Thursday, 28 May 2015

Business Expo

I'm delighted to let you know about our new Business Expo – Wednesday 3 June from 10am-1pm at Addington Raceway. It’s aimed at helping you find the best suppliers for your business.  

Your time is precious, life is busy, but we know you still need to get the best deal, so we’ve gathered a range of suppliers together in one place who are keen to help you find the best solution for your business needs. They include wineries, rental car providers, telcomunnications experts, business equipment and tool suppliers, banking and marketing – everyone you might need to see! 

Alongside this, we’re offering a range of quick seminars designed to provide you with takeaway tools and information, including topics such as managing cash flow, health and safety, cloud computing and getting the best out of your team. Best of all it’s all free – register now here …… Pass this on to others you might feel would appreciate the opportunity, and we will see you there!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Changes to the immigration policy

The changes to immigration policy in Canterbury announced by Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse last week are great news for employers in the region. Many more migrants will be needed over the next few years to supplement the New Zealand workforce. There simply are not enough New Zealanders to do the job. The Government has recognised the need to reduce the red tape for employers when recruiting and employing migrants for the rebuild. These changes are designed to increase labour market flexibility, make it easier for employers to recruit and retain workers, and reduce the possibility of migrant exploitation.

One of the significant policy changes is employees being able to change employers without having to apply for a Variation of Conditions (VOC) on their visa. There is a clear benefit to this change. The process of applying for a VOC is currently an impediment to both employees and prospective employers in the fast-paced rebuild environment.  It may, however, increase  the possibility of migrants ‘jumping ship’ if they are offered better wages or conditions of work elsewhere, leaving the employer who invested money, time and resources into recruiting them, feeling frustrated and ripped off.  Canterbury businesses should continue to put energy and resources into supporting the migrants they are employing. It’s not just about pay; good employment practices and pastoral care support will go a long way to retaining quality staff.

Find out more about these immigration changes here.

Retaining new migrant employees and settling them into the region can be a challenge, and one that needs to be mastered if the rebuild is to continue to move forward at a good pace. There is free Immigration New Zealand funded support available at CECC via the Skilled Migrant Business Services team. Contact them to see how they can provide you with advice, information and practical resources and tools so you can support these valuable new employees.

FAQ's Canterbury Rebuild - click here.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Verbal Submission to CCC Long Term Plan

Peter Townsend, Leeann Watson
Thank you for allowing us to submit to the LTP. This year our submission is more detailed than those we have presented in the past because we consider this LTP to be the most critical in the living history and one that will have more influence in determining the future direction of our city than any other plan to date.

Our written submission will have been considered by you all and we are happy to answer any questions you may have on its content shortly.

There are however a few matters we would like to emphasise.

It is fundamental that the CCC plays its vital role in providing levels of service that’s its community expects. We are fortunate to live in a first world country where first world levels of service can easily be taken for granted. Those levels of service have been tested by the tragedy of our earthquakes but should not be compromised given the opportunities we have to do things differently and to restore our city’s services to the highest level possible.

The CCC and indeed the community is fortunate that there are assets available to the community that can be used to help. We need to consider how best they can help to provide a healthy, resilient and liveable city.

How can we ensure that the value of those assets provides optimal outcomes for the citizens of Christchurch?

How can we ensure that we can continue to provide the best levels of services and our community is served right across all of its needs as well as it can be?

In this context, a short term issue is solving the Council’s shortfall estimated at $1.2billion and climbing. The long term issue is how the strategic assets can be made to work in a way that continues to provide value to our community and makes Christchurch more internationally significant. Realising cash from the sale of assets and introducing strategic equity partners to drive value back into our community through the optimal operation of those assets is critical.

There has been some debate about the ownership of Council assets such as libraries. The Council is the logical and necessary provider of library services. That this service continues via the Council, is not debatable. What is clear however is that the Council does not need to own the asset (in this example a library building) to continue to provide a quality library service.

We have some reservations about underspend with respect to existing core capital assets.“Sweating” the assets presents significant risks in terms of maintaining high levels of service and in terms of increasing operating costs over time. Careful analysis is required to get the balance right. Delaying the capital spend does not avoid the capital cost long term.

Finally we would like to comment on the need for our city to have an aspiration. What do we really want Christchurch to be, to do, to stand for!

How does that fit in with an aspiration for our region – Canterbury? And where are the interdependencies?

Where does Christchurch city fit in terms of its role in the wider South Island, New Zealand and internationally?

We need to better define what we aspire to be so that we do become the most attractive and liveable city in Australasia, where people, including our children and our grandchildren choose to live.

The Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce is committed to assist the CCC to return to delivering the highest possible levels of service to its people – our Community and you can be assured of our support in that quest.