Night works at Scrubby Corner, Kawarau Gorge, SH6, starting Sunday, 10 March

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Aspiring Highways, on behalf of the NZ Transport Agency, is preparing to start investigative drilling at Scrubby Corner on SH6, near Cromwell next weekend.

Scrubby Corner is on the Cromwell side of the Kawarau Gorge, about 10km from Cromwell’s Big Fruit.

The works will be carried out at nights over ten days between 7pm and 7am from Sunday 10 March to Wednesday 20 March.

“The drilling is needed to investigate the ground conditions before a solution can be designed to keep the highway from slumping in this location,” says Mark Stewart, Maintenance Contract Manager, NZ Transport Agency.

  • Due to the position of a drill-rig on the highway there will be single lane stop/go traffic management.
  • The road will be closed to over-dimension loads during the working hours at night.

Scrubby Corner, SH6, 10 km from Cromwell.

“This work is essential to maintain this section of highway and has been planned at night to minimise effects on road users. However, people travelling via the Kawarau Gorge during these times should expect delays of up to 10 minutes,” says Mr Stewart.

To stay informed about these works, the Transport Agency encourages people to check the web page: www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz/traffic(external link)

The Transport Agency thanks everyone for their patience and for taking care and slowing down while traveling through the site during the works.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey this summer. Keep up to date with:

If the CGT is bad for Māori, then it’s bad for all Kiwis

Source: National Party

The Government has said a Capital Gains Tax is about fairness and equity, but by looking to exclude Māori from a GGT, it’s contradicting its own position, National Leader Simon Bridges says.

“Māori aspirations are the same as all New Zealanders. Māori want more money in their back-pockets and to know their tribal assets are working for them. Māori work hard, scrimp and save, start businesses, create jobs and pay wages, just like all hard working Kiwis do. 

“By excluding iwi from a Capital Gains Tax, the Government would be sending a clear signal that a CGT would have a negative impact on Māori and their assets. If the proposed Capital Gains Tax will have negative implications for Māori, then it will have negative implications for all New Zealanders.

“The Government has repeated that a Capital Gains Tax is about fairness, but extending tax-breaks on the basis of race is anything but.

“The Government is mistaken in thinking a Capital Gains Tax is the answer, that it can maintain the economy’s momentum and lift productivity by taxing more and exempting Māori at the same time.

“National believes all New Zealanders already pay enough tax. The Government should be looking at tax relief for all, not taking even more out of the pockets of New Zealand families.

“We say no to new taxes, for all Kiwis.

“If a Capital Gains Tax is bad for Māori, then it’s bad for every New Zealander. There shouldn’t be exemptions for some. That’s not the Kiwi way.”

Strengthening the Criminal Justice System for Victims

Source: New Zealand Government

Speech to Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata: Safe and Effective Justice Victim’s Workshop, Wellington

Tēnā koutou rau rangatira mā | Greetings to this gathering of esteemed people

Tēnā koutou kui huihui mai nei | Greetings to you all who have gathered here

i runga i te kaupapa  o tēnei huihuinga | For this very important subject

Kei te mihi tēnei ki a koutou katoa | This is my acknowledgement to each and every one of you

No reira | And therefore

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa | I greet you, I acknowledge you, I acknowledge us all.

Please can I acknowledge:

  • Women’s Refuge
  • Māori Women’s Refuge
  • Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora
  • Te Rōpū
  • Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust
  • Victim Support
  • Sensible Sentencing Trust
  • Shakti
  • The Advocates of victims
  • Members of the Judiciary
  • Under-Secretary Jan Logie
  • Dr Kim McGregor

Thank you for being part of this important workshop.

Victims of crime were represented at last year’s criminal justice summit, and made very powerful contributions.

Those speaking for victims at last year’s summit were strongly of the view that the debate we are now having as a country about the best way forward for our criminal justice system would be helped by a dedicated session on victims’ issues.  This is that session.

How our justice system treats victims of crime is a measure of its humanity, and is vital for public confidence.

I come at this question from a defining experience I had some years ago.  It was the early 1990’s; I had been a lawyer in practice for less than two years.  A very good friend of mine’s father was a victim of homicide.  He was Howard Teppett, a retired doctor in Foxton.

Two young men, apparently prospects for a local gang, had broken into Howard’s home early in the morning.  He and his elderly sister, Joy, who was staying with him were beaten and she was raped.  He died of his injuries from the attack.

I sat with the family through the trial of the two young men charged with murder (one of them had already pleaded guilty to the rape).

I saw for myself how alienating the whole process was for the family.

I was a young lawyer.  I was naturally sympathetic to the process – the arcane rules of evidence, the dispassionate conduct of the trial, the language and formality devoid of barely any humanity.

The family, however felt left out.  And they were left out.  I did what I could to explain what was happening.  But no one who was part of the system did.  With one exception – one of the defence counsel took some time to explain a couple of procedural matters.  It was a kindly gesture from a quarter the family wasn’t expecting kindness from.

Then that lawyer went on to cross-examine Joy, the only eye-witness to events.  It was a devastating cross-examination for Joy.  And now that defence counsel who had seemed so generous in spirit was as estranged from the family as just about everyone else in that courtroom.

For the record, the result of the case was that one of the defendants was acquitted and the other convicted of manslaughter.  The verdict was another shock to the family.

It was clear to me that the trauma of the loss of Howard in an act of violence was compounded by a system that was incapable of dealing with the family with empathy and sensitivity.

Since the late 1980’s there has been a growing voice for victims of crime and rightful demands for better support and a relevant voice during court processes.  It boils down to victims being afforded the basic dignity they should receive in a process that should be as much about doing justice for them as for offenders and the community at large.

I think we all understand the origins of our present criminal justice system:

  • That there are some behaviours that are so bad and contravene the basic trust and confidence we must have in each other for the benefit of an orderly society, that the State (or Crown) takes responsibility for responding to them;
  • We call these anti-social behaviours crimes, and the State through the police and crown agencies prosecutes them rather than victims having to;
  • Because it is the State and its agencies taking action, there are rules to prevent abuses of power and protect the innocent;
  • The system is geared towards proving the wrongdoing and then responding in a way that confirms society’s denunciation of the behaviour, provides a measure of punishment and hopefully does enough to prevent reoccurrence.

While we have been developing and refining this process over many, many decades and working out how to deal more effectively with offenders, we have overlooked the needs of victims.

It is time to do better for victims and survivors of crime.  It is time to accept that supporting victims of crime and making a place for victims and survivors of crime in our justice system does not have to come at the expense of the various rules and safeguards we have built up for offenders.

One thing that sets victims apart from every other participant in the criminal justice system is that they have not chosen to be there.  Nothing they have done has caused them to be part of the system.  So, rather than victims being incidental to the system, it’s time their place in it was clearly marked out.

Past and current legislation has sought to create place for victims.  With the Victims of Offence Act 1987, the Victims’ Rights Act 2002, the Victims’ Code in 2015 and the creation of the Chief Victims’ Advisor’s role in 2015, we have tried to provide better support for victims including the right to support at the time an offence is committed, the right to provide a victim’s impact statement at sentencing, and assistance with some costs associated with being in court.

Two recent events tell me this is not enough and we have a long way to go.  The first was at the beginning of last year.  I met with a woman whose nephew was the victim of a homicide.  A young woman is currently serving a prison sentence for manslaughter as a result.  The aunt wanted to speak to me because she thought it unlikely the young woman ultimately convicted could have been solely responsible for her nephew’s death (and having looked at the information I agree with her) but she couldn’t find anyone who would listen to her.  The aunt had a single visit from Victim Support, even though her nephew had lived with her for many years and she was the closest family member to him in New Zealand.  It was like the loss she had suffered and was mourning didn’t fit the usual pattern and so her feelings were minimised.

Her point was she could not get her voice heard.  She could not get the support she should have had.  Victim Support does great work every day, but it is true to say, it is not consistent across the country.

The second recent event that tells me we have more to do was last year’s report by Coroner Greig on the inquest into the tragic death of Christie Marceau.

It is clear that Christie was not only the victim of the heinous act of the young man who took her life, but of a system that failed to ensure the right information was available at the right time that might have meant she could have been kept safe.  Her voice should have been heard early in the decision-making about the man who attacked her.

I know we can do better.  I am committed to doing better for victims.

I will be back there this afternoon, and I look forward to hearing the proposals and recommendations that come out of this workshop.

As we seek to reform our criminal justice system – to make it more effective, to do better by reducing reoffending and therefore having fewer victims of crime – I am acutely aware that doing justice means doing justice for all, including for victims.

Two-way trade with CPTPP countries nears $50 billion – Stats NZ Media and Information Release: Goods and services trade by country: Year ended December 2018

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions



Two-way trade with CPTPP countries nears $50 billion – Media release

4 March 2019

New Zealand’s two-way trade with the combined Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) countries was $49.6 billion in the December 2018 year, Stats NZ said today.

The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between New Zealand and 10 other countries in the Pacific region. Canada, Australia, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Viet Nam, and New Zealand have ratified the trade agreement, with four countries (Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, and Peru) yet to do so.

“CPTPP countries account for almost one-third of our total two-way trade,” international statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said. “By comparison, China, our largest single trading partner, accounts for almost one-fifth of our total two-way trade.”

Goods and services exported to CPTPP countries totalled $24.4 billion, and imports totalled $25.2 billion. New Zealand is close to a trade balance with the CPTPP countries as a group.

The CPTPP came into force on 30 December 2018. Tariffs will be eliminated on most goods exports to CPTPP economies. Where there are tariff exceptions, access will be improved through partial tariff reductions and duty-free quotas (see Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership for more information).

New Zealand has existing trade agreements with several countries, including some CPTPP countries. For example, New Zealand has had a trade deal with Australia for over 50 years – the 1965 New Zealand Australia Free Trade Agreement was replaced in 1983 by the New Zealand Australia Closer Economic Relations agreement. Australia accounts for over 50 percent of New Zealand’s two-way trade with CPTPP countries.

Beef, dairy, wine, and horticulture – exports that had previous tariff restrictions – are among the New Zealand sectors likely to benefit from reduced or removal of restrictions between CPTPP countries.

Spotlight on exports to our new free trade partners

New Zealand currently exports $6.1 billion of goods and services (7.5 percent of total exports) to Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Peru.

“This is the first time New Zealand has had a free trade agreement with these countries,” Mr Dolan said. “Partnering with them represents opportunities for goods exporters and providers of services.”

Japan is the fourth-largest economy in the world (ranked by OECD according to 2017 gross domestic product), and New Zealand’s third-largest export market for kiwifruit.  In the December 2018 year, the value of New Zealand’s kiwifruit exports to Japan was $503 million, behind the European Union ($593 million) and China ($511 million).

In 2018, we exported $129 million worth of wine to Canada, making it New Zealand’s fifth-largest wine market (European Union was top at $594 million). The largest services export to Canada was travel, with Canadian visitors to New Zealand spending $273 million in the December 2018 year.

New Zealand exported $200 million worth of dairy products to Mexico in 2018. Travel exports to Mexico (spending by Mexican visitors to New Zealand) provided $28 million to the New Zealand economy over the same period.

Note that estimates for travel services dep

Speech to China Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand

Source: New Zealand Government

SPEECH TO CHINA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN NZ – MONDAY 25TH FEBRUARY

This is a social event to celebrate Chinese New Year of the Pig.

It is therefore fitting that when giving an interview with the NZ Herald recently about the seven deadly sins, I chose to speak about gluttony.

During my recent trip to China with a forestry delegation, gluttony was indeed a sin I was guilty of.

As one of the most social – and humble – Ministers in the New Zealand Government, I’m delighted to be here tonight.

Thank you to the China Chamber of Commerce for this opportunity to speak.

And thank you to every person in this room for the contributions you have made and continue to make to our economy.

The theme of this event is “New Economy – Shared Future” – a highly poignant theme.

Obviously the China 2025 strategy shows the importance of long-term policy thinking with China putting significant emphasis on IT, robotics, new materials and green energy.

While European powers transformed their economies during the Industrial Revolution that started in the late 18th century, China has had to wait for its moment of modern economic empowerment.

And now one thing is for sure – China is certainly determined to be at the forefront of the modern technological revolution.

This revolution has seen hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty and has placed China at the forefront of world economic and political development.

The relationship between China and New Zealand is a strong and important one; and one that we place significant value on.

Like all good friends, our nations may differ on some issues, like we do with many other countries, but that doesn’t change the mature and robust nature of our relationship.

I can do no better than refer to the Prime Minister’s recent comments regarding our relationship with China.

The Prime Minister explained that with a trade relationship worth $28 billion – up 15 per cent in the year to September 2018 – there are bound to be technical issues from time to time.

She also noted visitor numbers from China to NZ are strong, as are the numbers regarding our trade relationship. Indeed, goods exports to China have surged 20 per cent and are now worth $13 billion.

It’s worth remembering the five firsts that China attributes to New Zealand too:

In 1997 New Zealand became the first country to agree to China’s entrance to the WTO

New Zealand was the first country to recognise China as a market economy in 2004.

New Zealand was the first developed country to commence FTA negotiations with China. In November 2004, New Zealand and China launched FTA negotiations.

In April 2008, New Zealand became the first country to successfully conclude Free Trade Agreement negotiations with China.

In November 2016, New Zealand and China jointly announced the launch of negotiations to upgrade our bilateral FTA, a first for a developed country with China.

Right now our two nations are working cooperatively on a number of areas, including:

  • Working to strengthen the WTO through high‑level discussions;
  • A shared objective to address climate change – the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, visited China last year to progress work on this important issue;
  • We have strong science and research connections, and rich cultural and people‑to‑people exchanges;
  • And officials are also negotiating an upgrade of our Free Trade Agreement, which has seen our trade with China more than triple since it was signed 11 years ago. 

I should also echo the Prime Minister’s categorical refuting of the claim five Ministers are awaiting visas for travel to China.  There are in fact no Ministers are currently awaiting either Letters of Invitation or Visas from China.

Indeed, I understand Economic Development Minister David Parker will be attending a Belt and Road initiative conference in April.

This doesn’t sound to me like a relationship in crisis. It sounds like two countries working constructively to resolve any differences they have, and not letting these differences impact areas like trade and tourism which significantly benefit both nations.

I know many in the people in this room tonight are directly or indirectly linked to the various portfolios I hold.

Forestry in particular is a portfolio which requires significant engagement with China, given its significant investment in New Zealand’s forestry industry.

China is our largest market for both logs and pulp, and our second largest market for sawn timber.

Both I and my political party recognised the importance of this – that’s why we successfully argued for a carve-out for forestry investment when the Coalition Government changed the laws around foreign investment.

This involved “streamlining” the process for investing and ensuring the rules around investment are consistent.

We’ve introduced a special benefits test (or the primrose path, as I call it) – to better facilitate investment in freehold or leasehold land, as well as forestry rights.

This takes the form of a checklist which, if met, means no further assessment is necessary.

My visit to China last year as Forestry Minister was very productive, and I was made to feel very welcome by my hosts.

We are keen to see China’s strong investment in the New Zealand forestry sector continue – especially when it contributes to building a value-over-volume economy, by encouraging on-shore processing which creates well-paying, sustainable jobs in our regions

I should also commend the efforts China Forestry Group in maintaining the strong links between the forestry industry and China.

Their stewardship of the relationship, epitomised by initiatives such as the long-term supply agreement signed between CFG and Waipapa Pine and more recently TaranakiPine are essential for the continued success of the sector.

Tourism is also an incredibly important area for regional development in New Zealand, and another area in which our relationship with China plays a critical part.

In the year ended September 2018, 450,000 visitors to New Zealand from China spent $1.6 billion.

The Provincial Growth Fund – of which I am the steward – has invested in tourism projects across the country, ensuring that not only existing tourist hotspots have the infrastructure they need to handle the volume of visitors they have, but also creating new attractions in some of less well-known, but equally spectacular, areas of the country.

This means that our visitors have the best experience possible here, our regional communities thrive, and the social license regarding tourism is strengthened.

New Zealand is facing an unprecedented infrastructure deficit with our Treasury estimating that net capital spending in the next five years will be more than double that of the previous five years – with the Government investing about $42 billion through to 2022.

I’ve recently announced the establishment of a new independent Infrastructure Commission, which will help lead us in long-term planning and strategy.

There will be business and investment opportunities that arise in the infrastructure space and I hope the new Commission will see New Zealand becoming an even easier place to do business with high-quality partners.

Dairy has perhaps always been the most prominent aspect of the economic relationship between China and New Zealand. It is incredibly important, but the relationship spans across many industries and touches on much of the New Zealand economy.

CONCLUSION:

During my visit to China last year, I saw nothing to back up the inflamed rhetoric of the Opposition regarding the relationship with China.

I can do no better than echo the sentiment of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which noted last Friday that “enjoying strong and steady development is in the interests of both [our] countries”

I know Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Deputy Prime Minister (and Foreign Minister) Winston Peters are committed to ensuring the relationship between China and New Zealand continues, and indeed strengthens, in the years to come.

It’s hard to overstate the impact the free trade agreement has had. Since it was signed, two-way trade with China has tripled.

As a Cabinet Minister, I look forward to continuing to do my bit, both within my portfolios and across the Government’s entire work programme, to ensuring that the relationship continues to prosper and benefit both parties.

I look forward to continuing to work with many of you on the varied investment opportunities available here in New Zealand.

Please note – speech as delivered may differ from these speech notes. 

Serious crash, Hinds, Ashburton District

Source: New Zealand Police

Emergency services have been called to the scene of a serious crash involving two cars on Junction Road, Hinds.

Police were called around 10.05am.

Initial indications are one person received serious injuries.

A helicopter is responding.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

Refurbishment of the Sunderland Lounge nearing completion

Source: Auckland Council

Work to complete a full refurbishment of the Sunderland Lounge in Hobsonville Point is nearing completion.

Completed exterior work on the community facility includes repainting weatherboards and windows, replacing rotten timber, and installation of new downpipes, drainage and underfloor insulation.  

Interior refurbishment works include replacement of all floor coverings, repair and repainting of walls and ceilings, installation of new toilet and bathroom facilities, new heating and ventilation systems, an upgraded electrical switchboard along with new power and data outlets, new kitchen cabinetry, and demolition of the old bar and chiller to enable creation of an additional meeting room fitted with a kitchenette.

When completed, the Sunderland Lounge will provide a fully refurbished community hall facility with kitchen, separate meeting room and bathrooms alongside Hobsonville Point’s Headquarters community facilities.       

Upper Harbour Local Board Chair Margaret Miles says she looks forward to the facility reopening and announcing a new management team to run it.

“Over the coming months, we will be selecting and announcing a community organisation that will reopen and run the refurbished facility going forward,” says Miles.

“The same organisation will also take over the running of the Headquarters facility from the council, providing high-quality dedicated services and programmes for the fast-growing Hobsonville community.”  

Refurbishment work remains on schedule for completion in early May with an announcement on the new management team expected shortly afterwards.   

A space to call home in Manurewa

Source: Auckland Council

Create it and they will come is ringing true for The Space – a hub in Manurewa for young people to hang-out after school, a space for events, study and being creative.

Established in 2017, it was only in late 2018 that the newly decorated space opened, but word has quickly spread about the venue as the place to be for local youth and community organisations.

“The response has been really positive. People are finding out about it through our the Facebook page and word of mouth,” says Manurewa Youth Council (MYC) chair Damian Piilua.

“What’s been really cool is how quickly people, particularly young people, are already starting to see it as their place – which is exactly what we want because that means they will take ownership and take care of it.” 

Taking that sense of ownership to the next level and providing opportunities for personal development, MYC has recently appointed two local young people as coordinators for The Space.

Set up to offer creative programmes, run a variety of events, and an after-school drop-in centre, Damian says they have been pleasantly surprised with the different ways people are using it.

“We have intentionally set it up to be flexible. This enables the youth and community to use it how they like. It is really popular with students as an after-school study space and it is getting plenty of use from organisations hiring it for their activities.”

While relatively small in size, The Space is the start of a concept that’s been a dream of the youth council and Manurewa Local Board for many years.

“We have been advocating for a creative space in Manurewa for a very long time and this project is part of getting those discussions going. The overwhelming response to this project is proof that there is a need for a creative space,” says local board member Sarah Colcord.

“They officially opened The Space on November 1, 2018. In the first month, they had over 200 individual sign-ins.”

And while grateful to the support from Manurewa Local Board and the Manurewa Business Association for the support to set up the venture, she says the long-term vision is to have a larger and accessible facility.

“Our vision is for this space to be a hub for young people to safely explore and develop their creativity, to have the amenities to hold larger events and to be a haven to more young people and the wider community.”

Visit or hire The Space

The Space is located upstairs, 4 Station Road, Manurewa. Find out more, including booking information youth council’s website or follow The Space on Facebook.

Calling all writers!

Source: University of Waikato

The University of Waikato is pleased to announce the launch of a new national short story competition, the Sargeson Prize. The richest such prize in New Zealand, it will award $5000 to the overall winner, and has both Open and Secondary Schools Divisions.

The Sargeson Prize is the brainchild of eminent New Zealand writer Catherine Chidgey, who is a lecturer in Writing Studies at the University. With the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Awards having disappeared from New Zealand’s literary landscape, Catherine saw both a gap and an opportunity for a new, significant national competition for New Zealand writers.

There are many benefits for writers in entering short story competitions, Catherine says, including, of course, the substantial prize money.

“For new writers it’s a chance to build a writing profile, which can prove key to being picked up by a publisher or an agent later on. For established writers it also provides valuable publicity and recognition. And of course, many writers find real motivation in having to work to a deadline.”

Catherine will also act as Chief Judge for the Prize in 2019, a role which will be undertaken by a different prominent New Zealand writer each year. The winning story will be published in Landfall, New Zealand’s longest-running literary journal, and the top three stories will later be published in Mayhem.

The winner of the Secondary Schools Division will receive a $500 cash prize and the opportunity to take up a one-week summer residency at the University of Waikato, with accommodation and meals provided, along with mentorship from postgraduate writing students and Writing Studies staff. The winning story will also be published in Mayhem.

The Prize is named for Frank Sargeson, one of New Zealand’s most esteemed short-story writers and novelists. Credited with bringing the working class New Zealand voice into literature, Hamilton-born Sargeson and the University of Waikato have a longstanding connection, celebrated each year (since 2009) with the Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture, hosted jointly with the Friends of Hamilton Public Library.

Entries to the Sargeson Prize will open on 1 April and close on 30 June 2019. For more information please visit the Sargeson Prize online, or email sargeson.prize@waikato.ac.nz. Winners and place-getters will be contacted by 15 September 2019, and prizes will be awarded at the 2019 Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture.


The University of Waikato offers an undergraduate major and minor in Writing Studies and a Master of Professional Writing, which has a creative writing stream.

Tech firms’ continued R&D growth driving economic growth

Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Auckland – New data from Statistics NZ highlights the continued growth of R&D (research and development) by tech firms, with computer services and scientific and tech services making up 35 percent of all R&D investment.

Computer services companies alone invested $586 million in R&D in 2018, an increase of $150 million, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

“The scale of R&D investment by tech firms should be recognised and celebrated as many of these firms develop solutions that are enablers for other sectors,” he says.

The tech sector is made up of more than 20,000 firms, most of them small businesses, yet they contribute around $16 billion to GDP and close to $7 billion in exports, making them the country’s third largest export sector.

“The growth of the tech sector is contributing to regional growth and employment, with over 100,000 Kiwis now employed by tech firms. However, the biggest impact from a growing tech sector is the positive impact of its growth on the economy as a whole.

“Research has shown that for every new tech job created a further four other jobs are created around it.”

It is also cause for celebration to see investment in ICT not limited to the tech sector with Statistics NZ data showing that across sector R&D investment in information and communication services reached $431 million, a 40 percent growth, which now accounts for 11 percent of all R&D invested in New Zealand, Muller says.

“As New Zealand businesses invest in technology their productivity and profitability improves. Increased use of internet services by small businesses in New Zealand could be worth $34 billion in economic growth according to a 2016 study.

“Hopefully the transition from growth grants to the R&D tax credit system will not slow this growth in R&D. There are still a couple of definitional issues to resolve to ensure software firms can continue to have access to R&D incentives and that high growth pre-profit firms are also given incentive to invest. However, it is expected that overall R&D investment by tech firms will continue to grow,” Muller says.

New Zealand has a growing number of successful software firms like Xero, Pushpay, FarmIQ and Soul Machines who continue to spend significant amounts on R&D as their products need constant development.

The R&D incentive will help get New Zealand tech and innovation to the world and support the growth of the fastest growing industry in the country, he says.

For further information contact Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

Photo: NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller