Wellington Scoop

John Milford sets out three key regional issues for new government

News from Wellington CofC
The Wellington Chamber of Commerce welcomes the outcome of the negotiations to form the new government, and congratulates Labour, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford.

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“Throughout the election campaign the Chamber has been an advocate on three key issues the business community would like addressed: a skills and talent pipeline that delivers for employers, building infrastructure to ensure resilience and growth, and ensuring the right platform for business by reducing red tape.

“These are vital issues for the Wellington regional and wider New Zealand economy.

“The incoming government must ensure that New Zealand remains open for business as a trading nation. It must remain committed to free trade, including the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, and it must remain open to investment.

“Businesses are wary of the impact of anything that could tip the balance in their cost structure, such as changes in infrastructure costs, taxes on water, increases in power prices, obstruction of the flow of immigrants, or increases in labour costs and disruptions.

“While we have some reservations about the impact of Labour’s immigration, trade, and employment relations policies, we welcome the beginning of a conversation with the new government to ensure we get the outcomes that New Zealand needs. We trust that pragmatic dialogue will trump ideological rhetoric.

“We will watch over the coming days as the details of vital policies, ministerial positions and the final government arrangements are announced.

“There are also other local issues that the Chamber is keen to pursue, and we welcome commencement of a conversation on these. The Chamber will continue to advocate on our members’ behalf to ensure a strong platform for business to invest grow and employ.

“It is timely to acknowledge the outgoing National Government. They have done a great job over nine years, getting us through the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes and delivering one of the strongest economies in the world.”

News from Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce
As a Chamber of Commerce our role is to work with the Government to achieve outcomes for business and we welcome the conclusion of the negotiations to form a Government. We will watch with interest, over the coming days, as the details of vital policies, ministerial positions, and the final government arrangements are put in place.

Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce President Neville Hyde said “Some of the comments made by New Zealand First leader Mr Peters raised questions about what will happen with New Zealand’s fundamental economic structure and settings. The sooner business understands what is meant by this, the better it will be to give businesses the confidence and certainty they require.”

“Throughout the election campaign the Chambers of Commerce have been an advocate on key issues the business community would like addressed, to ensure a strong platform for business to invest, grow, and employ.

“There will need to be a strong focus on regional development, responding on a regionally specific basis to challenges. From addressing our housing shortage, to improving core infrastructure, as well as a renewed commitment to free trade – all with the goal to make it easier to do business. The incoming government must avoid knee-jerk responses to perceived problems in immigration. Stopping immigration would be bad for businesses and bad for the economy. Instead we encourage the government to work with employers, to manage requirements around talent, and the Chambers of Commerce are keen to help with this.

“The incoming government must address the housing shortage by solving the underlying infrastructure financing problem which is holding back critical infrastructure expansions needed to get houses built.

“Major upgrades to infrastructure are also needed to deal with heavier demand and to improve urban storm water and wastewater. Making sure local councils are able to deal with the infrastructure deficit will be important for any incoming government – the Chambers of Commerce would welcome strong leadership from central government on this.

“There are also other issues that Chambers are keen to pursue, and we welcome commencement of a conversation on these, as well as look forward to working alongside the incoming Labour-led government to ensure we get the right outcomes.”