Job Summit


Message from the Prime Minister - 26 February 2010

A year ago no-one knew how badly the world's financial markets would fare or how deep the global recession would be. At the time of the Job Summit, the main fear was of large-scale redundancies and mass lay-offs across the country. That's what the Job Summit was focused on avoiding.

As it turned out, none of the worst-case scenarios came to pass and New Zealanders can be very pleased about that. Sadly, people did lose their jobs, and every person out of work is one too many.

But New Zealand businesses proved to be quite resilient and employers were keen to hold on to staff as tightly as they could.

We are now facing a different sort of challenge than we did a year ago. The loss of existing employment has almost completely halted, but people entering the labour market, particularly young people, are finding it hard to break into a job.

That is why the Government's focus this year remains on the economy and on jobs.

The Job Summit played an important part in galvanising all the different groups who attended - big employers, small businesses, banks, unions, social sector organisations, iwi, local councils, training organisations and others - behind the issue of preserving jobs. It was a valuable exercise in raising confidence and expectations.

It also made participants focus not just on what the Government could do, but what different sectors, organisations and businesses could do to maintain jobs.

From the Government's point of view, it was the genesis of some valuable initiatives like the Job Support Scheme, the Warm Up New Zealand home insulation fund, the New Zealand Cycleway Project, Youth Opportunities and Community Max, and the extension of the short-term trade credit insurance guarantee scheme for exporters.

The Job Summit also underlined the importance of economic fundamentals like infrastructure spending, improved regulations, and well-functioning credit markets.

Alongside these initiatives, the Government  introduced a number of other measures to help stem job losses. By far the most important of these was using the Crown's balance sheet to absorb much of the shock of the recession, thereby cushioning its effects on New Zealanders and helping to support jobs.

We also brought forward nearly $500 million of capital spending on roads, housing, and school buildings, and introduced a tax assistance package for small and medium sized businesses.

While Government actions are important, we know that in the longer term sustainable jobs will only be created when people have the confidence to invest in productive businesses, which can then expand and take on new employees.

In this regard it is encouraging to see that businesses are reporting a marked increase in confidence, and are positive about hiring new staff over the coming year.

New Zealand actually has the opportunity to come out of the recent downturn in a better position than many other countries and be well placed to attract investment, build productive firms and create jobs.

The Government will be doing eveything it can to ensure this happens - and that businesses have the confidence to invest and create new, higher-paying jobs.



Opening Remarks from the Prime Minister
Closing Remarks from the Prime Minister
Message from the Conference Chair
Attendees (at 03 March 2009) 
Contact Us

Regional Employment Summits - schedule

9 March. On Monday, March 9, the Cabinet agreed that ideas from the Jobs Summit would be allocated to the following Ministers to lead further investigation: click for list (pdf)

12 March. This paper was considered at the March 9 Cabinet meeting, which allocated ideas from the Job Summit to particular Ministers to lead further investigation. Note: the outcome of the Cabinet meeting was to allocate the ideas in way outlined in the list above. Click here for the Cabinet paper.

30 March. This paper was considered at the March 30 Cabinet meeting, which allocated the next tranche of ideas from the Job Summit to particular Ministers to lead further investigation. Note: the outcome of the Cabinet meeting was to allocate the ideas in way outlined in the list above. Click here for the Cabinet paper.


25 February - Progress on the top 20

23 June - Progress on the top 20

Government moves fast to help retain jobs: Job Support Scheme (includes video) - Prime Minister John Key

Government moves to keep industry trainees in training - Minister for Education Anne Tolley

Job Support Scheme expanded - Prime Minister John Key

Government, Mayors to work together on jobs - Minister Paula Bennett

Government looks at bond programme options - Finance Minister Bill English

April: Labour Market Update

April: Progress Report

Government looks at bond programme options - Finance Minister Bill English

PM pledges $50 million in Budget for cycleway - Prime Minister John Key

May Progress Report

June - Labour Market Update

Job Summit output a boost for young innovators - Hon Dr Wayne Mapp

Government considers local body ‘bond bank' - Finance Minister Bill English

Launch of ‘Maori in Industry and Trades training' - Hon Dr Pita Sharples

PM announces first Cycleway projects - Prime Minister John Key

Business Migrant Scheme Revamped - Hon Gerry Brownlee, Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Cutting red tape to create a better, smarter economy - Hon Bill English, Hon Rodney Hide


Workstream Results (Powerpoint slides)

1. Workstream 1 - Core Workplace & Employment Issues
2. Workstream 2 - Workers - Skills & Transition
3. Workstream 3 - Local & Regional Govt
    Workstream 3 - Maori Economy
4. Workstream 4 - Helping Firms Survive
5. Workstream 5 - Business Investment
6. Workstream 6 - Firm Funding

Key presentations

Speech by John Whitehead
Powerpoint slides for John Whitehead speech
Powerpoint slides for Alan Bollard speech
Mark Weldon: Job Summit Summary of Initiatives (Powerpoint)

Job Summit - Top Twenty

Core Workplace and Employment Issues

1. Retain and Upskill - the nine day fortnight

Retain jobs by reducing wage costs while firms earnings are down. Retain jobs short and long term by upskilling workers. Possible focus on a nine day fortnight or maximum 6 week block release.


2. Intra-national migration achieved

Creation of a seasonal work marketplace that will remove barriers (information, infrastructure, qualifications/skills) between employers and seasonal workers.

Skills and Transition

3. Keeping people in education and creating jobs through education and training

Expand group training programmes, review current apprenticeships models with a view to sustaining and expanding levels of training and introduce a training requirement as part of government procurement processes. Support summer employment for students, facilitating retraining and promoting the importance and value of education.

Remove barriers and increase enablers/incentives to ensure that the education and training system is well-placed to meet current needs and opportunities including a specific focus on Maori/Pasifika people.

4. Improve matching of supply and demand for training

Improve identification and matching of clearly identifiable job opportunities in the short and medium term by industry groups to direct future education and training priorities.


5. Redundancy and transition support programme

Improve support for people about to be made redundant or who are unemployed to help them transition to new work opportunities and training including:

-Particular focus on those most vulnerable

-Income assistance


-Enhanced industry partnerships

-Auditing, integrating and streamlining

-Improving information and access to services

Maori Economy, Local and Regional Government

6. Enhanced utilisation of iwi assets

Creating new employment in the primary production sector by bringing Maori land and water based assets into higher value export focused productive use.  This may involve accessing existing business support, legislative/regulatory review and active facilitation of intra-Maori partnerships.

Investing in projects that support Maori kinship -based infrastructure, including iwi-led housing projects, innovative approaches to existing state housing stock, and marae development.


7. Government systems

Ensure that government services to Maori deliver effective results.


8. Urgently develop and implement new sources of bond funding

Aggregate local government debt to gain access to debt funding at lower than current interest rates. Also, prioritise New Zealand investment plan across central/local government, that ensures a job creation focus, incentives for expenditure, quality spend that best positions New Zealand for medium to long term and avoids competition for capacity and capability.


9. Reduce regulatory compliance costs and impediments

Adopt a permissive approach to increase the range of permitted activities in e.g.  building and housing, food safety. Enable local government to determine appropriate level of consultation.  Seek a moratorium on drinking water and air quality standards. Improve practice in council processing of regulatory consents.

Helping firms survive

10. Big projects fast track

Establish a taskforce(s) to report directly to a relevant minister to anticipate and actively manage approval and regulatory processes for major and/or complex processes.


11. Rule-making freeze

Cabinet directive issued to government agencies/regulators to stop all rule and regulation making or extension, unless specifically approved by the minister.  Reduce all enforcement activity to focus on minimum acceptable standards (rather than ‘nice to haves') and the overall immediate interest for New Zealand.


12. Boosting tourist traffic co-fund

Establish a government/private co-funded $60 million fund to support initiatives to increase visitor numbers targeting 1% global market share, through short and long haul promotional activity, domestic tourism promotion and targeted infrastructure development.

Business Investment

13. Accelerate energy, environmental and water initiatives for employment and productivity improvements


14. Streamline regulatory approval processes for major projects

Accelerate transmission grid investment by increasing threshold for Electricity Commission consideration of electricity projects to $50 million. Allow longer wheel-based trucks and heavier loading. Establish taskforces reporting to a minister for vetting major infrastructure investment proposals and ensuring regulatory processes are quickly and consistently completed.


15. Access to working capital delivered via an extension of the Export Credit Office

Extend the Export Credit Office to also apply to domestic firms that need cash flow funding for completion of confirmed contract orders.


16. Level the playing field to NZ firms for local and central government procurement

Revise procurement guidelines to ensure they do not bias against local providers by stipulating a specified firm size or track record.

Firm Funding

17. Super-charged debt market

Possibilities include streamlining reporting and disclosure requirements, long term bond issues, involvement by a wider range of organisations such as local government.


18. Government/bank equity investment fund

Develop an equity growth fund to allow large institutional investors access to quality investments in the SME sector that are currently unavailable to them.


19. Commitment by banks to providing capital to NZ firms

Banks and Government co-fund partnership for preferred equity, financed by bank and government equity, leveraged with debt funding.


20. Banks to significantly invest in financial literacy

Investing in educational initiatives to improve the financial literacy of their customers with a focus on SME businesses.

Background Documents

Closing Remarks from the Prime Minister - 27 February

First I want to thank you all for coming today.

You have put a tremendous amount of time and thought into the day's discussions.

[Click for video on YouTube]

As a result, there have been ideas galore generated by groups, subgroups and, in many cases, sub-subgroups of people talking to each other over a cup of coffee.

To paraphrase what Alan Bollard said this morning, if you laid all the ideas discussed today end to end, they would reach to the Sun and halfway back again.

Mark and the chairs have just presented on the 20 or so proposals that the Summit has collectively identified as amongst the most promising ideas.

You all know that there are at least a couple of dozen quality ideas lying behind those.

If anyone doubted that this process would generate practical, concrete ideas, they were sorely mistaken.

That's what this day has been about; that's why we had this Summit.

As Alan Bollard and John Whitehead made clear this morning, we are in a very serious global recession which is going to get worse before it gets better.  [read more]

Message from the Conference Chair
Mark Weldon, Chief Executive, New Zealand Exchange Ltd (NZX)

There's a reason why this event has the word "employment" in it - because it's about identifying the steps we need to take, now and in future, to create meaningful, productive employment for New Zealanders in healthy, growing businesses, from farms to factories and every sector in between.

There's a less obvious reason why this is termed a "summit". It's because the real graft will be done before anyone gets there: accessing, understanding and interpreting a raft of data, drawing on ideas and advice, testing potential solutions. Then when we reach the summit we can share and challenge those ideas, developing the best ones into workable recommendations for government action.

These are extraordinary times that demand breaking out of the old way of developing, consulting on and implementing policy. Anyone who wants to feed their ideas and responses into that process is welcome to do so via .

Collective, cohesive effort and commitment to good outcomes will be what propels New Zealand out of the current crisis better, faster and stronger than our peers and neighbours.

Summit attendees - 03 March 2009

Uluomatootua S. Aiono

John Albertson
NZ Retailers Association

John Allen
New Zealand Post Group

Dave Anderson
Winston Pulp International

Sir John Anderson, KBE
NZ Venture Investment Fund

Jeremy Baker
Industry Training Federation

David Baldwin
Contact Energy

John Banks, QSO
Mayor, Auckland City

John Barnett
South Pacific Pictures

Michael Barnett
Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce

Derek Baxter
Certified Builders

Steve Bayliss
Air New Zealand

Paul Bayly
Cranleigh Limited

Larry Bilodeau
Ballance Agri-nutrients

Andrew Blair
Wakefield Hospital

Brian Blake
DB Breweries

Christopher Blake
Department of Labour

Marko Bogoievski
Infratil Limited

Alan Bollard (S)
Reserve Bank of New Zealand

John Bongard (C)
Fisher & Paykel Appliances

Wayne Boyd (C)
Telecom NZ

Dean Bracewell
Freightways Limited

Don Braid
Mainfreight Limited

Sheridan Broadbent
Downer EDI: Engineering

Len Brown
Mayor, Manukau City

Kevin Bryant
Agriculture ITO

Mark Cairns
Port of Tauranga

Stephen Cairns
Otago Regional Council

Nick Calavrias
Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd

Rob Cameron (C)
Cameron Partners Limited

Rod Carr (SGL)
University of Canterbury

Tony Carter

Andrew Casidy

Simon Challies
Ryman Healthcare

Sharon Clair
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Alan Clarke
Abano Healthcare

Leith Comer
Te Puni Kōkiri

Peter Conway (SGL)
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Keith Cooper
Silver Fern Farms

Tim Cossar
Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand

Liz Coutts
Life Pharmacy Limited

Russell Creedy (SGL)
Restaurant Brands

Hamish Crooks
Pacific Business Trust

Mike Daniell
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd

Jim Delegat

Whaimutu Dewes
Ngati Porou

Jane Diplock, AO
Securities Commission

Mark Donaldson
Phitek Systems Limited

Rod Drury (SGL)
Xero Limited

Dave Eastlake
NZ Meat Workers Union

Don Elder
Solid Energy

Bruce Emson
NZ Bus

Conor English
Federated Farmers of New Zealand

Rick Fala (SGL)
Methven Limited

Tony Falkenstein
Just Water International

Dave Faulkner
Fulton Hogan

John Fellet
Sky TV

Andrew Ferrier

Charles Finny
Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce

Rob Fisher (SGL)
Omega, Simpson Grierson

Mark Fitzgerald
Citigroup New Zealand

Gary Foot

John Forbes
Opotiki District Council

Mark Franklin

George Frazis

Rob Fyfe (C)
Air New Zealand

Fiona Gavriel (SGL)
Master Plumbers

Ross George
Direct Capital

Tim Gibson
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Andrew Grant (S)
McKinsey & Co

Arthur Grimes
Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Temuera Hall (SGL)
Taupo Moana Group

Andrew Hamilton
The Icehouse

Trevor Hanson
Maritime Union of New Zealand

Robin Hapi
Aotearoa Fisheries

Andrew Harmos (SGL)
Harmos Horton Lusk Corporate Lawyers

Laila Harré
National Distribution Union

Doug Heffernan
Mighty River Power

Paul Hemborrow
NZ Aluminium Smelters

Erima Henare
Maori Language Commission

Brian Heron, MNZM
Heron Plumbing

Michael Hill
Michael Hill International Limited

John Hirst
Nuplex Industries

Graham Hodges
ANZ National Bank

Peter Hughes
Ministry of Social Development

Simon Hull
Allied Work Force Group Limited

Murray Jack

Willie Jackson
Manukau Urban Authority

Rob Jager

Benedikte Jensen
The New Zealand Institute

Meagan Joe
Maori Women's Welfare League

Michael Jones
PI Business

Neville Jordan
Endeavour Capital

Ruma Karaitiana
Industry Training Federation

Peter Kean
Lion Nathan Limited

Helen Kelly (C)
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Roger Kerr
New Zealand Business Round Table

Dame Georgina Kirby, DBE, QSO (SGL)
Maori Women’s Development Inc

Sam Knowles
Kiwibank Limited

Sue Lewis-O'Halloran
Dress for Success

Jonathan Ling
Fletcher Building

Andrew Little (SGL)

Ngatata Love (C)
Wellington Tenths Trust

Simon MacKenzie
Vector Limited

Lt Gen Jerry Mateparae, ONZM
New Zealand Defence Force

Ken Matthews
Skyline Enterprises

David May
NZ Superannuation Fund

June McCabe
Excelerator Board

David McConnell
McConnell Group

Stuart McCutcheon
University of Auckland

Peter McKinley
Local Government Centre, AUT

Bruce McLachlan

Rob McLeod
Ernst and Young

Lesley McTurk
Housing New Zealand Corporation

Chris Meade
Downer EDI: Works

John Meeuwsen
Industry Training Federation

Jeremy Moon (SGL)

Ian Morrice (SGL)
The Warehouse Limited

Nigel Morrison
SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited

Simon Moutter (SGL)
Auckland Airport

Greg Muir (SGL)
Tourism New Zealand, Pumpkin Patch

Mavis Mullins
Paewai Mullins Shearing

Ian Narev (SGL)
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Craig Norgate
PGG Wrightson

Phil O’Reilly
Business NZ

Dave O'Connell
NZ Building Trades Union

Chris Olsen
Roading New Zealand

Adrian Orr
NZ Superannuation Fund

Rangimariae Parata-Takurua
Poutama Business Trust

David Patterson
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Selwyn Pellet

Charles Pink
ASB Bank Limited

David Pralong
McKinsey and Co

Kerry Prendergast
Mayor, Wellington City

Cathy Quinn
Minter Ellison Rudd Watts

Warwick Quinn
Master Builders

John Rae
New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development

Caren Rangi
Pacific Womens’ Economic Board

Richard Reid
Pacific Business Trust

Paul Reynolds
Telecom NZ

Sharn Riggs
The New Zealand Public Service Association

Kevin Rimmington
TSB Bank

Major Campbell Roberts
The Salvation Army

Bruce Robertson
Hospitality Standards Institute

Dianne Robertson (SGL)
Auckland City Mission

Geoff Ross (SGL)
The Business Bakery

Bob Russell
Inland Revenue Department

John Ryall

Damian Sainsbury
Haines Recruitment

Mike Shaw

Sue Sheldon
Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand

John Shewan (C)

Peter Silcock
Horticulture New Zealand

Penny Simmonds (SGL)
Southern Institute of Technology

David Skilling (SGL)
McKinsey & Co

Andrew Smith
Pukeko Pictures

Peter Smith
Progressive Enterprises

Garry Smith
Auckland District Health Board

David Smol
Ministry of Economic Development

Martin Snedden
Rugby World Cup 2011

Mark Solomon
Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu
Grant Spencer
Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Scott St John
First NZ Capital

Russell Stanners
Vodafone New Zealand Ltd

Judith Stanway
BDO Spicers

Ken Stevens
Glidepath Limited

Craig Stobo

Wally Stone (SGL)
Ngai Tahu Holdings Group

Patrick Strange

Campbell Stuart
UBS New Zealand Ltd

Sam Stubbs
Tower Limited

Peter Talley
Talleys Group Ltd

John Tamihere
Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust

Richard Taylor
Weta Workshops

Brendan Taylor
Scenic Circle Hotels

Jacqui Te Kani
Maori Women's Welfare League

Peter Tennent
Mayor, New Plymouth City

Alasdair Thompson
Employers & Manufacturers Association

Andrew Thorburn

Stephen Tindall (C)
The Warehouse Limited

Matt Todd
Eastland Infrastructure

Peter Townsend
Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

Stuart Trundle
Venture Taranaki

Elizabeth Valentine
Aviation, Tourism and Travel ITO

Henry Van der Heyden, DCNZM (SGL)

Richard Wagstaff
New Zealand Council Of Trade Unions

Grant Webster
Tourism Holdings

Rosalie Webster

Mark Weldon (Summit Chair)

Maarten Wevers
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

John Whitehead (S)

Wendi Wicks
Disabled Persons Assembly (NZ) Inc

Dale Williams
Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

Joan Withers
Fairfax Media

Lawrence Yule
Mayor, Hastings City

Hon John Key
Prime Minister

Hon Bill English
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Finance
Minister for Infrastructure

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Economic Development
Minister of Energy and Resources

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice
Minister for State Owned Enterprises
Minister of Commerce

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Education

Hon David Carter
Minister of Agriculture

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport
Minister for Communications and Information Technology

Hon Georgina te Heuheu
Minister for Pacific Island Affairs

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development and Employment

Hon Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Immigration
Minister of Broadcasting

Hon Kate Wilkinson
Minister of Labour

Hon Rodney Hide
Minister of Local Government
Minister for Regulatory Reform
Associate Minister of Commerce

Hon Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs
Associate Minister of Education
Associate Minister of Corrections

Hon Tariana Turia
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment
Associate Minister of Health

Hon Peter Dunne
Minister of Revenue
Associate Minister of Health

Contact: People with questions about the Job Summit, or ideas to contribute, should email