Business Council to focus on skills, investment and regions to drive more growth

(left to right) Business Advisory Council Chair Christopher Luxon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo Twitter
(left to right) Business Advisory Council Chair Christopher Luxon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo Twitter

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Business Advisory Council Chair Christopher Luxon have announced the four priority areas the Council will provide the Coalition Government with advice and support as it works on building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that improves the well-being of New Zealanders.

The four priority areas are:

  • Building tomorrow’s skills
  • Accelerating our regions
  • Attracting high quality investment
  • Unleashing SMEs

 “I’m excited we’ve so quickly identified with the Business Advisory Council the four areas of focus that are important to both the Coalition Government and businesses of all sizes in New Zealand,” Ardern said.

Luxon said common ground has been quickly found between the Council and Government.

 “We both share the same ambition to see New Zealand succeed and are confident that we have aligned on four areas where business and Government working closely together can make a hugely positive impact not just economically but also socially and environmentally,” said Luxon.

“I am confident that we can start to deliver the first outputs from the priority areas prior to Christmas.”

Ardern said the work of Council will help to unleash the full potential of the New Zealand economy.

“The Government is running a strong surplus, we’ve had the best quarter of growth in two years and unemployment is at a decade low. But we have persistent problems that hold our economy back. The Business Advisory Council will play a key role in helping to shift the economy up a gear and to unleash New Zealand’s economic potential.

“Everywhere I go business raise with me skills shortages and the difficulty of hiring skilled staff. We’re committed to ensuring no New Zealander is left behind in the skills transition going on in our economy.”

The Council has plans to better match skills to work.

“New Zealand has a long term productivity problem. It is a handbrake on the economy and we need to fix it. I’m looking forward to advice from the Business Advisory Council on how we can attract high quality investment into the productive economy,” she said.

“I have been greatly impressed by the early thinking that has been developed by the Business Advisory Council under the leadership of Christopher Luxon.  The diversity of skills, industry experience and perspectives will deliver some exciting outcomes.”

The terms of reference for the Council sets out that it will:

  • provide high-level free and frank advice on policies that directly affect business
  • harness the expertise of the private sector to inform government policy
  • build closer relationships between government and business.

Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council members:

  • Christopher Luxon (Chair), Air New Zealand
  • Peter Beck, Rocket Lab
  • Barbara Chapman, Professional director (started as Genesis Chair on 10 Oct)
  • Jacqui Coombes, Bunnings
  • Anna Curzon, Xero
  • Andrew Grant, McKinsey & Company
  • Miles Hurrell, Fonterra
  • Bailey Mackey, Pango Productions
  • David McLean, Westpac
  • Joc O’Donnell, HW Richardson
  • Gretta Stephens, Bluescope/NZ Steel
  • Rachel Taulelei, Kono
  • Fraser Whineray, Mercury