BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope has welcomed the announcement of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council as a commitment by the Government to listen to business.
The role of the Council will be to build closer relationships between Government and business.
“When business is going well, it affects the wellbeing of our economy, our environment, our jobs, our communities, our families and our futures,” Mr Hope says.
“But in order for business to do well, it also has to have confidence in the direction of the country, and confidence that it is being listened to.
“Business has been urging the Government to take heed of its concerns about the lack of clarity around policy and reform, in particular in the area of employment relations.
“This announcement is a positive step in signalling the Government’s commitment to do so.”
The Council will complement the work the Government is already doing with the Small Business Council and the Tripartite Forum, on which Business NZ is represented.
“Businesses like certainty. It gives them the courage and confidence to invest, hire, and to help create a successful New Zealand,” Mr Hope says.
“Though many policy areas remain under development by working groups, we are hopeful that the new Council will encourage the Government to provide the certainty that businesses are seeking.”
The Council will also offer high-level free and frank advice on key economic issues, and will provide another channel for business to assist in the development of policy, Mr Hope says.
“It will ensure a true indicator of the implications of policies and change on business, along with a strong business perspective.
“By recalibrating pace and priorities, the Government could look at policy that will provide sustainable, inclusive growth and high-quality jobs that lead to higher incomes and that make New Zealanders better off.
“Listening to business more closely will help define that policy and deliver those outcomes.”
Mr Hope congratulated Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxton on his appointment as inaugural Chair. AirNZ is a member of BusinessNZ’s influential Major Companies Group, which ensures that NZ’s largest companies are heard in policy, business and economic debate.
“As NZ’s largest business advocacy body, BusinessNZ is committed to New Zealand’s success,” Mr Hope says. “Successful business helps to make New Zealanders better off. We therefore applaud any initiative that will create a better New Zealand for all.”