The Profit - Summer 2023

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Insights from: Councils Government Technology Business Airport Port Tourism
HBOutlook 23


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EDITORIAL - Damon Harvey -

2023 – Keep Calm and Carry on

I’m not sure about you but I want to move on and focus on the positives, not negatives or divisive issues that I believe have been accentuated by media.

Yes – The Profit is a media outlet but our mandate (don’t like that word at the mo either) has been to promote the region’s economic vibrancy, showcase local businesses and business people and provide valued advice from a range of business experts.

With 49 issues under our belt I think we’ve done a pretty good job and can look forward to cracking our 50th issue in March/ April.

Unfortunately the last two years have been marred by COVID19, firstly the uncertainty of the impact on the health system and to businesses. The government stepped in to support businesses with a range of funding support and then a programme of COVID recovery projects, of which our region gained greatly from.

We can look at COVID as a negative, but the positives that came out of it were the regional aquatic centre, a new indoor sport centre, major roading and street enhancement programmes, an increase in workers for the RSE scheme and many housing projects across the region.

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

CONTRIBUTORS: Danny Blair, Heather Hallam, Tom Hartley, Paul Harvey, William Horvath, Andrea Stevenson, Christine Symes, Tobias Taylor, Neil Wagstaff, Roger Wiffin

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PHOTOGRAPHY: Damon Harvey, Hastings District Council

DESIGN: Stephanie Drew




Now we are in 2023 we are being told that inflation has had an impact and that we will head into a recession. The last was in 2008.

As it stands we couldn’t carry on too much longer with the constant increase in food, building materials, fuel and labour. As always something has got to give.

In this issue of The Profit, we have gone to a mix of organisations to get their views on what the outlook is for them in 2023 and the region’s economy.

All acknowledge that 2023 will be a difficult year but they also remain optimistic that two years at the top of the economic statistics in New Zealand, continued local and central government stimulus in major build projects, we are in a better position than other regions.

Also in this issue we farewell Unison chief executive Ken Sutherland after 21 years in charge, catch up with new Ngati Kahungunu chair Bayden Barber and new Napier Port chair Blair O’Keeffe. There’s also an inspiring and against the odds story about Shaleah Lawrence, the winner of Innovate HB. Shaleah has had a tough upbringing marred by tragedy but she has the business world at her feet with her natural skincare range. As always enjoy the read.

THE PROFIT JANUARY-MARCH 2023 GET MAXIMUM EXPOSURE ADVERTISE IN THE PROFIT - 021 2886 772 THE PROFIT is independently owned by Attn! Marketing PR and is published four times a year. Copyright ©2012: ATTN! Marketing PR
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Winner Shaleah Lawrence with Innovate HB judges – Rachel Cahill, senior partner at BNZ, Luke Irving, Fingermark, and Rob Burnham, Group Design & Engineering Head, Furnware.


24-36 HBOutlook23






Pages 24-36 Pages 10-11 Pages 8-9 Pages 16-19
8-9 Unison’s Ken Sutherland retires 10-11 Bayden Barber – born to lead 14-15 Port leadership change 16-19 Tragedy to entrepreneurial success 22-23 Region joins immigration fellowship
21 Bayleys Real Estate 38-39 Vet Services
40 PRO Commercial Property by Danny Blair 41 PRO HR by Andrea Stevenson/Kerry Tattersalll 42 PRO Wellbeing by Neil Wagstaff 43 PRO Legal by Christine Symes 44 PRO Property by Paul Harvey 45 PRO Business by Michael Nes 46 PRO Invest by Tobias Taylor 47 PRO Tech by Dr Thomas Hartley 48 PRO Risk by William Horvath
Pro HB
– Kurt Sandtmann
CREATEUS ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNERS & CONSULTANTS JANUARY-MARCH 2023 INSPIRING BUSINESS IN HAWKE'S BAY 2010-2023 HBOutlook23 Insights from: Councils Government Technology Business Airport Port Tourism 3

Giant ask to protect and enhance Te Mata Park

Te Mata Park Trust has launched its Ngā Tīpuna Masterplan strategy and endowment fund with the aim of raising $20 million.

Ngā Tīpuna: Our Ancestors, Our Maunga, Our Journey, lays out a strategic vision to protect and enhance Hawke’s Bay’s most iconic land mass for future generations.

The strategy formalises the Park’s objectives and principles and sets out key projects over the next 50 years. They include a 50-year native restoration planting plan, infrastructure strategies, and enhancing educational resources.

Mike Devonshire, Chair of Te Mata Park Trust, said, “Ngā Tīpuna sets the direction for Te Mata Park Trust, providing a framework for us to achieve our objectives, aid decision making, and manage a coordinated programme of works.”

Alongside the new strategy, the Trust launched the Ngā Tīpuna Fund, an endowment fund managed by Hawke’s Bay Foundation.

Te Mata Park’s current funding model leaves a significant annual shortfall. Support from Te Mata Park’s valued key stakeholders the Hastings District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council covers 60% of the Park’s annual operating costs. Every year the Trust must search for the remaining 40% to operate, as well as source additional funding to run the myriad of projects needed to enhance and protect the Park.  Donations to the Ngā Tīpuna Fund can be made via Te Mata Park’s website,

High end real estate agency establishes

A specialist estate agency focused solely on marketing and negotiating the sale of unique, high-value homes, Oliver Road was founded in Bay of Plenty by Cam Winter.

Over the past five years, the firm has established a formidable track record and been responsible for many of the region’s most notable sales.

Working exclusively in the top end of the market and representing only a select few properties at any given time, Oliver Road is known for delivering a world-class service that includes valuation, premarket improvements, luxury furnishings, high-impact

exposure across national and international markets, and strong negotiation in favour of its clients.

Transacting a total of $280m in property sales and representing an ever-growing list of astute clients including National Party’s Simon Bridges, Tainui & Ngāi Tahu Holdings’ Mike Pohio, AC/DC’s Phil Rudd and best-selling author Chelsea Winter, Oliver Road is now proud to announce the appointment of experienced local real estate professional Nic Goodman as Sales Director of its new Hawke’s Bay branch.

Nic Goodman

New serviced calls to Port

Napier Port has announced the commencement of a new weekly service calling to Napier Port this year. The NZE service, from T.S. Lines, will be the port’s first direct service to China.

Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson was very pleased to welcome the new service to Napier after a big year of strategic successes, and noted the direct service to and from China was great news for the region’s Hawkes Bay importers and exporters.

“Our teams have put in a lot of hard work throughout the last year creating value and growth opportunities for customers, and it’s great to see this come to fruition.

Napier Port is a gateway to a thriving region that offers highvalue, in-demand cargo.

Key appointments

Jason Larkin has joined Unison Network’s Executive Management Team as the network’s new Group Manager, Commercial and Centralines.

Jason has been with Unison for 14 years, most recently as the Commercial Manager at Unison, in addition to General Manager of Centrallines.

He holds a a Bachelor of Engineering – Chemical and Materials degree and a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies –Management.

Previously he worked for Heineken in New Zealand and the Netherlands in a variety of technical and commercial roles. In his new role Jason will continue to focus on maintaining momentum for the delivery of Unison’s major commercial projects, and gaining a deeper understanding of customer needs to prepare the business for the decarbonisation challenge ahead. He will also continue to oversee the management of Centralines.


He replaces long standing chief executive Jock McIntosh, who has been at the helm of the Regional Sports Park Trust since 2010. Ryan will have a dual role over the next 6-8 months, continuing his GM position with Sport Hawke’s Bay.

Regional Sports Park Trust (RSPT) chair Tania Kerr said Ryan’s appointment is a temporary replacement while a review is completed on the future governance and management

Hawke’s Bay General Manager Ryan Hambleton is the interim chief executive at Mitre 10 Park. Jason Larkin
check out social pinpoint, the new way to have your say, search: #kotahi What matters most to you about our environment? Let’s talk 5
Ryan Hambleton

Sandtmann more than an Ad man

Kurt Sandtmann is the kind of guy you’d like to see win Celebrity Treasure Island. He’s resourceful, determined, driven and outdoorsy. He’s also people focussed, funny, and easy to chat to. We sat down recently to chat with Kurt about buying and managing Hawke’s Bay based Marketing Agency Tracta, and how he manages his workload to make sure he doesn’t miss the good surfing days.

So Kurt, tell us a bit about Tracta, what is it?

A - There’s a lot of ways to describe what Tracta does, basically we are a Marketing Growth Agency. We specialise in Customer Strategy, Marketing, Digital, and Communications to help Agribusinesses grow and sustain a competitive advantage. I started working in the company in 2015 and in 2021 the opportunity came up to purchase it. It’s been a fun but wild ride!

How have you found your transition into an Owner Manager position?

Becoming an Owner Manager can be one of the hardest, yet rewarding positions you can ever have. The day you become an Owner Manager is the day you put a mirror up and see what you were like as an employee. It can be pretty confronting. There’s a huge realisation moment there where you reflect on


previous roles, managers you’ve liked, and managers who’ve taught you how not to lead. I have however thoroughly enjoyed the transition and learned a lot about myself, management and leadership along the way.

What’s your professional background before Tracta?

I studied a commerce degree at University of Victoria in Wellington. I was working in hospitality to pay the bills, which led me to form a hospitality venture straight out of university. Through hospitality I met a few heavy hitters in the film industry so I then had a few fun years working on The Hobbit trilogy for Peter Jacksons production company, 3Foot7. I moved on to client-side marketing roles for a few years and before deciding to sell the hospitality business and complete my Masters degree. Since graduating I’ve worked in marketing agencies –almost 10 years now.

How would you describe yourself as a leader?

I’d call myself a democratic leader. I’m a big believer in the ‘Radical Candor’ leadership framework and like to create a candid but collaborative work environment. I want the people around me to be able to tell me when I’m off track, just as much as I tell them . We run a very flat management structure at Tracta, there’s no egos, we place a lot of trust in our staff and ensure they have opportunities to contribute to our future direction. This works well for our team and our business.

Do you have any advice for 20 year old Kurt?

Plenty! Firstly to enjoy the ride more. Business is an infinite game and we’re not great in New Zealand at celebrating wins along the way. Our humble nature does sometimes put us at risk of thinking we are never as successful as we should be and we need to be better. SME owners in particular need to be careful not to let this lead to them burning out.

Secondly I wish I recognised that the path to success doesn’t always go a certain way. I wish I trusted my gut, put my neck out more and didn’t let people keep me on the beaten path so much. If I’d known then what I know now about how to use mess-ups as learnings I would have taken more risks.

I recently did a course with The Icehouse which really helped to cement this for me.

Tell us more about The Icehouse?

I can’t rate it more highly. It just a wonderfully practical way of learning how to form a solid business path, and how to actually put ideas into motion. The biggest benefit of the Icehouse is also the people you meet throughout the course. Many of them are in similar positions and facing similar challenges. For SME owners in particular it’s a great opportunity to form a lifelong support network that will set you up for success. My staff have definitely benefitted from what I learned, at the centre of everything we do now is people. If I can keep my staff happy, they can produce excellent results for our clients, keeping them happy. It’s not always easy, or simple but it always works.

What are the best and worst parts of being your own boss?

The Worst? The continual juggling the business, you in the business and your personal life – the mental pressure particularly can be immense. Most SME owners work in the business and on it simultaneously and this can get challenging. I laugh nowadays when people tell me that they want to be their own boss, many end up going back to employment.

The Best? The real satisfaction for watching people grow, giving people a platform from which to succeed. The rush – you’re only as good as your last job, so while you try and harness the energy you get from a big win for a client, maintaining that is where you really start to win. This far outweighs the negatives for me.

How does the future look for Tracta and you?

Yeah it’s a funny question isn’t it. I don’t think anyone has the ability to predict much anymore. What I do know is that we’re pumped. We’ve just had six months of unprecedented growth. We’ve done some incredible work this year, we’re at the moment onboarding five new staff and it feels like we are hitting the stage internationally where people come to us if they need to compete in the Australasian agribusiness market. We have big international clients pop into our inbox. It’s great to know our reputation is spreading and I think if we continue the way we are going, then we’ll be in a really strong position to deliver great work for our clients no matter what the future holds.


Power change for Unison

Ken Sutherland looks back at 21 years in charge

After 21 years leading the charge at Unison, Ken Sutherland is stepping down.

As Ken looks to flick the switch off as chief executive of one of Hawke’s Bay’s largest companies, he took time out to reflect on what has been an incredibly successful tenure, building the community-owned business from a turnover of $33 million in 2002 to a turnover of $314 million in 2021/2022.

Ken initially planned to continue in the role until the company’s centenary celebrations in 2024 but has opted to call it a day after the next annual general meeting in July 2023.

Unison started as the Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board in 1924 and up until the early 2000s, the company was an electricity retailer as well as the network service provider.

When Ken came on board in 2002, the company was reinventing itself and starting to look for new ways of growth, following the government-regulated change that one company could not distribute and retail electricity.

“The company was quite small back then, having just gone through the separation of retail and network. We had a small workforce that did faults repair, and we had contractors on the network providing capital construction for the business.”

The growth of the business commenced with being awarded a management service contract of Central Hawke’s Bay lines company Centralines Limited in October 2002, quickly followed by acquiring the Taupo and Rotorua electricity distribution assets of United Networks Limited and Vector Limited. The expansion out of Hawke’s Bay led to a change of name to Unison Networks Limited (trading as Unison) in 2003, becoming the fourth-largest electricity lines company in New Zealand.

“I think the board got me in to grow the business, and I had only just got my feet under the desk when the opportunity came about with Taupo and Rotorua, and

“Acquiring businesses has also developed and grown our talent and I take a lot of pride in the people we have working at Unison. I think we have a brilliant team and what distinguishes us from other lines businesses is actually our people, not the assets, and how we go about running the business.”
Ken Sutherland
Ken Sutherland

Who owns Unison?

Unison is 100 percent owned by the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust (HBPCT). HBPCT was formed in 1993 and is an elected body that acts on behalf of the consumer-owners of Unison. As a fully consumer trust-owned company, the consumers in the Hawke’s Bay network region are the beneficial owners of the company. The consumer-owners elect the trustees every three years.

that basically rewrote the strategy for the business going forward.”

By 2007, Ken had restructured the business, creating Unison Contracting Services, which would offer power, civil and vegetation services to its parent company, and then picking up a similar contract for services with Dunedin energy provider Aurora.

As Ken sits in his expansive office on the second floor of Unison’s headquarters in Omahu Road, he is quick to point out that it’s been a team effort, starting with a strong performing board well led by four chairs over his time – Forrie Miller, Bryan Martin, Kevin Atkinson and current chair Phil Hocquard – and some talented senior managers.

As well as Unison Contracting Services, Unison Group’s subsidiaries include fibre network business UnisonFibre; ETEL, which is New Zealand’s largest transformer manufacturing company specialising in the design and manufacture of distribution transformers; and specialist high-voltage business PBA Limited, which Unison bought in March 2022 from Australian owners.

Unison Group now employs more than 1,000 people and has assets of $1 billion.

“My view is there is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle you are trying to solve, and so a number of our acquisitions in recent times were the missing pieces that added to the capability of the entire group.

“We look to opportunities that run alongside what we do as a network business, so if it is relating to equipment or services that are related to electricity and networks, then we have an interest in those opportunities.

“Acquiring businesses has also developed and grown our talent and I take a lot of pride in the people we have working at Unison. I think we have a brilliant team and what distinguishes us from other lines businesses is actually

our people, not the assets, and how we go about running the business.”

Ken says it has always been important to embrace the constant evolution within the energy sector, the most recent being sustainability and New Zealand’s transition to a zero-carbon future.

“Unison has a role to play in helping the country’s transition to a zero-carbon future in areas such as transport, industrial heating and housing.

“People still need energy to power their lives but how they get that energy and what they use it for is rapidly changing,” Ken says, pointing to the technologies of smart grid, solar, battery and electric vehicles.

“When we acquired ETEL it was at a time when we were looking at the transformation of the electricity network and we initiated a smart grid strategy, which was the beginning of moving the business away from a reactive way of asset management to a more predictive and dynamic asset management approach.

“We recognised we needed to have a smarter network to deal with the changes in use of an electricity network; this was a turning point for us and put as

at the forefront of electricity networks in New Zealand, if not in Australasia.”

Being at the leading edge of sector innovations has brought with it a range of industry accolades – the most recent being in the sustainability space when Unison won the 2022 Low-Carbon Future Award at the New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards for its pioneering sustainability work on the recently operational Windsor Substation in Hastings.

As Ken prepares to hand over the reins, he says most Hawke’s Bay residents still think the company simply provides a service that “keeps their lights on” as well as returns them an annual dividend via the Hawke’s Bay Power Consumers’ Trust.

Ken is looking forward to the next stage of his life, which will involve spending more time with wife Debra, their four children and fifteen grandchildren while also exploring governance roles locally and nationally.

“Debs and I have been talking about there being more to life than being a chief executive. Debs has enabled me to dedicate 21 years to the job and it is now time for us to spend time together and with our large family.”

Born to lead Bayden Barber has big aspirations for iwi

Bayden Barber was born to lead but as just the second chair of Ngati Kahungunu in 26 years, he will need to draw on all his leadership skills to navigate the iwi and its people to prosperity.

In 2022 Bayden beat incumbent chair Ngahiwi Tomoana to become chair of the iwi that represents 60,000 people, more than 100 marae and more than 100 hapū.

When he was a youngster, Bayden (eldest of four) says leadership was an expectation within his whānau – led by his kuia Haumiaha Te Whaiti – and drawn from his whakapapa, which included being a descendent of Waimarama high chief Tiakitai.

“My grandmother was very influential in my early days in terms of encouraging me to look after our whakapapa and our obligations to marae and hapū.

“Leadership had been instilled in me for a long time but I didn’t really pay too much attention to it as I was still young but looking back, there’s always been that expectation of leadership.”

After going off to study a Bachelor of Management Studies and Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Management at Waikato University, Bayden returned to Hawke’s Bay.

A leadership role as chair of Waimarama Marae, which is situated below his family homestead, would be the first on his leadership journey that would see him being elected as a twoterm councillor with Hastings District Council from 2017–2022. He only stepped down at the end of his second term due to time commitments with the iwi as well as some other directorships such as Beef and Lamb New Zealand, Health Hawke’s Bay and Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

“I had been asked by our own people to consider standing in previous elections, so there was a desire from our own kaumatua for a change at the helm of the iwi. However, at that time I had just come on to the council and I had those responsibilities in front of me, so the timing wasn’t great, but it planted a seed within me to keep an eye on that space.”

Bayden says the mix of governance roles has helped shape his leadership style.


“Marae and hapū politics is a bit like being thrown into the fire at a young age. You have to put in the hard yards. I was chair of my marae for six years and that’s a pretty tough role.

“You add new skills to your kete along the journey and local government taught me good governance practices as well as a deeper knowledge of the big issues such as water and housing.

“You can’t just expect to walk into an iwi leadership role. To get elected, people want to see you have done other roles and that you are able to move the kaupapa forward.”

At the prior Ngati Kahungunu election in 2017 Ngahiwi stated it would be his last, but he changed his mind in 2022. Bayden admits that although it’s a bigger challenge taking on an incumbent, Ngahiwi’s change of mind opened up the debate and gave members the opportunity to listen to each candidate’s ideas and make a more informed choice.

“I don’t think you should wait for someone to retire. If you want to be iwi chair then you have to be willing to take on the incumbent and if you win, it’s because the people see you as the future.”

Bayden is already making an impact, some of which has been forced upon him due to the poor financial performance of the iwi’s Asset Holdings Company, mostly associated with its fisheries entity Takitimu Seafoods.

perform so as to deliver on the iwi’s cultural, social and environmental aspirations.

“We want to make sure that Ngati Kahungunu is excelling across the four wellbeing pillars. For the iwi to be successful, our people need to be thriving, they need good jobs, a good home and a good education, and they need to be engaged in their whakapapa and te reo.

“The economic aspirations of our iwi will enable us to support the social and cultural aspects and we want to be able to use our profits to fund scholarships and welfare systems.”

Bayden’s pretty clear on what he’ll be judged on as iwi chair – the 130 new homes hoped to be built, $120,000 in tertiary scholarships and a better financial return from its investment portfolio.

“Marae and hapū politics is a bit like being thrown into the fire at a young age.

You have to put in the hard yards. I was chair of my marae for six years and that’s a pretty tough role.

“You add new skills to your kete along the journey and local government taught me good governance practices as well as a deeper knowledge of the big issues such as water and housing.

“You can’t just expect to walk into an iwi leadership role. To get elected, people want to see you have done other roles and that you are able to move the kaupapa forward.”

The company has been hit by two years of poor financial performance, posting a $6.8 million loss in 2020/21, which forced a restructure and the loss of 40 jobs along with the closure of its Hastings retail outlet. In 2021/22 a further loss of $5,558, 334 was reported.

Bayden has since led an overhaul of the Asset Holdings Company board, adding three new professional directors –Ratahi Cross, Mike Devonshire and Alex Guilleux – who join Bayden, Trevor Moeke as chair, Heather Skipworth and Barry Wilson to try and right the waka.

Bayden says it’s vital assets such as Takitimu Seafoods, residential property company K3 (which hopes to build 130 houses by the end of 2024) and Tautane Station (a 3,500-hectare sheep and beef farm it leases in Herbertville)

“But it’s more than that: it’s how many of our marae have potable drinking water; how many in our communities are connected to three water services; and how many whānau we can support directly or indirectly through relationships with the likes of Kainga Ora to get them into affordable rentals or home ownership.”

Soon after the election Bayden initiated a closer working relationship with the local post-settlement entities and Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga on government reforms such as Three Waters as well as discussions on wider opportunities. A first-ever retreat was held in July 2022 with more planned.

“They all have their own autonomy and economic base to grow and we understand that, but if we had a vision where we could all come together for the betterment of our people that would be huge.

“If you look at how people are doing business today it’s about partnerships. Collectively, up and down Ngati Kahungunu, you are talking about half-a-billion to a billion dollars’ worth of assets and cash, including the iwi, Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and other entities, as well as collectively having a much stronger political influence.”


Blair O’Keeffe – Napier Port Chairman

Blair O’Keeffe has replaced Alasdair MacLeod as Napier Port chair. Alasdair was a board member since 2014 and at the helm for eight years, playing a significant role in helping navigate the port through COVID-19 while at the same time undertaking a major new wharf project to create new shipping opportunities for local businesses.

Blair, born and bred in Hawke’s Bay has a senior executive background including being a chief executive of a major port. He has other governance roles including fellow NZ listed company Z Energy.

What is your connection to Hawke’s Bay?

I grew up in Hawke’s Bay, going to school in Napier. I had a great childhood, long summers, the beach, sports, fishing (including around the port when that was allowed...they were different times).

After school and polytechnic (now EIT), I left to go to university and then developed my career around New Zealand and then offshore.

After 25 years as a senior executive and CEO, I made the decision to develop my governance career and then had the freedom to choose where to live. Hawke’s Bay became an obvious choice.

My wife and I were keen to give our young son the kind of lifestyle Hawke’s Bay offers and most of my family is still based here. We’ve been back for nearly seven years now and can’t imagine being anywhere else.


What’s your interpretation of good governance?

It starts with direction. Ensuring there is a clear and robust strategy, supported by a good plan, with the right people, resources and monitoring systems, to deliver it in a constantly changing world around us.

Strong values and a culture of care for the people, stakeholders and shareholders of the business are essential. As is diversity of thinking at the board and executive table.

As a former CE of a port, how do you ensure not to blur the line between governance and management?

I like to keep things simple. The CEO runs the company. The Board is there to ensure they are successful doing that. That requires a strong, open relationship between the Board and CEO, built on trust, collaboration and respect.

Good CEO’s operate at their best when they are given the space to be accountable and grow, under leadership that is there to guide, motivate, develop and challenge them when needed to get the best outcomes.

What is your chair/leadership style?

As a Chair my role is to get the best out of the board and CEO in service of the long-term performance of the business. I like to promote open and inclusive dialogue that leads to alignment of purpose and decisive action. Being a values-based leader, I take the reputation of the business and its people very seriously.

Who/what has been a big influence on your career?

There’s a Benjamin Franklin quote ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’.

I would say a willingness to learn from and connect with others has been the biggest influence on my career. I’ve been lucky enough to work around the world, in a number of industries, with some wonderfully interesting and talented people, including here in Hawke’s Bay, so I truly value different perspectives that arise from different people, cultures and industries and that there is always more to learn to get better at everything you do.

What can the port do more broadly to promote HB as a place to do business?

Napier Port plays a large part in Hawke’s Bay’s success and it is our day job to market the region to the world and the team is constantly working on this.

We have recently invested $170m to add a new ‘gate’ to the world with our new Wharf and the team is busy promoting that to the international shipping lines.

One thing we really need as a region is an integrated spatial plan for transport and infrastructure, industrial and productive land. Making sure our exporters, importers and transport operators have the tools, resources and frameworks to grow (responsibly) and connect their cargo with the world whether by road, rail or sea. This is essential for the prosperity of the region and we have started some work supporting the five councils on advancing this.

What do you see as the issues that could impact on the port’s performance and what do you see as opportunities for growth at the port?

It looks likely that the economy may be a bit tougher in the short-term and that may impact on the region’s importers and exporters.

Having said that, there is a lot of strength in our food and fibre sectors in particular, which have continued to prove how durable they are. The growing world needs to eat and have shelter and our reginal primary sector excels at producing these commodities.

It’s great to see cruise return and that looks set to reach record levels.

Our recent investments in wharf capacity and other infrastructure means we are well placed to serve the needs of the region and wider NZ, as some of the other ports struggle for capacity and look set to do so for some time.

We’re now in a great position to release the pressure being felt across the supply chain, having the capacity to support further regional growth across container and bulk cargoes as well as growth in cruise.

Overall, I am very optimistic about Napier Port’s ongoing performance.

What do you do in your spare time?

Like most people, I value spending time with family and friends. You’re likely to find me outdoors – I love tennis, the beach, mountain biking, doing work around the property and enjoying everything the region has to offer. I also enjoy travelling and seeing the wonders around us, both throughout New Zealand and internationally.

JANUARY-MARCH 2023 THE PROFIT With a broad range of expertise ranging from conveyancing, corporate and commercial law, employment law, to family law and criminal law, Bramwell Bate is one of the only full-service law firms in Hawke’s Bay. Call 06 872 8210 |

The right ingredients for business success comes from adversity

Running a business can’t be as tough as losing both your parents before the age of 18 years and taking on the care of one of your younger sisters.

Shaleah Lawrence has faced the toughest of times and says that although she expects challenges on her journey to creating a successful business, she has the mental toughness to go all the way.

Her drive is to financially provide for her two younger sisters, to buy them a house and then finally have the freedom to enjoy some of the things most young adults take for granted, such as “going to a music festival”.

Shaleah’s journey to business success is now well underway after unanimously impressing the three judges at the second annual Innovate Hawke’s Bay (a business accelerator programme), along with potential investors and business mentors, with her brand of natural skincare products, Earthwoven, inspired by her own skin conditions.

The mature 23-year-old has had the most unconventional and tragic upbringing.

She lost her father to a brain tumor when she was three years old and in her teens, she and her two siblings were taken out of the care of their mother, who was suffering from postpartum depression following the birth of a sister, which tragically spiralled into her taking her own life.

“I watched my mum’s life spiral downhill. She had been unwell for a long time and it wasn’t unexpected (her passing) but it was still a shock.

“I then lived with a family friend for a little while before a very nice couple gave me the chance to rent a house, where I was then able to look after my youngest sister.”

Shaleah also walked away from mainstream schooling, having been homeschooled by her mother from Year 5 then going on to attend Napier Community High School, which provided individual tailored education that she is forever grateful to the small team of teachers for.

Personal tragedy, growing up fast, having an unconventional education as well as battling her own mental health have given Shaleah the confidence to know that she can take on anything that is thrown her way in business.

Shaleah Lawrence, winner of InnovateHB

“It’s why I didn’t even stumble when it came to creating the business. There are many businesspeople who give up before they get to market and I think I haven’t because I have already gone through the hardest things in my life. Everything I do from now on and no matter how difficult it may seem, it won’t be the hardest thing I have gone through – that was losing my mum.

“I struggled a lot in my teenage years, and it wasn’t until I was 19 that I woke up one day and said to myself, if anyone is going to change this then it’s me – stop the pity party.

“I would not be where I am today without the business – the staying up until 4 am trying to learn Mandarin because I didn’t know my way around Alibaba, and then just having to get up in the morning and keep going. No one is going to do it for me, and I hate failure. I have no choice but to succeed; no one’s coming to save me. While I my have also lost friends and family in the process, I have grown in myself.”

“You have just lost your mum so you have to get up now and make something of yourself. It has been a big journey but I have had incredible support from my therapist, she saved my life, as well as my nana, who never gave up on me.”

Working two jobs wasn’t going to create any financial freedom so Shaleah started thinking of business ideas; as a sufferer of dermatitis and other sensitive skin issues who always struggled

to find effective natural-based skincare products, she decided to make her own.

In 2020 Shaleah started to turn her life around, spending hours researching natural ingredients that when combined could rejuvenate and protect her skin.

“I couldn’t find any products on the market that were natural, and all my research found that most skincare products included sulphates and parabens, harsh chemicals that eventually soak into your skin.

“I also couldn’t find any active ingredients that could get to the root of my problem. There are some big brands that market themselves as natural but when you look at their ingredients, they’re not.”

Shaleah partnered with Auckland-based Shieling Laboratories, an industry leader in creating personal care products, toiletries and candles, and in skincare and cosmetic manufacturing.

“I partnered with a senior formulator and briefed her on my ingredient must-haves as well as the claims I wanted to go with my products.”

Earthwoven’s natural skincare range

‘Natural’ or ‘earth-based’ was at the top of the list and having already done a lot of research, Shaleah had already narrowed it down.

“I knew what I was looking for and so we started from there, creating four-to-six samples to trial before I was happy with the final formulation.”

The next step was to add a natural fragrance to the products and this was achieved with the help of another company called Flairoma. Shaleah worked through the night developing the design of her packaging, sourcing a packaging manufacturer in China, and placing an order for 15,000 recyclable containers while also building an online retail website.

At the same time, she was still dealing with the loss of her mother, who had instilled in her a hard work ethic and fierce determination.

“The last two-to-three years of trying to establish a business has played a big part in my healing journey and has involved plenty of self-discovery.

“I would not be where I am today without the business – the staying up until 4 am trying to learn Mandarin because I didn’t know my way around Alibaba, and then just having to get up in the morning and keep going. No one is going to do it for me, and I hate failure. I have no choice but to succeed; no one’s coming to save me. While I my have also lost friends and family in the process, I have grown in myself.

“I worked hard to learn website coding and design on my own, purely because I am a small business with no cash flow.”

To seed fund the business Shaleah got a Work and Income grant, a bank business loan and some funding support from the Regional Business Partner Network – a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise fund.

“There was a bit of bootstrapping involved, funding the business through my wages, and my nana also helped.”

By the time she heard about Innovate Hawke’s Bay, Shaleah was already making a profit based on great production margins, made even better by placing such a large quantity packaging order to meet the quantity of her first three product lines – a foaming cleanser, a spritz toner and a hydrating moisturiser.

She wasn’t confident in being shortlisted and getting support to prepare for the final Dragon’s Den-like pitch to the Innovate Hawke’s Bay judges, thinking the business was already too far advanced.

However, Innovate Hawke’s Bay programme director Hal Josephson quickly saw the potential in the business as well as the energy and commitment Shaleah had already put into getting her business off the ground.

“Shaleah is full of energy and is even ‘batting cleanup’ as the phrase goes.

“She has done everything from her home and in her spare time. Up until just before the final pitch, she was still working part-time to supplement her income.

“The fact that she already had so many customers and had put in so much time and effort, I wasn’t surprised that she went all the way,” says Hal.

Winner Shaleah Lawrence with Innovate HB judges – Rachel Cahill, senior partner at BNZ, Luke Irving, Fingermark, and Rob Burnham, Group Design & Engineering Head, Furnware.

The six finalists met each week at Hastings HIVE to build their ideas into a validated business with tailored support from local mentors. They also had access to the full mentor pool of The Factory, a Palmerston North-based business accelerator company.

Using lean start-up methodologies, finalists learned about intellectual property and protection, cash flow and budgeting, validation and, most importantly, what it’s like to be an entrepreneur.

Head judge Luke Irving said there was no doubt that Shaleah was the overall winner, securing the $5,000 cash prize money and access to the Manawatu Investment Group (MIG), as well as continuing to build out her next phase plan with mentors from The Factory.

“Shaleah showed a perfect balance of true entrepreneurship with a proven product, a great understanding of product market fit and total customer empathy.

“She is executing well and has clearly made some brilliant strategic decisions to get to where she is now, not to mention her age and energy. She is one to watch and we can’t wait to support her and the other finalists’ exciting growth.”

With the win under her belt, Shaleah is now looking at adding new products to her range and deciding whether to partner with investors to scale up the business or go it alone.

“I want to get distribution into pharmacies and specialty stores, and I genuinely want to help people. The skin issues I went through weren’t cool, so I really understand the challenges and have empathy for those who also struggle with their skin.”

As the business grows Shaleah wants to support new mothers who also suffer from postpartum depression? and encourage

What is Innovate?

Shaleah Lawrence with some of her Earthwoven range others to know that no matter where you come from, you can turn your life around.

Innovate’s purpose is to encourage local entrepreneurialism that sparks the local economy by growing young companies, new business and thought-leaders, as well as new technology.

Since 2011, Innovate has established a pathway for this to occur and a model that continues to build its people along the way.

To date, there have been a total of 1,796 entries and Innovate is now in four regions – Manawatū, Hawke’s Bay, Whanganui and Taranaki.

More than 80 businesses have been created and over $130,000 of prize money has been awarded, with $5.2 million dollars invested into Innovate companies.




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The 10 Biggest Mistakes of Selling a Business

Selling a business is a totally different ball game from selling real estate according to Bayleys Business Broker, Rodger Howie.

While some business sales include bricks and mortar, others present tangible value from years of hard graft, building intellectual property, trading credentials and brand value from the ground up.

Business owners have strong emotional attachments to their businesses because they have often sacrificed leisure time, relationships and ready money for future rewards.

While passion is crucial to successfully growing a business, it can also have downsides. Business owners need to put emotion aside and be aware of key pitfalls when selling up:

1. Unrealistic business value

Emotional attachment can overinflate understanding of value. It is important to obtain a current market appraisal.

2. Waiting too long before selling

Sell when the business is performing strongly as opposed to a forced sale due to external factors, like ill health.

3. Thinking a business will sell straight away

If necessary, be prepared to play the long game and sit tight in order to get the right buyer.

4. Being indispensable to the business is a mistake

Succession planning involves ensuring that the business can function well without the owner. How long can the business operate without the owner being there?

5. Not seeking professional advice

Take advice from experienced accounting, legal, financial and business advisors.

6. Not preparing the business for sale.

Leverage good professional advice to examine the business objectively, from a buyer’s perspective. Engage a business sales advisor.

7. Not processing all transactions through the business

Profit directly impacts the value of the business so it’s crucial to maximise all proof of profitability.

8. No business plan, KPIs, or up-to-date financials.

A lack of business structure undermines business value. Demonstrating that success was planned for rather than coincidental will pay off.

9. Think ‘results’, not ‘opportunity’.

Business value is based on historical results, not future opportunities.

10. Emotion is an obstacle to a sale.

Some owners think that they can sell a business on their own. We all know the term ‘false economy’. It’s particularly apt here – an experienced business broker brings business and marketing expertise, market knowledge, multiple buyers and ultimately the best price.

About Rodger

Hailing from Gisborne, Rodger is a former business owner with deep knowledge of sales, marketing and business administration. In 1999 Rodger started a waste collection company in central Auckland. Over 16 years he grew the business into a multi-million dollar company with 22 trucks, employing 60 staff. In 2015 Rodger sold the company and moved his young family to Hawke’s Bay. Since joining Bayleys Hawke’s Bay in 2016, Rodger has helped many business owners sell their businesses for the right price.

Recent portfolio of business sales

First Autoworks and RV

River Park Event Centre

Hastings Laminate & Stone

Ash Ridge Wines and vineyards

Mangatera Hotel and Bottle Store

Hawke’s Bay Platform Hire

Autopower Car Parts

Kolachi Eatery

Hertz Hawke’s Bay

Malo Restaurant

Browns Quality Lime


Hawke’s Bay looks to attract successful innovators, investors and entrepreneurs

Hawke’s Bay is set to attract successful innovators, investors and entrepreneurs from around the world keen to contribute to local businesses and community initiatives as part of the world-leading Aotearoa INZ immigration programme, the Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

Hastings District Council took the lead role in developing a compelling proposition focused on technology, food and beverage and the environment for this programme. Hastings District Council economic development manager Lee Neville said it was important to have a focus on international innovators, investors and entrepreneurs that could support local businesses keen to “go global” or establish their own business in these sectors.

A key part of the presentation was a 45 minute video with introductions on Technology by David France, Food & Beverage by Nicky Solomon and the Environment by Dominic Salmon of 3R Group.

Having watched the video presentation, Canadian technology innovator and entrepreneur Doug Steiner an EHF Fellow and wife Jasmine Herlt, a human rights lawyer, shortlisted Hawke’s Bay for a visit this past October.

Doug, speaking from Toronto, said the couple will return for a closer look at Hawke’s Bay in February before making a final decision later in the year on where to settle. On their first visit they also spent time in the other regions on their shortlist – Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

Lee will set up visits with local businesses which could benefit from Doug and Jasmine’s involvement. Other Edmund Hillary Fellows who are preparing to make a significant contributions are also being encouraged to come to Hawke’s Bay.

INZ offered a three year Global Impact Visa as part of the EHF programme between 2016 and 2020. Fellows contribute to communities and the economy in New Zealand

Jasmine Herlt and Doug Steiner

can earn points to become permanent residents. COVID19 restricted the entry of many of the Fellows until this year. On their initial 3 month visit to Aotearoa, the couple also spent time in the other regions on their shortlist - Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

Doug says the couple’s decision criteria included weather, air travel frequency to Auckland and Wellington for connecting flights back to Canada and specialist medical provisions, along with a desire to support indigenous economic and social enterprises.

“We are coming to New Zealand with the specific purpose to contribute to the economy and society. We’ve both done considerable work in our home country, and decided it was time for a change. We now need to decide what area can we contribute the most, as well as feel comfortable and connected to the community we intend to serve. “

Doug has varied expertise based on his work in Canada and the US. He has started, run, and sold a number of technology businesses, and has consulted in the use of behavioural economics to change consumer and business stakeholder behaviour.

He has also advised firms in finance, government, media and technology in optimisation of business models using technology and researched methods that enhance decision methodologies.

Doug already sees opportunities in technology and creating efficiencies within businesses and local government in Hawke’s Bay.

“My last two years in Canada were spent during Covid helping local Government design and implement economic growth and innovation strategies both to attract capital investment and help make local government more efficient.

“They have been innovative solutions for civic problems I’d like to try and introduce in places like Hawkes Bay; such as crowd-sourcing solutions

and offering prizes for innovation. These have been very successful are inexpensive and promote civic engagement from citizens.

“I’d like to know what the big problems are in Hastings or Napier that you are dealing with and are complicated to solve. This is what excites me and is the best use of my problem solving skills. And I’m not unique, I am only one of more 528 innovators, investors and entrepreneurs from over 50 countries that are committed to New Zealand as a base camp for global impact within the EHF Fellowship.”

EHF was initially designed in partnership with the Edmund Hillary Institute and the New Zealand Immigration as a test to attract world-changing innovators.

The idea was to get Fellows and Kiwis to collectively work on solving pressing issues facing humanity. EHF’s strategy has been to find and build solutions to our toughest challenges. Its intention is that New Zealand inspires global leadership and solutions for future generations, built on principles of Tangata Tiriti and values of Sir Edmund Hillary.

This year (and during the second half of 2023), the EHF has welcomed almost half

of the Fellowship into New Zealand after two years of Covid-linked border closure.

EHF has a focus on climate action (including sustainable housing, renewable energy and cleantech solutions), regenerative agriculture and food, aerospace and future transportation, consumer software and ICT, investment and venture capital, film/ media/storytelling, education and youth leadership, and Māori and Pasifika led initiatives.

“ I’m a tech entrepreneur, but other Fellows have expertise in almost every industry; aerospace, agtech, regenerative farming, artificial intelligence, public transport systemseven micro issues such as solving bike theft and mineral rights on the Moon.

“The EHF Fellowship has the deepest talent and most dedicated members of any community I’ve ever been involved in.”

Already some outcomes from the EHF Fellowship activation include the creation of over 120 new registered ventures in NZ, and over 200 high value jobs in areas such as waste to value; renewable energy; clean transportation and climate education.

As of 2021, Fellows have invested over $21 million directly into at least 91 NZ businesses, addressing a high-risk capital gap, as well as helping raise  $239 million in capital for Kiwi businesses. and helping startups to grow globally with at least three new venture funds directed towards Kiwi startups.

Alongside these investments, Fellows contributed over 5,000 pro bono hours in providing mentorship and entrepreneurial advice, global market connections/insights and attraction of early stage capital.

The EHF presentation video can be viewed at economic-development/the-hastingsopportunity/article/2454/showcasinghawkes-bay-to-global-change-makers More information on EHF and the Fellows Directory can be viewed at

Hospo Gem Boutique Vineyard
and Winery
Large Scale Manufacturer Beach Oasis
Doug Steiner

Bumpy but optimism remains for Hawke’s Bay economy

It would be an understatement to say that 2020-2022 have been challenging years for businesses.

In June 2022 at a business breakfast hosted by Hastings District Council guest speaker economist Brad Olsen told local business leaders that Hawke’s Bay was the strongest performing economy in the country during the two COVID19 disrupted years.

But by September 2022, (the most recent Infometrics report) showed that economic activity in Hawke’s Bay was slowing with growth of 1.5 percent regionally.

Towards the end of 2022 it was hard to escape the ongoing media and political commentary around the rise in inflation adjustments, talks of a looming recession and the cost of living crisis. As all of this plays out this year, we also have general elections and the performance of the economy is expected to have a significant impact on how people vote.

Hawke’s Bay has a diverse economy. It is based on food production across horticulture, viticulture and agriculture products.

We also have a nimble and growing technology sector with businesses such as Fingermark, ReLeased and Ask Your Team increasing their talent as they secure more global customers for their products.

The construction and infrastructure sectors, despite labour and building material shortages, has had a busy few years but what’s in the pipeline?

Central Government and local government projects have added plenty of sugar candy to the sector with projects such as the $32m Regional Aquatic Centre, the new indoor court facility in Taradale. Other major build projects include stage 1 of Kaweka Hospital ($40m), $20+ million new terminal at HB Airport and the $130m new wharf at Napier Port.

Going forward there’s still some major construction projects such as stage 2 of Kaweka Hospital ($70m), a food hub in Hastings, the completion of the largest packhouse facility in the Southern Hemisphere by T&G, other apple processing facilities in Irongate and accommodation facilities for RSE workers.

Three Waters projects dominated most councils with Hastings District Council spending over $80m across several projects while Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay are also upgrading their drinking, waste and storm water services.

As we head into predicted a predicted recession, there will be a greater focus on the new regional economic development agency, which will be established in Hastings.

So what is the outlook for 2023?

The Profit has gone to business leaders and councils across the region to get their views on what will happen to their businesses, their cities and the overall Hawke’s Bay economy.

Heather Hallam Alex Walker Hamish Saxton Brydon Nesbit

Strong pipeline fuels economies engine room

Hastings is the economic engine room of Hawke’s Bay based on producing food for the world.

As the city celebrates 150 years in 2023, it can look back at its industrious forefathers such as Sir James Wattie, Sir Graeme Lowe and more recently the likes of meat mogul Craig Hickson, apple growers the Paynter family and winemakers the Buck family of Te Mata Estate.

Hastings District Council is keen to keep the economic momentum, attracting new businesses to the district, albeit with land development challenges with a fast growing population and a continuing demand for growing on the Heretaunga Plains.

Over the last 12 months Hastings District Council has also been successful in securing government funding for a number of major infrastructure projects that boost economic outcomes. This includes financial support for Foodeast, a food innovation hub, the museum regional arts storage building and $9 million for active transport initiatives. While the private sector has also come to the party with projects set to be realised in 2023 such as Foodstuffs with $50m in two supermarkets in Flaxmere and Havelock North); St Pierre’s and Restaurant Brands in hospitality (as well

as smaller operators across Hastings East); and T&G building largest cool store facility in the southern hemisphere in Hastings.

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says council will continue to focus on enabling business attraction and industrial expansion as well as continue to build on the partnerships it has developed across sectors to bring on initiatives such as the Irongate Trades Training.

“We need to ensure we support a pipeline of skilled workers to support economic growth.

She says continuing with the CBD Vibrancy programme that supports economic growth is also a critical element of the overall programme. This includes bringing urban living into the city – the first being an 18 unit apartment complex.

“We are also continuing to identify opportunities presented within our central city from underutilised buildings –≠ working with property owners/ developers to attract business into them that justifies redevelopment.

Over the next 12 months this will extend to Stortford Lodge to support other new developments such as the St Pierre’s and a rebuild of the Unichem Pharmacy.

“We will also welcome the return of the region’s economic development agency to Hastings, which will connect businesses to a range of business support agencies.

“Council has a $400m capital works programme over three years from 2023 which supports commercial and industrial expansion and housing development along with decide on the future use of the Heretaunga House site, opposite council’s main administration building.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst with chief executive Nigel Bickle

Napier is proudly ‘open for business’

Our inner city is busy and growing with a number of new businesses offering fantastic retail and hospitality experiences. Sympathetic to our heritage architecture and the unique character of Napier, these businesses and inner city living opportunities are adding vibrancy and interest to our diverse commercial and retail offerings. Council actively supports entrepreneurship, fosters new initiatives and works with businesses to navigate the regulatory landscape.

Celebrating our coastal, port city

Protecting our natural environment is vital while creating opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy all that Napier has to offer. Significant redevelopment of key locations in and around the Iron Pot and Ahuriri Inner Harbour is already underway. This complements the heritage character of these areas while providing contemporary living and working spaces for businesses to thrive. These developments will be further enhanced by the staged implementation of the Inner Harbour Plan over the coming years.

Smart places and spaces

An easy city to enjoy on foot, by bike or other micro-mobility options, Napier understands that the experience of the journey is as important as the destination. Designing well connected urban spaces that encourage social interactions enhances wellbeing while supporting a vibrant economy. Our new Civic Library Precinct is currently undergoing major revitalisation, with the creation of a new library and the public face of Council planned for completion in 2025. Part of this redevelopment involves the enhancement of laneways and connections through the CBD to create a dynamic, versatile place for our community and visitors.

Vibrant inner city heart

Café culture is alive and well with a full range of experiences that enrich the vibrancy of the CBD. Our inner-city hospitality offerings are award-winning and enjoyed by locals and visitors. There’s something for all tastes and by enhancing the spaces between, such are squares and laneways, we are encouraging people to journey through the city and experience all it has to offer.

Loving city living!

Complementing bustling hospo and retail zones, local developers are redeveloping key buildings within the CBD to provide high-end inner-city living. It’s great to see quality design outcomes injecting life into an already beautiful city. Creating an engaged and invested community is key to strong economic outcomes for Napier and the region.

Everything’s within easy reach in our dynamic, vibrant city by the sea.

Napier Port

New wharf opens door to many opportunities

Napier Port’s once in a generation build project Te Whiti, its 6th and largest wharf at 320m long, is set to start paying its way.

Looking ahead, Napier Port chief executive Todd Dawson wants to offer shipping lines and customers a unique and compelling proposition.

“Our teams are dedicated to maximising the additional capacity we now have with improved availability across all our wharves. We are set on providing increased flexibility and shipping options for customers and working to ease the supply chain pressures across the country especially in the North Island.”

Todd says the port is a gateway to a thriving region that offers high-value, indemand cargo, offering new flexible and efficient road and rail routes through to the wider North Island of New Zealand.

He says early indications for 2023 are that global shipping disruption and pricing is easing and a return to schedule reliability is starting to look more likely.

“This is good news as it will give greater certainty for customers and cargo owners to plan their operations, as well as our own team.”

He adds the new wharf has also enabled an uncongested port operation.

“Greater berth availability not only provides additional operational flexibility to meet our customers’ demands, but our improved operational performance also lends itself to future growth in container, bulk cargo and cruise ship visits to Napier.

It won’t be calm sailing though with inflationary pressures, rising costs and a tight labour market making for a

challenging national environment which are a concern for Napier Port and many of its customers.

“Looking further afield, we are seeing inflationary pressures and rising geopolitical tensions continue to impact the global economic environment and create uncertainty related to both supply and demand.

Napier Port moved one of our highest volumes of cargo despite significant supply chain disruption, and the region and the underlying demand for its premium food and fibre products continues to grow steadily.

Todd sees new opportunities with renewable energy playing an essential role in the port sector.

“We are keen to use our position to influence others and help drive progress both inside and outside our port gates.

“Recently, we were excited to join with NZ-owned Hiringa Energy and focus on understanding the current and future opportunity for hydrogen to decarbonise Napier Port’s operations and logistics, as well as those of our tenants, port The Manawatū Inland Port (MIP), the port’s freight hub based at Longburn, near Palmerston North, is a key part of its landside logistics offering and as the surrounding region continues to grow the port logistics team is working hard to provide freight solutions for exporters and importers alike.

Todd and a team from Napier Port visited a number of ports and shipping lines in Europe in late 2022. Taking the opportunity to update its shipping line customers on the new capabilities and supply chain services that have


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Napier Port CE Todd Dawson with former chair Alasdair MacLeod

been unlocked with Te Whiti and other strategic projects.

“We also shares news about our thriving region while it was also useful to gain some valuable insights into their side of the business and better understand the challenges and opportunities they are seeing across both the global and NZ environment.


“It was great to get on the ground at a number of ports and see what others are doing across their operations. Specifically, the team took the opportunity to look at technology around improving capacity, productivity and safety of our warehousing operations.

“Other observations from Europe are that they share similar economic concerns to us here at home, namely slowing economic demand, inflation, and ongoing labour supply issues. It was somewhat heartening to know that while the operating environment remains unpredictable and challenging, we are all working hard to tackle the challenges ahead.”

Exciting projects aimed to stimulate economy

Napier mayor Kirsten Wise predicts ongoing economic growth for Napier and Hawke’s Bay but expects residents will start feeling the pinch due to higher mortgage rates.

“Hawke’s Bay’s economy fundamentals are sound. The world wants our produce and wine, our visitor experiences, and our innovative thinking.

“We’ve bounced back really well and I’m very proud of what our business community has achieved. We do understand though that in 2023 mortgage owners across the country will move off what were fairly low interest rates and people will start to feel the squeeze.

To help stimulate the economy Napier City Council is bringing together economic, environmental, social and cultural needs in some exciting projects around the Inner Harbour including a new home for the twin-hulled ocean-going waka along with some inner CBD street enhancements.

“There are economic benefits to improving our visitor and tourism experience here but the new waka home is also an important project in terms of local heritage and history.

The Napier CBD will also get a makeover Clive Square/Lower Emerson St streetscape enhancement set to have a positive impact and attract new businesses.

“We have new businesses opening here including hospitality and wellness offerings and the Art Deco Trust is moving to the heritage Women’s Rest building.

Council has also approached government to fund a works programme to revitalise the area and strengthen its links to the rest of the CBD.

Kirsten says council will focus on supporting local businesses indirectly via organisations such as the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, Napier Business Association and training organisations.

“We have strong ties to the business community and we want to leverage those to make sure we are collaborating and listening to where we can add value. That in turn helps business add value to our community.

“Napier has new businesses opening all the time including big players like Ziwi Petfood. Cruise ships are up there in terms of excitement and they bring a lot of benefits to our City and have impacts beyond economic in terms of creating a buzz in the CBD and giving locals opportunity to feel very proud of the city and show it off to an international market.

“That also applies to the Art Deco Festival. It’s going to be great to get back to business with that and enjoy a Festival that’s open and accessible and not marred by the pandemic.”

Kirsten says that although it’s important to attract new businesses and offerings to Napier, it’s just as important to support existing businesses who may be relocating to another area within Napier.

“Napier has new businesses opening all the time including big players like Ziwi Petfood. Cruise ships are up there in terms of excitement and they bring a lot of benefits to our City and have impacts beyond economic in terms of creating a buzz in the CBD and giving locals opportunity to feel very proud of the city and show it off to an international market.”

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise

Central Hawke’s Bay

CHB to continue to thrive in 23

Thriving Central Hawke’s Bay was part of the new approach taken by incoming mayor Alex Walker in 2019 and there’s been a major transformation of business activity.

“The last five years have seen rapid growth in population, employment and economic outcomes in Central Hawke’s Bay.

“While the short term economic climate is challenging and growth brings its own challenges, the strong foundations we’ve built has put Central Hawke’s Bay in a resilient position to continue on a strong growth trajectory over the next ten years and beyond.

Alex says there’s a huge programme of projects and activities both at the planning stage and underway to deliver and support a thriving Central Hawke’s Bay.  She says council has lifted its visibility as a leader and a facilitator across the business community initiating a range of business network opportunities and matching employers with job seekers via the successful Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

“You’ll see us continuing to engage with the community and businesses through our BA5

(Business After 5) events, sharing key information with network groups, business network meetings, business breakfasts and employment support for jobseekers and employers through our Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

Alex highlights some major projects such as the redevelopment of the old Waipukurau Hospital site into housing in partnership with the Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund.

Government has contributed $10.9m for crucial infrastructure work including transport improvements, kilometres of new pipeline for wastewater and water supply, a new water reservoir, and major stormwater upgrades that will enable up to 950 homes to be built on the 50 hectare site.

Other key economic enabling projects include the upgrade of Waipawa’s main

road of Waipawa as part of the Waka Kotahi Streets for People project, construction of Hawke’s Bay’s largest solar farm in Onga Onga as well as greater focus on building a strong tourism network to attract and increase visitor spend in the region on the back of the award winning Ngā Ara Tipuna history trail.

“For years we’ve shared the community’s frustration that this prime residential land has sat empty while housing is so scarce,” says Alex.

A mix of housing for whānau, retirees, established residents and people new to Central Hawke’s Bay will become an exciting reality thanks to this Government funding, landowners and our partners.

“Now, truly smart growth – one of our strategic priorities – has become possible in the heart of Waipukurau. “

“Despite the short-term challenges, our optimism and aspirations remain high. Central Hawke’s Bay benefits from a strong agricultural, farming and forestry economy as your backbone, and a united community focussed on achieving a Thriving Central Hawke’s Bay.

Mayor Alex Walker with Wairarapa MP Keiran McAnulty

She is most excited about the change that will be made possible by council’s Better Off Funding from the government with the cumulative power of these projects unlocking CHB’s vision to its full po-

Business Performance

tential in a unique partnership approach with Mana whenua and community.

Council in partnership has five projects – Thriving Tamatea Places and Spaces – Community and Commercial Proper-

ty Needs, Making people our greatest asset – Tamatea Capability and Capacity Programme, Development of a Community Futures Investment Strategy, Driving housing outcomes and Thriving Places and Spaces quick wins.

ESG set to dominate business scene

Heather Hallam (BDO Managing Partner) and Michael Nes (BDO Business Advisory Manager) see a number of trends on the horizon for businesses.

Some have been around for some time but will make a deeper impact in 2023 such as ESG (environmental, social and governance) which will have flow through businesses on a number of fronts.

“ESG (environmental, social and governance) has very quickly become one of the most pressing factors facing business today,” says Heather.

Consumers now expect businesses to be acting on ESG, while businesses pitching for new projects or work are frequently being asked what their ESG credentials are. Organisations who embrace sustainability elements as part of their business plan stand to gain a competitive advantage, while those who are lax will see their bottom line suffer.

“Just as consumers expect businesses to act on ESG, so too do employees. New Zealand is increasingly stretched for available talent, taking meaningful action on sustainability could be the difference between hiring the perfect candidate and not hiring anyone at all. In such a competitive market, the small key organisational differences, become the big things!

“We see this as an area that is likely to face more regulation and businesses should be encouraged to proactively look into these factors to minimise future impact.”

Michael says with recent global events, obtaining goods from overseas countries has become more challenging, with lead times exceeding those seen previously. This has caused businesses to analyse their supply chains to ensure they are able to maintain business continuity and minimising inventory shortfalls. Furthermore, Cyber attacks on supply chains are a new risk that businesses are becoming more aware of, particularly where goods are manufactured on a computer controlled robotic production line that is at risk of a security breach, he says.

Businesses are combating these risks by creating full alternative supply chains, allowing for a backup to be implemented if the main supply chain is disrupted.

“We are not immune to these issues and a lot of our local businesses across a

variety of industries rely on European or Asian channels to source their materials, and these are becoming a lot more competitive following the sanctions on Russia, war in Ukraine and China’s zero Covid policy all of which are disrupting supply channels.

“Businesses could look to work collaboratively to strengthen bids for alternative supply options,” Michael says. Heather says with a recession predicted for 2023, businesses need to more frequently review financial results to ensure margins are maintained.

“The key to managing through a recession is to keep an eye on your financial results, not just annually, but monthly, or weekly if possible to identify areas where cost cutting may be necessary or to determine sales prices are fixed at an appropriate level. “

Heather Hallam Michael Nes Local wool business Woolworks leading the way in ESG

Primary sector faces market uncertainty

Withstanding poor harvest and returns, there has been large investment syndicates keen to invest in the local industry.

“This is good for our industry, good for our communities and good for Hawke’s Bay. I know of at least another 250ha of apples going in for 2023 and this is just one variety.

He says there is also new infrastructure getting built to future proof increased plantings with new cool stores, packhouse expansions and new accommodation for the increase in RSE worker numbers.

Another positive is regulatory measures to protect fertile growing land.

Horticulture Outlook –Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers president Brydon Nesbit

Brydon Nesbit and fellow apple growers have their fingers crossed that this harvest season isn’t severely impacted by poor weather, which marred the 2022 apple harvest.

Apple quality was impacted by the heavy rain which led to lower than expected sale returns for growers. He says apple exporters will also be closely watching the predicted recession in many export partner countries such as the UK and the US.

“There are a number of concerns but front and centre would be not having another harvest season like the one we have just had. We are doing it pretty tough at the moment, so we hope for a good harvest season with strong market demand,” Brydon says.

“This is long overdue but we are grateful to have the increase. This means we shouldn’t struggle to get our fruit off the trees and into market. We grow the best produce in the world and we just don’t need to be restricted in any way.

The Government has introduced a National Policy for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) to protect good soils such as the Heretaunga Plains and Brydon says it’s now up to council to identify, map, and manage productive land to protect it from inappropriate use and development.

Farming Outlook –CHB farmer and primary sector leader Mike Petersen

After five years of record prices Sheep and Beef farmers will face challenges in 2023 with inflation levels on the farm in excess of 7.2% and a softening in demand for high prices meats like lamb.

Central Hawke’s Bay farmer and former NZ’s Special Agriculture Trade Envoy Mike Petersen says the COVID

shutdown in China is placing pressure on businesses, reducing demand in this critically important market but is confident overall global pricing will remain positive.

“The relatively low value of the NZ dollar will continue to support good returns, and even if these have fallen from record levels, pricing will allow for profitable farming enterprises.

On the farm, Mike says the record wet winter was difficult for farmers but pastures are green heading into the dry summer months. Going forward Mike says the region needs to make important water storage decisions once and for all.

“With climate change, we know the region faces more intense and drying weather conditions. We must retain the ability to capture and store surplus water in peak periods for the benefit of rivers and communities in dry periods as a key consideration for water security.

“We need to have a mature and strategic discussion about the challenges and opportunities in regards to our natural resources, particularly water. This must be forward thinking, and for the benefit of the next generation of Hawke’s Bay citizens.”

Mike says Hawke’s Bay farmers are best placed to capitalise on high early season prices which may not remain for the season.

“Hawke’s Bay has a wide range of farming systems and land classes, so many will not be in the position to go early, but the ability of this region to finish large number of animals from breeding properties puts us in a good position relative to other regions.”

JANUARY-MARCH 2023 THE PROFIT HB Outlook 23 Primary Sector
Brydon Nesbit Mike Petersen

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Environment is top priority

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s outgoing chief executive James Palmer says the council will be working hard to upgrade the region’s policies and rules for better management of the environment and natural resources, particularly water while also supporting the formation of a regional economic development agency. In regards to water he says “we are making further progress on this is a pressing priority to provide more confidence and certainty to all of our businesses and associated industries that depend on reliable water.

James also sees the new economic development agency starting to make an impact in supporting the development of growth key sectors in 2023 while the council will also invest $1.5m in Hawke’s Bay Tourism to support the reinvigoration of the region’s visitor industry following the impacts of Covid and well as seeing construction get underway on the FoodEast food innovation centre in which the Regional Council’s investment company is the majority shareholder with a $4 million equity stake.

He is clear that the regional council’s core business is to manage the region’s natural resources in a way that enables the use of these resources to provide for the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing.

“The sustainable management of these resources secures our economic future and helps position the region as a sustainable producer of food and fibre.”

He says this core business extends to protecting the region from biosecurity threats and protecting the region’s

productive assets and communities from natural disasters.

The Council’s flood protection infrastructure on the Heretaunga Plains alone protect assets with an NPV of $28 billion.

“We are currently focused on supporting our community and businesses to build resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

Some examples of this are the Regional Water Assessment Report – a top to bottom assessment of all of the region’s freshwater, how much it has, how it is used, who benefits from it, and future demand; investing around $30 million in upgrading flood schemes to protect communities and businesses.

“We have recently completed upgrades to the Taradale stopbank and put in place erosion protection on the Wairoa River Parade, and State Highway 50. These assets enable our primary industry based economy to thrive.”

Council will also look at the range of options to ensure secure supplies including water storage, water conservation, more efficient water use and land use practices.

Other projects include developing a nation-leading coastal hazards strategy for the Clifton to Tangoio coast that will ultimately provide direction and support for coastal businesses and communities to respond to sea level rise and continuing to develop the Hawke’s Bay Trails, hugely popular with visitors, as well as six Regional Parks, which support the Hawke’s Bay Tourism economy.

Central Government Government to continue

Hawke’s Bay has benefitted greatly from Central Government funding to get it through COVID19 with many significant projects injecting money into the economy, creating jobs and providing business support initiatives.

But will this continue in 2023?

Napier MP and Minister of Economic and Regional Development and Tourism says “watch this space” as he is working with fellow local MP’s and key Ministers on some exciting projects that will have a positive impact on HB businesses.

James is excited about a pilot programme of integrating forestry into pastoral farms as an alternative to whole-farm forestry conversion, called Land for Life. The programme has the potential to drive a transformation in land use across our region that diversifies farm business income and resilience, while storing carbon, improving water quality, conserving precious soils and restoring biodiversity.

business support

Tukituki MP Anna Lorck backs this up by saying government will continue to invest in projects that support the region that provide ongoing confidence through infrastructure investment. This will keep the economy moving by providing a pipeline of work to keep people in jobs.

Both Stuart and Anna say there continues to be a high level of optimism that the Hawke’s Bay economy will continue to perform better than other less diversified regions.

“I have a lot of optimism in the Hawke’s Bay economy as it has proven to be particularly resilient over the past couple of years; due mainly to the fact that we produce goods and services that are reasonably recession-proof.

“Having said that, history has proven that both households and businesses tend on concentrate on reducing debt in times of economic uncertainty. This may have a cooling impact on our regional economy,” he says.

Tim Norris soil testing
James Palmer

Anna says she recently met a local landscaping business owner who said he had enough work ahead for the next seven years. It’s conversations like these, with people locally, that give me confidence in Hawke’s Bay and that we are well positioned, especially with the pipeline infrastructure work and ongoing private and public investment we are seeing across the region.

In 2023 the Government has already committed over $350m for housing and infrastructure programmes which will continue to stimulate demand across a range of industries.

Stuart adds that the roll out of Industry transformation plans across tourism, forestry and advanced manufacturing will also have positive impacts on the regional economy.

A capable and work-ready workforce has also been a key focus with over 1800 people on Government’s free apprenticeship boost, – learning and earning, which at the same time is growing a skilled future workforce, along with an increase in the RSE worker numbers to a record 19,000.


“This has a major impact on providing seasonal workforce security and confidence for our growers while also growing more permanent jobs for locals and young people into the industry,” Anna says.

As Minister for Small Business Stuart attended the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris in late 2022, chairing the Digital for SMEs (D4SME) Steering Group meeting and the 4th Roundtable of the OECD D4SME Global Initiative.

A key takeaway was that Innovation and digitisation are vital for the continued survival of many small businesses across the Bay, he says.

“I have often said that this is the last generation of business owner who will survive, let alone thrive, without being digitally enabled.  It’s one of the reasons why we have developed Digital Boost – a free series of around 400 videos for small business owners to undertake their digital journey.”

Stuart says challenges impacting on the economy that are on his portfolio radar in 2023 are the impacts of Russia’s war with Ukraine and increase interest rates for home owners and businesses.

“As global supply chains return to a form of postpandemic equilibrium, inflation should return to within the reserve bank’s target range.  The wild card is Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, this could continue to keep up the price of food and fuel.

Major events and long haul visitors return

Hawke’s Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton says major events will be an early driver for domestic tourism 2023 as well as an uplift in tourists visiting from the US, Canada and UK.

Hamish says the North American (US and Canada) and UK markets have bounced back the quickest, at 53% and 56% their pre-covid levels respectively while Australia, is currently at 46% of the preCovid market. #12 months to Sep ’22 vs 12 months to Dec ’19.

“International visitors are returning but not in the quantities they were preCOVID, however the speed of the New Zealand tourism recovery is surprising economists and those in the industry.

“Interestingly this initial growth (both from a national and local context) is from long haul markets, as opposed to Australia and returning New Zealanders,” he says.

Tourists from North America, the UK and Europe are also staying longer and spending more.

“We also see a welcome cruise season continue with more international and domestic visitors exploring our region as a result.

Cultural and sporting fixtures as well as events will be key drivers for domestic visitors, especially with the return of a full

MPs Stuart Nash and Anna Lorck

Art Deco Festival, Horse of the Year and Mission Estate concerts for the first time in three years.

“It is going to be fantastic to see the likes of Art Deco Festival and Horse of the Year able to deliver their full event programmes again while there’s three Mission Estate concerts and other wonderful food and wine events that bring people to the region.

Hamish says the return of international tourists coupled with domestic tourism means local tourism operators are extremely optimistic, “but tourism has always been an extremely optimistic industry and that is how we have got through the last few years.

“You have to be a positive and optimistic, warm and forward-thinking personality to be a good host, which is of course, what tourism is all about.”

HB Tourism received receive significant funding from Central Government over the COVID years, and will now operate on a budget reduced by $1 million.

“As the visitor economy and demands rebound and grow, we are going to see a shift in needs.

“Hawke’s Bay is a great region for entrepreneurs, so we look forward to working with them to meet these demands.”

Horticulture a game changer for Wairoa

Horticulture is a potential game changer for Wairoa while mayor Craig Little says locals are looking forward to the completion of the main street redevelopment.

“Horticulture utilises Wairoa’s natural water supply and is a positive land-use change, and also complements and builds other industry in Wairoa. It’s a game changer,” Craig says.

The Marine Parade redevelopment - Te Wairoa E Whanake is on target to be completed by the middle of 2023 in what has been a partnership initiative, predominantly funded through Provincial Growth Fund funding. Stage 1 includes a street food café hospitality pod, an indoor/outdoor courtyard area, and two businesses offering a mix of hospitality and retail.

connected town centre that celebrates Wairoa’s unique heritage and culture.

Stage 2 is a relocation of the Wairoa i-Site and bus terminal.

Another new initiative is a grass roots business association, which, like Council, wants to see our district thrive and is working on initiatives to achieve that.

Craig says Wairoa has been impacted by the increase in forestry and council is looking at ways to protect the agriculture sector, which has been the backbone of the district.

“Our district has enough blanket and carbon forest planting, and we need to concentrate on protecting our agricultural sector. Wairoa boasts beautiful land, reliable water supply, and generally a moderate climate - so it is no wonder our town is built on what we grow.”

“While it was reassuring to see Wairoa’s economy and spending stacking up well, this was just one snapshot, and as we all know, we are living in volatile times, and we have seen how quickly things can change.  However, I firmly believe that if our region’s primary sector can be allowed to continue to grow and flourish, then our region’s future is strong.”

“This is a landmark undertaking, and while there have been challenges around COVID-19 restrictions, and unprecedented escalation in material costs, the end result will be worth the wait.”

Craig says this project is the beginning of transforming our main street into a thriving hub for the people of Wairoa and visitors, with a multi-functional

Local iwi is also looking at many projects that will build and grow the district.

Over 2020-2022 Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti were leading the regions when it came to stronger economic outcomes, and it is no coincidence that Wairoa sits right in the middle of these two leading regions.

“However we are living in volatile times, and we have seen how quickly things can change but I firmly believe that if our region’s primary sector can be allowed to continue to grow and flourish, then our region’s future is strong.”

A couple of housing initiatives are also underway with the formation of a local housing coalition, which includes local iwi and providers. Wairoa short of around 150 homes now and around around 500 homes over the next 10 years.

Nearly $1 million in government funding has been received to develop a localised Housing Hub aimed at enhancing the district’s housing options over the next three years and Post-settlement governance entity, Tātau Tātau o te Wairoa, has also gained resource consent for the development of up to a 56 housing units and local provider Enabled Wairoa, in partnership with Whakamanamana Limited, is awaiting resource consent for an additional subdivision for 38 lots of mixed housing.

Hamish Saxton
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little

Airport sets sights on project delivery

HB Airport is firmly focused on making significant progress across a number of critical strategic projects including the business park development, a joint venture with Manawa Energy for the solar farm at the airport and growing air freight services.

HB Airport chief executive Rob Stratford says all three projects are aimed at developing airport infrastructure that serves the needs of the Hawke’s Bay region.

“The airport is a critical piece of infrastructure that acts as a gateway to Hawke’s Bay. These initiatives are all about helping enable regional prosperity.

“The airport has an important role in regional efforts to grow and future-proof Hawke’s Bay’s connectivity to the rest of New Zealand and beyond.

“That’s why we will be actively pursuing opportunities to contribute to regional economic development discussions and playing our part to ensure Hawke’s Bay has the best possible integrated transport infrastructure to support a thriving economy.”

The airport will continue to pursue its commitment to becoming New Zealand’s most sustainable airport with a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. An immediate priority in 2023 is to explore the addition of EV charging stations at the airport to support EV drivers as well as its airport tenants’ EV goals.

Rob says with COVID19 now behind them 2023 is the year to build back stronger and already passenger numbers are above forecast.

Many of the capital investment projects planned prior to COVID, such as the airside apron resurfacing, carpark upgrades and fire equipment improvements are now firmly back on the agenda.

Rob is confident that the airport will weather any economic downturn, having proved a sharp focus on disciplined financial management, together with intelligent planning and decision-making over the last three years.

“We are in a good position to withstand a rocky economic road through 2023. The risk of economic recession is always a potential challenge for any airport. Airlines are the first to feel the effects of economic headwinds, as spending on business and leisure travel reigns in.

“The fundamentals of our regional economy are strong and resilient; and the agility and tenacity of our business community has shown through Covid stand us in good stead to withstand whatever 2023 holds.

“And let’s not forget, Hawke’s Bay is attractive to visitors all year round as well as being a thriving and prosperous place to live, work and play.

JANUARY-MARCH 2023 THE PROFIT HB Outlook 23 HB Airport
Do you need independent, expert, property advice? We value property every single day. We have experienced Valuers whose expertise in their field can give you independent and professional advice to make prudent property decisions. Call Hastings 871 0074 Napier 835 1617
The new airport forecourt Paul Harvey
Chris Hope Grant Aplin Kirsty Miller Hugh Pawson

Fingermark and ReLeased among fastest growing tech businesses

In a report released in late 2022 of the top 200 Technology companies Fingermark toped the supreme scale-ups with an increase in revenue from $8.8m to $21m with ReLeased at 7th place increasing revenue from $4m to $12.6m. Innovate HB programme lead Hal Josephson says some local businesses to look out for in technology space are Fingermark and Ask Your Team while he has also seen an increase in new businesses establishing in shared workspaces such as The Hive in Hastings.

“It’s a great time for new companies to build a base or loyal customers. Established companies are not paying as much attention to their best customers, who are leaving and not being asked why.”

He adds that there is a growing trend for e-transactions and younger generations are doing business online. An example is Shaleah Lawrence, the winner of Innovate HB, who set up her own ecommerce website and ran a successful Black Friday sale campaign.

With China remaining under tight COVID restrictions New Zealand businesses are now doing more trade with the likes of Malaysia, Korea and Vietnam.

New tools to optimise and protect your business

The Profit’s Tech expert Dr Tom Hartley of Govern says there’s some great new technology tools that will make it easier to do business in 2023.

Tom says Microsoft will bring the cloud closer to businesses with Office 365 being renamed to Microsoft 365 adding some new tools such as Microsoft Groups and Microsoft Loops, both new ways to collaborate with others.

“Microsoft 365 is the new hotness from Microsoft, bringing together the best of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security in one place. It’s like having a full suite of integrated products in one convenient package.

With Microsoft 365, you can still access world-class apps and services like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook as well as powerful security features to help keep your data safe.

Microsoft Groups will offer tools that make it easier for teams to stay connected and be more productive such as group workspaces, assign tasks, share files and documents, real-time chats with team members and video conferences with screen sharing capabilities.

Tom says Microsoft Loop is Microsoft’s latest effort to revolutionise how people interact and collaborate in the digital world – an all-in-one collaboration platform that brings together the power of Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and more into a single, unified experience.

“With Loop, you can easily access files stored across multiple locations and collaborate with colleagues and

teammates in real-time without ever leaving the app.

Plus, Loop’s built-in intelligence makes it easy to stay organized and focused on what matters most.

Apple has introduced advanced security features across its product ecosystem. With iMessage’s Contact Key Verification, Apple users can verify that the person they are communicating with. Apple has also introduced Advanced Data Protection for iCloud taking end-toend encryption to a higher level across iCloud.

Security Keys for Apple ID enables users to use physical security keys as a second tier protection. While Apple doesn’t make physical keys, companies like Yubico, and Apple are working to make this a reality.

Tom says business owners need to be more vigilant to cybersecurity breaches in 2023 after a MSP services company claiming to offer cybersecurity as part of their services across New Zealand and Australia, including several NZ government agencies, was the latest to be subjected to a ransomware attack that raised the interest of the NZ Privacy Commissioner and the NCSC. This emphasises the appreciation that every business, including those delivering cybersecurity services, should undergo a thorough comprehensive Risk Analysis and Treatment plan.

Tom says, “I’m alarmed by how many business leaders I speak to who aren’t aware of the security gaps in their businesses.  I’m equally concerned by those who have had an ‘Essential 8’ audit, thinking that this is a satisfactory analysis of their cybersecurity positionit simply isn’t.” Cybersecurity threats come from many directions, and a full evaluation of the cybersecurity posture is essential.

HB Outlook 23
Tom Hartley Hal Josephson Luke Irving from Fingermark
Tom Wallace from Re-leased

Vet Services clinic makeovers continue on back of growth

2022 was a big year for Vet Services, with exceptional client growth, an increase in staff and significant investment revamping the small animals area at its longest established clinic in Waipukurau as well as opening a new super clinic for Napier.

Vet Services Central Hawke’s Bay clinic has had its biggest makeover in over 30 years, doubling the size of the small animal clinic as well as upgrading the staff room, meeting rooms along with a stunning external facelift.

The Napier Clinic has gone a step further, relocating from a small clinic 50 metres from the to the new clinic to Napier’s latest large retail park, The Crossing.

To cap off 2022, Vet Services also took out two awards at the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Awards – the Excellence in Innovation category and the overall Supreme Business of the Year Award, which it had also won in 2012.

Vet Services General Manager Brendan James says the Napier move has been a long term coming and will now offer a much broader suite of services including an onsite production vet service for the rural community.

He says there was a lot of luck involved in finding a new site so close, literally a stone’s throw away.

Brendan was meeting with the company’s bank when the premises issue was raised and how hard it was to find a new site. Their bank representative promptly mentioned that they were acting for the developers of the proposed large retail park.

“That was such a fortuitous meeting as we had been really struggling to find a new site and we were pretty desperate. There had been fast growth in the clinic due to the increase in companion animals and we just had no room.

The Napier clinic has super-sized from 200m2 to 660m2, enabling two surgeries, a larger retail offering, a high tech Xray offering, animal grooming, a laboratory and a meeting room.

“We’ve had our staff working on top of each other for some time which was making it hard to deliver the service with the best possible experience.

Supreme Business Award Winners - Brendan James (General Manager), Caroline Robertson (Companion Animal Veterinarian Group Manager), Nicolette Adamson (Mixed Practice Veterinarian), Astrid Schweizer (Head Nurse Vet Services Napier), Camille Flack (Production Animal Veterinarian Group Manager), Grace Lowry (Marketing and Social Media Coordinator). Photo courtesy of HB Chamber
Large bright appointment rooms feature at both the Central Hawke’s Bay and Napier clinics

“Our staff have been looking forward to this day for so long. A lot of thought has gone into the design of both clinics and the Napier clinic has a paint colour palate inspired by American clinics to create a calming influence for cats and dogs.

Brendan says 2022 was a big year across the business that has clinics in Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau, Dannevirke and Masterton and it’s unlikely to slow down with plans for a refit of the Hastings clinic and potentially a new after hour emergency clinic to cater for the wider veterinary community.

CHB Clinic gets first major redevelopment in 30 years

The CHB clinic redevelopment was led by the CHB Farmers Veterinary Club along with Caroline Robertson, who has worked as a vet in Waipukurau for over 30 years along with support from head nurse Jess Neilson.

Caroline says the refit was inspired by Vet Services’ modern Dannevirke clinic, which was the “blueprint” along with staff input from visits to other vet clinics around the country. However, she says the design brief was kept pretty simple, “technically it’s about getting the right flow … it’s a bit like a big kitchen and everything has to be in the right place.

The project was more than four years in the making and was on the back of substantial client growth, which escalated over the COVID 19 years as more individuals, couples and families became pet parents.

“Small animals are great company and during COVID a lot more people got companion animals and in Central Hawke’s Bay it was no different.

Caroline and the team had a very clear idea of what needed to be achieved.

“We had already outgrown space due to having a lot more specialist diagnosis equipment, let alone the increased popularity in pets, which has seen us have twice as many people working in that area.

Caroline says the biggest challenge was operating a 24/7 clinic while in construction mode.

The project was to become known as a ‘clip on’ in that construction would take place on one side of the building while the other side remained operational and then swapping over.

“We’re a 24 hour seven day a week business so there was a lot of planning needed to make sure we could continue to operate and it’s pleasing to look back and see that we achieved that.

The new small animal clinic now has more of everything! There’s a dedicated x-ray and ultrasound room, two surgeries, four consult rooms and a fully functioning laboratory.

“There’s also plenty of triage space while the public will notice the cosmetic changes with the buildings external experience getting an overhaul.

About Vet Services

Vet Services was first formed as Central Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Veterinary Club in 1972 with a small clinic in Mt Herbert Road.

Until then there was no professional Vet Practice in Central Hawke’s Bay, with the area serviced by a private practitioner based in Hastings and supported by a local chemist.

In 1973 the club purchased the present property and it built a clinic that has been added to over time.

Today, the business employs over 160 including 40 veterinarians across its five sites offering expert care for companion animals, equine and service farms with sheep, beef, dairy, and deer focusses.

In 2019 we launched an equine focused veterinary service (called VS Equine). The combined skills and knowledge of six equine veterinarians and three techs provide a comprehensive service for both the horse and our clients benefit.

Both clinics boast the latest in digital Xray technology.
The new prep room at CHB Clinic.

Top commercial predictions for 2023

In the last Colliers monthly report of 2022 we provided provide some of our top predictions for the following year and below are the 12 that relate to commercial property on a national scale.

These are not our only projections on the large, complex and ever shifting dynamics of the property sector, so make sure to reach out to get the most relevant and up-to-date advice. Many of the predictions and observations in a Hawke’s Bay context also ring true, and I have covered off these below.

The economy – nationally

1. The RBNZ and economists pick that the peak in the cash rate is getting closer to tackling inflation, but it is still a few months away. While still some opaqueness on timing remains, greater clarity in the ultimate cost of finance is emerging following the latest RBNZ guidance of the OCR peaking at 5.5% in 2023.

2. While challenges lie ahead, the economy will benefit from the boost in demand provided by an increase in the number of overseas tourists, students and workers, facilitated by the reopening of the border and from an easing in supply chain constraints. Hawke’s Bay has been one of the better performing regions over the last couple of years thanks to our food production sectors, strong retail trade and plenty of local and central government infrastucture projects. We hope apple growers and other food producers aren’t impacted by poor harvest weather, getting high yield crops followed by good export market returns.

Industrial property

3. Record levels of consent issuance point towards some relief for occupiers searching for space, albeit that vacancy rates will remain low by historic standards.

4. Tight market conditions and an inflationary backdrop will see rental levels continue to rise at an elevated pace. Limits, though, will be tested by the ability of businesses to pass on costs to their customers.

5. Owner occupation will become increasingly attractive to businesses looking to insulate themselves from rising rental costs, which will underpin sales activity as investors adopt a more cautious approach given the increasing cost of debt. Industrial land is becoming scarce in Hawke’s Bay. The two major industrial zones of Irongate and Omahu are close to capacity and new land development areas will become more difficult to release due to new National Policy Standards to protect fertile growing land.


6. ESG considerations will become increasingly influential when decisions on office occupation are made. Both governmental, led by government mandates, and corporate occupiers, who are setting their own targets, are looking to limit their environmental impact as we transition to a net carbon zero future.

7. Businesses are likely to provide less remote working flexibility for new and existing employees, but the war for talent will continue. This will add further impetus to leasing demand for well-located, high-grade office space designed for maximum staff engagement, collaboration, innovation and socialisation.

8. While prime grade assets will remain the favoured investment option, a broadening of investor interest will arise as greater clarity on the cost of debt emerges. This will allow a more accurate assessment of the fair value of individual assets based upon the risks and opportunities which they possess. As a result, value add opportunities will become increasingly attractive.

There is no A and little B Grade quality commercial office space across Hastings, Napier and Havelock North. This is a significant issue as Hawke’s Bay continues to be a popular place to

establish a business while many local businesses have also grown, requiring more office space. The impact on this will also be felt by tenants as record square metre rates are set. 101 East in Hastings is now at 100% occupancy with Colliers brokering three major lease deals with Westpac, Ask Your Team and Hawke’s Bay Business Hub.


9. The trend towards mixing experience with product will accelerate as property owners look to broaden the appeal of centres and attract a wider range of consumers to visit more often and stay for longer.

11. Retailers will continue to face operational challenges next year likely resulting in fewer expansion plans and strong discussions during lease negotiations with new and existing landlords. Retail located in prime catchments with a strong omni-channel offering and providing an experience rich in-store offering will continue to remain popular amongst customers, and likely the most profitable.

12. Off-market activity will rise as buyers and sellers negotiate on new benchmark values being formed as a result of new transactions and valuation evidence.

Hastings has undergone a significant makeover with a clear mergence of a hospitality precinct, east of the railway lines and a retail precinct, west of the railway lines. It has attracted some key new businesses into the city, many of which have been brokered by Colliers such as Chemist Warehouse, & Australian retailer Nick Scali. Napier has seen recent retail movements with BNZ relocating as well as Number One Shoe Warehouse both securing new premises on Hastings Street.

Danny Blair is a director and commercial real estate agent with Colliers Hawke’s Bay / Taupo.

He has over 15 years’ experience in the commercial real estate industry and has been involved in over $300m in transactions over the last five years. He specialises in sales and leasing solutions for, investors, developers and corporate tenants alike.

Email Danny at

HB Outlook 23 40

What to do when there’s a fraction too much friction

As we head into a new year it is timely to reflect on 2022 as you plan your our human resources considerations for 2023. Talent sourcing was an ongoing challenge in 2022, but employers seem to have successfully revisited their talent acquisition strategies and practices, and are now shifting focus to workforce planning, resetting teams via team development and managing any friction.

For 2023, setting a clear vision, engaging and developing staff, and building a culture that retains high performers will be important. However, one of the flipsides for employers is the need to carefully navigate workplace relationship challenges that have emerged over the past two years.

It’s fair to say that employers and employees alike are experiencing an overarching sense of wariness. Tolerance levels are frayed and various tension and conflicts are surfacing. It is important for employers, front-line supervisors and team leads to be acutely aware of the required processes around the conversations that need to occur.

Neuroscience has found the old adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is incorrect. Our brains have a lot of plasticity and as such people can change their thinking and approach. Ensure clear expectations are set (clarity is kind!) and give feedback, albeit appropriately, to create awareness around your concerns. Great feedback has five components – the context, the behaviour, its impact and what needs to be different, and then check for input from the receiver.

Today’s managers and leaders just about need to be psychologists to read people and situations then adapt their approach to suit. It requires a level of curiosity to ask yourself, “do I need to provide management, mentoring, coaching or inspiration?”.

The answer to those four components will be a combination of two things –the employee’s skill (ability) and will (attitude). We call this The Skill/ Will Matrix (an adaption of Hersey and Blanchard’s original situational leadership model):

Managing scenarios in the bottom left quadrant can be tricky. Currently we are seeing a lot of employee-manager and employee-employee conflict in workplaces. This can be difficult to journey through and needs careful management. The situation is often due to a series of misunderstandings or miscommunications that need to be tabled and unpacked. Using an independent facilitator is a great way to steer discussions towards resolution – it’s always better to not let these scenarios fester to the point where they need an “ambulance at the bottom of the cliff” response.

It’s important that your front-line people understand the overarching principles of employment law, what can and can’t be said, and which processes need to be followed. A portion of the bottom quadrant may, however, need a more formal course of action. It is useful to be aware that the processes differ for disciplinary issues (involving misconduct) and issues around performance (involving capability). Be wary of confusing the two.

“Misconduct” and “Serious Misconduct” cover multiple things from absenteeism, not following instructions through to bullying and harassment. These can be extremely sensitive subjects and any workplace investigation may require a Licensed Private Investigator. Licensed PIs ensure full understanding of the required legal processes, mitigate accusations of internal bias and assist employers in making their next decisions.

If issues relate to performance, employees must be given sufficient opportunity to improve by way of a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) with specific actions and timeframes. Without this in place, employers should not proceed to disciplinary sanctions or exit conversations.

Upskilling your leaders and frontline staff to help them provide the right intervention for their people, be it in leadership, coaching, mentoring or having effective conversations as a manager (even when it’s tricky), will work towards a culture of accountability and clarity in 2023. For assistance with human resources initiatives, including teams, leadership, investigations or facilitated meetings, please contact

HB Outlook 23 41
The Skill/Will Matrix

Health and fitness trends for 2023

As we approach the end of the year, everybody is getting ready to focus on 2023 already. What will the trends be for 2023 and can we use them to help us?

Wearable technology

We have noted a big increase in the local and world-wide community using wearable technology. People are now more interested than ever in focusing on their health and wellbeing goals while being able to track their success along the way.

Wearables individuals measure the impact of their exercise sessions and ensure they were challenging themselves as it relates to heart rate zone, caloric burn, steps taken, recovery time, and exercise intensity. This trend has grown massively over the past 2 years and will only continue to grow in 2023. With many options on the market from smart watches to fitness and GPS trackers it is worth well worth putting one of these on your Christmas list and definitely worth considering how you could utilise them in the health and wellbeing of your workplace in 2023.

Movement Snacks

An exercise snack or mini workout is a short bout of exercise that lasts for ten minutes or less and can be done multiple times throughout the day.

There are a variety of benefits to snacking on exercise and movement. Firstly, engaging in mini exercise sessions can help busy individuals stay fit and healthy while trying to manage a busy work and family life.

From a motivational perspective it is far less intimidating to exercise for shorter durations throughout the day versus committing to an hour or longer exercise session.

Many people around the world experienced the benefit of this new approach during the pandemic and lockdowns. Many still love the approach and have confirmed that the trend is here to stay. People want to get the job done with less time commitment.

Could you snack on exercise and movement during your working day?

HIIT Workouts

HIIT workouts have been high on the trend list for years now and will stay high for the years ahead. They require bursts of high-intensity strength and cardio exercises followed by periods of recovery. 30-45 mins of fun and functional exercises that get you BIG results fast! No two classes are the same. Every class will challenge you, and have you coming back for more!

People want to make sure that they are getting the maximum benefit possible during the time they spend exercising. Similar to the idea of maximizing effort with shorter mini workouts, they do this with the added bonus of a fun a social environment. One word of warning – these workouts should be balanced with easier low intensity sessions throughout the week.

Virtual coaches and classes

Virtual coaches and classes grew massively over the pandemic and kept the health and fitness industry in business.

Having access to on demand services that you can use in the gym, at work, while you travel and at home via an app is a trend that will continue to grow in 2023.

By providing these services our community has now grown to include Australia, the UK, USA and Japan.

Having the option to train at the gym three times per week and two times while you are travelling for work helps increase results.

Community and social groups

Being part of a community and social group is the key to your success with your health and fitness goals. The inability to be social and connect during the pandemic has made this trend even more popular as an exercise preference. Community engagement in outdoor and social group fitness settings has big benefits. Run clubs, group walks, group ocean swims, group rides are all seeing great numbers.

Have you got one of these on your list to try in 2023?

Neil Wagstaff is the owner of Peak Fitness in Havelock North. He has over 25 years experience in the health and fitness industry.
HB Outlook 23 42

Honey, I Shrunk the Equity!

Reflecting on the past year and considering what’s to come in 2023

How do we summarise the New Zealand property market in 2022? “Contrast” comes to mind. “Against the grain” might be another appropriate phrase. It was an exceptionally intriguing year for New Zealand’s property market.

Professionals at all levels of the sale and purchase of property recognised a significant shift in what had previously been a “sellers’ market” and as we head into 2023 it leaves much room for reflection. Although unrest was to be expected, given the noise of inflation post-pandemic, the nature of last year’s property market has brought about much to consider in the new year.

Late 2022 saw a decline of house prices at about 4.5% nationally, leaving many surprised by the remarkably uniform decrease of housing prices from their peak in late 2021. House prices in Wellington decreased by a whopping 11.7% from October 2021 to October 2022. In Auckland, the decrease in house prices peaked at 4.7% in October 2022 compared to the year prior. Decisions of the Reserve Bank continued to encourage the swelling of interest rates on mortgages, meaning property supply continued to weaken, and prices dropped. The conveyancing sector finished the year on an unsure footing affecting all Kiwis on the property ladder.

Scratching heads we ask: “What might the property sector hold for 2023?”

The general echo was economists’ hypothesising that prices will continue to drop until the end of 2023. Furthermore, we have been warned to expect further increases to interest rates, with some suggesting we should be prepared to

see fixed interest rates as high as 9% in 2023.

The uncertainty of a tightening property market appears content on following us through 2023. But like a wheel turning, the cyclic nature of the market means a decline in property prices will, at some point, move towards stability. Whether we can expect this in 2023 is uncertain. The market is influenced by various of internal and external factors, and therefore, any relief emerging through the year must be anticipated patiently.

But it’s not all bad. We have recently seen some great initiatives introduced which have opened opportunities for one particular area of the market: first home buyers. Of note are new strategies targeted at mitigating barriers to the purchase of a first home. One example is the initiatives of Kāinga Ora. Various innovative pathways have been created to encourage both families and individuals to join the property ladder. Of particular significance, Kāinga Ora is aiming to tackle one of the greatest obstacles for first home buyers – the dreaded deposit – by lowering the market expected 20% to a far more palatable 5%. Whether it be the First Home Grant, First Home Loan or First Home Partner Scheme, Kāinga Ora is providing greater opportunities to take advantage of a decline in house prices. Couple these initiatives of Kāinga Ora with the increasing slowdown of vendors to the market, and 2023 may be one of the stronger years for first home buyers to get their hands on those first set of keys. The value-to-income ratio continues to climb post-pandemic, meaning that first home buyers should feel more confident in their ability to find their first home. Kāinga Ora pathways are

still relatively underutilised, with much to be learnt among professionals and potential home buyers alike. However, innovative strategies like these bring about an optimism that more Kiwis may be able to achieve their goals and become homeowners this year.

We look forward to continuing to provide conveyancing support to existing and new clients throughout Hawke’s Bay during 2023, and are excited by the opportunity to help more first home buyers achieve their goals through the strange but inviting nature of our current market.

Author: Christine Symes (Managing Director)

Christine was born and raised on a farm in Southland before attending boarding school in Dunedin. She graduated from the University of Otago in 2000 with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce. After her OE, Christine moved to Hawke’s Bay with her husband who was born and raised locally. Christine first practised in law firms in both Napier and Dannevirke before enjoying a stint as an in-house lawyer for a local livestock finance company, StockCo, and latterly at a law firm in Hastings. Christine joined Bramwell Bate in early 2020.

Christine advises clients on Property matters, Rural, Company and Commercial Law, Trusts, Estates and Succession Planning, and Wills and Power of Attorneys.

Christine was appointed Managing Director of Bramwell Bate in 2021. Christine provides leadership and oversees implementation of the firm’s business plan, guides alignment of firm management, and ensures the leadership team provide support and mentoring to all the firm’s lawyers.

Outside of work, Christine enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons embracing the Hawke’s Bay lifestyle.


06 872 8210

HB Outlook 23 43

Valuing Hastings CBD Revitalisation programme reaps rewards

Williams’ Harvey undertakes a retail shop occupancy survey of the Hastings City CBD twice a year in April and September. Undertaking the most recent survey it was apparent that much of what the Hastings District Council (HDC) set out to achieve under the ‘Hastings City Centre Vibrancy Plan’ is coming to fruition. The plan’s key target and outcomes were to encourage more people and more business by creating an environment and activities where customers, workers, residents, students and visitors could experience and enjoy the Hastings city centre. Given this was started pre-pandemic it is pleasing to see that so much progress has been achieved and the results are being experienced by many. The survey is based on retail shop numbers and includes main street retail, side street retail and overall retail vacancies. Shops that are empty whether leased or not are classified as vacant, as are shops that are advertised as closing down. Relocating shops are included as vacant in the block they are leaving but excluded from the block they are moving to. Our last survey, completed in November 2022 recorded a slight lift in vacancies up to 11.24% from 9.68% in April. This equates to 30 premises being vacant as opposed to 24 premises. However, with all the new developments finishing, shop numbers have lifted from 248 to 267. So whilst vacancy numbers look higher than the previous surveys, 19 new shops have been added and thirteen new tenancies which is very encouraging considering the impacts of Covid-19,

The 300 East Block has seen big changes in the last year with the renovation of the Municipal Building now complete and includes three new hospitality premises that open to the Heretaunga Street East frontage. Other premises to this side of the street are a Church premises and HB Today while to the northern side of this street there are three retail stores, Fun Buns (eatery) and City Fitness Gym. The overall general street environs have also been enhanced. The eastern retail blocks known as the 200 and 300 East Blocks of the Hastings CBD have seen quite major developments in more recent years. These two blocks form part of a precinct the HDC identified as potential entertainment

areas which have seen the street environs remodelled to provide for footpath dining areas, multiple planters separate curbside parking from the footpath areas and the overall general street environs have been enhanced. A pocket park has also been developed around the corner on Warren Street.

The 200 East Block has transformed with several of the building owners being part of the revitalisation. This gave other landlords and developers the confidence to reinvest in this block. Historically, this block had fallen out of favour with retailers and experienced high vacancy levels and poor quality of tenants on short lease terms residing within the block. While not in the main retail strip there have been other substantial developments to the east end of town which have assisted in making this location very attractive to the retailers and bars/eateries.

These include the refurbished Toitoi: Hawkes Bay Arts and Events Centre, the multi-level Quest Apartment Hotel building currently under construction to the rear of the Opera House, The large commercial development known as the Tribune positioned on the corner of Karamu Road North and Queen Street East is now occupied by a range of retailers, Brave Brewery Bar and Restaurant and upper-level offices.

To the edge of the CBD the HDC has recently purchased a building to be redeveloped for the new Museum Research and Archives Centre and Rush Munro’s have also located Albert Square.

HDC and developers alike can take credit for achieving the Vibrancy Plans key targets and objectives now being the more preferred and therefore sort after location of the Hastings CBD.

The net result of the investment and development to these blocks and other areas at this eastern end of town has meant this part of town is looking fantastic. HDC and developers alike can take credit for achieving the Vibrancy Plans key targets and objectives now being the more preferred and therefore sort after location of the Hastings CBD.

However, it is pleasing to see that the plans for the same key targets and objectives are well underway for the Western blocks with the release plans of a three-storey apartment building, pocket park and laneway between Queen Street West and Heretaunga Street West.

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:

HB Outlook 23 44

Riding the wave of uncertainty

The war in Ukraine, volatile European markets and currencies, and challenges across China’s political and economic landscape are just some of the issues impacting almost every country in every corner of the globe – including New Zealand.

We are broadly an import economy – and this handful of issues playing out on the world stage is having a direct impact on our economy, and on our businesses.

Domestic Instability also on the rise

Political instability is leading to economic instability. Businesses are operating in a high-inflation, high interest rate environment – one that is extremely volatile and has ramped up very quickly. It is worrying that while the Reserve Bank and Government both took actions earlier in the year to limit inflation, these have had no real impact.

Both external and internal costs are increasing as we see materials and people costs rising, resulting in margins becoming increasingly squeezed. Put simply, businesses are facing challenging times. And yet one-third of respondents to the BDO global risk landscape report said that they are unprepared for the risks stemming from geopolitical tensions.

Focus on what you can control Businesses cannot control what happens in the geopolitical sphere, nor can they control rising inflation or interest rates. But what they can control is their approach to managing risk. In a volatile environment when the conditions of doing business are changing daily, the only action businesses can really take is to understand and monitor the different risks to their organisation, and know what controls are in place to mitigate those risks to an acceptable level. Strategies business owners can employ to help manage risk include:

● Creating an up-to-date risk register

● Working out what controls you have in place to help you mitigate these risks

● Making actionable plans to improve where and how your business is protected against risk

Most importantly, the above needs to become part of the fabric of your business plan – your risk register and action plan should be a live document that evolve with your business and the risk landscape.

No matter your industry or size, your business is going to be highly impacted by inflation in some way. If there is a risk that inflation might increase by a further 5% in the next six months, consider

The best way to protect your business from uncertainty is to build resilience into your organisation. Developing a strong risk management approach that enables you to stay up to date with changes as they happen is key.

what your controls against that are. How much do you understand your costs, how detailed and regular are your cash flow reviews, and have you undertaken any scenario planning against different inflation projections?

Once you have acted on some of these points, you can then reassess whether you have reduced this risk to your business to an acceptably low or manageable level.

Implementing the above is a key way that businesses can take back control in what is a highly uncertain political and economic environment.

Riding the wave of uncertainty is about accepting that there are many events entirely outside of your control, taking place all over the world, which are having very real impacts on your business and your ability to achieve your strategic vision.

But even as you accept this, you can still take action.

The best way to protect your business from uncertainty is to build resilience into your organisation. Developing a strong risk management approach that enables you to stay up to date with changes as they happen is key. Understanding what the impact is to your business and knowing exactly what levers you can pull to lessen those impacts, is really the only way to ride that wave and successfully come out the other side.

About the author: Michael Nes is a Business Advisory Manager with BDO. He has experience assisting both small and medium sized entities with a wide range of advisory services across a range of industries with a specialist interest in information technology and automation services. BDO are Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors. The firm is an independent member of BDO New Zealand and part of the global BDO network.

HB Outlook 23 45

Looking ahead: The pandemic’s economic ripples

The pandemic and the recent relaxation of restrictions continue to reverberate through the global economy and cloud the outlook. For insight into what may lie ahead, Jarden investment strategist and economist John Carran shared his thoughts, at the time of writing on 18 November 2022.

Through the haze, we see potential improvements in inflation but also see the global economy flirting with recession. In this environment, financial markets may waver in the near-term. Longer-term, prospects for share markets and bonds still look promising.

The most glaring consequence of the pandemic, and the responses to it of governments and central banks, has been rapidly rising prices. Clogged supply chains and the war in Ukraine, combined with rampant consumer spending, have caused prices for energy, food, and goods to rocket up globally. Record low interest rates boosted house prices and led to higher housing-related costs.

Despite the immediate headwinds for New Zealand’s economy, household finances are in reasonable shape, with many having built their savings over the pandemic. This could provide some buffer to tougher conditions ahead.

With global supply chain pressures now easing and commodity prices falling, inflationary pressures may soon ease. Cooling housing markets in New Zealand and elsewhere are also expected to gradually moderate inflation. However, prices in consumer services tend to be stickier. Therefore, although total inflation is expected to continue edging down, there will likely be a significant remnant that will linger for longer.

How long high inflation lasts is also likely to be influenced by pressures in the labour market and how fast wages grow. This will impact the pace of consumer spending and the degree to which businesses pass higher wage costs on to their customers. This is a key risk for central banks in their quest to get on top of high inflation.

While heated labour markets may cool somewhat in the first half of 2023 as labour market churn settles down, it may take a spell of higher unemployment to settle wage growth to a more sustainable rate.

Although there are reasons to expect inflation pressures to ease a little in the near-term, the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) and other central banks are unlikely to slow the pace of interest rate increases this year. Central banks presently consider the risks of not doing enough to control inflation are worse than the risks of doing too much.

However, by mid-2023, we expect many developed economies to show signs of slowing, including labour market cooling, and core inflation shifting down. This will likely be enough for the Fed and other central banks to halt their interest rate rises.

Interest rate rises tend to influence economies with a considerable lag, so recent rapid rate increases should take their full effect through 2023.

The more central banks raise interest rates in the near-term, the more likely it is that economies will enter recession next year and possibly through to 2024. Therefore, it’s also possible that the general economic uncertainty, which has caused share and bond market volatility this year, may persist for a while longer.

On the other hand, share valuations have materially declined this year, which means the potential return from shares

in the longer term could be favourable. With interest rates now higher than they have been for at least a decade, bonds could similarly offer improved investment yields.

In New Zealand, we are facing similar inflationary and economic pressures to many other countries. The coming year could be challenging as recent interest rate rises start to bite. Many people that locked in low interest rates on one- and two-year fixed mortgages will soon be rolling onto much higher rates. With the local housing market already feeling the effects of higher interest rates on mortgages and house prices falling almost 13 per cent from their peak at the end of last year, New Zealanders’ confidence and ability to spend could be adversely affected.

Despite the immediate headwinds for New Zealand’s economy, household finances are in reasonable shape, with many having built their savings over the pandemic. This could provide some buffer to tougher conditions ahead. In this less certain environment, we often work with clients to diversify their investments in a way that meets their goals and timeframes. This can help with navigating the route ahead in a way that suits your individual circumstances.

Tobias Taylor is Director, Wealth Management Adviser at Jarden. The information and commentary in this article are provided for general information purposes only. It reflects views and research available at the time of publication, using external sources, systems and other data and information we believe to be accurate, complete and reliable at the time of preparation. We make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, correctness and completeness of that information, and will not be liable or responsible for any error or omission. It is not to be relied upon as a basis for making any investment decision. Please seek specific investment advice before making any investment decision or taking any action. Jarden Securities Limited is an NZX Firm. A financial advice provider disclosure statement is available free of charge at

HB Outlook 23 46

Plan to Make 2023 Your Safest Year Yet

2022 has seen two notable cybersecurity incidents: the significant data breach of the Pinnacle Midlands Health Network and the white-hat hacking of the Christchurch Hot Pools.

While the Christchurch breach was downplayed as having been conducted by an “ethical hacker” intentionally identifying security vulnerabilities, the important takeaway in both cases is that a security hole in the systems was breached, and many customers’ data was exposed. In businesses that no doubt thought they would not be targeted.

Businesses were not the only victims this year either.  It was recently reported that a pensioner lost $134k after his online bank accounts were hacked, and customers of Unity Bank in Hastings were victims of a Bank Identification Number (BIN) attack – proving kiwi banks are a growing cybercriminal target.

This uptick was recently explained by Forbes Magazine who said “Cybercriminals thrive in times of uncertainty.” And that during this time of economic downturn businesses should be aware that “Threats like phishing, ransomware and business-email compromises have a significant impact on the health and viability of a business.  Beyond financial consequences, a breach can also lead to loss of customer trust and significant reputational damage.”

Closer to home, CERTNZ responded to 2,001 cyber incidents in Q2, 2022 with a direct financial cost of $3.9m. Phishing and credential harvesting, scam and fraud cases and unauthorized access incidents accounted for 94% of these

incidents – confirming that human connection is still the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity.

And just to drive the point home, if Q4 2021 (with a reported financial impact of cybercrime in NZ of $6.6m) is any indication, this holiday season will see a major cybercrime impact on businesses and individuals in NZ, and an increase in cybercrime can be expected in 2023.

So, what can you do about this?

1. Identify your vulnerabilities with a comprehensive cybersecurity audit by an independent, trained professional.   You wouldn’t get your accountant to complete your financial audit, and neither should your IT department/MSP undertake your cybersecurity audit. Impartiality is imperative.

2. Determine your potential for damage with a risk assessment.

Understanding your risks goes a long way to protecting your company. Assessing your risks means understanding the “what if’s” that threaten you every operations, identifies gaps and provides opportunities to take preventive measures.

3. Create a robust risk management program.

There are a few ways to handle risk treatment. Avoid the risk- remove the opportunity completely. Mitigate the risk – put measures in place to lower the risk. Accept the risk- the cost of protection outweighs the threat. These are the three most common responses to risk treatment and set the countermeasures against each scenario in the assessment.

We have identified that the lack of robust risk analysis and treatment plans is common across New Zealand. Throwing cybersecurity technologies and employee awareness training at the problem can only go so far. Moving into 2023, the focus needs to shift at the Board, owner, and executive level to understanding cybersecurity gaps and the risks to businesses and plugging them.

Cybercrime is unpredictable, and the New Year is a good time to start taking a top-down cyber risk management approach to ensure your business is secure.

Introducing GOVERN.

From 2023 Hartley & Associates will now be known as GOVERN Cybersecurity.

We are excited to continue to work with businesses to master their cybersecurity resilience, and look forward to introducing tailored training packages for board members and C-Suite executives.

Tom is the owner and CEO for both Hartley & Associates and Secure Right. He has over 18 years in the cybersecurity and IT industry at management level, and for the past 6 years has been a lecturer in cybersecurity at the Eastern Institute of Technology.

He has earned certifications in ISO 27001 Lead Auditing, Lead Implementation, SOC2, and Ethical Hacking. These certifications are considered the international gold standard for business security.

HB Outlook 23 47

Employee Benefits

How do you measure the health & wellbeing of your team?

There has been a lot of talk lately around employee health and wellbeing, especially with the struggle for employers to attract and retain staff and recent initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week.

We all know that a healthy workforce leads to a healthy business but what is the right approach for employers to health and wellbeing and, if the goal is to ‘improve’ the health/wellbeing of the workforce, how can you measure this?

Defining what wellbeing is and why it matters to employees

The term ‘wellbeing’ is multi-faceted. It includes everything from the physical health of a person to their mental and spiritual state, social interactions, cultural engagement, and financial situation.

Gone are the days of the lifelong nineto-five career with a gold watch at the end. Employees are now expecting their employers to value their wellbeing and offer flexible working arrangements – at a minimum.

The measure of success from an employee’s perspective has changed from merely financial rewards to aspiring for an overall package that affords an attractive lifestyle for them and their family.1

Why should wellbeing matter to employers?

An employee in good general health contributes to a safer workplace and is proven to be significantly more productive2 given the lower rates of absenteeism, increased output of quality work.

In a tight labour market, it is crucial for employers to not only offer a competitive salary or wage but to go that step further and provide additional benefits that will impact their life and wellbeing in a tangible way.


2 workplacehealthpromotion/model/evaluation/ productivity.html

Many employers offer discounted gym subscriptions or social/competitive sporting events, weekly yoga sessions or onsite massage therapists. Some businesses are implementing a group life, disability, or critical illness insurance plan to provide peace of mind to an employee and their family. More commonly, in recent months, organisations have instigated health plans for all staff with universal acceptance to cover treatment in private health facilities or assist with day-to-day costs such as GP visits, dental check-ups and prescription lenses. This continues the trend of health insurance plans as the most desired employee benefit in New Zealand.3

As well as looking after the health of the employee these plans help avoid the lengthy wait they might otherwise face in the public health system, and supports them to recover faster and thus return to work sooner. There are currently 200,000 New Zealanders on a health-related wait list and forty two percent have been waiting more than four months.4

How do you measure wellbeing?

To attract and retain a happy/healthy team, businesses would do well to use the approach of a medical check-up when it comes to measuring the health & wellbeing of their workforce. For example when visiting your GP there are the routine physical checks however there is often equal weight given to other external factors (think alcohol consumption, family or work-based stress).

Likewise, in addition to focusing on the physical health of employees it would benefit a business to reflect on the wider aspects of their employees’ lives such as family commitments (ie. school or daycare routines) and other extra-curricular obligations or pursuits. A simple online or anonymous survey is a good way of gathering the wider picture of what is

3 the-most-wanted-work-perks-in-new-zealand

4 S00160/more-than-200000-kiwis-on-a-healthwait-list.htm

important and where new initiatives or benefits may deliver positive outcomes. Although it is not easy to measure wellbeing here are some ideas once you have decided to get focused around your team’s wellbeing –

● Decide where you expect your business to sit in relation to your competitors (below/average or an ‘employer of choice’ for wellbeing?)

● Nominate a wellbeing champion or committee in a similar vein to what a social club committee might be. What would a happy/healthy team look like to your business?

● Attempt to define the current culture of health/wellbeing – in practical terms are sick days generally encouraged or avoided/discouraged?

Next Steps

It is critical to appreciate the impact that wellbeing has on individual employees and the positive benefits this can have on a business.

We recommend becoming intentional by implementing a wellbeing strategy that is tailored to your team and their working environment and that delivers a positive impact on their health and lifestyle. If you are undertaking salary/wage reviews it would be the perfect time to consider alternative benefits that go over and above a competitive pay packet. Show additional value and demonstrate that yours is a business that cares about your people and their wellbeing. Need help or have questions? Your ICIB Life & Health team is here for a no obligation chat.

William joined the insurance industry in 2000 as a commercial underwriter with NZ based insurers before moving into broking in 2013. He now specialises in brokering and risk management, with a depth of expertise in most areas of insurance. William has a focus on transport, forestry, manufacturing, engineering, food processing and expanded polystyrene risks in the Hawkes Bay and East Coast regions. He is passionate about customer service and delivering the best possible outcomes for his clients, regardless of the complexity of their business risks.

HB Outlook 23 48

The wait is over.

Kaweka Hospital brings together an expert team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, technicians, and other support staff delivering exceptional surgical and post-operative patient care.

gastroenterology. Kaweka Hospital, established by Hawke’s Bay clinicians for the people of Hawke’s Bay. Ask your GP for a referral to one of our specialists or visit our website: 209 Canning Road, Hastings Te Mutunga kē mai o te tiakitangat The new standard in surgical care
Kaweka Hospital’s specialists offer surgery in a wide range of fields including ENT (ear, nose and throat), general surgery, gynaecology, urology, ophthalmology and
THE As we shift into 2023, the commercial property market continues to evolve. To navigate this industry, you need an experienced team to provide timely advice and deliver the best results. Collectively, our expert brokers in Hawke’s Bay and Taupō bring with them over 100 years’ experience in commercial and industrial real estate. Call one of our expert brokers today to find out how we can help accelerate your success. Napier 06-834 0599 | Havelock North 06-877 0195 Taupō 07-377 3925 Colliers Hawke’s Bay, Tremain Commercial Limited, licenced under the REAA 2008. Colliers, CIR Taupo Ltd licensed under the REAA 2008. Call the experts. New year, new real estate market, new commercial opportunities.

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Employee Benefits

page 50

Plan to Make 2023 Your Safest Year Yet

pages 49-50

Looking ahead: The pandemic’s economic ripples

pages 48-49

Riding the wave of uncertainty

pages 47-48

Valuing Hastings CBD Revitalisation programme reaps rewards

pages 46-47

Honey, I Shrunk the Equity!

pages 45-46

Health and fitness trends for 2023

pages 44-45

What to do when there’s a fraction too much friction

pages 43-44

Top commercial predictions for 2023

pages 42-43

Vet Services clinic makeovers continue on back of growth

pages 40-42

Fingermark and ReLeased among fastest growing tech businesses

page 38

Airport sets sights on project delivery

page 37

Horticulture a game changer for Wairoa

page 36

Major events and long haul visitors return

pages 35-36

business support

pages 34-35

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Environment is top priority

page 34

Primary sector faces market uncertainty

page 33

ESG set to dominate business scene

page 32

Central Hawke’s Bay

pages 31-32

New wharf opens door to many opportunities

pages 29-30

Strong pipeline fuels economies engine room

pages 27-29

Bumpy but optimism remains for Hawke’s Bay economy

page 26

Hawke’s Bay looks to attract successful innovators, investors and entrepreneurs

pages 24-25

The 10 Biggest Mistakes of Selling a Business

page 23


page 22

The right ingredients for business success comes from adversity

pages 18-21

Blair O’Keeffe – Napier Port Chairman

pages 16-17

Born to lead Bayden Barber has big aspirations for iwi

pages 12-13

Power change for Unison

pages 10-11

Sandtmann more than an Ad man

pages 8-9

New serviced calls to Port

page 7

High end real estate agency establishes

page 6

Giant ask to protect and enhance Te Mata Park

page 6

2023 – Keep Calm and Carry on

pages 4-5
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