Thursday, 31 October 2013

Newcomers to our city are going to provide essential capacity to accelerate the rebuild

As we build momentum in the reconstruction of Christchurch, newcomers to our city are going to provide essential capacity to accelerate the rebuild.

It is worth noting that:
  • Migration to Canterbury is higher than ever before, with over 7000 temporary work visas approved for work in Canterbury in 2012/2013.
  • The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub was set up to ensure that local labour is utilised before employers recruit from offshore. Businesses must show that there are no semi-skilled local workers available for a vacancy before hiring staff from another country.
  • For employers seeking skilled staff (such as construction project managers, surveyors and roading project managers) DO NOT need to demonstrate that local labour is unavailable and can recruit directly from offshore.
  • Canterbury employers who employ skilled newcomers are providing a wider range of support for their settlement into life in Christchurch, such as assistance with housing, transportation, work clothing and tools, and information about schools, recreational activities and other local services.
  • While the housing market is stretched, it is nonetheless able to accommodate, at this stage, the variety of housing options required - such as family housing, workers' accommodation and short-term housing.
  • We as Cantabrians need to be welcoming to the newcomers who are serving an important role in providing the labour required for the rebuild, now and over the next five to ten years.
  • Rebuild-relatet migration will change the demographics of Christchurch forever. Currently 80% of Cantabrians were born in NZ (compared to 59% in Auckland and 71% in Wellington) but we are now seeing a dramatic shift to a more multi-cultural city.
  • Our Settlement Support Christchurch programmed is an Immigration New Zealand service delivered by CECC. It provides free information, support and advice to employers of migrants and their new migrant staff. Make sure you contact Lana Hart - - if you employ, or are intending to employ migrant staff.
Please make contact if you require clarification around  any of these issues.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Whakatane proclaims itself as the sunshine capital of New Zealand....

This week I am attending the National Conference of the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Whakatane. Whakatane proclaims itself as the sunshine capital of New Zealand and the weather we are experiencing justifies that claim. Just a shame that we are stuck indoors, conferencing all day. The national network of 32 Chambers are all represented at Whakatane. We are considering a wide range of topics including the structure and function of Local Government, general issues around governance, leadership, media profiling, membership, information support systems and just generally greeting to know each other better.

It is always reassuring to test where we are at compared to other Chambers across the country. CECC is in good heart and in a good place and we can stand and  be counted with all like organisations across the country.

An extract from the National Chamber of Commerce conference. Whakatane October 22
Some points from  an address on leadership by Shelly Campbell CEO Sir Peter Blake Trust

Leadership is about:
  • What you do, with what you know
  • Being prepared to do whatever it takes
  • Being brave and honestly expressing your concerns, but choosing the things you wnat to be brave about
  • Being very clear, very honest and prepared to learn
  • Believing in your people and providing feedback that builds confidence and builds competence
  • Good neutral hard conversations
  • Focussing on leadership that the organisation requires at the time.

In the context of leadership it is important to:
  • Know what value you add and what you are good at
  • Focus on culture and belief that is doable
  • Not making assumptions about who the leaders are
  • Focus less on structure and more on people and the direction of travel
  • Stay current and relevant
  • Be curious and explore possibilities
  • Sometimes it is better to be effective over efficient
  • Look at the bigger picture
  • Understand that the best predictors of success are agility, resilience and perserverance

 All good food for thought!

The Duncan Cotterill Business Lunch
For the latest news on the economy and the trends and forecasts that may impact on your business, The Duncan Cotterill Business Lunch next Thursday 31 October is a good bet. The Right Hon. Bill English is guest speaker and I will be MC of this annual event, now in it's 6th year. Perfect for client hosting and great for networking, visit for more information - tables of ten are only $850.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Connect with Jenene Crossan - @nzgirlHQ & @flossiedotcom

Our ever popular Connect event will be held on Thursday 24 October. Connect is a free event providing an opportunity for those members in the first 15 years of their career to share similar challenges, experiences, make new business contacts and hear from an innovative, dynamic and inspiring speaker.
At Octobers Connect event we are joined by Director/Founder of @nzgirlHQ & @flossiedotcom Jenene Crossan. Jenene’s first foray into business came at 16 as a high-school dropout, which drove the launch of her first digital business from her spare bedroom on a second-hand computer. Almost 20 years on Jenene’s drive, determination & passion have seen her launching her 5th digital business, a finalist for both New Zealand Marketer of the Year and the international Veuve Clicquot Award. Click here to find out more or if you wish to attend this event, register here.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Ian Taylor to speak at CECC AGM

On  Wednesday 16 October the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual General Meeting at 4.00 pm at the newly reopened Novotel in Cathedral Square

The AGM provides an excellent opportunity to mix and mingle with the Board, staff and fellow members of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce. Guest Speaker Ian Taylor CEO  Animation Research Ltd, hot on the heels of a high profile involvement in The Americas Cup, including serious interaction with the leading lights of Silicon Valley, will present his ideas for the high tech future of Christchurch. He will share the presentation he made to several Silicon Valley companies on Christchurch being uniquely positioned to be a world class showcase of visualisation tools. These tools have the potential to revolutionise the way we see the future of Christchurch. We encourage you to come along and see  what Ian envisages for our city.

Click here to find a copy of our Annual Report which demonstrates just how busy we have been over the past year.

All of our members are cordially invited to attend the AGM. It will be a lively affair with  time committed to the formalities kept to a minimum and Ian Taylor’s address sure to entertain and inform.

I look for a to seeing you there.

If you wish to attend  please RSVP to

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Women of Influence Awards finalists...

Great news ths week that our General Manger Leeann Watson is a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards Local/Regional Community. This is recognition  of her leadership role, particularly in post earthquake Christchurch.

Here is the official announcement....

Narrowing down the 50 finalists for the inaugural Women of Influence awards was never going to be an easy task.
But the award's judges say they were surprised just how difficult it was.
Sustainable fashion pioneer Peri Drysdale said the awards brought a lot of women out of the woodwork, all with impressive credentials.
''They were all women who had stepped above the parapet but they came from all walks and were contributing in a huge variety of ways. They were in different occupations, different roles, different nationalities.''
The Women of Influence awards were established by Fairfax Media and Westpac to recognise the achievements being made by women across society and were first run in Australia last year.
Nominations were taken in five categories: board/ management, innovation/science, community service/social enterprise, business/entrepreneurs and local/regional community.
A sixth award for an emerging female leader under the age of 30 was added to recognise the next generation of women.
Judges said there were a large number of entries and the calibre was high.
''There were a large number of women that I knew of, but also a significant number of women I didn't know around the country, particularly working in the science area and in rural communities,'' said former Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast.
''It was really humbling that so much is being done by women in different aspects of New Zealand life.''
In Wellington, fresh fish entrepreneur Rachel Taulelei of Yellow Brick Road got the call about making the finals while she was elbow-deep in oysters .
The nomination process had been quite robust but she thought it was ''brilliant'' that she made the final 10 in the business/entrepreneur category, and it encouraged her to do more.
''When I do things, I like to excel at them. Life is busy, if you're going something then really try to be the best at it.''
The judges looked for several X-factors from the finalists including their personal, academic, professional or community achievements, and evidence of their influence beyond their direct role.
They were asked to judge how nominees had influenced the social and economic advancement of women, and their contribution to society through collaboration or mentoring.
Drysdale - founder of Christchurch's Untouched World fashion label - said she was particularly struck by the difficulty of judging celebrities against unsung heroines who had touched many lives.
''For some people, the sheer brilliance of what they've enough in itself to be really inspiring. Whereas somebody else might have spent more time actively setting up projects and ways to help women to make their way forward.''
Higher profile names among the 50 include international social researcher Marilyn Waring and top scientist Professor Margaret Brimble (innovation/science) and Federated Farmers' first female national board member Jeanette Maxwell (board and management).
New names include Wellington's Silvia Zuur, who said making the finals of the community service/social enterprise award was a bit ''daunting'' but she was happy for her work to be recognised.
''I feel celebration is something is sorely lacking in the community''.
Social change is something Zuur is heavily steeped in. When she did her OE, it included work with a Swedish youth initiative and street gangs in Los Angeles.
Back in New Zealand, her latest projects have been two social networks - Enspiral, a collective for socially-minded entrepreneurs, and  Chalkle, a platform for informal learning.
Chalkle now has nearly 2000 members in Wellington and the Horowhenua and many classes are free.
''We've had classes in everything from accounting in Deloitte's boardroom through to worm farming up at the community gardens.''
Awards have been quick to follow. Zuur and Chalkle co-founder Linc Gasking were nominated for the Wellingtonian of the Year awards last year.
Now the finalists have been found, the Women of Influence judges are looking for public input.
The winner of the emerging leader category will be judged by a secondary panel and the public will get a 20 per cent say in the final decision.
Votes can be placed by visiting
The full list of winners will be announced at a gala dinner on October 23.