Congratulations to BNI North Harbour, who this week invited Hon Jacqui Dean, the Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Minister for Small Business and Associate Minister of Local Government to their meeting. Minister Dean presented in the 10-minute slot and discussed some key issues related to small business. Graham Southwell, National Director for BNI New Zealand, was also present as well as members from BNI Synergy.
The Minister’s presentation covered:
- Politics is very similar to gaining referrals at BNI. We have to ask ourselves: How do we get the message out? How do we get our vision out so the public understand what we are doing politically? How do we sell our vision so people buy into it? This links directly to pitching at BNI.
- It’s important that everyone works towards retirement. The focus must remain around home ownership – providing certainty and comfort. Minister Dean hoped that all the members were in Kiwi Saver. This will change the nature of NZ society. People need to think ahead to their lives in 20 years’ time and getting into homes.
- Small government – Minister Dean wants to make interactions with the local authority more timely and less expensive (resource consent can be too slow). She felt local government should have a customer service aspect (for those dealing with them).
- Listening to groups like BNI was hugely valuable. She said she was determined that by the end of this year the government would have more connectivity with small businesses. She mentioned that business.gov.nz is a great way for people to connect as a tool for small business. She aims to have more resources to give to small business to show what government can do for them.
Minister Dean also mentioned that there needed to be a focus on families – building their financial capability through community groups. All in all, it was a great meeting with information flowing both from the Minister to members and vice versa.
Congratulations to BNI North Harbour for setting up the meeting. The chapter has 18 businesses, was launched in 2014 and last year generated an impressive $1,777,438 worth of business. It would be great to see more of these types of meetings with ministers in government at different chapters throughout the country in 2017.