Business Partnership Agenda
Partnering with business to develop a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.
Introduction from Finance Minister Grant Robertson
The Coalition Government’s goal is to improve the wellbeing and living standards of all New Zealanders. Economic growth and a thriving business sector are essential means towards this end.
That is why the Government is working in partnership with business to shape a modern economy that is fit for purpose for the 21st century and beyond. This requires new thinking on how to leverage the opportunities, and face the challenges, presented by the changing nature of work, the changing global economy and issues like climate change.
It also requires a new, invigorated partnership with business.
We are working with business on the key issues they have raised with us, including skills and education, improving workplace productivity, enhanced access to export markets, and improved infrastructure.
Together, we can drive the changes necessary to support current and future generations of New Zealanders. I look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve this.
Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance
What we're doing together
R&D tax incentive – Budget 2018 put forward $1 billion for an R&D tax incentive which is being designed with input from the business community. We are also developing a broader Research, Science and Innovation Strategy, and enhancing MBIE’s Innovative Partnerships scheme to encourage international businesses to set up in New Zealand.
You can click here for public consultation information. Submissions closed on 1 June 2018.
For more information, you can email RDIncentive@mbie.govt.nz
To apply for business innovation support through Callaghan Innovation, click here.
Green Investment Fund – Budget 2018 set aside $100 million of capital for a Green Investment Fund to leverage the economic opportunities presented by the transition to a low-carbon economy. The Fund will collaborate with the private sector to co-invest in high-value, low-carbon industries and clean-tech.
Chief Technology Officer - The Chief Technology Officer is responsible for working with the private sector to prepare and oversee a national digital architecture, or roadmap, for the next five to ten years. This fits with the Government’s work programme on digital inclusion, investment in infrastructure and supporting businesses to take on new technologies to respond to the opportunities and challenges of our changing digital world.
GROWING THE VALUE OF OUR EXPORTS
Trade – The Government has invested greater resources in New Zealand’s ability to negotiate and secure high-quality trade agreements so we can diversify our export markets and products. We have started negotiations on a trade deal with the European Union, and signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership. Our Trade for All Agenda will ensure that trade policy delivers for all New Zealanders, and that we have support to continue reaching out to trade with the rest of the world.
Moving from volume to value – Schemes like the Government’s Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund provide gateways for farmers and growers to apply for investment in a greater range of projects that deliver economic, environmental and social benefits that flow through to all Kiwis.
Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures will be launching, and seeking applications, in October 2018. You can read the Minister of Agriculture's media release here.
Small business strategy – The Small Business Council will develop a strategy to encourage improvement and innovation in the small business sector. The small business strategy includes a focus on helping more of our SMEs to scale up and become exporters. We have announced the move to e-invoicing and the closing of the GST loophole for offshore selling of goods.
You can find out more about the Small Business Council here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can also receive business advice here, email email@example.com, or phone 0800 424 946 (Monday to Friday office hours). You can opt in to mailing lists for updates on various industry sectors here.
BUILDING A SKILLED WORKFORCE
Enhancing vocational education and training – Working with business, changes made already include the micro-credentials programme for employees who want to access new skills quickly, and expanding the number of places to help more senior secondary school students into employment in the trades, where businesses face skills shortages.
Mana in Mahi/Strength in Work Apprenticeship pilot – Mana in Mahi provides financial support to employers to fill skills gaps by subsidising the cost of apprenticeships for young New Zealanders who have been on a benefit for six months or more.
He Poutama Rangatahi – This support employers, industries and other groups through the development of local youth employment plans to address New Zealand’s high number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS).
Fees-free post-secondary study – The first-year fees-free initiative equates to two-years’ fees-free for trades training and apprenticeship schemes, due to the different cost structures of post-secondary training. This will help address the skills shortage businesses are facing.
Construction skills action plan – With input from the industry we are planning to improve the size and skills of New Zealand’s local construction workforce.
You can find out more here.
To access the Building Controls and Building Act information line (a general enquiry line for building-related issues), you can freephone 0800 24 22 43.
And to read the relevant Cabinet paper, click here.
Immigration settings – We are making sure businesses facing skills shortages will be able to access skilled migrant labour. The Government is working on making changes to immigration settings to make it easier for regional employers to fill skills gaps. Changes have already been announced to help the construction sector access skilled labour for KiwiBuild and other construction projects, following feedback from the construction industry.
You can read more here.
The Government will be consulting on changes to immigration settings to make it easier for regional employers to fill skills gaps in due course.
PROMOTING A PRODUCTIVE ECONOMY
Tax Working Group – We are examining the structure, fairness and balance of New Zealand’s tax system. In particular, the Group, which includes representation from the business community, is reviewing what can be done to incentivise more investment in the productive side of the economy, and away from property speculation. An interim report will be published in September for public discussion, with final Cabinet decisions announced in April 2019. Changes won’t come into force until 1 April 2021.
Overseas Investment Act – We have passed legislation to ensure foreign investment is directed into the productive side of our economy, and not into our existing residential housing stock. The new legislation supports foreign investment in new homes, particularly apartments. It also supports business investment by including a streamlined approval process for the purchase of residential land for commercial purposes, and encourages foreign direct investment in the forestry sector. Further work is underway to improve the performance of the OIO and its processes.
You can find more information here.
Modernising monetary policy – We are ensuring New Zealand has a monetary policy fit for the 21st century. Our Reserve Bank Act changes promote the productive economy by introducing a dual mandate for the Reserve Bank to take into account maximum sustainable employment, alongside its mandate to control inflation. There will also be a monetary policy committee with external members. Phase 2 of the Review is looking at wider prudential and macro-prudential frameworks.
PREPARING FOR THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORK, NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Future of Work Tripartite Forum – Bringing Business NZ and the Council of Trade Unions around the table with government to support businesses and workers facing the changing nature of work. The Forum’s ongoing work is feeding into existing government and private sector work programmes across four key themes: Just Transitions, Learning for Life, Technology and Workplace Productivity.
You can find more information here.
Just Transitions – The Government is working with industries, business and communities to ensure there is a planned and fair transition to a low-emissions economy. A unit focussed on this has been established within MBIE.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 04 474 2839.
Independent Climate Commission – Interim work is underway on how we will meet our international obligations and transition to a zero-emissions economy by 2050, while the Government sets up an Independent Climate Change Commission. The interim Committee includes members with expertise in agribusiness, resource economics, international competitiveness and energy production and supply. We are also working closely with the business-mandated Climate Leaders Coalition.
You can read the Committee Terms of Reference here. For information on the Interim Climate Change Committee, click here. For information on the 100 Day Plan for Climate Change, click here. For any other information on the Climate Change Committee, you can email enquiries@ICCC.mfe.govt.nz.
For information on the climate change work programme, click here.
To access the Ministry for the Environment's Emissions Trading Scheme consultation homepage, click here. For further information on ETS consultation, you can email email@example.com. For ETS forestry consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To download the ETS consultation document, click here. To download the ETS forestry consultation document, click here.
UNLOCKING NEW GROWTH BY BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR A MORE PRODUCTIVE ECONOMY
Infrastructure investment - The Government Policy Statement on Land Transport provides – via the NZ Transport Agency - direct investment of $4 billion next year (growing to $4.7 billion in ten years’ time) to transport infrastructure projects that will lift regional productivity and better connect business and exporters with the world. It also unlocks the Government’s record $28 billion Auckland Transport Alignment Project to address traffic gridlock and improve productivity in our biggest city.
New ways of funding infrastructure – Alongside business, the Government is developing new funding and financing methods to build up New Zealand’s infrastructure, ensuring that private sector expertise and capital is leveraged to close the infrastructure deficit.
National Infrastructure Entity – A new government infrastructure entity is being set up to answer industry calls for the Government to do more to ensure adequate long-term planning and investment to provide greater pipeline certainty to the construction industry.
You can find out more here.
CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR REGIONAL ECONOMIES
Provincial Growth Fund – The $1 billion per year Provincial Growth Fund is investing in regional economic development initiatives, including infrastructure and business opportunities. This includes co-investment in projects alongside business. The One Billion Trees programme, funded through the PGF will create sustainable jobs and help address climate change.
For contact details for Senior Regional Officials, click here.
To learn more about applying, and to apply, click here (NB: there are three different forms depending on the size of the application).
To read the investment statement and guide to the PDF, click here.
Accelerated roll-out of rural broadband and mobile networks – This investment will see The Rural Broadband Initiative Phase Two and the Mobile Black Spot Fund builds substantially completed by the end of 2021 – a year earlier than previously planned. This followed feedback from regional businesses about the economic opportunities earlier completion would bring.
WAGES AND WORKPLACES FOR A MODERN WORKFORCE
The Government is engaging and consulting with business on workplace relations and wages policies.
Minimum wage – The Government has set the goal of the minimum wage being set at $20/hour from 1 April 2021. We are engaging with business on the phasing and scope of minimum wage increases over that timeframe.
Holidays Act Review – A taskforce of workers, business and government is looking at underlying issues with the Holidays Act, to ensure the legislation is straightforward and simple to implement. The taskforce will provide recommendations in mid-2019. The Labour Inspectorate will continue to support employers to remediate employees for historical underpayments.
Read more here, or phone 0800 20 90 20 for more information.
Fair Pay Agreements – The design of a Fair Pay Agreement system is being led by a group of business and worker representatives, led by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger. The taskforce is expected to report back by the end of 2018. These agreements would enable unions and employers to develop Fair Pay Agreements that set minimum terms and conditions for all workers in an entire industry or occupation. Industrial action will not be permitted in Fair Pay Agreement bargaining.
You can find more information here.