FOCUS Autumn 2018

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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




From the Chair Welcome to the first issue of our Focus magazine for 2018. Already, the first quarter is behind us and 2018 is shaping up to be another good year for our economy.

Editor: Jane Tongatule E Advertising: E PO Box 58260 Botany Auckland 2163 P 09 273 6274

The new coalition government is six months old and some of the negative business sentiment which began at the end of last year appears to be waning. We have yet to see the true cost of the major initiatives and I suspect when these set in this will have an effect on the economy. With unemployment at the lowest level for many years at 4.6%, some members are finding it difficult to find staff. A reminder that MIT has an online portal where employers can register and access graduates and students for permanent, part time or work experience. They do the vetting and it’s free. I met MIT recruitment consultant Samara Brown at our recent Business Showcase hosted by Goodman at one of their new Showroom Warehouse developments in Highbrook. Goodman CEO John Dakin highlighted how sustained economic growth is driving demand for industrial space and vacancy rates are very low. Highbrook Business Park is now 80% complete and will be 90% complete within two years. Read more about the latest developments underway on page 23. We are pleased to report 2017 business burglaries were down 43% on 2016 with more Police patrolling in the area and our ANPR cameras directly alerting the Police District Command Centre of stolen vehicles. The number plate recognition cameras have proven to be a very effective crime prevention and resolution tool.

Upcoming events

11 April People Essentials: Setting Employees Up For Success 17 April St John: First on the Scene 20 April Business Owners Forum 9 May People Essentials: Undertaking Performance Reviews that Work 24 May Business Owners Forum 13 June People Essentials: Engaging and Rewarding your Team 20 June Property Forum



We have made a submission on Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan / /10 year budget, and summarise our key messages on Council’s approach to rating / raising funds for infrastructure improvements and the importance of making internal cost savings and efficiencies on page 20. The AMETI Eastern Busway is progressing and is a major initiative, with our area being impacted by the Pakuranga to Botany stage of this significant road widening project. An information session was held recently where members heard from Auckland Transport on the planning process and were able to ask questions and voice any concerns. You can read more about this on page 18. The theme of this issue of Focus is innovation. New Zealand is renowned for unique innovation and we certainly punch well above our weight on the world stage when it comes to innovation. We feature some great examples of leading edge innovation including local companies VigilAir, taking security and technology to the next level, and Ecobags, with their reusable, sustainable bags, and more. Please take the time to regularly check our website and facebook page to keep in touch with what’s happening in the East Tamaki business community, and we look forward to seeing you at a GETBA event soon. RICHARD POOLE, CHAIRMAN, GETBA



Getting cozy with cobots “At that stage we had no idea what we were going to do with the technology,” Simkin says. “The whole point was a process of discovery and understanding of what is out there.” Christchurch-based Design Energy distributes UR products in New Zealand. The great advantage of cobots is that they’re easy to use and extremely flexible, managing director Mike Shatford says. “Companies can deploy them themselves, maintain them, programme them,” he says. “Because they’re so simple, that can be put back into the end user’s hands.” Smaller firms with mixed production runs may not think they are ripe for automation, but the technology can be deployed to perform a variety of different tasks even within a single day, Shatford says.

‘Victoria’ is shaking things up at door and

window hardware manufacturer Assa Abloy. Victoria is a cobot – a UR5 collaborative robot able to work on 32 different product variants on the lock body line at the company’s Albany facility.

The lower implementation costs mean the payback period is typically around six to 12 months, and putting cobots into the mix also stimulates consistency in the production process, he says. “We’ve seen multiple cases where throughput gains far outweigh savings on labour,” he says.

She has been a game-changer, so much so that Assa Abloy is about to commission two more cobots on a different assembly line, Manufacturing Engineering Manager Marc Simkin says.

of manufacturing, and the Kiwi sector risks becoming uncompetitive if it doesn’t get on board, Callaghan Innovation’s business innovation adviser for manufacturing, Nathan Stantiall, says.

The sleek new employee paid for herself within a year, and has created a whole new role for the person who used to do her job. Marc is now the robot minder, directing her to where she’s needed and placing a much greater focus on quality.

Cobots aren’t for everyone, which is why Callaghan Innovation, the Government’s business innovation agency, offers a free one-month trial of its own UR5 plus research support.

“It’s not about replacing the workforce. It’s about throughput gains, upskilling your workforce to do more fulfilling and productive roles, and improvements in safety,” he says.

The borrow-a-bot scheme is how Assa Abloy came to know and love Victoria. It held the “robot wars”, pitting three different technologies against each other – a UR5 made by the Danish-based Universal Robots (UR); a cobot from Swiss industrial equipment maker ABB; and the cobot Callaghan Innovation had at the time, dubbed ‘Baxter’.

Trialling a robot would be most beneficial to businesses that are new to robotics and have implemented lean manufacturing principles, he says. Combining use of cobots with Callaghan Innovation’s Better by Lean training programme may be a good strategy for some firms.

“Our experience has been absolutely fantastic,” Simkin says. Cobots are robots that work alongside their human colleagues without the need for safety guarding. They are easier to install than traditional robots and typically have a shorter payback period. Compared with their American, European and Asian counterparts, New Zealand manufacturers have been slow to adopt cobots. The technology is a key part of the digital revolution that is changing the face

Sadly for Baxter, a first generation cobot developed by US-based Rethink Robotics, the UR5 won. But without the trial Assa Abloy would have taken much longer to evaluate its options, Simkin says.

Embracing automation will be increasingly important as New Zealand seeks to lift its low productivity growth levels, Callaghan Innovation’s Nathan Stantiall says.

“We urge manufacturers to come and talk to us about giving cobots a go,” Stantiall says.  If your company is interested in a cobot trial please contact Callaghan Innovation on A U T U M N 2 0 1 8 FOCUS ON INNOVATION




Established in 2007, Ecobags is a New Zealand owned company that spotted an important environmental issue, came up with an innovative solution, implemented it and has achieved great success while making a positive difference to the country. Simren (left) and Jas, founders of Ecobagsnz

Husband and wife team Jas and Simren started the business from a small room in their home and had no intention for it to be the size it is today. It was a simple desire to make a difference and fill the gap for reusable and sustainable bags in the market. The company now stands tall with an office and distribution warehouse in East Tamaki with some of New Zealand’s most recognised brands on board as their customers. The couple still work full time in the business along with their staff of 10. It’s estimated that plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to break down and now around 90 per cent of the waste floating in the ocean is plastic. Consumers and businesses want sustainable eco-friendly products, they know traditional plastics are having a negative impact and are looking for reliable alternatives. Ecobags’ innovative compostable products are the real deal and have a positive impact, not only on reducing plastic going into our eco systems, but also pioneering the way for consumers and businesses to change their behaviour and move towards sustainable packaging.



An opportunity to expand occurred in 2015 when Ecobags received a call from Auckland Zoo. They had been using a product from a US company for their animal waste and were dissatisfied. Ecobags listened to their needs and launched a new well designed range which was sustainable strong and durable, and ticked all the boxes for the Zoo. Another problem solving opportunity arose when a large organic food supplier asked them to come up with an alternative to plastic fruit and vegetable carry bags. Ecobags invested the time and money to develop a compostable bag that was fully biodegradable and able to withstand certain weights, and did not tear easily, which had been a problem with previous bags. The result of this development was the perfect blend to solve the problem and they subsequently secured a large contract with this client. “Today, there is more pressure on businesses to take more sustainable approaches to their packaging and we can offer solutions for this,” Marketing Manager Clancy Simmonds explains. The Ecobagsnz brand includes a full range from compostable to degradable, organic cotton, canvas, Fairtrade, jute, non-woven and paper and packaging products. “You also get peace of mind from knowing that we only work with audited factories that provide safe and ethical working conditions. We have Fairtrade and Organic certified products available.” The company believes they have a responsibility to ensure their ethics meet with the world-wide standards, therefore their jute and cotton factories in Asia and India hold Sedex Certification. (Sedex is a not for profit membership organisation dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains).

Plastic is so last season! New Zealand wide including New World, Pak’n Save and very soon Countdown. They are pro-active in supporting initiatives that make a difference and have also worked with Kelly Tarltons and Sea Cleaners to supply bags used for their beach clean ups. “We estimate that we have prevented about 27 million plastic bags going into our landfill and into the environment and we’re really proud of that,” says Clancy. And so, they should be! 

It is this belief and their dedication that resulted in them being finalists last year, both in the Excellence in Innovation category at the Westpac Business Awards – South, and the NZ Innovations Awards. Ecobags innovative products are in alignment with the Auckland Councils Zero Waste Policy as they are fully compostable. “Our products will be contributing hugely by reducing waste in our environment,” states Clancy. “In the future when plastic bags (and potentially plastic packaging) are banned, we can offer not only plastic-free carry bags and liners but a range of other packaging alternatives.” Cookie Time, Mitre 10 and Sanitarium are just a few of the companies that are looking at working with Ecobags for plastic food packaging alternatives. They now distribute their product range across 65 stores A U T U M N 2 0 1 8 FOCUS ON INNOVATION



TAKING SECURITY AND TECHNOLOGY TO THE NEXT LEVEL “We can choose to be the innovator and therefore be the disrupter or we can choose to be a victim by being disrupted.” Mike Marr and Andy Grant

TPT Group CEO Mike Marr believes that these are exciting times for innovation globally, and New Zealand could be a massive global innovator and disrupter if we make the right decisions right now as a country. The Group was founded in 1999 and consists of eight complementary businesses – several of which are leaders in their fields. A number of the businesses are focused on technology and future innovative products and work in the electronic security, finance, information technology, commercial/industrial property, and technology sectors. They moved into their new HQ in East Tamaki 12 months ago.



It took three years to develop a semiautomatic, high tech solution to the problem – integrating drones into electronic security systems as an automated security response. “There have been lots of challenges and innovation – things that have never been done before. We solved problems with a great team behind it all.” The VigilAir drone is controlled by their intelligent risk management system which manages safe flight paths to alarmed zones and controls the launch pad. It allows an immediate response to security events at any time of the day and can save up to 50% of traditional guarding costs and substantially reduces the risk of confrontation or injury to guards while providing improved security outcomes as a real-time aerial video surveillance platform. It provides valuable support to security and Police units for the chase and apprehension of suspects.

The VigilAir solution was invented and developed by ASG Technologies Limited, the Group’s technology incubator. It is an SaaS (software as a service) product that integrates drones / unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) into electronic security systems and has been designed to provide the global security industry with a faster, safer and more cost-effective solution – providing surveillance response and peace of mind. “I’ve always had an interest in electronics,” says Mike. He even built a robot in Intermediate School. “Gosh, it was long time ago. I’m a Pukekohe old boy and still living there,” he recalls fondly. Mike began working as an electrician for power companies, moved into corporate management roles and then decided to give it all up and put a tool belt back on. “Lots of people said I was mad. Being a sparky, I lost a lot of weight by being active and fit, climbing lots of stairs,” he continues.

His business kept growing and acquiring new businesses. TPT Group have had eight successful start-up companies and completed eight acquisitions in New Zealand. “VigilAir sprouted from an idea I had in 2014 around imagining a drone as a security guard and I told my chairman about it. He didn’t sleep for two nights and said Mike, you have to do it!” The idea developed further into creating an incubator business which was about looking to the future 5-10 years from now, and dreaming of what could be possible, and then reverse engineering that to make that a real product today. “We wanted to solve real problems and it was great to have Andy Grant (Ex NZ Defence Force), come in and lead that piece of the business for us,” he states. “VigilAir first launched into drones through the incubator, and one day I had an idea around how we could interface drones to the actual electronic security systems. I got a room full of people, including Andy, and we sat there and shared this idea with the others. Straight away one of the guys started coding software right there in the meeting. The team have done an amazing job of pulling it all together to where we are today.”

The drones have already assisted the Police in search and rescue operations in hard to reach terrain and been used for other commercial purposes. The product was launched globally on 28 November 2017, with another official launch in the next couple of months. “It’s a world first and we have had to make the conscious decision of being that innovator. If you scratch the surface in any industry you will find some form of innovation that’s happening and its slowly getting traction. Technology will win in the end and that’s what we’re seeing with VigilAir. “Like with any software product it’s never actually finished, it’s about further research and development and making it better. We want to add more features like the ability to follow once it reaches its destination, amongst other things,” adds Mike. What lies ahead? Security robots are being trialled by a government agency. “It’s not out to replace guards, it actually complements them because why would we want to put people at risk where there is a possibility of them being stabbed or killed. These robots work beside them and with them,” says Mike. “They’re very intelligent and can identify individuals, stop when vehicles are driving past, work 20 hours continually and then go home and charge, not needing human intervention.” VigilAir have made it happen – the future is here today.  A U T U M N 2 0 1 8 FOCUS ON INNOVATION



Unit rate model is the X-factor Link2 Group is the only logistics contract service provider in Auckland that offers clients the flexibility to choose from a unit price or hourly rate for services and the ability to choose their location – at their own premises or at the Link2 warehouse in East Tamaki. The company was founded in 2000 when Founder / Director Manasa Sirigiri was recognised by a client for her ability and work ethic. She was on an hourly wage but proved to be extremely efficient, getting the job done 3-4 times faster than other colleagues. Manasa was soon offered the opportunity to form a company to provide services for that client but on a unit model. 8


employee to determine the sort of company he wanted Link2 Services to be – one that worked hard for the customers and that treated the employees with respect. Indra currently has a governance role at Link2 Group, focusing on growth while sustaining current client relationships. Rahul Sirigiri (son of Manasa and Indra and now Director and CEO of the company), joined the family business in 2008 and put his learnings into action by bringing in new and next-generation ideas to grow the already successful business. He will be celebrating 10 years in the business this year! His wife, Jaya is also involved in the business and is their finance whiz. Jaya also assists management with reporting and operations based on clients’ needs.

This laid the foundation for the current Link2 Services business, and all happened within two years of the family migrating to New Zealand from Hyderabad, India.

What started out from a small home garage in Pakuranga is now a full fledged and growing business with their office and warehouse located in the heart of East Tamaki.

Indra Sirigiri, a civil engineer by profession originally, used his later career experience as a logistics coordinator to develop Link2 Services further. He used his experience in business both as an employer and

“The X-Factor is our unit rate model, it is more efficient for the client and they know the budget up front. This way, the staff are also incentivised to work harder and be more productive,” says Rahul.

The company bought Apparel Solutions (now known as Link2 Solutions) in 2013. They provide re-work services to all industries and clients who don’t have the facilities to deal with stock needing work or large container shipments. By using their custom-built East Tamaki warehouse facility, clients can avoid leasing expensive warehouse space, free up space in their on-site warehouse, and use Link2’s logistics expertise to carry out their re-work or other services. The premises also allow for seasonal changeovers and storage if required. Link2 Services, which is the recruitment arm of the business, have over 300 trained staff serving various clients including The Warehouse, Kmart, Mainfreight, L’Oréal and more. The business model is to contract casual and temporary staff to businesses at the right time, at competitive prices and to complete jobs with high levels of accuracy. Trained teams are led by customer specific team leaders and weekly customer feedback is acted on immediately. They can provide extra staff for urgent jobs to help clients meet their targets. Services include pick packing, container devanning (unloading container and palletising), labelling, sorting, recycling, forklift / truck driving, dispatch, delivery and other warehousing needs. A major retail chain client’s distribution centre got Link2 Services on board after

their previous service provider couldn’t meet the targets and within three months of acquisition, the team were able to reduce from working three shifts a day to only two. This was purely down to staff productivity levels. They now supply 70-75 staff daily to the same client.

Service Delivery and Employer of the Year categories.

The company were winners in the Excellence in Strategy and Planning category at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2017 – South and were also finalists in the Excellence in Customer

Their mantra is not only internal but applies to the service they provide to their clients daily: “Let’s grow together.”

“We always work as a team and everyone knows what’s going on in the business, from strategy to planning to implementation, and that is what won us the award,” states Rahul.


SEIZE YOUR OPPORTUNITY Enter the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2018 The Westpac Auckland Business Awards recognise and reward outstanding businesses. Businesses led by people whose passion, determination, innovation and success inspires others. Even if you don’t win, you’ll win, because the entry process itself provides the valuable opportunity of focussing on what’s important to your business. A series of workshops assists you through every element of entering. Open to any business of any size in Auckland. Benchmark your business against the best. Enter now.

BUSINESS AWARDS ENTRY WORKSHOP - SOUTH Date: Wednesday 16 May Venue: Westpac New Zealand Limited, Boardroom 652 Great South Road, Manukau Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm Register at

For more information contact Rebecca Seymour-East or 302 9910 Proudly brought to you by Auckland Business Chamber and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)








MSugar Managing Director Jay Spittal (L) with Jarrod Smythe and Brendon Rout (R)

“We’ve taken no short-cuts on the plant, which has been designed and built by a European firm that specialises in this area. The sugar is never touched by human hands at any stage in processing – right through from the refining process in Bundaberg to the liquid processing stage here at our plant.”

“The less human intervention the better, that’s what customers want to see,” says MSugar Managing Director Jay Spittal. MSugar relocated to premises in East Tamaki in mid-2017, and, just last month, commissioned a new, state-of-the-art, fullyautomated liquid sugar processing plant to serve customers in the food and beverage manufacturing and beekeeping industries. “Humans make errors and errors can cause contamination, so we’ve built the highest spec plant we could to eliminate that risk,” says Jay.

Building a new plant was the way forward MSugar has been trading cane sugars and other food commodities since 2009. Four years ago, the company also began supplying liquid sugar to beekeepers, who use it as a food supplement for bees, and to small-to-medium size food grade customers. “We used a contract manufacturer to start with and they were very good, but after two years we’d built the business up to a point where capacity was holding us back, and building a new, automated processing plant was the only way forward.” “With financial analysis and the advice of our accountant and business adviser Karen Tobeck at Monteck Carter, we built a business case and took that to our bankers. Thankfully they gave us their support and the funding we needed.” The market for liquid sugar is large in volume terms – millions of litres – but it’s not a spectacular growth market. The commitment to building a new processing plant was one piece in the strategy that MSugar pursued to carve out a competitive position in liquid sugar, and to succeed by providing exceptional service and a quality product.

MSugar are the local agents for Bundaberg Sugar, the largest cane grower in Australia and with sugar mills in Queensland. “We’re assured of consistently high-quality sugar from Bundaberg, and weekly shipping from Queensland means our transit times are only seven days compared to the fourfive weeks transit from Asia. Faster transit times mean there’s less risk to the product being exposed to moisture and becoming lumpy,” says Jay.

Finding the best spot in East Tamaki Jay and his small team spent months finding the ideal location for the new processing plant, which had to have some key features to meet food safety standards or be capable of being upgraded to meet them. “Our location in East Tamaki is perfect. Being situated close to the southern motorway with access north and south, means we can load tankers and deliver at night which many of our customers love, as do the drivers.”

Food grade liquid sugar comes at an industry standard 67 brix (the industry measure of sugar content in an aqueous solution). The software and control systems in the new MSugar processing plant means that the brix or quality level can be increased or decreased to meet customer order requirements using a touch screen. The plant also produces Invert Sugar Syrup which is a highly functional, supersaturated sugar solution made by processing high purity cane sugar for a wide range of uses. “Our aim is to transform our business from being a sugar trader to a value adding manufacturer of liquid sugar. In broad terms we want to position ourselves as the premier supplier of liquid and invert liquid sugar to the New Zealand market.” “Three weeks into production and the plant is already operating at around a third of its capacity. We have some development steps still to complete but we’re really pleased to be underway and want to acknowledge the support we’ve had from local business partners – Monteck Carter, Athenry Electrical and ANZ to name a few. We’re pleased to be part of the East Tamaki business community and, feeling as I do today, I don’t think we’ll ever look back.” 

“With our trading background we understand that ‘sugar is sugar,’ though we’d also argue there are quality differences determined by refining sources and processes. We identified ways to serve customers better by doing things differently and to stand out on service.” “Our new business model is designed to give customers quick response times, excellent lead times, quality product and competitive pricing, and we’ve been very deliberate in our decision making to make sure our whole supply chain lines up to do that.” A U T U M N 2 0 1 8 FOCUS ON I NNOVATION




Better environment

100% New Zealand owned, and established in 2006, ECOLight is a division of TransNet NZ Ltd. The company moved into their new premises on Cryers Road in East Tamaki in 2016. They have been supplying high quality products to electrical wholesalers and utilities around New Zealand and the South Pacific (for over 18 years) as well as offering quality, cost effective solutions for industry or network specific issues. The company has had major successes in the industrial and street lighting sectors.

ECOLight offers a way for New Zealanders to move towards sustainable energy savings by using innovative technology to reduce energy consumption costs, save money on power bills and help the environment by conserving the nation’s valuable energy resources. “Differentiation through innovation has always been part of our key strategy,” says General Manager Peter McGill who joined the company in 2012.

Parent company Transnet, established in 2000, built their new Head Office premises to be self-powering with solar panels to enable them to operate off-grid. They are able to feed power back into the grid at peak times to support Vector to manage power demands. There is an electric vehicle powering station supplied by a 70kw solar array and Cell Cube (energy storage system – battery) plus solar carpark lights. There are water storage units for use as grey water and they recycle what they can. An onsite compost bin is available and a small vegetable garden to reuse the compost. The company’s core business is power utility network hardware, and they supply to around 360 electrical wholesalers through the country. The export division supplies to the majority of the power utilities in the South Pacific. The HQ also serves as a distribution centre to all of New Zealand and the South Pacific. 12


Together, across a span of two years ECOLight and Kiwi Property have replaced around 9,000 light fittings with LEDs in Kiwi Property’s portfolio. The focus has always been to reduce energy consumption

and maintenance costs (50-80%) and the impact on the environment and emissions. LED lighting is estimated to last around 50,000 hours which is about ten to fifteen years (about 50 times longer than incandescent lights) depending on how long they are running each day. ECOLight LEDs use chip technology and therefore don’t require mercury or any other harmful materials that other technologies rely on. The solid state of LEDs means no discharge, gas, filaments or direct environmental impact is associated with them. They last so much longer than other technologies that we end up with less in the landfill too.

Transnet head office’s self-powering solar panels enable the company to operate off grid

Car dealership, Andrew Simms Botany was an early adopter of LED lighting.

buildings where the lighting was integrated into their air-conditioning system, thus saving a lot of time and cost. The work they did together made them finalists in the Revolutionising Energy category of the 2017 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards. Lion’s site The Pride was an important benchmark for Ecolight.

Better security and efficiency In addition to LED lighting, all solutions now have built-in motion and daylight sensors. Put simply, the lights dim down when there is no motion and goes back up to 100% when motion is detected. “We’ve received feedback of how our solutions have boosted staff morale and the community feel safer under better lighting,” states Peter. ECOLight have also provided custom built solutions to some of Kiwi Properties

“Our work with Lion – The Pride, opened a lot of doors for us; it set the benchmark,” continues Peter. It’s been nearly five years since they upgraded The Pride’s existing lighting technology to LEDs. They wanted increased safety, security, reduced maintenance, sustainability and energy efficiency. With ECOLight, they were able to achieve all these objectives and now the site is literally glowing with pride. Another local company that was an early adopter was Andrew Simms Botany. They needed to refurbish an existing building for their new vehicle showroom. The plan ECOLight offered consisted of recessed LED panels in a false ceiling grid over the

main showrooms and LED downlights recessed into a false gib ceiling, creating a dramatic showpiece that highlights the cars well. As the LED panels have a high colour rendering, they work in conjunction with the white spaces to ensure clients see similar colours in the showroom to those on the open road, and the final added bonus is the minimal operational overheads LEDs have over traditional lighting. Currently a team of six, ECOLight has the potential to rival traditional lighting suppliers in the LED market as they have a more cost effective, technologically advanced and sustainable option. They have also experienced the operational efficiency benefits of reduced electricity, waste and distributions costs. The future certainly looks bright for ECOLight! 

INNOVATION IS ABOUT COLLABORATION Many businesses use innovation to grow, however the challenge and failure of many companies that carry out innovation projects is to inadequately budget for the innovation. RSM collaborate with you to incorporate the full cost of innovation into your budget. Using an hollistic approach , we find the solution that works best for you and the growth and success of your business.

Innovation is our business. P: + 64 (9) 271 4527 W: Technology and management consultancy






Photographs by Grant Southam,








BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ENGINEERS “Thank you, Andrew and Vicky, for the help and support to build our watering system. We really liked working with you and learning new engineering skills in this awesome project. Thank you so much for the opportunity to build the automatic watering system.” Teachers at Willowbank Primary School, Garden Robotic Watering Project

“Jonathan and Thomas - the overall sentiment from the kids is that you are so ‘brainy’ and so ‘energetic’ and ‘they love us because they helped us plan so many cool things’. High praise indeed – it’s not always easy to earn the trust and admiration of our kids so you two are definitely the bomb!” Mel Bland, Associate Principal, Sir Douglas Bader Intermediate School, Ventilation Project

SouthSci and F&P Healthcare have worked together to set up a number of research projects in the community within south Auckland, around a topic of interest to the group running them. For example, if you are trying to clean up the streams in your neighbourhood, you might want to know what kind of chemicals are in the water. The team then help to design a research project sampling water quality in streams. Thomas Richardson (Senior Product Development Engineer at F&P Healthcare), SouthSci mentor tells us that there is a big perception out there that engineering is not accessible to young people in south Auckland. “The kids are initially overwhelmed. They come in and see there are female engineers, it blows their mind. By the end of it they’re little engineers themselves, they love it. They ask questions and are really involved. It’s great to see them grow through the year.” “This gives them exposure and an opportunity, which they otherwise wouldn’t get, to see what we do also. The projects are collaborative and practical. We don’t just go in and teach, we are there to support them and let them drive it. It’s nice to give something back to the community,” says Jonathan Sng (Product Development Engineer) and SouthSci mentor. Senior Product Development Engineer, Alicia Evans and Product Development Manager, Matt Stephenson were part of the SouthSci steering committee when the programme started in 2015. They have continued to coordinate the mentor programme as the opportunity grew for more involvement and collaboration.

These are just a couple of the amazing multiple feedback the F&P Healthcare SouthSci mentoring team receive regularly from the schools. SouthSci is the south Auckland region of the Participatory Science Platform, a programme under Curious Minds, which is a suite of initiatives from the New Zealand Government to get New Zealanders engaged with science and technology. The project encourages community groups and STEM professionals (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to put forward small, collaborative, communitybased research projects, and if accepted, 16


provides funding and support to enable investigation of the project. The programme aims to spark students’ interest in science related fields and to build relationships between local businesses, researchers, schools and youth. A group of employees from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare were involved in the setup of what was initially a trial project and has now grown into a formal mentoring programme. The Auckland STEM Alliance and COMET Auckland are the joint hosts for SouthSci, which is funded by the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

2017 saw 14 people from F&P Healthcare involved in supporting 7 of the 10 SouthSci projects and it continues to grow. “The projects are community led and it’s important that the community feels ownership of projects to ensure sustainability. We want them to continue to be excited about exploring Science and other STEM subjects after the projects finish,” says Alicia. STEM is one of the three pillars under F&P Healthcare’s corporate social responsibility programme with the aim to encourage more young people into STEM related careers. The SouthSci Symposium is an annual celebration of all the projects. It further helps the young children build their confidence and practise their public speaking.

COMET Auckland’s STEM Manager Sarah Morgan is all praise for the F&P Healthcare mentoring team: “Fisher & Paykel Healthcare is a brilliant example of excellent corporate-community engagement: by working with us here at COMET Auckland, and listening to what community leaders have to say, they’re building authentic relationships with their local community and supporting the STEM career pathway for our young people. It has been a delight to work with the employees from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare as mentors for SouthSci projects. Their enthusiasm for STEM is contagious and I’ve seen stars multiply in the eyes of the young people doing projects, looking up to these brilliant STEM role models who often live and work in the same community as they do. I look forward to seeing their ethos spread and more young people entering the STEM-skilled workforce in the future.”

WHO CAN GET INVOLVED? Community groups, schools, or science education professionals who work with children and young people. Community-based parties include community groups, organisations, schools, businesses and Māori or Pacific collectives. Applicants and projects must be based within or have access to south Auckland. For any single project, up to $20,000 may be applied for. Every project must be a collaboration between the community, educators, science or STEM professionals, and young people.  The timeframe for 2018 runs from January 2018 through to June 2019. For more info, contact Manager Sarah Morgan:


Selling the PC Times By Fran Pardon

When you have owned your own business, built it up over more than two decades and then come to sell it, it is a very emotional experience. Or, as our Link Business Broker Neville Choksi puts it so eloquently, it is almost like putting a baby up for adoption. “I tell all my business owners that,” says Neville who made the business of selling our beloved business, a smooth process. When we decided it was time for Duncan and I to sell the Pohutukawa Coast Times, we opted for a business broker from Link, the professional authority on selling businesses in New Zealand & The Southern Hemisphere. Right from the outset we liked our broker Neville and were very impressed with his astute understanding of the process and attention to the smallest detail when putting forward our marketing proposal and preparing the Information of Memorandum - the document that would give potential buyers all the information they need about the business they are buying. He was also great at weeding out serious buying contenders from those that really didn’t have the knowhow to run a newspaper business. It was always our intention that whoever we sold to should understand community newspapers and the important role they play within their circulation area, as well as having the multi skill set needed to take the paper thriving into the future. In the end we had two serious potenital purchasers to choose from. We opted to sell to Leanne Chamberlin who is a member of our staff, lives in the community and has great writing, editing and people skills. Neville completed sale negotiations professionally and efficiently providing a positive outcome for vendor and purchaser alike. “It was a dream sale - it went so smoothly thanks to both parties,” says Neville. With his wealth of sales and business experience, and from our personal experience of his service, we believe Neville can play a vital role in creating a strategic plan for the successful sale of any type of business.

BUSINESS SOLD! “We were impressed by Neville’s attention to detail and the very professional way he handled the sale of our business”. Duncan and Fran Pardon - Pohutukawa Coast Times

Neville Choksi - Business Broker at LINK Auckland, Ellerslie P: 09 555 6038 M: 021 059 9519 E:

Level 1, 401 Great South Road, Ellerslie, Auckland

0800 546 528 Link Business Broking Limited - Licensed (REAA08)

The authority on selling businesses




AMETI update

Construction on this next stage of the busway is due to start in late 2018. Preconstruction work has already commenced through the demolition of initial properties on parts of Lagoon Drive, Bridge Street and Pakuranga Road and archaeological work in the historic Mokoia Pa area near Bridge Street in Panmure. AMETI Eastern busway will be completed by 2026 and will run between Panmure and Botany Town Centre. The completed project will be supported by new cycling and walking connections, urban design enhancements, three new stations, two new bridges across Tamaki Estuary and Pakuranga Creek and improvements for general traffic such as the Reeves Road flyover and upgraded signalised intersections. The first stage of the project was completed in 2014 and includes the new Panmure Station and Te Horeta Road extension.

AMETI Programme Director, Duncan Humphrey (R) presented to GETBA members in late February.

Panmure to Pakuranga stage of AMETI Eastern Busway Auckland Council has approved resource consents and recommended approval of the Notice of Requirement for the next stage of one of Auckland’s most critical and transformational transport projects. The decision, which brings the Panmure to Pakuranga stage of AMETI Eastern Busway a major step closer, follows a detailed consultation process and independent Notice of Requirement hearing in late 2017. This stage of the $1.2 billion project will involve construction of a dedicated, congestion-free busway along Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road along with new cycling and walking connections, improvements to major intersections, urban design and landscaping enhancements, a new bridge across Tamaki River and the creation of a new memorial park and improved public spaces. “This is the most significant milestone in the project’s history since the completion of Panmure Station and Te Horeta Road in 2014 and signifies real progress towards providing better transport choices and reliability for East Aucklanders,” says Duncan Humphrey, Programme Director. 18


“THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE OF COMMUTERS BEING ABLE TO TRAVEL BY BUS AND TRAIN FROM BOTANY TO BRITOMART IN LESS THAN 40 MINUTES IS A MAJOR STEP CLOSER.” AMETI Eastern Busway is a high priority, essential project in south-east Auckland that will significantly improve transport choices, reliability and public transport and cycling journey times in the area and to other parts of the region. Once operational, you’ll be able to travel by bus and train between Botany and Britomart in less than 40 minutes. The project is separated into various stages, including Panmure to Pakuranga, Pakuranga to Botany, Pakuranga Town Centre and Reeves Road Flyover and a new interchange at Botany Town Centre. “This is a priority project that will connect one of Auckland’s fastest growing areas with the region’s future, long term strategic transport network,” says Duncan.

Pakuranga to Botany Stage The Pakuranga to Botany stage of AMETI Eastern Busway runs between the intersection of Ti Rakau Drive and Pakuranga Road and Botany Town Centre. Public consultation is currently underway for the Pakuranga to Botany stage of the project. This stage includes the continuation of the busway along the centre of Ti Rakau Drive, development of a flyover to provide better travel options for motorists between Pakuranga Road and Pakuranga Highway (and enable the busway to operate reliably by removing cars from busy intersections in the area), cycling and walking networks, a new station in Pakuranga Town Centre and a future interchange near Botany Town Centre. After the current consultation period, the final proposed designs will be formally released as part of a Notice of Requirement process for the Pakuranga to Botany stage of the project. This provides an opportunity for any member of the public to make a submission and be heard at a public hearing in front of independent commissioners. More information will be provided soon about the Notice of Requirement process and how to make a submission.

 For more information on AMETI Eastern Busway go to



* FREE site inspections * Discounted local deliveries * Special members rates

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Transpower buffer zones resolved A major success in completing our advocacy in relation to the Unitary Plan at the end of 2017 was resisting Transpower’s demands for extensive regulation of land and buildings in buffer zones around its transmission lines. Following some well-resourced advocacy by Transpower throughout the Unitary Plan process, the Independent Hearings Panel went with Transpower and recommended the buffer zones be increased to a distance of 32 metres each side of the centrelines of the 110kV lines and 37 metres each side of the centrelines of 220kV lines. However, the Council (largely because of pressure from industrial business groups, including GETBA) rejected these recommendations and reduced the buffer zone to 24m (12m either side of a transmission line centreline). Transpower then appealed this decision to both the High Court and Environment Court. GETBA, together with other industrial business associations, argued in both courts for the buffer zone to be limited to 24m and ultimately were successful. Certainly, for East Tamaki businesses, especially those under the Transpower lines, the reduction in the size of the buffer zones means far less regulation of their land and buildings than would otherwise have been the case.




10 Year Budget 2018-2028 Auckland Council has been consulting on its Long Term Plan/10 Year Budget 2018-2028, in which they propose two new targeted rates and a Regional Fuel Tax. In addition to advocating for improvements to alleviate local traffic congestion GETBA made a submission on the key issues, based on member feedback, some of which is covered here.

Regional Fuel Tax As Council is at the limit of what it can sustainably borrow, they are proposing to fund improvements to Auckland’s transport system through a regional fuel tax of 10 cents per litre (plus GST). Congestion is getting worse and businesses are struggling to move freight and people, so we recognise the need to raise more funding. We also agree that we are not going to address this problem simply by building more roads. Demand management of our existing network must be a key solution, especially creating priority for freight and delivery movements. Our preference is to introduce initiatives such as congestion charging that both manage demand and raise funding equitably as soon as possible, balanced with investment into affordable and more frequent public transport to effect sustainable behavioural change. In the absence of the Regional Land Transport Plan and an updated ATAP document from the new government to set out priorities and specific projects and services, we are commenting on the proposal in something of a vacuum. We don’t support the fuel tax unless we can be assured that the revenue generated is ring-fenced to spending on specific projects and services and is reported on with complete transparency. The forthcoming Regional Land Transport Plan should clearly identify this source of funding and the specific transport projects and services it will be spent on. We wish to avoid the regional fuel tax, which is the equivalent of a significant rates increase (especially for transport operators), being used as a ‘top up’ for overall transport budgets. We also recommend that as the legislation is drafted, the Council advocates for the GST portion to also be hypothecated to Auckland’s transport projects/services and that non-road fuel not be subject to the tax. To ensure transparency, the projects and services being funded by the tax must be distributed following a clear rationale and identified clearly in future Council Budgets. Central government’s contribution to Auckland transport funding must be included transparently in such budgets so we are clear about its ongoing contribution.

A Regional Fuel Tax is only a small step towards addressing the funding gap of $5.9 billion identified by the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP). Auckland Council and the Government must commit to urgently delivering fair and equitable solutions to fund this gap not only to ensure that Auckland’s transport system does not grind to a halt, but to enable the continued growth and vitality of New Zealand’s largest city.

Council’s approach to rates Council proposes an average general rates increase of 2.5 per cent for years one and two and then 3.5 per cent for years three to ten. What businesses need most from Council is a fair, transparent and stable approach to rates. We support the Council being clear about how general rates increases will be made over time. We also appreciate the funding gap for major infrastructure. However, because businesses are still paying a disproportionately high level of rates (2.7% or around $150 million more than residential ratepayers), we question whether an overall average rates increase of 6.1% (without the accommodation providers targeted rate and fuel tax impact) is justified. We do not accept the view that a business differential should be applied to rates especially for reasons that “businesses are better able to manage additional costs than residential properties” or because “businesses can claim back GST and expense rates against tax.” These reasons do not justify the business differential, particularly for small businesses who make up most businesses in Auckland. The Shand Report on Funding Local Government recommended against rating differentials. By comparison, Tauranga City Council has no business rates differential at all.

Water quality targeted rate Council proposes a new targeted rate to increase funding of water infrastructure and speed up delivery of cleaner harbours, beaches and streams. This would equate to an average 2.1% rates rise for an urban business ratepayer. We agree that Auckland must improve infrastructure to save our harbours, beaches and streams from being polluted by overflows from ageing sewerage and stormwater systems. Inaction will cause reputational damage to the city. While we are supportive of transparently ‘ring fencing’ spending on this kind of infrastructure, we do not accept that a

business differential (even at 25.8%) should be applied to this targeted rate. We accept that business should pay a share, but do not see justification for a differential.

Environmental protection targeted rate Council proposes to invest more in environmental initiatives and to fund this through a targeted rate at one of two levels (equating to either an average 0.7% or 1.5% rates rise for an urban business ratepayer depending on choice of Option A or B). We agree overall that Auckland must reverse the decline of biodiversity in the region, stop kauri dieback and address the spread of pests, weeds and diseases. However, we note that these matters are not ‘core services’ under the Local Government Act 2002, but more properly the responsibility of central Government or taxpayers. Auckland Council should seek increased funding from central Government because all New Zealand benefits from increased tourism and our international clean-green branding. Auckland ratepayers should not be the first direct source of funding for projects which have a wider benefit than just the Auckland region. As with the water quality targeted rate, we accept that business should pay a share, but not a differential.

Accommodation providers targeted rate Council proposes to extend this targeted rate, initiated last year to fund ATEED’s tourism promotion and event costs, to online accommodation providers like Airbnb. We still do not support this intervention and our preference is for the Government to introduce a levy on international visitors to fund tourism projects. For some accommodation providers, the current accommodation providers targeted rate has resulted in a rates increase of 250 per cent or more and for many, a doubling of already significant rates. Some providers have benefited from exemptions while others have not. This contradicts the Council’s view that there should be rates stability.

building public trust and confidence, providing value for money and building a group approach. In particular, we’d like to see the common expectations reflect a holistic and integrated approach to planning and project design/delivery across the Council group, with clear lines of communication and a commitment to seek local and regional BID input (as appropriate) early enough to influence outcomes and deliver improved results for businesses. We ask that the expectations reflect a requirement for effective co-ordination of projects within local areas.

Council savings and efficiencies

Draft CCO Accountability Policy

We welcome the s17A Reviews being undertaken by the Mayor as a means of establishing ‘value for money’. However, we believe there are more savings available to the Council. We would like the Council to focus more on efficiencies, savings and addressing head count. We believe significant savings can be made by reducing silos and improving efficiencies across the Council and CCOs.

We support the Draft CCO Accountability Policy and especially the common expectations to be placed on CCOs of

 for a copy of the full submission

However, if the Council decides to retain the accommodation providers targeted rate, then we agree that it should be extended to rating online accommodation providers like Airbnb.

Helping Business Succeed Every day you make decisions based on what’s good for your business. Our membership helps you do that. Employers AdviceLine

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To enquire about membership or just to have a chat, get in contact with Alison now. M 027 646 0000 E A U T U M N 2 0 1 8 FOCUS ON I NNOVATION




Thieves target vehicles There has been a really pleasing reduction in crime within the GETBA boundary, but an area of concern for the Police is vehicle owners not ensuring their vehicles and contents are secure when vehicles are left unattended. “Over recent months we have seen a disturbing increase in the amount of thefts from cars,” says Senior Sergeant Michael Schmidt from Counties Manukau Police. “The Police and other organisations, including GETBA, are focused on preventing crime in our communities but we cannot do it alone.

Criminals will mostly target vehicles where there is an ‘attractor’ – items left visible or covered by an article of clothing or a blanket on the back seat. This can pique the offender’s interest and lead to the breaking in of the vehicle. A sweep of carparks will also reveal several vehicles left unlocked.

“We really need the co-operation of people in the community to be more vigilant with the security of their vehicles, whether at work, in car parks or at home. Most of this crime is opportunistic, and can often occur in company car parks through the day, so I encourage business owners to pass this message on to their staff,” says Michael.

Public apathy can contribute to this offending. People may think ‘it will never happen to me’ or ‘I’ve parked here for years and nothing has happened’.

Proudly supporting



• Always lock your vehicle – even if you are only stepping away for a short time, including when the vehicle is parked at home. • Ensure all windows and sunroofs are closed. • If your vehicle has a security device – alarm, immobiliser or ever a steering wheel lock – ensure it is activated each time you leave your vehicle unattended. • Park safely – if parking in a public place, choose a well-lit location that is visible to people passing by. • Keep the contents of your car safe – do not leave valuables on display. • If you must leave items in the car make sure they are well concealed, preferably in a locked boot. • Tradespeople – engrave valuable tools with your driver licence number. The Police have been providing this service at the large hardware stores around Auckland so keep an eye out for one in your area.

If you are a victim of this type of offending please report the matter to Police. This provides valuable information and intelligence to enable the deployment of Police and community resources at the right time and locations for crime prevention.

 GETBA can provide you with signs to affix to your windows or buildings. Please contact Karen Hadley if you would like some of these.


WHAT’S GOING ON AT HIGHBROOK? GETBA members were brought up to speed by Goodman CEO John Dakin at a Business Showcase on 20 March, hosted at one of their newly completed high-end showroom warehouses. John reminded us that formerly the home of renowned New Zealand industrialist Sir Woolf Fisher, the site gained fame as Ra Ora horse stud, and the master planned estate was originally conceived by Sir Woolf’s nephew Sir Noel Robinson. Highbrook Business Park is Goodman’s largest asset and has the largest volume of work underway of Goodman’s property portfolio. “It is our New Zealand flagship development and the benchmark globally,” said John.

The current work programme includes: • The Gateway Warehouses: Seven separate warehouses, ranging in size from 1,235 to 5,565 sqm, completing the site at the entrance to the awardwinning estate. • The Parade Units: A multi-unit industrial facility on Business Parade South with seven smaller warehouse units ranging in size from 593 to 858 sqm.

In addition to the new build to lease warehouse developments, two new showroom units on Highbrook Drive have recently been completed and are available for lease now. They each feature 214 sqm of high profile showroom space with 614 - 688 sqm of warehouse to the rear. They can also be amalgamated into one larger facility of 1,730 sqm. The attraction of Highbrook has meant existing customers are expanding into new facilities which is providing some limited back fill space. Both Cottonsoft and Plytech are customers that are moving within Highbrook to accommodate the growth in the respective businesses. Cottonsoft has committed to the 17,124 sqm warehouse facility at 55 Business

HIGHBROOK BUSINESS PARK IS NOW MORE THAN 80% COMPLETE AND HOME TO 85 CUSTOMERS IN 50 BUILDINGS – THAT’S APPROXIMATELY 4000 EMPLOYEES. IT WILL BE 90% COMPLETE WITHIN TWO YEARS. Parade North from April 2018. Plytech is also relocating on Business Parade North, moving to a new design-built facility of 5,100 sqm directly across the road from its existing premises. Quest Highbrook (situated at The Crossing) which has 62 serviced apartments is currently expanding with a further 60 rooms. The Crossing provides 12,000 sqm of commercial space in the convenience retail and hospitality sectors.

last six months and the limited amount of vacant space within the portfolio has also been reduced. “We have secured over 140,000 sqm of space on new or revised terms over the last 12 months and portfolio occupancy rate is now 99%. We are effectively at capacity,” says John Dakin.

John Dakin said, “Sustained economic growth is driving occupier demand and low vacancy rates are being reflected in high customer retention levels and rising rents.”

The most significant of the new transactions is the renewal of logistics provider DHL’s lease at Highbrook Business Park. The company has occupied the 31,631 sqm facility since it was constructed in 2005 and the 5-year renewal will extend its occupation of the key site to almost 20 years.

A substantial number of existing Goodman property leases have been renewed in the



Advertising Promotion


Building 6

Showroom Warehouses

SEVENTEEN NEW WAREHOUSES UNDERWAY AND AVAILABLE TO LEASE With industrial vacancy in Auckland at historic lows, Goodman has undertaken new large scale projects offering various facilities for lease. Located next to SH1 in Auckland, Highbrook is 107 hectares of meticulously planned business park. The range of sizes of these new build-to-lease warehouse facilities will provide flexible space suitable for a variety of business types. They are expected to lease quickly with the Gateway Warehouses and Showroom Warehouses also benefiting from a highprofile location on Highbrook Drive. + Gateway warehouses: Seven separate warehouses, ranging in size from 1,235 to 5,565 sqm, completing the site at the entrance to the award-winning estate. + Parade Units: A multi-unit industrial facility on Business Parade South with seven warehouse units ranging in size from 593 – 858 sqm. + Showroom Warehouses from 828 – 1,730 sqm.


Building 6 completes late 2018

The high demand for space at Highbrook Crossing has underpinned the development of a new office building, Building 6. This stunning space will overlook the Tamaki River and Highbrook Park’s 12 km of running tracks. Pre-leasing is currently underway with office spaces from 300 – 3,000 sqm available together with naming rights and high profile signage opportunities. + A-grade space + Prominent position + Signage opportunity + 300 – 3,000 sqm split to suit + Excellent car parking This document has been prepared by Goodman Property Services (NZ) Limited and has been prepared for general information purposes. Whiist every care has been taken in relation to its accuracy, no warranty is given or implied. Further, you should obtain your own independent advice before making any decisions about any of the products and/or properties referred to in this documents. All values are expressed in New Zealand currency unless stated otherwise.

Artist impression subject to final design


Gateway Warehouses G A HIGHBROOK






Gateway Warehouses A – G available late 2018

Artist impression subject to final design

Parade Units A – G available November 2018

Artist impression subject to final design

Showroom Warehouses 1 & 2 available now

Artist impression subject to final design

Highbrook Business Park is owned, developed and managed by Goodman Property. For more information on these developments and leasing opportunities contact:

Bruno Warren Development Manager 021 506 010

Artist impression subject to final design

William Main Development Director 021 583 887



Cryers Road/Allens Road corner development

EAST TAMAKI BMW Group New Zealand has announced a new development located near the corner of Accent Drive which is scheduled to open in the second half of 2018. Construction on the new building has already begun and it will be built to the latest BMW Group Future Retail showroom standards.

Development continues at the new Higgins Head Office (occupying two office levels) site at the corner of Cryers Road, part of a greater commercial subdivision. It currently has one tenancy left of 90m² and is seeking convenience retail operators. A Childcare Centre and Gym is planned for the rear of the site with access from Crooks Road and the Café tenancy has been leased.

Customers will be able to experience a fully automated and digital experience with the latest point-of-sale offerings and digitalised virtual configurators. The new space is said to be big enough to display the entire model range. BMW have a high number of new models coming to market over the next few years and therefore want to ensure that the new dealership is future-proofed with the design and space requirements to accommodate huge growth. They have nearly 500 customers living in the area and the new dealership is placed to provide an even more personalised, local service. Auckland City BMW will operate the new business. It is the largest metropolitan dealership in the country and currently operate a BMW dealership in Newmarket plus a standalone MINI Garage on Broadway. 26


New development on Smales Road

Soon to be under construction and ready to be occupied by March 2019, there are 11 spec builds available in a new Synergy Properties development at 27 Smales Road, with various options available from 805sqm to 5,000sqm. The site will have an onsite café and plenty of carparking available.

This development is being constructed in stages, with the first stage being completed by March 2019. The development will offer tenants flexibility in design, layout and size. With massive road presence, the site has been laid out to maximise truck and vehicle access.

BAYLEYS MANUKAU ALTOGETHER BETTER The dedicated team at the Harris Road office have on-site agents specialising in commercial, residential and property management. Residential

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