The Profit business magazine

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Spotlight on CHB

ALEX WALKER – Driven to see Central Hawke’s Bay thrive AGRECORD VET SERVICES WINE EXPORT

Chris Keys to Pinot country


New Gevir owner goes global


HBRC gets new CE


Mavis Mullins

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CONTENTS PRO FEATURES Chris Keys – our southern wine export

Cutting the cloth – Oli & Gus Sharing is caring – new office trend Mia Dolce wins award CHB set to thrive AgRecord – Farmers get tech savvy Vet Services – all creatures large and small Gevir goes global





Spotlight on CHB


ALEX WALKER – Driven to see Central Hawke’s Bay thrive

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Chris Keys to Pinot country

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New Gevir owner goes global


HBRC gets new CE


Mavis Mullins


8-9 10 12 18 20-25 26-27 28-29 30-31

Business Hub | Hawke’s Bay

Cover Photograph by Vivienne Haldane

PRO EXPERTS 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Pro Primary by Brent Paterson Pro Finance by Tobias Taylor Pro RMA by Roger Wiffin Pro IT by Simon Fletcher Pro Education by EIT Pro HR by Kimberly McKay Pro Legal by Edward Bostock Pro Property by Paul Harvey Pro Business by Jess Radich






Pro HB – What’s happening in the Bay Pro Q & A James Palmer


Havelock North Tyres Hurford Parker Barker Contracting

FIRST AID TRAINING Keeping your business SAFER. Wairoa Napier Hastings Waipukurau




EDITORIAL A visitor from Hawke’s Bay…

The Lions certainly roared throughout New Zealand during June and July. The team drew the series with the All Blacks and their huge supporter base spent up large in bars and restaurants from Northland to Dunedin. I went to a few games in 2005 with a mate, the last Lions tour, and we had such a great time that there was no way we were going to miss them this time. I went into the ballot for test tickets and although I had several entries, I only got tickets for the last test in Auckland. I was gutted about this as I thought the series would be all over by then, two–nil to the All Blacks. How wrong could I have been! Anyway, our tour schedule included a trip down south for the Highlanders game, the Maori match in Rotorua, Hurricanes in the capital and the third test, which to the joy of many became the decider. The four games were a memorable experience. We went mountain biking in Queenstown, where after my mate Tim got injured, we turned our interest into tasting Central Otago wines. It was during our Sunday wine tour that we met up with my old school mate Chris Keys, now the head winemaker at Gibbston Valley. Chris gave us a tour of the winery, where he talked to us about the success of the tourism side of the winery and in his words: “Central Otago is well ahead of Hawke’s Bay when it comes to the wine trail experience.” Chris is featured on pages 8 and 9.

Queenstown was abuzz with star spotting with the likes of Tom Cruise in town for the filming of Mission Impossible 6. Another Hawke’s Bay export – a cellar door rep at Peregrine – suggested we go and have a drink at Atlas Bar where we might bump into some of the film crew. Her tip was spot on as we meet up with the technical sound crew, with one of the guys saying, “Superman will be joining us soon”. We thought nothing of it but soon after a tall muscular guy turned up and was warmly welcomed by the crew. We talked for a while but I had no idea I was talking to Henry Cavill, the most recent Superman star. Superman stayed for about an hour before flying off to rescue some damsel in distress (joking) while we moved on to a restaurant with the others, shared a bottle of Craggy Range Syrah and had a great evening. We exchanged emails and urged them to visit Hawke’s Bay, if they got the chance. We weren’t the only ones trying to lure visitors to Hawke’s Bay... Hawke’s Bay Tourism set up a mini Hawke’s Bay experience in Wellington the day after the Hurricanes and Lions game. Local entrepreneur Rick Kirkland offered one of his two dome tents to Annie Dundas to promote the region’s tourism scene. Rick bought two awesome large-scale domes last year and won the contract for Lions tour sponsor DHL to create a fan zone on the waterfronts of Wellington and Auckland, as well as the other match host regions. Annie says the idea of ‘taking the Bay to the capital’ paid off, with many Lions fans visiting either between the Hurricanes game and the second test (also held in Wellington) or on their way back up to Auckland for the third test. It was great to see a collaborative initiative in action. Craggy Range and Trinity Hill shared a tasting area, Annie was cooking up New Zealand’s best bacon (Holly Bacon) and

selling the quintessential English breakfast, bacon butties, while Takaroa Trails promoted our extensive cycle trails. So back to the third test ... Tim and I were still confident of a big win in Auckland. Well, we all know the outcome and to be honest, it was a well-deserved result for the Lions. Some fans spend more than £50,000 and for that investment, you do want some return! I look forward to the next tour in 12 years’ time! The previous issue of The Profit was a huge success with the large feature on Wairoa being well received. We’ve gone south this issue to take a look at what’s happening in Central Hawke’s Bay. We meet the new mayor Alex Walker and profile businesses such as AgRecord. Enjoy the read.

EDITOR/PUBLISHER: Damon Harvey 06 878 3196, 021 2886 772,, Twitter – @profithb

THE PROFIT is independently owned by Attn! Marketing PR and is published four times a year. Copyright ©2012: ATTN! Marketing PR

CONTRIBUTORS: Simon Fletcher, Sophie Price, Sarah Cameron, Jess Radich, Paul Harvey, Brent Paterson, Kimberly McKay, Catherine Wedd, Edward Bostock, Roger Wiffin, Catherine Wedd and Anna Lorck.

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Key Appointments Jessica Ellerm has been appointed as Corporate Services Group Manager at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, replacing Paul Drury who retired at the end of June. Jess grew up in Hawke’s Bay, went to Taradale High School, has a Bachelor of Business Studies and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). She started work as an accountant at Palairet Pearson in Napier and then at Tremain’s Real Estate

before spending the last 15 years working in finance and accountancy roles overseas. For the last seven years she has been based in Sydney, most recently as Finance Director, Asia Pacific at the publically-listed UK marketing and communications company Text100. Monique Davidson is the new Central Hawke's Bay District Council chief executive, replacing John Freeman. Monique was the Horowhenua

District Council group manager for customer and community services. She holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University in Wellington,and she is a member of the Local Government New Zealand governance and strategy advisory group. "I am very excited about the opportunity, and look forward to working collaboratively with elected members to lead Central Hawke's Bay District on the next stage of its journey. "The local government sector is rapidly evolving and it's an exciting time to be given the challenge to lead an organisation through that."

Cranford gifted to community

Representatives of PSEC, and the Cranford Hospice Foundation Trust Alison McEwan (LEFT), John Buck, Stuart Signal, Maitland Manning, Frane Rosandich and Lindsay Knowles signed the official documents.

Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC) has handed over their specialist palliative care service, Cranford Hospice, to the Hawke’s Bay community. Board members from PSEC, Cranford Hospice Trust and Cranford Hospice Foundation Trust signed documents confirming PSEC’s gift of Cranford Hospice to the community in June. This will see Cranford Hospice become a stand-alone charity, and allow both the specialist palliative care service and PSEC to focus on their core businesses. This is very much a coming of age move for Cranford and will bring it in-line with the governance of other hospices around the country.

We work with our community and partners to protect and manage the region’s precious taonga of rivers, lakes, soils, air, coast and biodiversity.

Want to know more? 06 835 9200 | / HBRegionalCouncil




PSEC Board Chairman, Maitland Manning says, on behalf of the Board, PSEC is putting the interests of the community first and has played an active role in passing Cranford into community ownership. PSEC established Cranford Hospice 35 years ago and Maitland Manning says it took vision, courage and a lot of persistence. “A number of people gave freely of their own time and their own expertise to make it happen. As a result, today Cranford is a very highly regarded part of the hospice scene and is highly valued by the Hawke’s Bay community,” he said.



Kevin Atkinson keen to switch roles Long-standing Unison Group Chairman Kevin Atkinson is ready to add his business acumen and passion for the community into as elected role as a trustee of the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers Trust (HBPCT). Mr Atkinson ended 19 years as a director of Unison, including the last eight years as Unison chairman at the recent AGM, leaving the company is great shape and well equipped to face the challenges of the future. Mr Atkinson has been nominated by outgoing HBPCT chair John Newland and will seek election during the voting period of September 11 to October 2. He said it was now time to ensure that the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers Trust meets the needs of the community. “I’ve got some strong ideas about how the trust can provide additional benefits to the community, other than just a dividend cheque at the end of the year,” he says.

Kevin has a wealth of commercial and governance experience through chairing the HB District Health Board, and past directorships of international payroll provider IMS, HB Rugby Union and Unison Networks. In 2010 he was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Business and the Community. “I’ve enjoyed my roles and seeing these organisations, its the people involved and the broader community prosper.” Kevin believes the region’s power consumers should have an opportunity to be more involved and aware of what the trust does on their behalf. “There are opportunities to positively engage on consumer orientated initiatives, while at the same time providing a solid level of dividend to consumers. The Unison Board has paid a dividend of $12.7 million to the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers Trust for the year ended 31 March 2017.



Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland thanked Kevin for his dedication and wise stewardship as Chair for the past eight years and for serving on the Board for nearly two decades. “Kevin’s drive and passion for the Unison Group and its people has resulted in solid and sustained growth for Unison during his term as Chair. His financial directorship and strong commercial acumen has ensured the business has consistently delivered on key targets. His significant contribution to the governance and direction of Unison will be missed but ensures we are well placed for the future.”

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Loss The Dam – it’s over! Andrew Newman War Memorial controversey in Napier

Napier Port orders six forklifts to tackle growth Napier Port has ordered six Konecranes forklifts to cope with solid growth. Warren Young, container operations manager at Napier Port, said technology from Konecranes has been a key element of our sustainable growth strategy and we are currently operating six Konecranes Gottwald mobile harbour cranes, four of which were delivered over the last four years. “As these machines have become an integral part of our operation, it was logical to

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Palmer not about to tread water New regional council CEO has the credentials and attitude to reset the organisation.

James Palmer was appointed the new chief executive for the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in June. He has taken on the challenging role at an organisation that has been under the public spotlight for a range of issues such as the ongoing Ruataniwha Water Storage Project, the water contamination crisis that struck Havelock North and the current consenting process for Water Bottling. What’s your career background

After studying politics at university my first permanent job was as an electorate agent for a member of Parliament in Wellington. I then worked for 7 years in the Beehive as an advisor to government ministers, mostly in areas of economic and industry development, energy and environment policy. I spent the next 4 years as the director of strategy at the ministries of Agriculture and Forestry and Primary Industries, followed by 3 years as Deputy Secretary Sector Strategy at the Ministry for the Environment, overseeing the government’s Natural Resources Sector and its part in the Business Growth Agenda. I also led policy in areas such as national environmental monitoring, hazardous substances and new organisms, international environment agreements and marine management. At the beginning of 2016 I started at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council as Group Manager Strategic Development, overseeing regional planning and economic development. In the mid-2000s I took a break from government and had a couple of years in private consulting, along with governance roles at the Eastern and Central Community and HB Power Consumers’ trusts. As a consultant I project managed the feasibility and consenting of the Esk hydro power scheme with local developers Chris Pask and Hugh Lattey. I was also fortunate to do an internship in the British Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in London during this period. In the end I’ve chosen a public sector career because I enjoy the continually changing and complex problem solving. Putting my energy into making the world a better place gives me a sense of purpose. It’s intellectually demanding work, and everyone has an opinion on what you are doing and what you are not, but it’s never boring and it’s satisfying. I feel incredibly fortunate to do this kind of work. 6



The Profit put James under the spotlight in this Q& A.

What have you learnt from the Hastings water crisis? (not what council has learnt – but what’s been your key takes from it)

The crisis was particularly stressful due to the scale of the suffering and disruption, and the frustration of not being able to readily pinpoint what had happened and why. The lack of trust between HBRC and HDC was uncomfortable and added a lot to the stress for the council staff involved. I learned about the risks of making hasty judgements when under pressure, and how easily you can be misunderstood when other people don’t have all the information and context you do. I also learned that ratepayers prefer their money not to be spent on councils prosecuting each other, even when one is in breach of their resource consents. Ratepayers understandably just want the problems fixed. The whole experience, coupled with the tragic death of one of our staff, Michael Taylor, on the job earlier this year, has prompted me to strengthen our focus on risk management and pay more attention to low probability, high consequence risks. Will there ever be a water storage system in CHB?

I think it is likely. The economics of water storage is a function of the value of reliable water for primary production, as well as the value of water for environmental enhancement. I think the value of both will grow in the future so the business case is only likely to get stronger. If water storage can be an enabler of land use change to production systems with lower nutrient and soil loss then the inevitable increase in regulation of farming generally will also make the case stronger. The current work we are doing relooking at the environmental aspects of the Ruataniwha scheme is all about this. The key question is whether landowners on the Ruataniwha Plains can make the economics of alternative land uses under irrigation work.



What are your top priorities in the first year as CE?

In general terms my overarching priority is to reset public trust and confidence in the Regional Council and clearly demonstrate the Council’s value proposition to its ratepayers. While this will take time, it is urgent because it enables everything else we do. Getting a new RMA plan completed for water management in the Heretaunga zone and bringing decision-making on the Ruataniwha scheme to a conclusion is also at the top of the list for the next year, as well as completion of the Coastal Hazard Strategy with Napier and Hastings councils. Napier Port needs significant additional capital for a new wharf and so working through a new financial strategy for the Council is also an immediate focus, and it underpins our 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, which we will be developing over the next twelve months. This plan charts the future course of the Regional Council and is my primary vehicle for taking the Council forward. Will you make any dramatic changes to how the organisation operates?

The Regional Council has a fairly strong innovation culture and so continuous improvement is already the norm. I am looking to accelerate this in some areas but I’m generally looking at more evolution than revolution. The work we do with farmers and growers will have to scale up substantially and we need to do this efficiently and effectively alongside industry service providers. The community is demanding stronger environmental protection so we will be more active in compliance and enforcement, while also looking at new incentives for natural resource-based businesses to change their practices. I also want the Council to start evaluating its performance based on the outcomes it achieves, rather than just measuring its outputs.

Environmental sustainability seems to be your gig – why have you had such an interest in this area?

My great grandparents all came to New Zealand to start new lives and did so off the back of the land clearance and establishment of farming that occurred in the 1800s. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I’m very conscious now that the quality of life I enjoyed as a young kiwi, my education and upbringing here in HB, was essentially off the exploitation of the region’s natural capital and the blood, sweat and tears of settlers breaking it in. In my early 20s I read Geoff Park’s book Nga Uruora: An ecological history of New Zealand, and learned of the rapid transformation of our landscapes, with untold devastation of indigenous flora and fauna. It had a big impact on me because we weren’t really taught about it at school. As someone who enjoys the outdoors I now realise how much we have lost and the legacy we are left with. Our declining biodiversity and water quality, and globally significant rates of soil loss, are symptoms of this. I love our region and our country, and what we produce, and I want us to lead the world in doing it sustainably with the market premiums and demand that can go with that. I think NZ is better positioned than any country on the planet to be truly sustainable but if we can’t do it then there’s not much hope for the rest of the world. HBRC has many stakeholders – how will you aim to keep them informed and happy?

I intend getting out of the office at every opportunity to meet with businesses and community groups to hear their perspectives. We will continue to increase our use of social media and online video to foster discussion on issues, and get ideas and feedback from the community. I also want to make our expenditure and our functions more transparent and easier to understand, so ratepayers know what they are buying and can track how much progress we are making on their behalf.

HBRC has a new CE and a new chair in Rex Graham – what sort of relationship will you aim to form?

I’m aiming for a relationship based on regular, free and frank communication and mutual respect. We don’t need to agree on everything and it’s important that I can give advice even when it isn’t what the chair wants to hear, so an open and respectful relationship is important. What’s your view on consents for water bottling?

Given that the overwhelming majority of rain that falls in HB flows out to sea I don’t have a problem with some water bottling as long as we don’t have a higher value uses for the water and there are no adverse environmental effects. However, I do think all water users should contribute more to the costs of managing water and I’d like to see regional councils given the power to charge more for water that is taken for commercial benefit. I do think people underestimate how hard it is to make a commercial success from water bottling, the easy part is pulling it out of the ground and putting it into bottles. There’s been a bit of gold rush for bottling consents around NZ but time will tell how many of these will become commercially viable. What do you do in your spare time?

My wife and I have a 3 hectare block with a fair bit of garden so this often takes up a good chunk of the weekend. In summer I try to swim most days, I cycle the HB trails regularly and I try to get a couple of tramps in each year. I also hack a golf ball around occasionally, but too infrequently for any consistent form, and now and again I throw a surf cast out without much success. If there’s one thing you could wave a magic wand over to it would be resolved – what would it be?

I tend to think if human beings could fundamentally understand their dependence on, and connectedness with, everything and everyone around them then we would make better choices and most of our issues would probably be resolved.

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Christopher Keys: Hawke’s Bay wine export Gibbston Valley is one of Central Otago’s founding wineries and is acknowledged globally as a top producer of Pinot Noir. It has the largest wine cave and busiest cellar door in the country, and its chief winemaker is Hastings Boys’ High School old boy Christopher Keys.

WRITER: Sarah Cameron Christopher has been at Gibbston Valley since 2006, having moved to the south from Hawke’s Bay where he made wine at Brookfields Vineyards and Sileni Estates. Christopher’s love of the grape was born in the Dunedin wine shop where he worked while studying English and Russian at Otago University. In 1997, he completed a postgraduate diploma in Oenology at Lincoln and returned home to Hawke’s Bay to work at Brookfields Vineyards under the tutelage of Peter Robertson. “I moved back to Hawke’s Bay in 1998, the vintage of the century. It was a great vintage to cut my teeth on and an honour to work for Peter. Brookfields is a small, qualityfocused winery and I worked in all aspects of the business – the cellar door, vineyard, winery, laboratory and the bottling line. It was a comprehensive wine education. Brookfields has a great wine tasting tradition on Thursdays where all come to share wines – all egos are smashed – that taught me a lot about wine and life.” In 2002, Christopher moved to Sileni Estates in an assistant winemaker role, to have a “totally different Hawke’s Bay wine experience” and to make some of his beloved Pinot Noir. “Pinot Noir is what love is. It’s complex and dimensional, such a compelling variety and so reflective of where it’s grown. And like love, it teaches you, lifts you but can also 8



seriously slam you. It can be the best and the worst of winemaking and life. Sileni had some interesting vineyard sites and it was a great opportunity for me to be amongst talent like winemakers Grant Edmonds and Nigel Davies and to be able to make some good Pinot.” Four years later, Christopher headed south to take up the chief winemaker role at Gibbston Valley. Being in Central Otago, the mecca for New Zealand Pinot Noir, has given him a chance to reflect on the industry and his time in Hawke’s Bay. “Back in the late 1990s, Te Awa and Trinity Hill were the new players – it was a really vibrant time and there were many start-up wine companies. The region has made huge strides and is producing some world-class wines but to me it has always been a bit disparate. It’s both a strength and a weakness that Hawke’s Bay has so many wine varieties, but each winery was trying to establish themselves and competing with each other. “What I have really enjoyed in Central Otago is the collaboration. We are promoting the Central Otago brand as well as Gibbston Valley in everything we do. Pinot Noir is the vehicle to do this.” Christopher says that Central Otago is proof that a collaborative marketing effort and limiting yourselves to playing one game – in this case, high-quality Pinot Noir – is the model for success in the wine business.

“Pinot Noir is what love is. It’s complex and dimensional, such a compelling variety and so reflective of where it’s grown. And like love, it teaches you, lifts you but can also seriously slam you. It can be the best and the worst of winemaking and life.” – Christopher Keys

“I find it interesting how we all sit in the wine world. The fact that the world knows Central Otago Pinot Noir comes from an understanding of our land combined with cohesive, inventive promotion of our area and wines. I feel that Hawke’s Bay is still so diverse in its wines and message that some of that collective gain is lost at the expense of individual winery success. Syrah is an exceptional variety and, of course, Chardonnay. And some of Hawke’s Bay produces some incredible Bordeaux styles. None of that leads to one variety being linked to the area, which is, in the complex wine world, sometimes an advantage.” Every two years, the Keys family meets in Hawke’s Bay and wine tasting is on the itinerary. While it might seem like a busman’s holiday to some, Christopher says they love trekking around wineries but finding most closed on one of the most lucrative days of the year perplexed him.



“I couldn’t believe that on Boxing Day only two winery cellar doors we came across were open in Hawke’s Bay – Elephant Hill and Craggy Range. On one of the busiest days of the year, Hawke’s Bay was closed.” – Christopher Keys

Christopher Keys

“I couldn’t believe that on Boxing Day only two winery cellar doors we came across were open in Hawke’s Bay – Elephant Hill and Craggy Range. On one of the busiest days of the year, Hawke’s Bay was closed.”

Central Otago is reliant on international and domestic visitors equally and Gibbston Valley sells 85 percent of its wine through the cellar door and local sales.

we offer a range of tastings to suit and also provide Mandarin translators. As a winemaker, I’m sometimes involved and I can be useful for certain types of customers.

“Getting the experience right for a diverse visitor group is sometimes challenging, but

“I love telling the story of Central Otago and of our wine.”

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Fashion Designer Draws Huge Facebook Following

The marketing power of Facebook has surprised a Hawke’s Bay home-based clothing producer who has acquired 29,437 page followers, and still counting, since first posting an offer of children’s clothing two years ago. Donna Paterson-Mills and her husband Bryce have since extended Donna’s design of clothing into womenswear and have launched a website,,which has streamlined order taking, payments and despatch – and made their home life less hectic. “It’s all grown so quickly. Our plan is for the website to handle the retail side of our business so we can get our own lives back again,” says Donna. To give some perspective of the popularity of the Oli & Gus Facebook page, its number of followers exceeds by five times the Facebook following of a successful womenswear retailer with 41 stores throughout New Zealand. 10



The website will extend the offering of “meant to be worn” clothes for women under their Hot Mamma label, which offers short runs of each garment style – some selling out completely within hours of a post on Facebook. “Our Hocus Pocus sweater is a recent example. It sold out in eight hours,” says Donna, who designs all the clothes and chooses the fabric for each garment. Uppermost in her mind is the lifestyle of busy women, like herself, who want good quality clothes that are comfortable to wear, will still look good after repeated washes and offer an individual flair. “I’m sure our customers like the idea that there’s not much chance of someone else wearing exactly the same dress at the same place.” She says there is no deference to fashion magazines or catwalk trends, as evident in the Facebook photos of

Donna ‘models’ her garment designs around the house for young son Angus or husband Bryce to take the photos that are uploaded to Facebook.

Donna ‘modelling’ her latest garments without make-up or any pretence at being a fashion model. They had tried modelling with a professional photographer “but I didn’t look like me,” says Donna. She has since relied on husband Bryce or son Angus, now 6, to take the photos with her cell-phone, usually outside for natural light, and then Donna selects an image for uploading to Facebook with no thought of any photo edit. On the supply side, the opposite happens because there is nothing casual about how the garments are produced. An offshore garment supplier has learned to follow Donna’s designs and fabric choices and their ongoing communications have led to a mutual respect, as seen in a recent invitation to join the supply company at a major fabric market event. Donna says her interest in clothing design began as a young girl playing with cotton reels, pattern boxes and a button box at the foot of her grandmother’s antique sewing table.



Rose was a renowned dressmaker in the Hawke’s Bay – her last project, at the age of 80, being Donna’s wedding dress with Arabic embroidery supplied by Donna – and Donna gradually learned from her grandmother the basic skills and art of making clothes. “I had the most amazing wardrobe as a child, all beautifully handmade. I fell in love with a terry towelling bikini and remember the smocked frocks and dresses Rose made for me. Eventually I started making my own pieces from fabric pulled out of a remnants bag.” A Massey University bachelor degree in resource and environmental planning enabled Donna to travel to Asia and the Middle East as a language and art teacher, a venture that ultimately led her back into clothing design. “In Al Ain (the ‘garden city’ 150 kilometres south of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates) I spent hours in the fabric markets and met with the artisans who created the most beautiful garments. “I started designing my own clothes again to wear while teaching at a private school in Al Ain. My designs had to keep within the

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“I had the most amazing wardrobe as a child, all beautifully handmade. I fell in love with a terry towelling bikini and remember the smocked frocks and dresses Rose made for me. Eventually I started making my own pieces from fabric pulled out of a remnants bag.” – Donna Paterson-Mills cultural boundaries of the Middle East but I added my own ideas on colour.” In Australia, which became her home for 18 years, Donna worked at management level in the fashion industry while husband Bryce continued his management role in industrial construction. Three years ago (2014), the couple returned to the Hawke’s Bay and created their Oli & Gus label on Facebook as a work-at-home project for Donna. She attributes the popularity of Oli & Gus to garment quality, price and an individual look in the designs shaped by her own attitude and lifestyle that’s “a little quirky, a bit bohemian … definitely not mainstream”. The retail price of each garment is kept close to a target of $100. “This is not designer clothing and evening wear, unless you want it to be, and it’s priced at a level where someone can see something they like and order it online without too much concern.”


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Co-working and Shared Spaces – Join the Movement Co-working (shared worked spaces) is gaining in popularity in the Bay, with a wide range of businesses and people colocated in shared spaces. While it is common to attract start-up businesses, self-employed professionals or freelancers, for others it’s an opportunity to reconnect outside of working from home, or to further develop a not for profit or social enterprise. Cultivate Hawke’s Bay is a new collaborative space in Taradale established by Haylee Wren this year with a specific focus on small business and not-for profit support. Haylee wanted to create a friendly approachable community within an intimate office space and has seen immediate uptake from a range of organisations. Co-working spaces provide immediate access to a network of businesses and offer the opportunity to mix with a diverse range of people. It’s all about innovative like-minded people working on their own businesses in the same space as others so that collaborating, idea-sharing, and working together occurs naturally between them. The Chook House in Waipukurau, was an early entry into providing a shared work space in the region; designed to build a community to motivate and inspire small business owners and freelancers in the heart of Central Hawke’s Bay. The greatest asset of any co-working space is its members with each shared space having its own culture. A recent reviewer of Oh My Goodness community space in Hastings

comments, “Such a beautiful space to spend a day working away on my laptop – so spacious, a swing and table tennis with baker, Scott and beautiful food. Feels like home, a community place.” As well as making financial sense, the other value-adds can be the likes of facilities management, reception services and WiFi. Someone owns the lease and provides the infrastructure, freeing up community members to focus on building their business, without the distraction of day-to-day details. Another example is the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Ahuriri, which has been operating for two years. Out front, the Business Hub is open for any business person to pop in for a few hours and work at the casual drop-in tables in the café-style area, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and the informal business connections that can be made in the shared space. For confidential appointments, there are meeting rooms, training and event spaces, and a boardroom available to book. Sixteen business support agencies are colocated at the Business Hub. Business Hawke’s Bay Acting CEO, Carolyn Neville, says that one of the key successes of the hub is the collaboration that occurs between member organisations. “The connection, collaboration and community that comes from working in a shared space is to the benefit of the businesses and the people that we work with.” This has sparked a new initiative within a key action in Matariki, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Jacqui Thomas, Alister King, Leonie Wallwork and Amanda Liddle at the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub in Ahuriri.

Business Hawke’s Bay is exploring how business support and growth programmes can be provided through linking with the region’s co-working spaces. “The first step is to create a regional directory of existing and new co-working spaces. With many new spaces opening up, or under development, this will enable people to find a community that meets their needs,” says Carolyn. “The next step is to connect with the people who work in those spaces. You can grab a desk or chair anywhere, and that is all that some people need. But for others, the support and opportunities to learn, share and grow are equally as important.” To find a co-working community, or to list your shared space on the new regional directory, go to the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub website,






Empowering Business in the Central Region





The tyre centre also does wheel alignment which also enhance the lifespan of tyres. Greg and his team love the variety of what is driven into the tyre centre. “We can have the Masarati and Porsche come in for a new set of tyres to the second-hand teenager’s car through to a heavy duty truck.

More tread in the game than most You would get bald tyres driving around Hawke’s Bay trying to find someone with more knowledge on tyres than Havelock North Tyre and Alignment owner Greg Nicholson. The tyre industry runs as deep as new tyre tread in Greg’s life, he and wife Fiona even named their youngest son after Greg’s favourite tyre brand – Cooper. Greg left school in Morrinsville in 1982 and went straight into the tyre industry with Paramount Tyres, where he started to learn as much as he could about the industry. After 11 years working for Paramount the business was bought out by a large global brand and Greg decided to set up his own business. He founded Hawke’s Bay Tyres in Napier in 1993, targeting the truck tyre market with aspirations of setting up a branch network in Hawke’s Bay and then bought the Havelock North tyre service in 2003. The decision to grow the Havelock North business has been two-fold. Not only has the businesses broadened its services and tyre products with brands such as Cooper, Yokohama, GT Radial and Bridgestone but it has rekindled the feeling of community spirit that Greg liked so much growing up in Morrinsville. “Morrinsville has a strong sense of community and Havelock has the same appeal. We’ve got to know our customers really well, we have some that come in once a week just to get their tyre pressure checked.” Since 2003 Greg has set about broadening its customer base which had relied on locals getting replacement tyres for the family car to adding a 24/7 fleet service for the farming and horticulture businesses around the Bay.

“I saw an opportunity to grow the business up, which was starting to move away from its core business and delve into doing warrant of fitnesses. I introduced mobile tyre servicing and concentrated on selling and repairing tyres and left the warrant of fitness and servicing to the garages and instead supplied them with tyres. Greg also saw a gap in the market to supply tractor tyres to the farming sector and has now built up Hawke’s Bay’s largest stock of new and used tractor tyres with over 200 tyres. "Being from Morrinsville, I knew a lot about tractor tyres. “We also moved into tyre welding (vulcanizing), which is pretty unique. As you could expect tractors can get punctures in some pretty difficult situations, so to get out to the tractor we bought a 4-wheel drive vehicle that gets us out to jobs that no others can.” “Punctures can easily occur while driving through strange paddocks at night. I went out to one farm late at night and the harvester was driving through long grass and hit a water trough, puncturing a tyre. Today one of Greg’s team of eight, many with over a decade experience, are rostered on every hour of the day to keep Hawke’s Bay food producers moving. The business has grown and to secure its presence in a fast developing commercial business area, Greg bought the property and expanded its operations. “We were bulging at the seams. We’ve now been able to bring additional services such as our truck tyre changing machine onsite as well as creating new office space. Health and safety is really important in this industry so it made sense to have more services on-site where there’s always a few of us around.

“As an independent tyre dealership, we’re not constrained by what we can recommend, although we’re big fans of Coopers as they are one of the only tyre manufacturers that guarantee milage.” Greg is a founding member of the National Tyre Assistance, a nationwide group of independent tyre businesses. He says the benefits for customers is that if they have tyre problems anywhere in New Zealand a partner member can come to their aid. Cooper tyres are guaranteed to last between 50,000 - 80,000km depending on size and tread pattern and subject to normal usage in on and off-road situations. “The regular care and maintenance of your wheel alignment, brakes, suspension and wheels are crucial to the performance and wear of your tyres; for this reason, you should get your tyres every 10,000km. “Safety is vital when it comes to driving and it pays to talk to experienced tyre specialists, who know how the rubber hits the road.

GREG’S TOP TYRE TIPS Greg says a little care and maintenance goes a long way in prolonging the life of your tyres and making sure you get the maximum usage out of each set. Here’s his top tips. 1. Ensure your tyres are properly inflated. Keeping your tyres at the right air pressure will help you avoid fast and uneven treadwear, improper vehicle handling and excessive heat build-up. 2. Rotate your tyres at the recommended times. Moving your tyres around so that they trade places on your vehicle will ensure that they wear out uniformly. 3. Drive in a tyre-friendly manner! You may not realize it, but the way you drive can have a lot to do with how long your tyres will last and how well they perform. Overloading, abrupt braking, rapid acceleration and hard cornering are just some things to avoid.




Courtesy - KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall

VJ Distributors was devastated by fire in 2006


Good cover is just one part to being a leading local insurance provider Experienced insurance broker Jeff Parker has seen disasters such as fires destroy Hawke’s Bay business premises and can tell the good and the bad stories when it comes to insurance cover and business continuity. Jeff and the late Jim Hurford set up Hurford Parker on 1 June 1994 on the simple ethos that people want to know who they are signing a long-term relationship with and that that insurance broker would be by their side should the unfortunate occur. “We were driven to setting up this business by wanting to ensure every transaction had a familiar face to it. The larger international companies no longer offered that level of service and we wanted to provide firstclass service; so that when there’s a claim, especially when it’s in an emotional situation such as a fire, our clients have the comfort of having a local whom they could talk to,” Jeff says. “The rubber hits the road when there is a claim and we always tell our clients that we want them well insured because we will be the first call they make when disaster strikes and we want to say to ‘you’re very well covered’.” 14



Jeff and the team, led by fellow director Ashley Rowe and group manager Dean Sewell, have built a strong portfolio of local business and rural clients across a wide range of industry sectors, and with it has come a level of knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with these businesses. They have also broadened their service range to include personal insurance and life and medical cover insurance. “Being based in Hawke’s Bay means we have a wide range of clients across many sectors but at the same time, we have got to know our clients’ businesses very well, which ensures they are not only well covered in the event of a disaster but they have a plan in place to keep the business running, staff employed and customers happy.” An example that many will remember is the large fire that took place at VJ Distributors on a hot and sunny Saturday in March 2006. Many businesses would never have recovered from that devastating blow but VJ Distributors had Hurford Parker at their side, not only paving the way through the claim but helping to put in place a plan that ensured the business got up and running again quickly.

We spend a lot of time on site with clients understanding the business and its processes. This is when your business continuity plan is so important and that’s where we like to start – looking at the business and its set of obvious risks as well as identifying the game-changing risks, some of which are insurable and some that aren’t but can still have a plan in place for.

“Being based in Hawke’s Bay means we have a wide range of clients across many sectors but at the same time, we have got to know our clients’ businesses very well, which ensures they are not only well covered in the event of a disaster but they have a plan in place to keep the business running, staff employed and customers happy.” – Jeff Parker “In a singular loss (events such as a fire) there’s loss of market, competition and all those sorts of things, they are key risks, but then you look at your major assets such as a building and equipment and you need to

BUSINESS PROFILE Hurford Parker's senior management team – Dean Sewell, Jeff Parker (Managing Director), Ashley Rowe and Will Parker.

"We spend a lot of time on site with clients understanding the business and its processes. This is when your business continuity plan is so important and that’s where we like to start" – Jeff Parker

realise what the impact of a fire has on your business and how quickly you can get back up and running. “It’s then entirely different if it’s an event that has created multiple losses, such as an earthquake, when your business isn’t the only one affected. It’s then not that easy to find a new premise as many businesses are also looking too. “The key is to have a plan that identifies both types of events, those that will only impact your business as well as those that will impact many businesses. “People automatically assume that insurance will cover everything, but in the event of an earthquake your insurer will only pay out to a certain amount. The idea is to keep the business going and maintaining the level of turnover into the future because it’s all very well getting paid out during your indemnity period if your business goes under, but what’s the long-term future look like?” Jeff estimates that many businesses are underinsured and predicts that the figure could be as high as 60–65 percent of businesses that don’t have the cover they need should disaster strike.

He points to Edgecumbe, which was hit by severe flooding earlier this year, and reports rapidly rising building costs are leaving 85 percent of New Zealand homeowners underinsured. “In the case of Edgecumbe, the number of underinsurance or no insurance was large and although we are advocates for people to be well insured, it’s obvious in these situations that people aren’t covered. “Most commercial business people understand the value of having insurance but it is only one part of business continuity planning.” Hurford Parker is a founding member of a powerful group of independent New Zealand brokers called NZbrokers Management Ltd, and collectively the group employs more than 500 staff who between them place insurance business with local and international insurers for 120,000 clients with premiums in excess of $440 million. NZbrokers was formed to deliver additional client benefits for exclusive use by member brokers, including the development of exclusive insurance products.

Jeff says the team at Hurford Parker has a wealth of experience and is well equipped to provide first-class service and customised products. The business is also focussed on succession planning in the business and the mantle has been taken up by Ashley and Dean along with Jeff ’s son William Parker, who joined the firm in January after working for three of the largest insurance broker firms in New Zealand, Australia and London. William’s arrival has also inspired a new look for the firm that includes new branding and marketing materials, such as a refreshed website. William hopes that not only will the new look create new business opportunities but help recruit new talent. “To recruit new talent is very difficult, which is a New Zealand problem, but if we had a better education pathway into insurance – like in the UK, – then the talent pool would be bigger.”





Unison Group Chairman, Kevin Atkinson, attending a basketball tournament connecting NZ Police and Unison with Flaxmere primary schools.

Long-standing Unison Group Chairman, Kevin Atkinson (who retired at the Company’s AGM on 28 July) said Unison was in great shape and wellequipped to face the challenges of the future. “Unison has produced another solid financial result this year off the back of an increase in customer-requested work and new connections; favourable derivative movements; stronger revenue from all Group companies; and a continued focus on management of costs.” Unison Networks achieved a Net Profit after Tax of $40.7 million, compared to $24.6 million the previous year, of which favourable derivative movements accounted for a $17.3 million uplift in profit before tax. The Unison Board declared a dividend of $12.7 million for the year ended 31 March 2017, which will be paid to the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust on 2 August. Unison continued to invest in its Smart Network, positioning the company for the future with capital expenditure for the year of $51.9 million, following on from last year’s $55.2 million of capital expenditure. As well as network investment, expenditure was driven by customer-requested works, the purchase of Lucky Light Gobalindo in Indonesia by ETEL Limited and the impact of the historic August snow storm, which caused network devastation. The snow storm and other largely uncontrollable factors - such as the Kaikoura earthquake, strong winds throughout the year and an increase in cars




hitting poles – also contributed to a decline in network reliability for the year. Mr Atkinson said Unison had the strategy, technology and depth of talent to continue delivering the reliability customers had come to expect from Unison long term. “It’s been a privilege and honour to serve Unison’s network communities for nearly two decades on the Unison Board. “Unison is going into the new financial year and the future in the best financial position it has been in. “A future that will ensure the Company is able to make the best long-term investment decisions for its customers and shareholders, the power consumers of Hawke’s Bay. Its Smart Network provides a strong base from which the business can evolve its network to deliver electricity reliably, safely and cost-effectively to customers.” Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland thanked Kevin for his dedication and wise stewardship as Chair for the past eight years and for serving on the Board for nearly two decades. “Kevin’s drive and passion for the Unison Group and its people has resulted in solid and sustained growth for Unison during his term as Chair. His financial directorship and strong commercial acumen has ensured the business has consistently delivered on key targets. His significant contribution to the governance and direction of Unison will be missed but ensures we are well placed for the future.”

YOUR COMMUNITY’S GREATEST SUPPORTER Unison recognises that as a key enabler for Hawke’s Bay, it must invest in sponsorship opportunities and community partnerships that contribute to the health and wellbeing of the region, making it a vibrant place to live and work. Over the past financial year, Unison has donated to a range of not-for-profit causes and initiatives that benefit our local community as well as committed to the following sponsorships in Hawke’s Bay: • Greatest Supporter Programme – supporting junior hockey, rugby and netball • Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust • U-Turn Trust • Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union • Hawke’s Bay Netball • Unison Hawke's Bay Sports Hall of Fame - Pettigrew Green Arena • Unison Hockey Stadium - Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park

unity’s Your comM orter greatest supp

POWERING HAWKE’S BAY’S FUTURE At Unison, we are focused on using advanced technology to evolve our network and create a more reliable, safe and efficient network that meets the future needs of our customers. Our award-winning Smart Network aims to optimise asset utilisation while keeping costs down and maintaining reliability. We’ve also invested in a number of key substations around Hawke’s Bay – such as Flaxmere and Tamatea – to help power and connect local businesses and homes. When doing so, we took the opportunity to not just upgrade the assets but make them safer, smarter and more resilient.

UNISONFIBRE CONTINUES TO EXPAND Since May last year, Unison has rolled out six fast chargers for electric vehicles across Hawke’s Bay and our other network regions. While Unison expects most EV charging to happen overnight at home, for longer journeys the chargers enable the growing number of residents and tourists driving EVs to not only travel comfortably between our network regions but easily access regions further afield. With the number of EVs having more than doubled nationally in the past year and more than 3,800 vehicles registered, the chargers come at a key time.

Unison’s Napier EV charger, one of three fast-chargers commissioned during the financial year.

Fibre connections for the business were up 50 percent through UnisonFibre in the 2016/17 year. With over 800 kilometres of fibre network through Hawke’s Bay, Unison’s fibre network may already be under your feet. UnisonFibre is currently connecting homes and businesses to its reliable, ultra-fast broadband service. If you want further information about bringing fibre to your home or business call our friendly service desk: 0800 2 FIBRE (0800 234 273)

A UnisonFibre customer enjoying the benefits of ultra-fast broadband.

ELECTRICITY OUTAGES At Unison, we know the stress and disruption an electricity outage can cause. It’s our goal to keep them to a minimum. Over the past year, Unison has been hit by a number of weather-related events and other uncontrollable factors that have interrupted supply. We also undertake planned outage to maintain the reliability of supply.

Planned outage SMS reminders and updates

During outages, we are committed to keeping you informed and encourage you to check out the following way to keep connected when the lights are out.

To find out more, get online to:

Outages Tool

Vegetation is responsible for around a quarter of unplanned outages.

We are confident that the investigation will show that improving the regulations will give us more ability to reduce risks posed by trees, saving money for customers who ultimately foot the bill for repairing lines. Fewer tree-related incidents will also reduce risks faced by lines workers, and the public.

Trees and vegetation coming into contact with power lines impacts on our ability to deliver a safe and reliable power supply to our customers.

If you spot a tree growing too close to power lines, call 0800 2 Unison or report it via our website:

Use your smartphone to stay informed during a power outage. Our mobile-friendly website allows you to see current, scheduled or recent power outages in and around Hastings and Napier.

You can now sign up to receive updates during a planned outage. When you receive a planned outage notice, sign up for text updates by texting the scheduled outage number to 5900. You’ll receive a reminder the day before and further updates on the day.


To achieve this, we need to manage vegetation. While we do this as effectively as we can, it is a shared resposibility with tree owners and depends on effective regulation. The government has announced an investigation into its tree regulations, which we support.

Your smart phone isn’t just a torch in a power outage. find out more at AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017



Top Award for Havelock North’s Mia Dolce Skin centre Mia Dolce, has been awarded the top honor of Distinction by Dermalogica New Zealand, excelling against a list of criteria that recognises education, innovation, product and service, marketing and commitment. Located in the heart of Havelock North Village, Mia Dolce offers a range of beauty therapy services, including specialised Dermalogica skin treatments, body massage, spa packages, hands and feet, hair removal, tanning and collagen induction therapy. Mia Dolce owner and professional skin therapist Claire Jarman says: “It’s such an honor to receive this award, the highest level of recognition by Dermalogica! For the previous three years we have received merit, the next level down, so we’re thrilled to be awarded distinction and sit amongst the top six skin centres in New Zealand. “The award is testament to my incredible team who always go above and beyond. We have made a concerted effort to advance our

training in the past year, giving us the tools to help achieve great results for our clients. And of course, none of this would be possible without our amazing clients. “Seven years ago, I opened the doors with two staff; we now employ six and have a large clientele. We love supporting the community and being recognised as a top New Zealand skin centre.” Mia Dolce also won the favourite hair and beauty category at the Havelock North Business Awards last year. This year's awards will be held at Black Barn in September with online voting via www.lovehavelocknorthnz. For the past five years, Claire and her team have also taught basic skincare to Year 12 students at Woodford House. As part of this programme, Mia Dolce donates a Dermalogica skincare pack and an eyelash tint or brow shape to all the students involved.

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“Claire and her team continue to impress us with their dedication to their clients and community. They have worked incredibly hard to upskill, innovate and go above and beyond, which is reflected in this award. We look forward to continuing to work with Mia Dolce to help them access success,” says Natasha Bourke, managing director of Dermalogica New Zealand.

Jacqui Donoghue



“Seven years ago I opened the doors with two staff, we now employ six, and have a large clientele. We love supporting the community, and being recognised as a top New Zealand skin centre.” – Claire Jarman




Visiting South America was one of the best things I’ve done in my years of travelling. I adored Buenos Aires with its mix of Spanish, Italian & French – a very sophisticated city - beautiful, bustling and exciting. I travelled to Lima – and then flew across the Andes to the most quaint and beautiful town of Cuzco. This place is worth exploring. I toured through the Sacred Valley to the most gorgeous places - Sacsayhuaman & Ollyantaytambo , and the vibrant Pisac Markets . If trekking is not for you, you can take a bus or train up to Machu Picchu . I arrived there at dawn and the mist lifted like a curtain – breathtaking - the scene of the lost city will stay in my mind for ever. It was a truly spiritual experience, one which still gives me goosebumps and a lump in my throat. Such an ancient place with so many mysteries. The Peruvian people are so lovely and the colours, culture and wildlife are so fascinating. South America is a very vast continent. It is worth spending time there to experience it fully. I’d love you to bring me your ideas, together we can create the perfect trip for you.


The best holidays are created together. SHOP 5, VILLAGE COURT I 06 877 8737 I HAVELOCKNORTH@HOT.CO.NZ Terms & Conditions: Tour price is correct as at 13 JUL 2017 and is subject to change. Tours must be booked & deposited by 31 AUG 2017. Contact us for more information and further conditions.





SIGNED, SEALED AND DELIVERED FOR ROADING CONTRACTOR Waipawa based Barker Contractors has gone from being a jack of all trades to a specialist roading contractor, leading the way with new innovations. Business owner Michael Barker returned from a five year working stint in Australia back in 1980 and has taken the business of a journey of expansion, both in services and staff numbers, to evolving into a niche contractor that works across Hawke’s Bay. At one stage, the business was doing everything from forestry roading, agricultural contracting, general earthmoving, fibre, drainage, council and roading work to quarry ownership. “It actually started to feel as if it was getting out of hand. It doesn’t take much to trip you up when you’re running several operations under the one business," Michael says. A new direction was needed and Michael brought on John Masters, who had retired from the corporate world, as general manager. “It was the best thing I could have done, as I had someone that I could bounce ideas off,” he says. “We got rid of forestry, the bulldozers, transporters, some truck and trailers, the “big diesel items”, reduced the quarries to one, rebranded the company, and looked toward delivering a specialised chip sealing operation, complementing the work we wanted to retain and servicing a market that the larger roading companies weren’t really interested in. We also purchased new graders, rollers, a road mill – all the toys really needed for this change.” “We started using Emulsion Chip Surfacing technology which came recommended to us and also had the Clean Green tick.” The product called CRS-2 sourced from roading contractor Higgins to seal over the high-grade aggregates, which is produced at Barker’squarry. The CRS-2 is contained

Michael Barker

in a stainless steel 6,000 litre spray tanker unit Barker built and designed with the engineering design firm, Randal & Associates and Deakin Engineering, which constructed the unit. Unlike the butane methods used on traditional Bitumen tankers to keep the product hot, a 30Kva generator was fitted to heat the CRS-2 and also power the tankers operations, something Michael thinks is a New Zealand first. “The process is known as emulsion spraying and it’s proving to be a game-changer for us, offering clients a positive and more environmentally friendly option than the traditional process. “The quality of finish, ease of application and providing a service that was thought of as being unaffordable to the home owner has been very rewarding. Previously concrete, pavers or gravel finishes were the only option, not now,” he says. One key advantage in using emulsion is derived from the fact that it is flexible, but with strength. “It will stretch if necessary but also returns to its original shape.” As well as the Green tick, it also ticks the Health and Safety boxes for both the public and those working on the sealing operation. CRS-2 only needs to be heated to 75 degrees Celsius, which helps eliminate the risks of burns. “There is a You Tube video example of Downers applying RS1 Emulsion to the runway on Great Barrier, which shows the uptake in these products in both strength and acceptance in the commercial world.

A new road and driveway using CRS-2

Michael says the unit is exceeding all expectations. “We knew there was a niche market because the bigger roading companies just weren’t really interested in taking on smaller jobs like sealing driveways and since starting this operation last year, we’ve been very busy, and certainly getting more and more enquiry.” This year Barkers sprayed a residential subdivision as well as a huge commercial carpark in Hastings, on top of all the domestic work that has been undertaken. Barkers Contractors is committed to helping young sports people in CHB achieve their sporting goals, by sponsoring the Central Hawke’s Bay Rugby Club Senior grades for a number of years as well as supprting young Waipukurau golfer Lucy Owen achieve her goal to earning a scholarship to play golf at an American University. “I happen to think that if someone is into their sport it’s a good thing and should be encouraged as much as possible, keeps kids off the streets, gives focus and direction.” For full details of all the services the company offers, go to their website AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017



Central Hawke’s Bay

Central to the Hawke's Bay economy WRITER: SARAH CAMERON

Central Hawke’s Bay is defined by its boundaries, from the base of the 200-million-year-old Ruahine Range out to the Pacific Ocean on the East Coast. State Highway 2 runs through the centre of the region, with Napier’s port and airport around 70 kilometres away. Central Hawke’s Bay (or CHB as it’s usually referred to) is also well served by rail, with a station in Waipukurau en-route for trains running from Wellington to Napier, via Palmerston North. Waipukurau and Waipawa are the largest townships, with many other settlements dotted around the region including Elsthorpe, Tikokino, Takapau, Otane and Porangahau. CHB’s economy is largely based around the primary production sector, with the largest contributor being agriculture, along with its related food processing facilities and supporting agribusiness. Although accounting for only five percent of Hawke’s Bay’s regional population, CHB produces 20 percent of its exports. The Takapau freezing works Ovation’s processing facility provides vital employment for CHB residents as well as the greater Hawke’s Bay population, with many employees from Hastings and Napier making the daily trek to CHB for work. Tourism is also a big earner for CHB. Mayor Alex Walker reports more than $26 million is brought in each year through events, cycling and walking trails and beach-related activities.** While agriculture and tourism may be prosperous, economic indicators for the 2016 calendar year show CHB was the only 20



district in Hawke’s Bay to record a decline in the value of both consented new dwellings and new non-residential buildings. The good news is that in general, CHB is experiencing increased capital value growth for properties. The median residential property value in Waipukurau lifted from $215,500 in April 2017 to $281,000 in June 2017. Andrew Chambers is a registered valuer and owner of the Property InDepth franchise for Hawke’s Bay, covering CHB. He says the residential property markets in Waipukurau, Waipawa and Otane are active and steady. “Purchasers include those trading up in property (second and third homebuyers), investors and first-time homebuyers, including those who commute to Hastings or Napier for work. The lower capital entry levels have allowed a number of first homebuyers to get their foot on the property ladder and the lower fuel costs and current interest rate environment have contributed to making the first home purchases possible. I think CHB will continue to be a steady and stable market due to affordability issues in Hastings and Napier and any slowdown will likely come from interest rate rises and upward pressure on fuel pump prices, the latter being in the spotlight at the moment,” he says. Andrew notes there appears to be less vacant retail space in Waipukurau than there has been for some time, with commercial rents stable and the uptake of space a reflection on the improved farm-gate returns experienced for the past few years. Likewise, domestic housing rents have been stable for a number of years, with modest growth over the past 12 months.

Primary production accounts for around 95 percent of CHB’s land use. While the residential sector in New Zealand is in the spotlight at present, Andrew says the rural property market has a dynamic of its own with different drivers. BUSINESS HAWKE’S BAY REPORTS THAT THERE IS A LARGE AREA OF RURAL LAND IN CHB THAT HAS “UNTAPPED POTENTIAL” AND THAT THE DISTRICT COULD BENEFIT FROM “INCREASED EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES. “The CHB lifestyle property market tends to mirror the residential market and has seen a lift in sales volumes and general appreciation in capital values. The sector including large farms has seen a steady number of transactions. New Zealand is at a crossroads of sorts though; with the average age of the New Zealand farmer around 65, succession plans for these properties can be somewhat difficult if ongoing family ownership is desired versus selling on the open market. “There has been a trend to increase the size of farming operations over the past 10 to

Alex Walker with Monique Davidson

15 years, but the capital required along with the element of ‘fairness’ in some family situations has meant that the next generation has opted out as they do not wish to carry large debt burdens. As a result, there has been an increase of company farming operations and syndicated farm ownership.” Business Hawke’s Bay reports that there is a large area of rural land in CHB that has “untapped potential” and that the district could benefit from “increased employment opportunities”.

Andrew agrees that CHB is not thriving but holding its own. “Waipukurau provides a vital service centre to a large farming community. There has been huge uncertainty around the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme (the dam). It is my personal opinion that the dam would have provided a much needed injection for CHB, but I am not sure that particular soap opera is over yet.

“If house prices in Hastings and Napier continue the current upward trend, I think you will see more first homebuyers looking more closely at the CHB towns and commuting. If the dam is ever given a green light, I envisage this would create a quick, above-average level of growth in the short term, levelling out to a moderate level of growth.” With the dam issue now out of its hands, it’s a case of wait and see for CHB.

TWO OF THE LEADING LAW FIRMS IN HAWKE’S BAY HAVE MERGED TO CREATE ONE STRONGER AND MORE EXPERIENCED PRACTICE On January 1 2017 Bramwell Grossman and Bate Hallett merged to form Bramwell Bate Limited. Both firms have significant historical experience in providing legal services in the Hawke’s Bay area. The merger will strengthen their service offerings and enhance client service. To learn more visit






Central Hawke’s Bay all set to thrive WRITER: SOPHIE PRICE

With a brand new council comes a bold new vision that will see Central Hawke’s Bay thrive well into the future. Less than a year into the new triennial and with a drive to understand what their constituents want for the future of the district, the newly elected councillors of CHB ventured out into the community. As part of the annual plan or ‘Thrive’ process, the council held 10 separate meetings in a format where people could discuss their ideas as opposed to the more traditional method of lodging written submissions. Mayor Alex Walker says this method was chosen because there was confusion between public engagement and public consultation. "As a new group of councillors we knew coming in that we had a community that felt a bit disconnected from what council is doing," Alex says. "The traditionally described methods of consultation end up being quite combative and confrontational, which is actually not conducive to solving problems." According to Alex, councillors knew that CHB needed to have plans in place that not only allowed current generations to prosper today but well into the future. "It is a move away from councils doing things for you to councils doing things with you, where good engagement is feeding good decision-making," she says. "It is a subtle shift in the way local democracy could and should be working and that is a really important driver for me."

It seemed to have worked for council, which Alex reports received great feedback from its constituents. "A really positive thing that came out of it was the sense of pride that people have for CHB," she says. "They are really committed and really love everything that we have here, what we stand for and our sense of community." So effective was the engagement approach, Alex says it produced a two-part report that will be used by council as a cornerstone document to guide not only their annual plan but the long-term plan’s budgets and policy frameworks. "It's going to feed into all the key documents that we have and also into the business plan that council operates under," she says. "The next step is council working through the priorities and what the big transformational moves are and what we need to do to make some of these come to life." The first-time mayor admits that one of the things that surprised her was how strong the common themes were that came out of the 10 meetings held in different parts of the

Alex Walker

district, such as connectivity, prosperity and respect for the environment. "I think the amount of consensus there was on what was viewed as important for CHB, it probably shouldn't have surprised us but it did," she said. On the other side of the coin, Alex says that while a strong sense of identity as a district came through in the common themes, each of the smaller communities such as Porangahau and Tikokino have their own clear identity. "So, one of the initiatives that will come out of this is the idea of doing community plans

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for each of our settlement spaces so that they own and drive the way that council works with them," says Alex.






FOR 2015




So how does ‘Thrive’ support local businesses? "Thrive benefits the whole community – schools, families and businesses. It is for everybody," says Alex. "When it comes to business, it is about creating a positive space; what benefits the community will benefit business."






IN 2015

TO JUNE 2016)

What started out as a values-based discussion amongst elected representatives has become a concept embraced by the CHB community. “Thrive turned into a term that clearly encompassed our vision for the district, being able to thrive and grow and be successful," Alex says. "This is not just my vision, it is not just the council's vision, it is the vision of the whole community."





74.8 % 8.5 %



65+ 18.5%

0 – 14 20.7%

25 - 64 50.5%

15 - 24 10.3%








Source: 2015 Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Information correct as at February 2017. GTGHinfo_KCH0217

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Mavis Mullins

– from the shearing shed to the boardroom WRITER: SOPHIE PRICE

do a job, but I learnt so many skills there particularly around communication and understanding people and how you bring people together."

The Bay's own Mavis Mullins has been inducted to New Zealand's Business Hall of Fame, adding to the already long list of her accomplishments in the nation's corporate sector. Hawke's Bay born and bred, the self-described country girl has left a lasting impression on a world she never intended to inhabit.

From wool handling to marrying the ‘goodlooking shearer’ and starting a family, Mavis [eventually] made her way back to university – this time enrolling in a business degree at Massey.

"I have to say ending up where I have wasn't by design," she said. "It has been a bit of a collision of a number of things. They say that timing is the key to everything."

Not only did she complete this degree, she attained her masters and has subsequently spent valuable time at California's Stanford University.

"When I first turned my hand to a higher education, I enrolled in an arts degree at Victoria University, but I didn't last primarily because I met this good-looking shearer."

But none of this wouldn't have happened if she hadn't inherited the family business. "Time spent at Massey University completing my MBA did more than open doors for me in the business world. It opened a lot of windows for in terms of my own selfawareness about what was out there.

So how did Mavis go from the shearing sheds in Dannevirke to the boardrooms of Auckland? Her first job was working for the family business as a wool handler, this was where Mavis got here business grounding, saying "it was honest, real work".

While she may not have ended up in the business world by design, her want to succeed was very much fashioned by life experiences.

"It was long days hot grubby, grimy work working with a group of people tasked to

"As it so often does it comes back to your parents. I had a father who was innovative


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and saw things that no one else could see. He was a shearer and a farmer so he had those big gnarly, rough hands that really exemplified that hard work can push you well ahead. "And then I had my mother, who was the quintessential mum who made sure everybody had food and she was the real mother of old. So there was a whole lot of lessons about the power of a team." And then there were her beloved shearing sheds. "If my parents gave me my grounding, my drive to succeed and initiate change came from my time in the shearing sheds. At the time there was a very low opinion of the work that was done in certain sectors of New Zealand and of the people who worked in them." She said this was a real wake-up call for her. Being a relatively new mum she said she never wanted any of her children, but especially her girls, to feel embarrassed or ashamed of the work they ended up doing in a sector that “butters our bread".

"These workers were handling product that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the economy and at the time they were looked down on without any opportunity to have qualifications or endorsements, to have their work recognised. For me that just wasn’t right. "Everything I have done since has grown from that and today I am still advocating for rural people, so they are not excluded from the conversation that shapes our country.” "If my parents gave me my grounding, my drive to succeed and initiate change came from my time in the shearing sheds. At the time there was a very low opinion of the work that was done in certain sectors of New Zealand and of the people who worked in them." – Mavis Mullins Mavis says she is tested on a daily basis around the boardroom table – challenges that stem from often being the only Maori or the only woman, that she is somehow representative of a whole group of people. "That is just not the way it is. People ask me if I feel under pressure for being the only woman on the board, I say no because at the end of the day we are all people and with each one of us comes a diversity of thought. After decades in the business sector, Mavis now finds herself in the realm of professional directorships.

"Right now I chair the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre in Wairarapa and the Post Government Settlement Entity for the Rangitane o Tamaki nui a Rua Incorporated, which is due for its final reading in Parliament." Mavis has also joined the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union Board, saying yes to this because growing up with the Ranfurly Shield she knows firsthand how a sport such as rugby can benefit the whole community. "I remember when the Magpies united the whole of Hawke's Bay – it didn't matter whether you were from Wairoa, Hastings or Dannevirke – everyone felt a part of it. I think we have lost a little bit of that over the years, and people don't feel a part of it anymore" she said. While boards across New Zealand are clamouring for her experience, she wouldn't have such choice if it was not for her time at telecommunications provider 2degrees. "I was one of the founding members that took the idea of a third mobile network to fruition. I then sat on the board that took it through that whole greenfield to strategy to implementation that was an amazing opportunity. It blew me away how much of an impact we had by just adding to the competitive environment." With her long list of accomplishments including winning the Golden Shears, being recognised with the New Zealand Order of Merit, celebrating 43 years of marriage and being inducted into the NZB Hall of Fame,

Mavis said her success came down to her approach. "I think everybody brings something quite different whether it's to a conversation or a view," she said. "The fact that I am a Maori-Irish-Chinese woman offers a somewhat different point of view, one that I brought to the table in a non-threatening way. "I think I would like to be remembered as someone who was a part of the movement that bought this diversity to the table." With her wealth of knowledge, Mavis offered this advice to anyone starting out in business. "Do something you are really passionate about, do something that you totally love because but it won't bother you taking three steps forward and five steps back," she says. "Put yourself out there into challenging situations and learn to like being uncomfortable. I was often the only Maori or woman in a meeting and would question my being there – but I challenged this paradigm and everyone has been better off for it." To this day Mavis still calls the shearing sheds of her Dannevirke property home. "With all the service stuff I do there is something really grounding about coming back to small town New Zealand," she says. "Where scones and a cuppa are a reality and the people are genuine and friendly. Generations of my family were and still are being raised here. I don't want to be anywhere else to be honest."

We’ve got more tarmac for you to park on Hawke’s Bay Airport is growing and to cater for the growth we’ve added 140 new car parks. Additional car parking is planned with the revenue generated from the price increase set to deliver customers with a higher level of service.

Watch this space for further announcements

For more information visit AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017





Heads in the Cloud, Boots on the Ground WRITER: SOPHIE PRICE Forward thinking has allowed one CHB start-up to move farmers into the 21st century – by keeping their heads in the cloud and their boots on the ground. You wouldn't know that Cloud Farmer took flight from a farm half an hour out of Waipukurau with scant access to the Internet four years ago. Designed by AgRecord, the program has essentially transferred the trusted notebook onto the computer.

was a need for something like Cloud Farmer, what was being used in the application, what wasn't, what was needed and what was wanted.

"Cloud Farmer is a really simple way for farmers to capture, store and share operational data from their farms," says AgRecord managing director Gretchen King.

With a good base program to start from, Gretchen and her team set about addressing other issues with the program.

"Before, the way the majority of farmers captured this information was to write it down in a notebook and then come home and transfer it to the diary. Our program eliminates this last step." While Gretchen may not have invented the program (she and her husband bought it from a friend in 2013), she certainly saw its potential on any farm, anywhere. "A friend of mine Ginny Neal came up with the original program. At the time, Ginny and her husband managed Castlepoint Station in Wairarapa and she designed the program because she was sick of having to chase up staff for time sheets and tallies." So, necessity being the mother of invention, Ginny built the first version of what is now Cloud Farmer. "She built a small version for their farm; it was basically an intranet and they used Wikispaces, and while it was as clunky as clunky, it worked," says Gretchen. "One of the downsides was, however, they had to build it from scratch for every single client." Despite this, Castlepoint Station won a local farming competition, which gave the program some media attention. It was then that business for the program boomed. "Ginny asked if we, myself and my husband Leyton, wanted to buy the program as she didn't have time for it anymore. So we did and we set about making it more designer and user-friendly," says Gretchen. "What Ginny had done for us though through her program was show us that there 26



"That was huge, because often people have a long list of wants, which makes it hard to pick out what their needs are.'

"The biggest challenge was keeping Cloud Farmer simple," she says. "There are other programs out there but they involve really sophisticated software, often beyond what most farmers – who are used to jotting down notes on the back of a cigarette packet – are willing to learn. "Our points of difference are the simplicity of the program and our ability to be able to customise it for each individual business. Those are great strengths to have." After addressing the challenges something new to an old sector can bring, Gretchen knew the next step would be to design a smartphone application. This came to fruition last year with the launch of the Cloud Farmer phone app, which syncs with the original computer program. "Farmers can use it just like they would their notebook, collecting information on the go, with or without Wi-Fi coverage. "With the app, farmers can jot down tallies, staff hours, drench records, log hazards, you name it. It's just as quick as writing it in your trusty old notebook," says Gretchen. "The data from your app syncs back to your main Cloud Farmer desktop system." Thanks to the app, all staff members can have access to the same information, be it diaries, maps or job lists. "Before, the boss would tell you the day's plan as you were heading out with your dogs, all the information would be stored in his head. With Cloud Farmer, all staff members have access to this



information and they can input their own information or file their time sheets and tallies for the day. "So it now becomes about transparency of information and getting everyone involved in the work; in terms of creating a team culture, this is great." Moreover, with Cloud Farmer now available as a smartphone app, Gretchen says the program appeals to a far bigger clientele than the original sheep and beef farmers; now other types of farming business, right through to the one-man bands, are using her product. While the Kings are looking at taking their start-up global (they already have clients as far afield as Scotland), they are taking their time. "We don't want to become victims of our own success," Gretchen says. "We are happy for the moment saturating our own little corner of the market.

Central Hawke’s Bay District is central to good business! Conveniently placed in a central proximity to the greater Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu and Wellington regions, our District offers your business the best of all worlds – markets, lower set up costs and an encouraging Council attitude. Starting up or relocating, doing business in the Central Hawke’s Bay District is central to success. Find out more at: “A place where great things happen"

Central Hawke's Bay

Contact CHBDC for more information on introducing your business to Central Hawke's Bay

"For now, we will take stock of what we have and continually improve and update it so we can provide the best product to our customers." AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017



Farmers Breed Success For Vet Services WRITER: SOPHIE PRICE For longer than most people in the Bay can remember, animal industry stalwart Vet Services Hawke’s Bay (VSHB) has been ensuring all beasts – from sheep to bearded dragons – get the care they need. Over the past seven decades, the business has grown from a one-vet practice in CHB to an incorporated business of five practices located in Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau, Dannevirke and Masterton. "Sixty, seventy years ago you couldn't get a vet down here," says business manager Brendan James. "That was pretty typical for rural areas in New Zealand in the late 40s and 50s, even throughout the 60s and into the 70s. At the time, agriculture science was evolving and vets were only just starting to play a more prominent role in the productivity of farms." However, Brendan says CHB farmers saw the value of a good vet early on, with a group of farmers getting crafty in 1949 and forming the CHB Farmers Veterinary Club, where they pooled their resources together to establish the district's first professional veterinary practice. "The club members collaborated and contracted a vet to come and live here to service the farms in the area," he says. 28



"This was pretty typical of what was happening across New Zealand; farmers had to get creative to get vets into the regional areas."

While it is these points of difference that have served VSHB well, Brendan says the team is well aware that the business can live and die with the seasons.

Thanks to the initiative of a few farmers almost 70 years ago, VSHB is a thriving business today. Incorporated in 1974, it now employs in excess of 50 staff and has plans to expand their Hastings and Waipukurau buildings to better service their clients.

"Thanks to some good rain, the dams are full and farmers are in a position that they do not normally find themselves in in that they are trying to find animals to eat the grass," he says.

Brendan admits that while the business may not have the same problems attracting staff to the district, vets are still in pretty high demand countrywide, with only around 130 graduates coming out of Massey University each year. "These grads are highly sought after," he says. "So, like the farmers’ club before us, we still have to get creative about how we recruit. "One effective way has been to offer scholarships to students; another drawcard for us is that we can offer them time in a mixed animal practice. "These types of clinics are becoming less and less so but it gives graduates an opportunity to develop their general veterinary knowledge before they decide what line of clinical expertise to follow."

"As a consequence, the market is lifting and the sheep and beef guys, the dairy guys and the deer farmers are generally feeling pretty positive at the moment." Brendan explains that if it is a dry season then the number of animals disappear out of the area to be fed elsewhere where there is grass. "We ride the lows and the highs from that point of view, and I am probably oversimplifying it. It is quite a simple business for us on the large animal side, we live and die by their good or bad fortunes." In terms of the small animal side of the business, Brendan admits it is driven by how well the Bay is travelling economically and is well measured at the Hastings clinic. "You may have noticed Hawke's Bay is bursting at the seams in terms of people wanting to move in here," he says.

Vet Sevices, Waipukurau




Beyond this, Brendan believes that what makes his business successful is that the company is owned by the people who work for it every day. "It makes a difference for the clients due to the quality of our staff. We want to make sure that we deliver the best experience for our clients every time because if we don’t, they don’t return. "At the end of the day, we are in a service industry so it doesn't matter how good the seasons are, if you don't deliver good service you won’t have clients coming back."

"Most people have pets and when people have got money, they are prepared to spend money on looking after their pets better and prolonging their life. "It’s interesting seeing the different dynamics of our client base and just how they ride on what is happening economically." Because of this, VSHB has to expand two of its clinics to cater for this demand. "It’s a good problem to have, even if it is a little bit uncomfortable for the guys at the moment because we are really busy and they are working on top of each other. But if we have to create more space for the right things for the right reasons, then it is a good thing to be able to do."

REGISTER NOW Entries are now open for the Final Year of the Staples Rodway Challenge 14th October 2017




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Josh Buckman and Calvin Han


Hawke’s Bay Deer Velvet Goes International WRITER: CATHERINE WEDD

It’s only been two years since Josh Buckman took the reins of the wellknown Hawke’s Bay deer velvet company Gevir but already he is charging ahead, exporting the product to new markets with a unique proposition for natural health seekers. Gevir is now exporting to China and the United States with plans to be in six other countries by the end of the year. “We have a loyal following in New Zealand but the growth potential is in exporting our story and quality products. There is a much bigger customer base abroad and a huge opportunity to tell a unique story. “It takes a lot of work and money to get into these markets but our long-term goal is a bigger business that adds value to deer farmers and the velvet industry. “Deer velvet is one of the only renewable sources of all nine essential amino acids the body needs to grow and repair; it is made up of glucosamine, collagen, Omega 3 and Omega 6, minerals, nutrients and lipids, to name a few. It’s an adaptogen, increasing the body’s ability to withstand stress and ward off exhaustion. The more we can educate our customers about the benefits of our diverse and natural supplement, the better.” Josh and the Gevir team have started exporting their premium supplements to retail markets in China and the United States and plan to be in Canada, Japan and South Korea by the end of the year.




Gevir has been making the deer velvet supplements for nearly 30 years, with premium deer antler velvet being the only ingredient. Josh bought the business two years ago from Shelley and Clint Thomson, who founded the business and had owned Gevir for 26 years. Since then, not only has he entered the export market but he has also diversified the product range, with a soon-to-be launched natural skincare range, and he has also introduced a pet range.

“IT TAKES A LOT OF WORK AND MONEY TO GET INTO THESE MARKETS BUT OUR LONG-TERM GOAL IS A BIGGER BUSINESS THAT ADDS VALUE TO DEER FARMERS AND THE VELVET INDUSTRY." – JOSH BUCKMAN “I have been overwhelmed by the number of Kiwi farmers who have purchased the pet product for their working dogs. We knew the Gevir pet product would be an attractive option for pet dogs, especially older dogs, but we didn’t expect the product to be so popular for working dogs.” Hawke’s Bay farmer Mike Ritsson-Thomas has a 13-year-old heading dog called Thai who tore her Achilles. After the vet tried

several different treatments, none of which worked, Mike decided to start feeding her his Gevir deer velvet tablets. “It was like a miracle, suddenly Thai just came right and she no longer had a busted Achilles. She was back out on the farm with me mustering and easily jumping on and off the bike. It was unbelievable how the deer velvet gave her a new lease of life.” And Thai wasn’t the only ‘miracle’ deer velvet case for the Tikokino sheep and beef farmer. His wife Caroline has a 12-year-old Aussie Terrier called Fergie who started going bald. “She was so bald that her tail poked out like a finger. So, I fed her Gevir deer velvet tablets every day and within a few months she had a thick coat again, she was much more sprightly and back running around the farm.” Mike is a firm believer in the natural product and has been taking the Gevir deer velvet tablets for over 10 years. “As a farmer you get a lot of bashes and bruises. I find the deer velvet helps me heal quickly and I don’t have the aches I had before.” His wife Caroline used to have arthritis in her knee but after taking Gevir for three months, the pain has stopped. “If I stop taking the deer velvet tablets I get aches and pains, so there is a noticeable difference.”



Josh with Caroline and Mike Ritsson-Thomas

Josh was working in a diverse sales and project role with FMG and was also managing his finishing farm near Havelock North when he heard the Thomsons were looking to pass the reins of Gevir on.

“I first discovered deer velvet following several dislocations and surgery from playing rugby. I had seen Gevir for years at rural retailers and remember the old tv ads and gave it a go after my third shoulder reconstruction. When using Gevir following surgery I made an exceptionally speedy recovery, particularly with the reduction in pain and numbness, and was back to work in four weeks. So I am very passionate about the product and believe there is huge potential to educate people on the long-term benefits and improved quality of life with Gevir.”

“My wife and I jumped at the opportunity with Gevir, we were attracted to the natural health and renewable element but also to the health benefits. It is sustainable, it grows every year and the deer don’t have to be killed to produce it. Deer velvet is the fastest growing mammal tissue with more than 300 active components. It is hard not to be excited about the diverse and unique supplement we produce with some of New Zealand’s best deer farmers.” “We are really excited about sharing Gevir with the world and providing our passionate farmers with the added value they deserve.” ATTN14PRO17

Josh with Chinese visitors

Josh first came across deer velvet following multiple shoulder injuries and three reconstruction surgeries, which left him in constant discomfort with numbness and pins and needles.

Caring for your large and small animals right across the Bay With over 300 years vet experience, we’ve got the right products, the right advice and local knowledge to help you in your farming business Talkas to well us forasthe best advice onyour pre-lamb treatments taking care of precious pets. Napier - 210 Taradale Road, 06 843 5308 Hastings - 801 Heretaunga Street, 06 876 7001

Waipukurau - 43 Takapau Road, 06 858 9060 Dannevirke - 193 - 195 High Street, 06 374 7021 AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017





Advisory Services Recruitment & HR Business Administration

Regulatory Risk is Real

Call: 06 871 0450

Regulatory Risk

Is generally defined as having the risk of having the license to operate withdrawn by a regulator, or having conditions applied (retrospectively or prospectively) that adversely impact the economic value of an enterprise. Water quality is certainly one of the hottest topics on the political agenda. With an election in September New Zealand can expect to be exposed to a full range of opinions and potential policies.

If you have investments or are intending to make investments in farmland you need to understand the risk this regulation presents your investment.

Some of these policies may actually force changes to the laws that govern us. The potential imbedded within the policy development to influence the value of this country’s most significant assets is real. Farmland and its associated industry are definitely among this country’s most valuable assets.

Regulation sets the scope for change and potential additional cost on your farming operation. The magnitude or actual consequence of new regulation can be managed operationally. Smart investors are actively investing in operational systems, staff and data that help them manage their risk on a daily basis – the best of them are using this process to refine their farm systems and actually improve asset performance.

There is nothing new about this as we are used to yearly central government budget delivery introducing some new fiscal requirement. This simply reinforces the notion that the only certainty is change itself. Probably the most significant change to policy environment that affects agriculture in this country is the National Policy Statement for Freshwater introduced in 2011. This policy requires all Regional Councils to develop plans to manage water quality in every catchment in the country by 2025.

Regulatory risk is now a very real aspect of property transactions where both buyers and sellers are working through the reality of farming with regulation. Probably the most important aspect of farming within a regulatory environment is the need to verify operational outcomes. Failure to do so will expose a business to potentially unnecessary additional stress, risk, and cost. It is no longer enough to simply describe what you are going to do; you now need to prove that you are not part of the problem.

The few plans that have thus far made it to either notification or into law have been very keenly contested with a range of potential outcomes. Perhaps the only real consistency between the plans is that they all place an extra burden on farming operations. It is the direct influence on farm operations that is the new and potentially onerous implication of policy designed to manage water quality.

To understand this process within any farm business requires a full system analysis from soils and stock to management and operational systems. Within these systems will be hidden potentials that smart operators getting relevant advice will unlock to help them manage a cost-effective pathway though the regulatory environment.

Ian Millner, Brent Paterson and Emma Doran, of RD Advisory Services.

As with most things, the best decisions are made by those who have the best information. The smart operators are those who seek the best information. Rural Directions have the specialist skills, experience and empathy to help you develop and understand how your business can operate safely and profitably within the regulatory environment. Rural Directions Advisory Services bridges the gap between the science behind the resource and the practicality of farming systems, while operating with 100% independence. Our Certified Senior Land Management Advisors have a wealth of knowledge in Farm Environmental Management Planning, Nutrient Budgeting, Land Use Project Planning, Soil and Herbage Testing and Analysing and Soil Mapping. To contact the advisory team email us at

Advisory Services Recruitment & HR Business Administration 32



Call: 06 871 0450



When your conservative portfolio is not so ‘conservative’ Element of risk enters conservative investment portfolios By Tobias Taylor | Spicers Portfolio Management

The word ‘conservative’, particularly when it comes to conservative investment portfolios, usually suggests stable, slow-to-change and steady-asshe-goes, but in these changing times, there are early warning signs that a ‘conservative investment portfolio’ may no longer be the haven that it once was. Most people who don’t have a huge appetite for risk, often because their earnings potential is declining due to age or because they need the income from their investments, will traditionally opt for a conservative investment portfolio. A conservative portfolio may be 75% bonds and cash, and just 25% of so-called riskier growth assets or shares – but the world is a different place from what it was five or ten years ago. We are living in times of unprecedented and historic low-interest rates, not just here in New Zealand – where the Reserve Bank of New Zealand just recently left its official cash rate unchanged at 1.75% – but also in many of the world’s major economies. For example, the Bank of England last year cut interest rates to .25% for the first time in its 322-year history (it has since gone up to .50%). Interest rates likely to rise Essentially this means that cash investments are currently returning next to nothing, which puts pressure on people who rely on their investments for income. Meanwhile, inflationary pressures are increasing here in New Zealand and abroad – recent moderations in inflationary growth, due to a fall in energy prices, are unlikely to be long-term as low unemployment continues to exert upward pressure on wages and, as a consequence, prices. The New Zealand Reserve Bank also needs to keep money flowing through our economy which, as it strengthens, may lead to rising interest rates to balance inflation. On top of this, economists are also warning that we can expect to see higher interest rates due to positive growth outlooks, possibly early or mid-2018 here in New Zealand, while the Federal Reserve in the United States has already increased interest rates twice this year. At the moment, New Zealand’s banks are struggling to find cash to lend because the low-interest rate environment is deterring local investors from cash investments. As a result, local banks are having to source funds overseas, where rising interest rates are in turn making those funds more expensive. Ultimately, this will likely cause our banks to increase interest rates locally to attract ‘cheaper’ money. The upshot is that interest rates are likely to rise and, while this is good for cash investment returns, it’s not so good for the other half of your income portfolio, bonds. Secondary market risks loom for bonds Traditionally part of a portfolio to offer liquidity and flexibility, bonds can be defined as a ‘debt investment’, because when you buy bonds, you are essentially loaning money to an entity like a corporate or government e.g. government bonds. Bonds can comprise around 40% to 75% of some conservative portfolios. When cash starts to outperform bonds, however, the latter ends up getting stuck on third base, resulting in a secondary market risk for investors with a large bond presence in their portfolios.

We are living in times of unprecedented and historic low-interest rates, not just here in New Zealand – where the Reserve Bank of New Zealand just recently left its official cash rate unchanged at 1.75% – but also in many of the world’s major economies. For example, the Bank of England last year cut interest rates to .25% for the first time in its 322-year history (it has since gone up to .50%).

A good analogy for this is to think of your investment portfolio like a rental property. Think of your cash investment returns as the rental returns you would earn from a property. Bonds, on the other hand, are like the capital value of the property, which may decline as interest rates go up. If your bonds are returning 4.5% interest and interest rates rise beyond 4.5%, you can no longer sell those bonds at their full value, (although you can sell at a marked down discount) because cash is worth more. What’s more, you may be stuck with those low performing bonds until they mature years later, for example in 2020. We call this secondary market risk, and it is just such an eventuality that is making your traditionally conservative investment portfolio a riskier proposition than in the past – even for moderately conservative portfolios which consist of 60% income assets and 40% growth assets. In summary, conservative investment portfolios may not be that conservative in a rising interest rate environment. Time to challenge thinking about what's conservative Naturally, everybody’s needs are different, and each investment portfolio should be structured according to your individual goals and needs – based on professional investment advice – but perhaps it is time to challenge yourself with some ‘outside the square’ thinking when it comes to structuring your conservative investment portfolio. It is possible to achieve income and liquidity (traditionally viewed as the domain of bonds) from growth assets without being locked into low-yield returning deposits. Managed funds, for example, offer ways to achieve liquidity as well as solid returns, so long as you are prepared to take a portfolio-wide view of your investments. Tobias Taylor is an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA) with Spicers Portfolio Management. He has more than 15 years’ experience providing financial advice and is based in the Hawkes Bay area. To contact Tobias email Tobias Taylor has a disclosure document that is available on request and is free of charge. The information in this article is of a general nature only and is no substitute for personalised advice. To the extent that any of the above content constitutes financial advice, it is class advice only. If you would like advice that takes into account your particular financial situation or goals, please contact your Financial Adviser. AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017




How Efficient is Too Efficient What’s the cost of efficiency? By Roger Wiffin | Stradegy

Obviously resource management involves the consideration and management of competing interests, or if not ’competing’ certainly ‘different’ interests. That’s the democratic society we live in, and one person’s frustration can be another person’s preferred outcome. It’s the fact we’re different and come from different perspectives that it seems so hard to agree on an approach, and people often question whether others actually understand the perspective they’re coming from. Of course they don’t – but do you understand theirs? This isn’t a new point to raise, and there are all sorts of methods and best practice approaches that can be adopted to raise awareness and balance competing views to arrive upon an outcome, but I’ve been quite taken by the irony that can be seen within our sector and it’s through this lens that a few more other observations can be made. I’m loving the recent ‘feel good’ craze with electric cars. Don’t get me wrong, gradually moving away from fossil fuels isn’t a bad idea, but one could say that we’re only in the position to make electric cars relatively easy because of our supply of electricity, and I recall a lot of opposition to wind turbines and hydro-schemes. I also find it ironic how New Zealand is so keen to tackle climate change even though our efforts may only be a drop in the ocean compared the impact of other countries. With our global citizen hat on – are we focusing our resources in the areas in which we can make the biggest difference? Are we being a good global citizen if we’re not? Even locally I wonder what we’re doing. Hawkes Bay has great potential as a food growing hub. Talking about being a global citizen – we could help feed the world as well as enjoy some great growth, and what I mean by this is more jobs and more people enjoying a greater meaning in life – great for society yes? All we need to do is manage our water to resolve availability issues. Ironically, we may have done the complete opposite. Do we really appreciate the social implications on the communities most affected? I think one of the biggest ironies is this obsession for efficiency. Take efficiency to its 34



logical conclusion and this is unemployment. Perhaps the smartest thing we can do is resist ‘too much’ efficiency. I recall a time when I was in Bali and found it interesting how the resort had a man stopping traffic for you to cross the road. I learnt to cross the road some time ago and thought this was a bit over the top, but then I realized that this person had a job and they had meaning. I would be prepared to have a little more inefficiency in my life if it meant preserving someone’s meaning. You could take this further and suggest the best public policy we could have is to resist ‘too much’ technology. Obviously we don’t want to resist it all, and this is probably the challenge, but if we’re developing technologies that are replacing jobs or slowly leading us away from healthy lifestyles, is that a future we want? Is it actually good for us? What would the world look like with less jobs but more people – and potentially unhealthy people – a world full of massive social challenges that’s what. How does all this relate to resource management, well the RMA speaks of our environmental, economic, cultural and social wellbeing, but it seems that while people have pretty strong views on other people’s practices or ideas, and whether there’s any elements of irony or not, the social part of the equation seems to have dropped out,

and it seems that we’re at risk of beginning to mess with the very basics of our social structures. Take the primary sector, this is a delicate market, and while society could load up the responsibility on this sector to enhance our environment, could one of the implications be robots to pick our fruit rather than paying salaries due to increased operational costs? Forget thinking the implication maybe asking society to pay a few more cents per apple, technology like this probably isn’t that far away and the more likely implication is massive jobs cuts in the sector. What impact would this have on society? The point here is that we need to be very careful, and very aware of the trajectories on which we’re setting our society when developing approaches around resource management or deciding on ideas, particularly when our technological advances have the potential to manifest as a foe rather than a friend. Roger Wiffin is a full member of the New Zealand Planning Institute and a Principle Planner and Director with Stradegy. Email Roger at roger@stradegy. Stradegy provide expert services in the field of Planning and work closely to coordinate across a range of supporting consultant disciplines across the region.


Under Attack from Cyber Crime Expect more cyber-attacks in the future. By Simon Fletcher | Spark Business Hub

(This article was written prior to the latest global cyber attack).

WannaCry, the recent global cyber-attack highlighted the threat our businesses face from the online world. This attack wasn’t hugely successful when putting into context of the number of devices it infected worldwide, but it did generate a discussion on what the future holds for future threats. The ease of which this threat was curtailed may not be the same going forward unless we invest time and resource into protecting the world from future attacks. In order to do this the manufacturers and businesses that operate in this space will need additional support, which may or may not be through government regulation. We have an expectation that computers must be inexpensive and full of software, this though is at the expense of security and reliability. So it’s common for the machines we use to have vulnerabilities that attackers find easy to exploit and as we look at the number of connected devices growing exponentially the problem could be significant for some businesses unless a solution is found to address the issue. Globally cyber security is a 1 Trillion dollar industry and growing. This year alone JP Morgan Chase will spend $500 million US on cyber security. Here at home the NZ government estimates cybercrime cost New Zealand $257 million last year. If we take a step back and define what cybercrime is then we can look at the issue from a holistic perspective. Cyber-crime is any crime that takes place using a connected device via a network of other connected devices. This then is a broad brush of crimes that include all that we generally think of when thinking cybercrime, DoS attacks, Phishing, Trojans, Spyware, brute force attack etc. So who is doing this and why are they doing it? It’s a complex question. Often it can be easy to do and some of the criminals do it purely for the thrill and kudos they receive. When it comes to the more organised criminals it isn’t so clear cut. Some is done for profit, but other attacks are done to cripple organisations and governments.

I can’t help thinking back to the Y2K problem at the turn of the century. We didn’t know what could happen because we didn’t know what was connected to what and whether this had the capacity to error and crash some system. What we do know for sure is the attacks will not stop while we continue to produce software that has vulnerabilities and still use weak passwords (the most common password is still 123456). The biggest concern is identifying where these risks are, what the impact might be and how far reaching. If we take the growth of connected devices, it seems clear the ability for a massive global attack is going to occur unless there is some action by governments and manufacturers to address vulnerabilities quicker than we do today. In 99% of known attacks, security and IT professionals would have been aware of the vulnerability for at least a year. What we can do in our own businesses is to address what we have control over. Making sure you are updating your system is obvious and has been talked about a lot. Another thing we can do is tighten up on passwords, we are just to blasé.

Iris scanners are already imbedded in the higher end smartphones and this will continue to become better with each new release. Many companies are now employing a dual authentication process, like It can be profitable, while WannaCry netted only $100k it’s all profit. Gmail and Yahoo has started to push notifications out so you don’t When looking at the opportunity for these hackers the internet has need a password to access email. given them access to billions of people so that even a scatter gun But I don’t think manufacturers are the ones who can fix the problem. approach can net return. Cryptocurrencies have also made it a little In the end the solution is a multilevel approach from manufacturers, easier to hide the identity of the hacker, although not completely. governments and consumers. If we continue with low cost devices The future looks quite bleak in relation to being able to stop this so and low cost deployment we will continue to experience attacks that the current investment is likely to continue to rise until we address easy to do but become increasingly harder to isolate for the billions some of the questions the future will pose. The internet is no longer of connected device. a web that we connect to. Instead it’s a computerised, networked and The question I would leave you with is if you can address the one interconnected world that we live in. A world where we will have thing in your business what would that be? billions of devices connected and networked to make life easier. And here lays the greatest risk.

Simon Fletcher is the owner of the local Spark Business Hub and has over 20 years’ experience in the Utilities and communications industries. Email Simon at AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017





EIT Appoints Youngest Associate Professor Kathryn MacCallum breaks the mould with her recent appointment as an associate professor in EIT’s School of Computing. At 35, she is EIT’s youngest associate professor. Programme coordinator for the Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology, she is also a high-achieving academic in the predominantly male world of information technology. Kathryn is driven by twin passions – educational technology and her interest in seeing it used effectively in the teaching environment. Born and raised in Johannesburg, she moved to New Zealand with her family when she finished high school. After gaining a Bachelor of Business Studies, she progressed to honours and then a PhD in information systems. Invited to tutor at Massey University in Auckland towards the end of her undergraduate study, she realised she enjoyed teaching more than her job in web development. “I like having discussions with students and what they bring to the mix,” she says. “Teaching also allowed me to explore different things that I like and am interested in.”


Kathryn was advised that if she wanted to be a lecturer, she should ideally gain a PhD. “So I didn’t start my doctorate with the idea of doing research but as a means of heading myself into teaching. I then realised I liked the research aspect too.” Her PhD thesis investigating the adoption of mobile technology in tertiary education attracted the interest of the media and she appeared on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme and was interviewed by radio and newspaper journalists. Since then she has looked at the adoption of mobile technology at all levels of education – not as a novelty, she says, but as a means of engaging students. “It becomes a tool for teaching. The education sector is still grappling with using it effectively in teaching.” Kathryn points to robotics classes for Hawke’s Bay Schools Trades Academy students at EIT as a good example of the effective use of technology in teaching. “It engages the students while they are learning programming. And they are using technology to create things.” Kathryn says a great deal of work has also been undertaken with primary school pupils using iPads.

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IT specialist Kathryn MacCallum. Behind her is a poster created by a student for an industry-based learning project.

“The technology isn’t replacing traditional learning in reading, writing and arithmetic, it adds to it. You can do more by using technology – it brings the kids in and they can create their own learning.” Children have no fear factor when it comes to technology, she says, and that includes her own youngsters, Liam, aged five, and threeyear-old Dylan. An enthusiastic traveller, Kathryn is looking forward to teaching a three-week block course at the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences in southern Germany later this year. EIT and the university have a close relationship, with teaching staff secondments and international student exchanges centred on the computing and business schools. Kathryn moved from Auckland seven years ago to take up a lecturing position at EIT. “Hawke’s Bay gives me everything I want,” she enthuses. “There’s the lifestyle, with my family close, I have a really good job doing research work and with the title to showcase that.”


Don't downplay the power of the Pen By Kimberly McKay | BDO Central

We talk about the pen being mightier than the sword. Of course these days it wouldn’t be a pen it would be a keyboard, but it’s the same notion of the power of the written word. We in HR are sometimes accused of being bureaucratic pen-pushers, smothering people in layers of agreements, letters, forms and file notes. Naturally we have embraced technology and much of this red tape is now on-line; but it’s still there. We can just produce more, faster, with very attractive graphics and whizz-bang hyperlinks and whip it through cyber space to lots of people simultaneously, clogging up in boxes with gay abandon and polluting the clouds with cyber junk. Luckily New Zealand has the long white cloud to store all this stuff. I accept that we can get overly pedantic about HR record keeping but there is method in this madness. If you are too far along the continuum towards no records, and many small employers are, you leave yourself very exposed to unpleasant consequences such as: • Fines for breaches of legislation • Wage arrears claims • Personal grievances

It is concerning to still hear of employers that don’t have written employment agreements at all, or don’t have them for certain groups of staff such as casual or seasonal workers. This is the most basic legal requirement and the foundation of the employment relationship. Not only does it provide legal compliance but protects both parties by confirming the terms you have agreed to work by. If you have agreements in place it is important to review these regularly to ensure you keep pace with legislative change and minimum entitlements. The other important area of compliance is ensuring you keep thorough wage and time records which are sufficient to confirm that you are meeting minimum requirements, both in relation to wages and also holiday entitlements. Government agencies do enforce these requirements and particularly regions like Hawke’s Bay with heavy reliance on seasonal

workers can be subject to scrutiny from IRD, MBIE and NZ Immigration. If you have a dispute, a claim or an audit you will need to prove your version of the facts with hard evidence – usually documents. This is the moment when you really wish you had done the dreaded paperwork. For small employers this may seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Get your basic essentials sorted which are written employment agreements for all employees and adequate payroll records. Then when stuff happens with staff, as it inevitably will, write it down: • Record any changes to terms of employment such as hours, pay, duties • Keep notes of discussions about performance • Document disciplinary action such as warnings • Record discussions about restructuring and changes to roles • Plus keep your documentation up to date with changes in legislation

When an issue arises, if you are not able to confirm that things were discussed, or agreed, and that the correct process was followed you are vulnerable and it can be costly.

In small teams there is generally less formality as you would expect, and most issues are dealt with in person. This is ideal for reaching understanding and agreement but not helpful when down the track the details need to be confirmed. Recollections can be inaccurate and things can be reinterpreted through a different lens based on subsequent events. A representative or support person can put a very different spin on discussions and agreements that both parties were quite happy with at the time. Depending on the situation, your records don’t necessarily have to be formal letters – an email, a diary note, a note in an app or on-line appraisal system for example, are equally valid. These don’t have to be lengthy and they can be written in plain language rather than legal technicalities. However, if you are unsure or there is an element of risk involved take advice about the records you need to have in place. Kimberly McKay is a Human Resource Consultant with BDO Central (NI). She has extensive experience assisting both small and large employers with all aspects of their HR needs. BDO Central are Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, with offices in Napier and Palmerston North. BDO is able to support clients with a comprehensive suite of accounting, information systems and HR services. The firm is an independent member of BDO New Zealand and part of the global BDO network. AUGUST - NOVEMBER 2017



PRO Legal

New Bill to manage Meth contamination By Edward Bostock | Bramwell Bate Lawyers

On 23 May 2017, the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No. 2) was introduced to Parliament. This Bill proposes amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act and is significant as it seeks to, as stated by Nick Smith MP who introduced the Bill, to “ensure our tenancy laws better manage methamphetamine contamination, liability for careless damage and the tenancy of unsuitable properties”. We will have to wait to see if the Bill is passed into law in its current form, with amendments or not at all however despite its early stage the potential changes are worth discussing. Methamphetamine

The Bill defines “methamphetaminecontamination” as “in relation to premises, means that methamphetamine is present in any part of the premises at a level above any prescribed maximum acceptable level”. The Bill also allows the government to regulate, among other things, as to what will be the “maximum acceptable level of methamphetamine for premises”. Comments from Nick Smith, MP indicate that the new standard introduced in the past few weeks by Standards New Zealand, “Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine contaminated premises” will be where the prescribed “maximum acceptable level” will be found. Significantly this Standard determines that a property will be considered contaminated if it has methamphetamine present at levels exceeding 1.5µg/100 cm2 – this is an increase from the previous limit of 0.5µg/100 cm2. The Bill also provides that a Landlord: • must not rent a property if they know that the premises are “methamphetaminecontaminated” or has not been “decontaminated in accordance with the prescribed decontamination process”.

Where tests for methamphetamine have been carried out and it has been established that the property is “methamphetaminecontaminated” then: • If the tenant isn’t responsible rent ceases to be payable; • The landlord can terminate the tenancy on “not less than 7 days” notice; • The tenant can terminate the tenancy on “not less than 2 days’ notice”. Tenant’s Liability for Damage

The Court of Appeal held, in Gikker & Rouse v Osaki & Anor {2016] NZCA 130, that a tenant is not financially liable for damage to a rental property caused accidentally or negligently and that a tenant will have the benefit of the Landlord’s insurance. Osaki highlights the importance of insurance for Landlords and that the insurance cover is sufficient to ensure that it isn’t necessary to claim against a Tenant personally. The Bill seeks to address the impact of Osaki. A general principle of the Bill is that the tenant is not liable for damage however a tenant will not be “excused from liability” if

• has a right to enter the premises to test for methamphetamine at any time between 8am and 7pm after giving the tenant at least 48 hours’ notice (but not more than 14 days’ notice) of the intended entry and the reason for it.

• The damage was intentional;

• must give the tenant notice of the results of the testing for methamphetamine within 7 days of receiving the results.

• The damage would have been covered by insurance save for an act or omission by the tenant.




• The damage was the result of an act or omission by the tenant and the act or omission “occurred on or about the premises and constitutes an imprisonable offence”;

Notwithstanding this a tenant will also be liable for damage caused by “a careless act of omission” however any such liability will be limited to either the landlord’s insurance excess or four weeks rent, whichever is the lower. Unlawful residential premises

The Bill defines “unlawful residential premises” as residential premises that are used for occupation as a residence but it “cannot lawfully be occupied for residential purposes by that person” and where the “landlord’s failure to comply” with its obligations “has caused the occupation by that person to be unlawful or has contributed to that unlawful occupation”. If passed the Bill will give the Tenancy Tribunal full jurisdiction over “unlawful residential premises” thereby giving the Tenancy Tribunal specific enforcement powers for “unlawful residential premises” such as the power to order that the tenant be refunded for rent paid for the whole period that the property was unlawfully used as a residential premises. The Bill must pass through a number of stages prior to receiving royal assent and passing into law so we will keep an eye on its progress, as the changes intended are potentially significant.

Edward Bostock is a Director at Bramwell Bate Lawyers in Hastings. To contact Edward, email



Valuing Lives New legislation sets timeline for fixing earthquake prone buildings By Paul Harvey | Williams’ Harvey Registered Valuers

It’s an acknowledged fact that New Zealand is prone to seismic activity and ultimately ensuring the safety of people is our priority and our buildings need to be safe for occupants and users alike. As from July 1, 2017 the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect and the legislation affects owners of earthquake-prone buildings, territorial authorities (TAs), engineers, other building professionals and building users. The legislation comes as a response to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission and a comprehensive review undertaken by the Government, where problems were identified with the systems for managing earthquake-prone buildings (EPB) under the Building Act 2004, such as too much variability in local practice, poor information about the number and specific location of earthquake-prone buildings across the country, and a lack of central government guidance.

What is a Priority Building?

A specific definition of what a priority building is has been included. These will be buildings in areas of medium or high seismic risk such as hospitals and educational facilities (such as schools occupied by more than 20 people), or buildings where unreinforced masonry could fall on to busy thoroughfares in an earthquake, e.g. parapets. Priority buildings have shorter deadlines for completing seismic work. For the purposes of identifying priority buildings where masonry may fall on to busy thoroughfares, territorial authorities will be required to consult with their local communities and go through the special consultative procedure. Owners and TAs – who is responsible for what?

Identification of an EPB and what it means

The system avoids a “one-size-fits-all” approach by clarifying the definition of an earthquake-prone building by prioritising geographical areas, buildings and parts of buildings which have the greatest risk. As a result, New Zealand will be categorised into three areas of low, medium, and high seismic hazard areas – with Hawke’s Bay being categorised as ‘high’. National timeframes for territorial authorities to identify earthquake-prone buildings and deadlines for building owners to remediate earthquake-prone buildings will be set relative to their location and level of seismic risk. The seismic risk for an area will affect the deadline for identifying, reporting progress, and remediating. Of note, the threshold for defining an EPB remains largely unchanged at less than 34% of the new building standard.

In Summary:

• The system is consistent across the country and focuses on the most vulnerable buildings in terms of peoples’ safety. • It categorises New Zealand into three seismic risk areas and sets timeframes for identifying and acting to strengthen or remove earthquake-prone buildings. • It provides more information for people using buildings such as nationally consistent EPB notices with ratings for earthquakeprone buildings and a public earthquake-prone buildings register (the EPB register).

Many structures, such as standard dwellings, farm buildings, wharves and bridges, are excluded because it would be impractical and costly to apply an EPB assessment to all buildings. Furthermore, hostels, boarding houses, specialised accommodation of two storeys or more, and residential buildings of two storeys or more that contain three or more household units, are subject to the EPB legislation. If an owner does not complete the seismic work within the deadline, or is not proceeding with reasonable speed considering the deadline, the territorial authority can apply for a court order to carry out the seismic work on the building. The costs will be recoverable from the owner of the building.

Experience has shown that the failure of earthquake-prone buildings, or parts endangers lives. Thirty-nine people lost their lives when unreinforced masonry buildings failed during the Christchurch earthquake in 2011. Earthquake risk reduction is a priority in New Zealand and this legislation reflects the progressive approach to improving standards for new buildings and earthquake-resistant design since design standards for buildings were first introduced into New Zealand in 1935, following the Napier earthquake.

Paul Harvey is the Director of Williams’ Harvey Registered Valuers. He has a diverse and broad knowledge of the HB property market. To contact Paul, email:






Real-time accounting software helps streamline businesses By Jess Radich | Information Systems and Business Manager BDO Central (NI)

Real time accounting software and other business applications can help run your business and make your life a whole lot easier. The overwhelming increase in industry specific add on applications which integrate with accounting software enables business owners to create their own customised accounting platform. Here are some key apps to consider in order to streamline your entire hospitality operation; Labour costs Staff rostering can be a nightmare. Dealing with casual employees and ensuring permanent staff have enough hours can be time consuming. Cloud based payroll software that also deals with staff management allows rosters to be created quickly. Viewing your weekly roster in real time as well as dollars enables you to accurately forecast for the week ahead. Many apps even allow you to view your labour cost at any point during the day from your smart device via timesheets. Having staff clock in and out ensures that you pay them for the hours they are actually working and allows managers to make judgement calls at any given time on whether there are too many or too little staff on the floor. FlexiTime does all of the above. The ‘Shift’ functionality allows staff to clock in and out by taking a ‘selfie’ on a tablet. Not only does this create a fun collection of snaps but ensures staff are paid accurately. The timesheets then create the payruns which sync with the likes of Xero and MYOB – reducing time consuming and errorprone data entry. Reports can be viewed to show actual vs rostered labour costs as well as graphs to identify trends. Reporting Reporting add-ons can present your KPIs in a visual and easy to understand way. The Futrli app can serve up all of the crucial




metrics to help your business thrive. Financial data is automatically pulled into the app from accounting software allowing you to view your business financials in beautiful and easy to understand real time graphs and tables. Furtrli also allows you to create your own KPIs, benchmarks and forecasts. You can break down revenue streams, calculate food and beverage gross profit percentages, wages to sales ratios and average spend per head and more. This kind of visibility can help you plan for the future and reduce risk in order to grow your business. Giving staff members access to certain reports can incentivise them in setting and achieving their targets both for themselves and the company.


A Reliable point of sale (POS) system is vital for operations in the hospitality industry. You will want an easy to use system that ensures minimal downtime. A good system can do more than just process transactions. Being able to track sales, manage inventory, automate ordering, and get the pricing right are just some of the benefits of a good POS system. Again, integration with your accounting software is key so that you can identify where you are making a profit and where you may need to re-evaluate. The Vend app provides powerful back-office tools that will provide you with new insights into every aspect of your business, allowing you to streamline your processes and align your staff and product supplies with demand. The front end is easy to use and works on any device and if your business needs to operate off site, you can process sales from a tablet offline which then automatically syncs this data when you are back online.

Data entry Even though we live in a tech savvy world, there still seems to be an awful lot of paper. Bills can quickly pile up, while disgruntled suppliers wait in the wings. A lot of business owners take care of this themselves, when in actual fact it is far more efficient and cost effective to pay someone else to take care of it. Being the face of your business will pay off far more than sitting in the back office mulling over accounts payable data. An easy to way to get all your invoices processed quickly is by using the app Receipt Bank. Email, take a photo or scan in an invoice or receipt into the software and Receipt Bank does the rest. Its technology extracts all relevant data from the document and automatically enters the key components into your chosen accounting software along with the source document electronically attached. All businesses today should be utilising the wide range of information systems business solutions available to them. The age old adage of ‘stick to what you know’ rings true in these situations. Apps such as FlexiTime, Futrli, Vend and Receipt Bank ensure that you work smarter, not harder in your business.

Jess Radich is the Information Systems and Business Manager with BDO Central (NI). She has extensive experience assisting both small and medium sized entities with a wide range of Information Systems and advisory services. BDO Central are Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, with offices in Napier and Palmerston North. BDO is able to support clients with a comprehensive suite of accounting, information systems and HR services. The firm is an independent member of BDO New Zealand and part of the global BDO network.

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