Business Growth Agenda boosting investment, jobs & growth

  • Steven Joyce
  • Bill English
Finance Economic Development

The Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda is delivering greater business investment, more jobs and higher wages for New Zealanders, Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce say.

The two lead ministers today released the Business Growth Agenda – Future Direction 2014 report which outlines the significant progress the National Government has made in creating the conditions for businesses to invest for jobs and growth.

It also outlines the Government’s future priorities in its work programme focusing on the six inputs businesses need to succeed and grow: exports markets, capital markets, innovation, skilled and safe workplaces, natural resources and infrastructure.

“The Business Growth Agenda is making a real difference to productivity and competitiveness which is critical to creating more business opportunities, more jobs and higher wages for New Zealanders,” Mr English says.

“More than half of the 350 BGA actions across the six areas are either complete or in the implementation phase. Our results so far are reflected in strong growth, increasing employment, an improved trade balance, stronger productivity growth, and real wages rising faster than the cost of living.

“This growth has been driven initially by the regions which have led New Zealand out of the global financial crisis on the back of our natural resources industries.”

Mr Joyce says the BGA Future Directions 2014 report outlines the Government’s next steps to encourage a diverse range of businesses to succeed and hire more people.

“Building on the progress we have made, our focus now is on a smaller number of 62 key priorities we see as essential to further fostering business confidence and growth,” Mr Joyce says.

“We will work to help more Kiwi firms internationalise and sell their products in overseas markets; encourage innovation particularly in the hi-tech sector, make it easier to raise capital; lift young people’s achievement; make workplaces safer; and continue to invest in quality public infrastructure.

“The New Zealand economy is expected to grow strongly over the next year and perform better than many other major advanced economies. What the Government is very focused on through the Business Growth Agenda is how we convert a couple of years of good growth into a sustained economic lift in our economic performance that benefits the country in the long-term.

“New Zealand faces stiff competition in global markets to sell our goods and services. If the Opposition was serious about jobs and growth in our regions they would support the initiatives in the BGA instead of promoting policies that would reduce our competitiveness and export Kiwi businesses and jobs overseas.

“New Zealanders can be assured that National is focused on building a more competitive and productive economy that boosts investment, and creates more jobs and higher wages.”

Business Growth Agenda: Future Directions 2014 is available at:

Business Growth Agenda – future direction

Building Export Markets

  • Negotiating comprehensive, high quality free trade agreements and implementing existing ones
  • Providing NZ Trade and Enterprise with more resources to assist more companies
  • Boosting our representation in China
  • Increasing our representation in other emerging markets
  • Promoting the procurement of NZ capital goods and services with NZ’s Export Credit Office
  • Conducting fit-for-purpose checks on market-facing regulatory regimes
  • Completing the Trade Single Window for exporters and importers
  • Embedding the NZ Story, strategy and structure
  • Capitalising on the 2013 International Growth Package for tourism and education

Building Capital Markets

  • Rebuilding our financial reserves
  • Establishing the NZ Trade and Enterprise Regional Investment Attraction programme
  • Implementing the Financial Markets Conduct Act
  • Implementing the Credit Contracts and Financial Service Law Reform Bill
  • Supporting crowd-funding and peer-to-peer lending
  • Attracting multinationals to make high-value investments in New Zealand research and development
  • Delivering an Asia Region Funds Passport
  • Delivering IRD’s Business Transformation Programme
  • Providing more capital raising options for small and medium sized firms
  • Encouraging new public growth markets
  • Investigating differences in taxation treatment of different savings vehicles

Building Innovation

  • Implementing changes to the tax treatment of research and development
  • Implementing Callaghan Innovation’s full suite of programmes
  • Developing a National Statement of Science Investment
  • Increasing and reforming contestable funding
  • Establishing new technology-focused incubators
  • Implementing the National Science Challenges
  • Boosting STEM skills
  • Boosting primary sector productivity through the Primary Growth Partnership
  • Increasing the numbers of Centres of Research Excellence
  • Completing the deployment of ultra-fast and rural broadband
  • Improving the competition regime to protect consumers and encourage innovation

Building Skilled and Safe Workplaces

  • Investing in teacher quality to lift the achievement of young people
  • Setting up new ICT Graduate Schools
  • Implementing the new Tertiary Education Strategy
  • Completing the welfare reform programme and getting more people into work
  • Investing in more apprenticeships and vocational skills
  • Encouraging eligible sole parents into higher education
  • Implementing the new health and safety framework in New Zealand
  • Reducing the casualty rate within the forestry sector and other high-risk occupations
  • Toughening employment standards requirements and increasing the size of the Labour inspectorate
  • Completing the Employment Relations Act changes to improve fairness in collective bargaining

Building Natural Resources

  • Increasing value from, and improving the quality of, our freshwater
  • Improving our environmental reporting
  • Making further reforms to the Resource Management Act
  • Accelerating petroleum and minerals exploration through a new data acquisition programme
  • Combatting kauri dieback
  • Improving the productivity of Māori land through reforming the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993
  • Increasing productivity and reducing carbon emissions through new energy efficiency projects
  • Promoting product stewardship
  • Supporting primary sector growth in key regions
  • Freeing up land supply in urban areas to provide more houses

Building Infrastructure

  • Removing bottlenecks on our road networks
  • Accelerating Auckland’s transport
  • Strengthening rail, sea and air infrastructure
  • Securing our energy future
  • Completing the deployment of ultra-fast and rural broadband
  • Rebuilding Christchurch
  • Investing in schools and hospitals
  • Improving water storage and use
  • Increasing competition and efficiency in the housing construction sector
  • Reforming the social housing sector to better meet the needs of social housing tenants
  • Getting a better understanding of future infrastructure challenges and opportunities