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Aust-NZ leadership advances vision for enhanced collaboration

Collaboration on infrastructure, tourism, health technologies and innovation, along with addressing non tariff barriers for agri-business in third markets will be among the key drivers of the CER vision in coming years, say business leaders from Australia and New Zealand.

The 11th Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum met in Sydney on 28 October and brought together over 200 senior representatives from government, business and the wider community from the two countries.

“The future of the relationship lies more in what we can achieve together in relation to global markets rather than our increasingly integrated, but still small, trans-Tasman economy” said New Zealand Forum Co-Chair Adrian Littlewood.

“CER has already created the basis for a single economic market. While some work remains to be done to address remaining barriers, bigger opportunities for us both lie further afield if we can pool our combined strengths and collaborate actively where it makes sense to do so.”

This year’s Forum focused on five key sectors considered to be drivers of new economic value – tourism, infrastructure, health technology, innovation and agri-business.

“The focus on sectors has seen engagement by a range of business people across both countries who have come together to consider what new value can be created by working in a more focused and joined up way across the Tasman” said Australia Co-Chair Rod McGeoch AO.

“The number of people thinking about the future of the relationship has increased significantly and the options presented at the Forum constitute a solid agenda for the two countries to work on”.

Forum knowledge partner McKinsey & Co assisted in the development of these options which have been elaborated within an overall framework of ‘mega trends’ addressing both economies. These trends include greater global interconnections, industrialisation and urbanisation, an aging world and disruptive technologies.

The Leadership Forum was addressed by the Australian Treasurer, Hon Scott Morrison and the New Zealand Finance Minister Hon Bill English. A number of other Ministers also participated.

Recommendations from the Leadership Forum are now being prepared in a letter to the two Prime Ministers.

“The relationship is strong but the scale of the opportunity and the disruptive forces ahead means that we must collaborate and innovate to take the relationship forward” concluded Adrian Littlewood.
For further information

Fiona Cooper Clarke, Forum Secretariat, +64 21 934 466

Spark teams up with The Spinoff

Spark announced today that it is partnering with rapidly growing online magazine The Spinoff to produce a new music section on The Spinoff’s website. The new section, which will go live on November 1, will be dedicated to music news, discussion and storytelling, with a big focus on local New Zealand music.

Clive Ormerod, General Manager Customer & Marketing at Spark, said as a digital services business with thousands of music-loving customers, Spark was excited to be partnering with the Spinoff on a brand new section celebrating the power of New Zealand music:

“We believe there’s so much potential when technology and music come together. Our phones and other devices are now the main gateways to music for most of us and music is absolutely central to those emotional moments of connection we share with loved ones. It’s something we know our customers love and value, so it’s a massive focus for us.”

Spinoff Editor, Duncan Greive, said the section had been a dream of his ever since The Spinoff launched in 2014. “It’s taken a couple of years, but was so worth the wait. We wanted, above all, to do it once, and do it with the right partner. That was always Spark, thanks to their deep and abiding commitment to music and their relationship with Spotify. It’s going to be a beautiful thing, and we can’t wait to get to work.”

The section will feature interviews, reviews, essays and playlists. Greive says the focus will be on a wide range of genres, and that it will be “bold and opinionated and passionate.”

With many of the country’s legendary music magazines no longer running, the Spinoff’s new music section will help fill a story-telling gap for New Zealand music, providing somewhere central for its stories to be told, discussed and shared.

“For us this is about helping more New Zealand music thrive and using technology to provide amazing experiences that get people closer to the music they love,” said Ormerod, “We believe that having this dedicated space to celebrate New Zealand music will be a key to that happening.”

Ormerod noted that for Spark, the partnership was part of a broader ambition to bring New Zealanders the sounds they love. “We already collaborate with a wide range of music industry partners, including Spotify and Live Nation. Next April we’ll be launching the Spark Arena – an exciting eight year project with music at its heart. So for us, teaming up with the Spinoff to bring quality, entertaining and challenging writing about music is a no brainer.”

Spark welcomes next phase of RBI

Spark New Zealand today welcomed the decision by Communications Minister Amy Adams to seek proposals to extend the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).

Spark GM Regulation John Wesley-Smith said, “We welcome this decision, and we’re looking forward to working our way through the details and working with Government, community stakeholders and other telecommunications network operators to identify how the Government’s RBI and Mobile Black Spot Fund can be best directed to improve ultra-fast broadband availability in rural New Zealand.”

A Request for Proposals has been issued to extend the RBI and provide mobile coverage to black spots on state highways and in tourist areas. 

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Goodman Fielder welcomes continued access to milk for Kiwi consumers

Goodman Fielder welcomes Friday’s announcement from the New Zealand Government that it intends to maintain the current regulations regarding raw milk supply for the NZ domestic market under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA).

 “Today’s announcement is an important step in ensuring Kiwi consumers continue to get competitive prices and choice,” said Tim Deane, Managing Director of Goodman Fielder in New Zealand.

“These regulations were first introduced in 2001 when Fonterra was created to ensure there was sufficient competition in the New Zealand market for raw milk.

“This is still relevant today. These regulations ensure there is viable competition in the market which is good news for Kiwi consumers because it helps keep NZ dairy prices competitive and ensures there is a wider choice of products and brands on the market.

“It also ensures companies like Goodman Fielder can continue to invest in their business and their brands to bring innovation for New Zealand consumers.”

Mr Deane said Goodman Fielder would continue to work with both the Government and other parts of the dairy industry following Friday’s announcement.

“There is a lot of work still to be done in this area and we look forward to making a positive contribution to maintain a competitive and viable domestic dairy industry for the benefit of all New Zealanders,” he said.