Manager Sharon Scott says the organisation has a number of initiatives in place to support a strong learning culture. The advantage of many of these is the leveraging of government and other types of funding to pull together a cohesive programme for all levels of the business. SKILL FIRST Sharon says one of the greatest initiatives Waste Management has engaged in is Skills First, a workplace literacy and numeracy programme partnership with Upskills, which over 250 employees have participated in. Targeting workplace communication and interpersonal confidence, the programme is award winning (2017 Diversity Works Skills Highway Award) in part because of its approach to pathwaying staff through

to other training opportunities and up the career ladder. The programme has been able to take different areas of focus within the broader upskilling of its staff, including communication skills, emerging leadership, a programme targeting Business Unit Instructors around effective training and communication, and a Running Start programme which aims to take frontline staff through to their Class 2 Truck Driving theory license.


CALL CENTRE DEVELOPMENT Waste Management recently formed a partnership with Solomon Group to develop and recruit call centre staff. Whilst still early days, they are very positive about results to date. HIGHER EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY

Graduates reflect on their learning: “I am more confident in my role at work due to the communication skills learned on this course.” “I’ve got quite a bad temper; thanks to this course I’m learning to control the passion and learning how to speak to people properly, instead of just firing at the hip.” “In almost every session I learned something beneficial which will help me become a better leader and a better person.”


ONLINE LEARNING Waste Management has its own online learning system, ED, which has been designed to roll out interesting and interactive content on health and safety, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing, and other topics.

Waste Management offer higher education support to employees who wish to take on professional or tertiary study. PURPOSE-BUILT FACILITY The move to a purpose-built facility in East Tamaki has meant a coming together of different functions of the business. Before New Zealand went into recent lockdown, Sharon says the common meal area had changed the culture – helping people to come together as well as ensuring people take a break. Meeting colleagues they had never met before in different business units has also been key.


Upskills is a workplace training provider with a genuine drive to deliver quality learning that has a lasting impact to individuals and the organisations they work for. We partner with business to access goverment funding to support upskilling of their frontline staff and have a range of online options available to continue to train people in the current lockdown environment.

Online courses available: • Workplace communication, numeracy and literacy upskilling • Frontline leadership – NZQA Level 3 Certificate in Business

Staff member and Skills First graduate, Billy Henry

• Wellbeing programme • Train the Trainer (Unit Standard based)


Driver and Skills First graduate, Piu Hafoka

• Don’t assume everyone learns in the same way. Put people at the heart of their own learning goals for success rather than driving out top down solutions. • Online learning environments are a key opportunity to provide customised learning content to your people. • Grow a pipeline of talent within your organisation – consider how those in frontline roles can progress their careers with the right support and mentoring. • The workplace has always been a site of continuous learning and this takes many different forms – mentoring and reverse mentoring, apprenticeships, online and flipped learning, creation of a learning channel, a learning spot inside toolbox or other meetings. It’s important to value all these different types of learning as they relate to your people.




HOW ARE DIFFERENT GENERATIONS RESPONDING TO THE WORKPLACE? The media will have you believe the generational gap between old and young is widening, and that this can breed friction and disloyalty in the workplace – but can it? Shane MacKay, General Manager – Wellington, shares answers to this question from our latest whitepaper, Managing the Free Agent Mindset: Generational Responses to the Changing Workplace.

We aimed to discover the answer to that question by surveying nearly 300 employees across New Zealand, in addition to over 60 organisations. These individuals represented a detailed cross-section of industries, skill levels, qualifications and, most importantly, age groups. Here are some of the key findings from our whitepaper:

Fear of job loss Given how rapidly jobs come and go in a changing world, it is no surprise that there is a growing fear of job loss among people of all age groups. Nearly three-fifths of respondents somewhat or strongly agreed that there is a constant need to adapt to change as well as a growing fear of job loss, an attitude more acutely felt by both Baby Boomers (80%) and Generation X (79%). However, Generation Z respondents felt the most uneasy about their future work, with 100% of this generation agreeing with the statement. 8



100 % of respondents

The modern New Zealand workplace is a rapidly changing environment. In our previous whitepapers, Responding to the Changing Workforce and Preparing for the Future of Work, we investigated how technology, globalisation and other factors are impacting people’s work, and changing the skills they need to learn to be successful. However, there remained a gap in the insights and an important unanswered question: If everything is changing so fast, how are the different generations responding?



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This is one of our most notable findings, given there is a strong correlation between the actions of employers regarding offering job security and the feelings of fear among employees. A full 79% of employers somewhat/strongly agree that they are less likely to offer job security and ongoing employment these days, and 69% somewhat/strongly agree that their employee relationships are more short-term than they used to be. We identified what appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy at play regarding job security in New Zealand across all demographics. Wider market factors may be making employers feel nervous to offer security, which makes employees fear for their future prospects, meaning both parties now tend to assume that employment relationships will be shortterm/transactional. Our youngest workers are perhaps the most nervous moving into an uncertain work environment for the first time, whilst older workers appear fearful that they may struggle to continue working as they approach retirement age.







92% 80%



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One of the potential fallouts of our above findings is that talent is far more transient now than it used to be – but employers don’t know it yet. Job satisfaction levels are relatively high (the majority of people in all age groups feel satisfied in their work), but despite that, 81% of employees still claim they will likely leave their current job within 12 months. Baby Boomers are the most likely to be looking to resign, whilst Generation Z are the least. And out of all our respondents who stated they were looking to go, a significant majority (87%) intend on bailing for another organisation. This is interesting for two reasons: The first is that common media stigma tells us that it is Millennials who are meant to be the most transient, or least loyal, whereas our findings suggest the opposite is true. Secondly, employers are unprepared for this number of employees to resign.

workers lose out and younger workers gain in the modern work environment – at a rate of 63% (Baby Boomers) to 20% (Millennials).


For any organisation with a high proportion of older workers, this should ring alarm bells – there is a communications gap, it seems, between older and younger people. Those over the age of 54 feel their seniority means less and that they are losing out to the young, whilst the young


So why are Baby Boomers so inclined to leave? Do they feel disrespected, or less valued? Baby Boomers seem to feel these things, though their younger counterparts don’t. Most older workers (81%) somewhat/ strongly agree that seniority and tenure have lost their importance, however, only 63% of Millennials feel the same. Additionally, those over 54 years old are more inclined than their younger peers to somewhat/strongly agree that older


9% Flexible hours

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Seniority means something different to everyone

Greater variety of work


We asked employers what percentage of their workforce they expected to resign in 12 months. The number? Just 23%. Whilst 81% of employees expect to resign, their managers are only ready for a fraction of that. If even half of the employees that indicated they expect to resign (40%) go ahead with their intention, this could be a colossal problem in the months to come.

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*too few Gen Z respondents answered this question to provide comparable data, and so this generation has been omitted.

don’t seem to either notice or agree. Given that older workers are the most inclined to resign, efforts may need to be made to bridge the gap between the age groups, and ensure older workers feel as valued and respected as their younger peers.

The findings from our whitepaper cover a wide range of topics, from generational attitudes to work, to the pressures of finding new talent in this day and age, incentives and rewards to please different age groups, and building a culture that can weather the storm. What we have presented here makes up perhaps some of the most alarming results from our survey – that employees of all ages are united in their fear of losing their jobs, that many employees are planning on resigning within 12 months, and that employers are largely unprepared to tackle these future challenges. These insights highlight how important it is for employers to be proactive in addressing these trends and to look for ways to bridge talent gaps and alleviate workplace issues. If you want to learn more about generational responses to the changing workplace, get in touch to receive a copy of our latest whitepaper. 



Fisher & Paykel Healthcare developing STEM career pathways for us as scientists because the students might see it as a career pathway.” In the initial stage of the project students recorded their own sleep patterns for five weeks using sleep diaries. “We taught them about analysing data and pre-loaded their knowledge with tasks so they became really interested in finding out more,” says Imogen. From there, the study became really exciting when the students were each given a data tracker, called an actigraphy watch, donated by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and SouthSci, to gather their own sleep data.

Sleep is important for hauora A student getting ‘gowned up’ for the manufacturing space

Kids love data-tracking their sleep patterns A sleep study that teaches tweens and teens about the importance of sleep sounds like a parents’ dream, but it was Beachlands School kids that were over the moon with the project. 130 Year 7 and 8 students became scientists at Beachlands School, using the scientific method to answer self-developed research questions about sleep habits by tracking and analysing their own sleep. Teacher Imogen Kennedy, who is a Community of Learning Leader for Kahui ako STEM, says a highlight for students in the Curious Minds project was visiting the Fisher & Paykel Healthcare prototyping labs and manufacturing facilities in East Tamaki, where they saw ‘real-world science’ first-hand using the scientific method to answer questions.

“It was awesome to see their faces light up as they realised their classroom science work connected with the work being performed in our sophisticated laboratories.” Susyn Kelly, Clinical Research Scientist at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

“They could see what a scientist looks like in the real world, that scientists are young and cool and hip.” Fisher & Paykel Healthcare make a range of products for respiratory and acute care, and devices for the treatment of sleep apnoea. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare offered project ideas, technical guidance and mentors for the South Auckland Participatory Science Platform.

Science: a real career pathway

During the visit, scientists and engineers set up models and working machinery for the students to experience.

“They loved it and were able to get an understanding of what jobs are like in industry. It’s inspiring these kids to be interested in science and see it as an actual pathway they could go down.”

Scientists enjoy sharing their work

Scientists and engineers also visited Beachlands School and Imogen says this broke the stereotypical views of scientists. 10


“In our day-to-day work we don’t get instant results but with kids you get immediate feedback that something is interesting. The project was really satisfying

Initiator of the study and Clinical Research Scientist at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Susyn Kelly says intermediate level is a good age for kids to learn about how important sleep is before their sleep patterns change in their teens. “Getting kids to recognise that sleep has such a big influence on them and their wellbeing is important. You can have a good day, be happy and productive if you prioritise your sleep environment to get enough sleep each night.” The students were challenged to identify ways they could achieve better sleep and improve their sleep environment at home. “They came up with some amazing ideas like developing hauora wellbeing, listening to calming music, meditation, going for a walk to release endorphins, having a relaxing tea, and, of course, avoiding smart devices before bed,” adds Imogen. She says it was also the best engagement on home learning she’s seen, with the students building their own model bedrooms that reflected a good sleep environment. “The whole motivation and hands on learning was really cool and engaged 95% of the cohort.”

Scientist showing students the sleep lab

What is STEM and SouthSci?

Engineer showing students the laser cutter used for prototyping

Imogen says she would recommend to other teachers to do a sleep study with their class, and that it could be done using sleep diaries, if data trackers aren’t available. “There is lots of stuff about sleep science that is easily available. You could do it with a year five and six cohort as well.” The school and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare plan to follow up with the class in 2020 to see what lasting impressions they have around sleep. The trackers will be used to undertake another project connected to student hauora also in 2020, and the sleep study is planned to be repeated in 2021 with a new Year 7 and 8 cohort.  About the project: This project is run by SouthSci with support from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and the South Auckland Participatory Science Platform.

STEM is a bit of a buzz word that people use in slightly different contexts and meanings. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but with an underlying implication for multi-disciplinary teaching and learning. This is where two or more subjects are taught together, often with an overarching single project goal tying them together. SouthSci is the South Auckland region of the Participatory Science Platform, an initiative under Curious Minds, from the New Zealand Government. The Curious Minds suite of programmes aim to engage New Zealanders with science and technology. The Participatory Science Platform is a fund for STEM-expert and community collaborative research projects, predominantly aimed at engaging young people in the full process of science and research. SouthSci connects STEM experts with community groups, including schools, to design projects that are locally relevant to them. Each project can apply for up to $20,000 from us, and we support them as much as needed to run wonderful and learning-rich research projects. The SouthSci team are currently settled into working-from-home, and are available to remotely help people design projects that will work, either in part of in full, as an online engagement model. Projects can also be designed with the intent to start once we get back to some form of normal, with our contracting and managing the fund with as much flexibility and support as possible. To apply, you need to complete the Expression of Interest form, which you can download from our SouthSci webpage, and submit it to Dr Sarah via email. Once this is received she will release the full application template, which you can submit either on 1 May or 5 June. 


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS? Lukas Sousa, Business Development Manager, Malcolm Pacific Immigration, and panellist at our recent immigration Forum, gives us an update.

LUKAS SOUSA Malcolm Pacific Immigration Workers who have applied for Residence: Immigration NZ (INZ) processing offices are all now closed. This means residence applications are not being processed until INZ staff can return to work (at least until the end of lockdown). There is nothing that can be done right now to move an application forward. People waiting for a residence application decision will need to be patient. Residence application not yet lodged: Because INZ offices are closed paperbased residence applications cannot be lodged. This may change if couriers can be delivered but right now there is no way to lodge an application. 12


If any staff have an Invitation to Apply for Residence (ITA) expiring in the next 4 to 8 weeks tell them to get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration for advice.

backing up and the longer someone waits to apply the longer it will take them to get a new visa. Your business will not want to be waiting for visa approvals once you reopen.

Work visa application already lodged but not decided:

Leaving New Zealand during the lockdown:

A limited number of INZ staff can work remotely to process online temporary visa applications. Priority is being given only to essential workers required in New Zealand to help with the COVID-19 crisis (such as health workers).

Anyone holding a temporary visa who intends to leave the country right now should not have any expectation they can return to New Zealand until after the lockdown and National State of Emergency has ended. Non-essential travel is not recommended under any circumstance.

Any other temporary visa applications will be delayed. Anyone currently overseas wanting to get to New Zealand should significantly reduce any expectation to arrive while this lockdown is in place due to the border closure and a trickle of flights landing here. Staff with work visas about to expire: Workers who are in New Zealand right now and their visa expires on or before 1 April 2020 must apply now to extend the visa (plus those of their immediate family). Once they apply an interim visa is issued that will keep them lawfully in New Zealand for now. Workers in New Zealand right now; and still in the country on 2 April 2020; and whose visa (plus those of their immediate family) expires between 2 April 2020 and 9 July 2020 will automatically get a visa extension through to 25 September 2020. The new visa will be emailed to your staff member. We strongly encourage those staff to work with us now to apply for longer extensions on their visas. Visa applications are already

You have terminated staff who hold work visas or changed their pay conditions due to the lockdown: Normally this would have serious consequences for someone who holds a work visa or has applied / intends to apply for residence. However, this is a historic event and right now there is no clear answer for anyone in this position. INZ has asked the government for direction. Until we have an official answer, we cannot provide any clear immigration advice. We strongly recommend any affected staff contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers to update them on the change in circumstances.  Malcolm Pacific Immigration: Our office might be closed but our team are working remotely, and our phones are answered 24/7. Call us anytime on 0800 800 612 or use the Contact page on our website to get in touch

IMMIGRATION AN ELECTION ISSUE residency when they move out of Auckland. The current immigration policy clearly disadvantages employers in one of the most active employment markets and one where there are now major skills shortages. The pending shift to a minimum pay threshold of $79,500 for skilled migrant workers is likely to turn off this source of staff for Brendan’s business, while offering little or no prospect of being able to recruit New Zealanders for the roles.

BRENDAN KELLY Quest Highbrook The minimum wage / immigration changes are having a particular impact on the hospitality, hotel and tourism sectors. GETBA business owner, Brendan Kelly from Quest Highbrook, is experiencing the real effects of our current immigration policy. Brendan has a policy of paying above minimum wage and is actively and gradually moving all his staff to the living wage but finds that the big rises in minimum wage – up another $1.20 to $18.90 on April 1 – are actually moving faster than the margins he is paying staff. Entry-level cleaning staff are already being paid $1.05 above the current minimum wage. This has caused a ripple effect through the business as staff on higher wage rates want to maintain their pay relativity. When Brendan looks for mid-level duty managers, he receives a hundred or more overseas applications and around 10 -12 from New Zealanders. He also actively encourages and trains existing staff – both immigrants and New Zealanders – to move up through the ranks. If Quest hires an immigrant worker, especially on the pathway to residence, they run the risk of losing that staff member because they will move out of Auckland to the regions to gain 30 extra points on their application for permanent residency. Several Auckland-based employers have highlighted this issue as they lose staff they’d prefer to keep who justifiably try to increase their chances of permanent

ROD GILES Contract Warehousing Managing Director of Contract Warehousing, Rod Giles says that recruiting staff has been a constant problem that has become extremely difficult in recent years. “What’s more tough is trying to find the right staff,” he says. He has found it challenging to search for an employee with the right attitude, who is committed to work, accepts training and values the company. It became apparent that he was taking on a lot of good people who needed an opportunity, but it wasn’t long before Rod started to see more and more immigrant workers being sent his way. “It was difficult in the early onset accepting the different cultures and the language barriers, but you grow to understand, adjust and adapt. You also come to recognise and appreciate that immigrants want to work like anyone else. They want to belong, want to succeed and are prepared to put that extra effort in because they realise you’re giving them an opportunity,” he continues.

law and getting the right visas to continue to work and remain in New Zealand. It feels like they’re having to spend so much money and jump through hoops with the constantly changing immigration rules, which simply makes no sense. We hire people that are available, regardless of them being Kiwi or immigrants, but those who are best for the job,” he continues. Rod states that a recent GETBA forum showed how strong that feeling is amongst the local business community also. Businesses invest considerably in their staff, particularly immigrants, as they had become the only people available and are also being placed in the same situation now. Adding to that and where it’s really starting to distort the business, is the increase in the minimum wage where immigrants have to be paid well over the top as a minimum, which does not equate to the market rate, their skills and abilities (proven or otherwise). It then has the potential to offend other staff that have worked hard and have been given a wage increase on merit – thereby opening a potentially big industrial issue. “Immigrant workers have added a lot to Contract Warehousing as a company and collectively they try to give back and get involved to a greater degree. I’ve tried to put together a good middle to upper management team over the past 25 years and have struggled to find people that would stay engaged and remain. “Now, I feel I have guys that are taking over from myself and allowing me to step back. These guys have the company and the whole teams’ interest at heart. They want to succeed and remain in New Zealand and work hard at progressing together for both the company and their own future. They appear to collectively take a longterm view on their children’s and their own lives, in which case everyone, including New Zealand are the winners.”

Rod believes that immigrant workers add greatly to the country’s overall growth and GDP. They provide labour, skills, cultural diversity and are generally good reliable people. “What I totally disagree with are the constant changes that are continually happening in the approach and management of migrant workers in New Zealand,” he says. “We are having to become much more involved in trying to retain our immigrant staff, even though they are abiding by the A U T U M N 2 0 2 0 FOCUS ON PEOPLE & CULTURE



Photographs by Grant Southam,








Digital technology is the key to keep your business moving By James Smith, founder of Xennial, a consultancy specialising in modern marketing for NZ Businesses

As we approach our third week of Lockdown in New Zealand, the need for businesses to continue to innovate and utilise modern digital technologies in their day-to-day operations is more important now than ever before. For many companies, technology adoption will not just be about gaining a competitive advantage but ensuring survival of the business itself. Here are a few areas of business that can be greatly enhanced by digital technologies to keep your company moving during these disruptive times:

Remote working strategy VIDEO CONFERENCING If you haven’t already done so, start using a cloud-based video conferencing platform to communicate with your staff, suppliers and customers. Residential internet speeds are a lot faster these days with the installation of fibre, meaning the stability of video calling is vastly improved compared to where it was a few years ago. While you may be a bit camera shy at first, you’d be surprised at how quickly it becomes comfortable and you’ll value being able to share your screen with others. Some popular platforms are: > > > > 16


MESSAGING PLATFORMS WITH EXTRA FUNCTIONALITY While we’re all familiar with email, there are alternative messaging platforms available that offer additional features and benefits such as collaboration tools and workflow management. Take a look at if you’re interested in boosting team communication or if you’re after a project management tool that boosts teamwork and helps you to track progress.

Stakeholder communications It’s extremely important for businesses to let stakeholders know what’s happening and acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. If you don’t already use one, select an email marketing platform to create a professional-looking email template incorporating your branding. These platforms allow you to segment your recipient lists so you can easily send separate communications to customers, suppliers and partners etc. Check out or

Embracing e-commerce TRADE YOUR GOODS OR SERVICES ONLINE If you have a product or service that can be traded online, now is the time to develop that channel as fast as you can. Internet

usage will be at record levels during the COVID-19 pandemic as people become accustomed to purchasing online, potentially changing buying behaviour patterns long after this is all over. While a new online offering from your business may not match the revenue you would have generated by trading through your regular channels, it can provide much needed cashflow, provides you with an additional path to market and all importantly keeps you connected with customers during this time. ENHANCE YOUR EXISTING E-COMMERCE OFFERING If your business already trades online, look for how to create a step-change to your offering. For example, upgrading your e-commerce platform to enable subscription-based ordering can increase the frequency of purchase and annual value of each customer. To improve your customer’s experience you could look at E-commerce automations such as fulfilment notifications, inventory levels and customer loyalty discounts. Or how about adding a live chat feature for instant customer service? Depending on your existing platform, these features may require development add-ons or it could be an opportunity for an entirely new E-commerce system altogether.

Much of what lies ahead is uncertain and many business owners and managers will be anxiously wondering how their companies will fare through this. Use this time to evolve your business through the adoption of digital technologies to stay connected with your staff, engaged with your customers and efficient in your delivery. 

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LOVE FOOD, HATE WASTE connecting the two she started, with her station wagon, getting in touch with cafés who had good food that was being thrown out and distributing that through agencies in Dunedin. The organisation slowly grew over the years and was able to secure premises on Kiwi Rail /Council leased grants which allowed them to start collecting a lot more food. Deborah then approached Progressive and Foodstuffs supermarket chains and commenced a food rescue business. That has organically grown over the years to the point where she saw the need to make a further impact by also setting up in Auckland. KiwiHarvest have now set up outreaches in Hawke’s Bay, Hastings and Queenstown with a small satellite operation on the North Shore of Auckland. KiwiHarvest started out as a very small operation from Dunedin in 2012 by Founder, Deborah Manning. She saw the gap in cafés and restaurants where food was getting thrown out and read an article where families were struggling financially and otherwise. With the simple idea of 18


Goodman Property Services through the Goodman Foundation have been instrumental and big supporters of KiwiHarvest from the early stages. While located at Goodman’s business park in Ellerslie, Kiwiharvest were granted carpark space for a 40 foot and two 20 foot containers and a portable cabin to start

running the Auckland operation from there. “That gave us the ability to turn over around 15-16 pallets of dry goods and produce,” says Gavin Findlay, CEO KiwiHarvest. “It became clear that there was a lot more need in the community for our services, and there was plenty of surplus food in the supply food chain. Goodman then gave us our Highbrook premise to expand our services which has been a game changer in terms of the volumes of produce we can get out into the community and to those in need. “In saying that, we still have 20-23 agencies on our waiting list as there still aren’t enough resources, in terms of people and drivers, on the ground, to move all the products out to all the agencies.“ “Consumer demand in today’s world is such that we have started to choose what shape and size we want our vegetables. So, what happens with the other nonperfect produce? They either get thrown out into landfill, float back into the fields or are given to the pig farms. This is where we step in and connect. We rescue all that good food from producers and manufacturers and play an instrumental role in diverting the food surplus from going to landfill,” says Gavin.

Kiwiharvest rescues 100,000 -140,000kgs of good quality surplus food every month, and diverts this back to people who are struggling across New Zealand. Not only does it needlessly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, wasting food also means squandering the resources used to produce and transport that food, including water, land, energy, labour, and capital. KiwiHarvest work with food businesses, including supermarkets, wholesalers, producers, cafés, restaurants, and hotels, to rescue the good food that they are not able to sell – whether that is because of oversupply, damaged packaging, cancelled orders, mislabelling, or because the food is nearing its best before date or end of life. The organisation works with agencies to reach vulnerable communities with the aim to ensure that food isn’t something they need to necessarily worry about. We work

New Zealand industry generates more than 103,000 tonnes of food waste per year, and it is estimated that 60% of food going to landfill is edible. with all types of groups, be it low decile schools, women’s refuge, city missions, the salvation army and more,” says Gavin. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for Goodman and we couldn’t do without our volunteers and other companies who have supported us with the provision of forklifts, equipment, security and hygiene systems and so much more. It’s a significant investment on their part to provide all that to us for free.” A big challenge for us right now is to get the funding to get another truck driver, a

vehicle and get out to the community. The reality is there’s plenty of surplus food, but we need the resource to distribute this out to our communities in need.” “Now that we’re here in East Tamaki, the next step is to get out into the local business community. There is opportunity to work with the local businesses which would help us further expand our operations. A little goes a long way and collectively it will be even more,” he adds. 

Subsequent to being interviewed for this article Gavin faced several COVID-19 related challenges. Two of these were the lack of a reliable vehicle for Kiwiharvest (an essential business) to check on COVID-19 compliance by the organisations they deliver to, and the availability of face masks to protect their staff. In less than 24 hours of GETBA approaching East Auckland BMW, Kiwiharvest collected a van to enable their compliance requirements to be met. Shortly thereafter, an email to GETBA members elicited a source of face masks for essential businesses. Kiwiharvest are very grateful to East Auckland BMW and GETBA members for their prompt and willing support.




EAST TAMAKI POLLUTION PREVENTION PROGRAMME We all work close to the Tamaki Estuary. Some of us also live and play on the estuary. But, do we know what is actually going into the water? And what are the risks of business pollution impacting on our beautiful Auckland coastal environments? Once we find these risks, what can East Tamaki businesses do to prevent accidental pollution? These are some of the questions Auckland Council contractor, Wilkinson Environmental Ltd, set out to answer as part of a Howick Local Board funded project between November 2014 and January 2016. Wilkinson Environmental Ltd (WEL) visited 444 East Tamaki businesses. Every company was given information about how their site connects to the Tamaki Estuary, and about common pollution risks. The focus was on education, not enforcement,

and encouraging businesses to manage their risks around water pollution. Of the 444 businesses visited, 114 sites had room for improvement in their current practices. Those businesses were given a wide range of practical recommendations to help them avoid causing pollution. In 2020 they are back to revisit those businesses who had pollution risks and to help new businesses in the area, again funded by the Howick Local Board.

One of the most important things to remember is that almost all stormwater drains on sites in East Tamaki, like the one in the photo above, connect directly to the Tamaki Estuary. Anything that flows into them, such as rubbish, litter and accidental liquid spills, will end up in the estuary without any treatment. Many people get confused between the stormwater system and the sewer. The diagram below shows it in a nice simple way:

Roof downpipe

Storm drains

Industrial sewage





Outfall pipe to stream

Sewer to wastewater teatment plant Sewage, or wastewater, from our homes and businesses, including from sinks, flows through the sewer to a wastewater treatment plant. From East Tamaki, wastewater goes to the Watercare treatment plant in Mangere. Whereas, rain that falls onto roofs, roads and yards, enters stormwater drains and flows directly to the local waterway without going through any treatment. Spills into this stormwater system can rapidly have a huge impact on the local waterway. 20




Of the 114 East Tamaki businesses that were found to have room to improve their practices, here are the most common ways they could reduce the potential to accidentally cause pollution:


No spill plan Many businesses were found to have no spill equipment (such as a spill kit) and staff had not been trained to deal with spills. Even if you only have relatively small quantities of liquids such as chemicals and oils on your site, you need to have a basic spill response plan in place. A spill plan should have the following components: 1. A documented standard procedure for identifying and stopping a spill getting into the stormwater system, and for cleaning up and appropriately disposing of a spill. 2. Appropriate spill kits in high risk locations, such as loading/unloading areas, with these spill kit locations mapped if necessary. It can be useful to mark out on the ground set locations for spill kits. 3. Scheduled training for staff on implementing the spill response plan If you only handle small volumes of liquids like oils or chemicals, then this spill plan does not have to be overly complicated. Keep the plan simple and clear but make sure everyone is aware a plan exists and key staff know what to do in the event of an accident.

Risky storage One of the biggest risks found is the incorrect storage of bulk liquids. If you have drums or IBCs, or any containers of liquids, they MUST be stored within secondary containment. There have been many instances of drums and bulk containers leaking unexpectedly. If they are stored outside and without any secondary containment when this happens there is a huge risk the leak will flow into site stormwater drains and cause pollution. You could face significant penalties if this happens. This applies to almost all bulk liquids, including vegetable oils, ‘biodegradable’ products, beverages, food ingredients and milk products.

Washing equipment or vehicles Some companies were found to be washing dirty equipment or vehicles outside with detergents and washwater was flowing into stormwater drains. Even biodegradable or ‘green’ carwash/ detergent should not enter these drains. Washwater should be diverted to the sewer or, if possible, onto unsealed ground. If washing vehicles is a significant part of your operation, you should invest in a dedicated wash bay that is connected to the sewer. For occasional washing you should use car or commercial truck wash facilities.

Leaking rubbish bins Liquids should never be disposed of in outside skip bins as these often have drain holes in the base and liquids will leak out and enter stormwater drains.

Plastic raw material and litter It is also important to prevent litter from entering stormwater drains. Stormwater drains in industrial areas can be a major source of marine litter. Sites that handle dry raw materials, such as plastic beads or powders, and sites with large amounts of rubbish should have procedures in place to ensure spilled material is cleaned up quickly. Many sites in East Tamaki that have this issue have installed filters inside their stormwater drains to capture any residual spilt material before it can get to the Tamaki Estuary.

Staff awareness One of the hardest things to do is engage well with staff so they don’t accidentally cause water pollution while at work. There is often confusion over where the stormwater drains flow to. As well as regular staff training, some East Tamaki businesses have painted stencils or installed signs near stormwater drains to remind staff these drains connect to waterways.

In 2018 Vac-U-Digga NZ Ltd discharged 1000L of paint into their washbay, which connected to the stormwater system and the Whau River. The paint made its way to the Whau River causing significant pollution. Vac-U-Digga was prosecuted by Auckland Council and fined $28,125. CHRISTCHURCH In 2019 Emergent Cold Ltd were prosecuted for discharging ammonia to a gutter, which entered the stormwater network and then the Kaputone Creek. The pollution resulted in the death of 1,779 fish, including long fin and short fin eels. Emergent Cold Ltd was fined $145,350 and the worker involved was fined $97,000. This is an important reminder that staff need to be careful to protect stormwater drains and be aware that these connect to a waterway. ONEHUNGA, AUCKLAND In 2017, Protective Paints was prosecuted by Auckland Council and fined nearly $18,000 for a paint spill on their site. A 1000L container of paint base was being moved around the site on a forklift and ruptured when it struck the edge of a building. The paint made its way into the stormwater system and the nearby estuary and the Manukau Harbour, discolouring water and killing eels.

The East Tamaki Pollution Prevention Programme was well received by businesses visited, with many finding the friendly advice very useful and delivered in a non-threatening way. If you would like confidential advice on how to manage your pollution risks, or simply want to find out where you can get good spill equipment, please feel free to contact Wilkinson Environmental Ltd.  Ph (09) 948 2597 Email A U T U M N 2 0 2 0 FOCUS ON PEOPLE & CULTURE



BUSINESS WASTE ADVISORY PROGRAMME The waste advisory programme, funded by Auckland Council’s Waste Management and Innovation Fund, saw waste audits conducted at 30 East Tamaki businesses by Wilkinson Environmental during 2019. Participating companies were given an assessment of their current waste streams and an Advisory Report with waste data, estimated landfill waste composition and details of any opportunities to divert materials from landfill. The report recommendations included contact details for potential services providers and actions required. A total of 1,127 tonnes per annum of waste diversion opportunities have been identified for these 30 businesses, with 218 tonnes of this being straightforward opportunities using existing commercial recycling or composting services. Of the 218 tonnes of straightforward opportunities, 44.35 tonnes per annum of ongoing diversion has been implemented so far. A further 10 tonnes was diverted for re-use by a Pacific Island community charity, as a one-off for a business. The straightforward diversion opportunities were broken down into material categories. Large volumes of wood were found (69



tonnes p.a.) and connections were provided for wood recyclers. Local landscape garden supply business Superscapes will collect untreated wood for free to be processed into woodchip. Wood waste was mostly made up of wooden pallets, and packaging such as boxes. The second largest volume of easily divertible material was compostable material, at 52 tonnes p.a. This was made up mostly of food waste created in lunchrooms and onsite cafeterias. Commercial compost collection services are available but have a cost. Plastic, at 40.2 tonnes per annum, was the third largest waste stream. This was predominantly plastic shrink wrap and other plastic packaging. Many businesses were connected to local plastics recycler Astron Sustainability. Despite the availability of paper and cardboard recycling being very well known and common in most businesses, there was still opportunity found for 38.2 tonnes of paper/card to be diverted. This was predominantly opportunities to improve the way staff use existing cardboard recycling systems, to try and prevent them from discarding it into general waste bins.

To date, six companies, or 20%, have implemented some of the recommendations made to them. These good examples show the potential value a waste advisory programme can deliver.

The primary barrier to implementing the waste diversion opportunities identified is financial. While some businesses were able to reduce their waste disposal costs slightly by diverting some materials, and therefore needing less bin pickups, the cost of recycling collection services are unlikely to be cheaper than disposal, and in some cases can be more expensive. The cost of commercial collections for material such as cardboard and plastics has become more expensive in recent years as recycled commodity prices around the world have dropped considerably. This means businesses are even less willing to pursue waste diversion. The low cost of landfill is a common barrier to engaging with businesses on waste minimisation in New Zealand. The NZ Government is currently consulting on increasing the landfill levy which would have the effect of increasing waste costs and incentivising diversion. This would have a clear positive impact on the results of this programme as more solutions would be implemented by the businesses.


From the Police to you Constable Nicci Gibson is the face of the Police for the Botany Community which includes the GETBA area. Nicci has some practical advice and tips for everyone.

It’s easy to put off things like security, but when things go pear shaped, we wish we had done it sooner. We’re all guilty of it, for many years I have been telling people to install CCTV cameras in their home, but I have only just put them in myself. There are plenty of other things I would rather spend my money on too. However now they are in, it is a great feeling. Technology allows you to watch your property from wherever you are and teamed up with a monitored alarm, it gives a great sense of security.

First and foremost, I hope everyone is safe and well in their bubble. These are unprecedented times, and we are all having to work with a very fluid situation. Unless you are an essential service, most of you would have had to close up your business and go home during the lockdown period. This made me wonder how many started to second guess their current security systems or lack thereof. While your business is closed, you have time to ponder what security measures would be better, or what you had thought of getting (but didn’t). Unfortunately you will be unable to implement anything now, because of the lockdown restrictions. The message here is, remember that feeling, write down a reminder to address any concerns you have, and as soon as the lockdown ends, get it sorted.

During the lockdown installing a new security system is not on the cards, but you can observe basic security measures. Ensure you always lock your vehicles and don’t leave valuables in your car (if you must, make sure they are out of site). Stolen plates still seem to be a hot item, those of you who have taken advantage of the safer plates system, well done. I am sure GETBA will try to arrange another one of these in East Tamaki when things return to normal. Remember there is a wealth of information on the Police website and the GETBA website for how to keep your business safe. Now would be a good time to look at these, because when the lockdown finishes you will be concentrating all your energy into getting your businesses up and running again. Keep well.

COVID-19 reminder from Senior Sergeant Anson Lin Police will be highly visible in our communities to keep people and their properties safe. Our focus continues to be on maintaining law and order and preventing harm, and we will not hesitate to deal appropriately with anyone who seeks to take advantage of this national emergency. We are now at alert level 4 and in lockdown. This means people should be staying at home. Therefore we encourage you to please report non-emergency situations online at www.police. or call 111 if it’s an emergency. Police are asking that everyone commits to keeping themselves and their community safe by adhering to the restrictions imposed. Anyone with concerns about individuals or businesses breaching the Alert Level 4 restrictions can make a report online at:

Proudly supporting



NEW ASSOCIATION SPONSOR providing clients with quality investment advice, on the ground in the local communities the company serves. David has worked in the Botany / Howick area for almost a dozen years and has almost 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Mark has more than nine years of experience as an investment adviser in New Zealand. He is a true east Auckland local having grown up in Mellons Bay, and he still resides there.

Mark Steele (left) and David Morgan

First appeared in the Howick and Pakuranga Times

David is passionate about helping clients achieve their objectives through effective investment advice. Over the years he has developed enduring relationships with his clients based on trust and an ongoing understanding of these objectives. Mark’s focus is to always ensure his service and advice match each individual client’s objective and style. Objectives could be growth, capital protection, income for retirement or all of the above. “Put simply, we advise people who have accumulated a lump sum of money, how to take care of this money appropriately,” said Mark.

Forsyth Barr, one of New Zealand’s most respected and established names in the financial services industry, has opened offices in Auckland East. The Auckland East team, in Botany, is led by two investment advisers with strong credentials and local interests. At the helm are David Morgan and Mark Steele. The move increases Forsyth Barr’s nationwide

presence to 21 offices and more than 130 accredited investment advisers. With a history spanning more than 80 years, Forsyth Barr is a proudly New Zealand-owned firm that assists retail, wholesale and institutional clients. Its advisers are backed by one of New Zealand’s leading research teams producing equity, fixed interest and investment strategy research for clients. The opening of the office in Botany is part of Forsyth Barr’s ongoing growth and, most particularly, Forsyth Barr’s commitment to

David added,“Usually this is money they have spent their lifetime saving or gathering or it could have arrived through the sale of the family home, other property, inheritance or business sale.” Mark said, “Whether you are seeking to transact, receive investment advice or investment management services, we assist personal, institutional and corporate clients providing a full range of investment services.”  Contact David or Mark Phone (09) 368 0170 or 0800 367 227

OTHER GETBA SPONSORS Click on their logos to link through to their websites for useful information and messages during the pandemic.



EAST TAMAKI EXPERTS Barfoot & Thompson Commercial

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For lease VERY MODERN INDUSTRIAL IN EAST TAMAKI 3 Birmingham Road A unique opportunity to occupy a stand alone property at a very very competitive price. The premises comprise a 1,913m² industrial facility on 3,060m² land. The yard is gated and security fenced. The office fitout is exceptionally modern and warehouse has two roller doors with 7.5m stud at the apex. FUNCTIONAL WAREHOUSE CLOSE TO HIGHBROOK 20C Arwen Place The property is well-presented, recently refurbished and comprises 1,704.6m². The warehouse is 6m stud at the apex, and is accessed by roller doors, one at the rear and two on the road front. The property is located minutes from Highbrook Southern Motorway connection.


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Is rent and outgoings still payable during the COVID-19 lockdown? now in effect do, in my view, bring into effect clause 27.5. Clause 27.5 states:

By Arthur Chung Partner of law firm Wynyard Wood

In a bold move to eradicate COVID-19 from New Zealand, a nationwide lockdown was implemented at 11:59 pm on 25 March 2020 forcing non-essential businesses to close. New Zealand is now at Alert Level 4 and a state of emergency has been declared.

“If there is an emergency and the Tenant is unable to gain access to the premises to fully conduct the Tenant’s business from the premises because of reasons of safety of the public or property or the need to prevent reduce or overcome any hazard, harm or loss that may be associated with the emergency… then a fair proportion of the rent and outgoings shall cease to be payable for the period commencing on the date when the Tenant became unable to gain access to the premises to fully conduct the Tenant’s business from the premises until the inability ceases.”

In the current version of the ADLS lease (Sixth Edition 2012(5)), there are “No Access in Emergency” provisions (clauses 27.5 and 27.6). These clauses were added in response to the redzone cordons implemented in Christchurch following the 2011 earthquakes.

The issue for both Landlords and Tenants will be to agree or have determined what “a fair proportion” should be in each case. Each situation ought to be considered on its own merits. Some affected businesses may have no access at all but be eligible to receive financial relief from the Government’s initiatives. There will also be some Tenants that are considered essential services but may be required to operate their business under certain restrictions and therefore not able to “fully conduct” its business from the premises.

The COVID-19 pandemic falls within the definition of an “emergency” (as defined in the ADLS lease) and the lockdown measures

I would argue that both parties would have a duty to mitigate their respective loss as part of the assessment of what “a fair

A number of our clients have asked us whether the Tenant’s obligation to pay rent and outgoings under their lease continues during the lockdown. The starting point will be the provisions of the lease in each case.

proportion is” but what mitigation steps can be taken will differ in each case. What is certain is that the ceasing of the rent and outgoings will operate as an abatement rather than a deferred payment scheme. (That is, the unpaid rent and outgoings would not accumulate as a debt to be repaid later.) Notwithstanding clause 27.5, Tenants should not cease to pay rent and outgoings unless they have first reached agreement with their Landlords as to what a fair proportion of abatement would be. Otherwise, Tenants that do so will be in breach of clause 1.1 which provides that rent is to be paid without any deduction or set-off on the rent payment dates. Given the extraordinary circumstances we face, the most pragmatic approach would be for Landlords and Tenants to engage early on this issue, having regard to the terms of their leases. A flexible approach may be needed as we do not know how long we will be at Alert Level 4. If the lockdown period continues beyond the agreed no access period set out in the lease, then either party may cancel the lease under clause 27.6. The default no access period is 9 months but individual leases may specify different periods. This article only addresses my views on the contractual position under the current version of the standard ADLS lease and the situation will be different in older ADLS leases or leases based on different forms (such as the PCNZ leases or bespoke institutional leases). If you are facing this issue and unsure of the legal position under your lease, I would urge you to get legal advice before committing to a position with your Landlord or Tenant (as the case maybe). 





As the COVID-19 lockdown begins to bite into New Zealand businesses, you may have questions about your commercial lease. If you are facing this issue, it’s important to get legal advice before committing to a position, whether you’re a commercial landlord or a tennant. Contact Wynyard Wood today.


INDUSTRIAL LEADERS Bayleys South Auckland Industrial is New Zealand’s largest industrial team with over 33 sales and leasing specialists who have built an enviable reputation for delivering the best results for our clients - our results speak for themselves.

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Results are for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 for the Bayleys South Auckland industrial team.

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To get the best results for your industrial premise, contact us today 0800 BAYLEYS or BAYLEYS REAL ESTATE LTD, LICENSED UNDER THE REA ACT 2008

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