#2007 January - February Tabloid
The Rotorua District Council, Retail Rotorua and the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce are again showing the value of cooperative relationships in moving Rotorua forward. The focus of the combined efforts is to develop a short term Rotorua Retail promotional strategy to stimulate foot traffic through the CBD and encourage retail spending particularly from the strong visitor market.
Prompted by the sad loss of Scotty Watson and his irreplaceable enthusiasm, energy and commitment, the three agencies came together to address the resourcing of such an important function. The outcome of this meeting was the outline of a strategy to cover the period from February 07 until June 07, when the annual promotional contract comes up for review.
Destination Rotorua Economic Development presented the concept and proposed contract to the Finance Committee of RDC last Thursday gaining approval in principle.
The Chamber of Commerce is pleased to apply its resources to getting something off the ground quickly to take advantage of the opportunities that are going to present themselves in the next four months. There are three critical dimensions to this contract.
The first is to bring together a group of retailers to form the promotions advisory group. We envisage that this group will bring together retailers from Rotorua Central, from the CBD, from the Streat. It will have representation of small and large retailers and will have locally owned businesses and national chains. However, the over-riding requirement is that they have experience in promotions planning. It is important that it is the retailers, through this group, formulate and take ownership of the promotions plan. The Chamber can only act as a facilitator in this process. The first priority of this group will be to formulate a plan for promotions for Easter, for the Water-ski Championships and for the major conventions at the Energy Events Centre. The second priority will be to begin work on a promotional plan for the following twelve months.
The next key activity will be to develop a retailers network database. The purpose of this database will be to create a communication link between the promotions advisory group and all retailers. For the promotions to be successful, the whole of the retail community will need to get in behind and support. The database will be used to create an email address book that will be used as the principle medium of communications with the retailers. A communications strategy will also be developed that will seek not only to bring the retailers together as a group, but encourage better linkages with the media, the tourist industry and events coordinators.
The final key piece in the jigsaw will be to identify the right person to act as coordinator of the project. An advert appeared yesterday attracting the right person or persons to do the job. The Chamber sees that there are three distinct dimensions to the role. It could either be filled by a single contractor with a wide skill set to complete all the performance requirements, or alternatively, the role could be split down to each of the three components and separate contractors engaged for each. These three dimensions are clearly data capture and entry into database, facilitation skills to formulate both short and long term promotional plans, and an active promotional coordinator to put the plans into action. If there is interest in any of the combined or any part of the role, please contact CEO Roger Gordon at Chamber offices.
# NZ Housing: a Temperature Check
Prospects for house prices are of critical importance to the outlook for the economy, inflation, interest rates, and the exchange rate. After doubling in price from September 2000 to end 2006, the NZ housing market appears to be gaining a third wind. But the past cyclical nature of NZ house prices and recent international experience (with housing corrections in Australia beginning Q1 2004, the UK in mid 2004, and the US in 2006) suggest that the NZ housing market is living on borrowed time.
Factors which indicate that NZ’s house market is due for a breather include:
NZ’s absolute housing affordability is more stretched than that in either Australia or the US. Whereas NZ’s median house price is 6.3 times average household disposable income, in Australia it’s 5.4 times and in the US only 2.7 times.
But differences in tax treatment of housing and social attitudes may mean that New Zealander’s are happy to assign a greater part of their incomes and assets to housing. To get a feel for just how stretched NZ’s affordability is, we compared relative affordability (i.e., affordability relative to its long run average). This shows that NZ housing affordability (41% below its long run average) is more extreme than either Australia’s or the US’s were when their housing markets entered correction phases.
The housing market appears to now be driven by sentiment rather than fundamentals. This makes it difficult to predict when a correction will come; but we still believe it is a matter of when, not if. Cushioning the eventual correction will be continued strong job security, slowing but positive income growth, and the potential for interest rate cuts when the housing correction finally occurs. While we don’t expect material house price falls, we anticipate house prices to enter a flat period for 4 or so years.
We are by no means saying that housing is not a good long term investment. Over the sweep of time, house prices should rise roughly in line with the expansion of the economy. If nominal GDP rises 5.5% p.a. and house prices keep pace, today’s $330,000 median house price will look a snip compared to a $4.8m price tag in 50 years! It’s just that this housing boom has currently
#Number Portability – what does it mean?
Mobile and Local Number Portability will launch in New Zealand on 1 April 2007. Number portability recognises that changing your telephone or mobile number can be both a hassle and costly. So from April New Zealanders will easily be able to move their fixed line or mobile services to Telecom and keep an existing telephone number. The move removes many of the existing barriers to swapping providers like the need to re-print business cards or change signage and adverts.
For your mobile this means you get to keep your current 021 or 029 mobile number AND make the move to Telecom.
For most people keeping your mobile phone number is important - whether you have a great number that everyone knows, or it’s on all of your businesscards, signage and advertising. Mobile Number Portability means you can keep your current mobile number (for life if you want to), and benefit from all the capabilities of T3G, our great range of mobile phones and services like OneBill which allows Telecom customers to integrate their landline, mobile and broadband/data all on one bill.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a prepay or on account customer; you can change to any Telecom Mobile from 1 April 2007 and bring your current 021 or 029 mobile phone number with you. There will be no cost to bring your number over and once you have chosen your new Telecom mobile handset and call plan we can have you up and running on the same day.
Local Phone Numbers
From April 1 2007 you will be able to move your fixed telephone line to Telecom AND keep your existing telephone number as long as you remain within the original local calling area.
Telecom’s wide range of value for money telephone products and services, fast broadband, and the exciting Next Generation services arriving later this year are just some of the great reasons to use Telecom for your fixed line services.
#Upper Kaituna Power Scheme
What impact will a hydroelectric power station 1.2 Km below the Trout Pools have on the Kaituna River? How do we balance the value of producing more of Rotorua’s electricity locally against the loss of king ferns and native trees from the Upper Kaituna Scenic Reserve? Do the residents of Rotorua want more fishing, walking tracks and calmer water suitable for kayakers of all levels of experience, or do we value the fast flowing and turbulent Kaituna River used by expert kayakers?
Bay of Plenty Electricity has made an application to the Department of Conservation for a concession to use about 0.7 hectare of the 54 hectare of the Upper Kaituna Scenic Reserve to build the left footprint of a weir and to inundate a narrow strip of the reserve. The Minister of Conservation has approved this in principle and the Department of Conservation is receiving submissions on that aspect of the plan, until 12 March 2007.
According to BoPE, the proposed hydro scheme will have no impact on Okere Falls or the Trout Pools. The strip of land that will be flooded is on the left-hand bank of the Kaituna. The iwi landowners on the right-hand bank of the Kaituna are supporting the scheme. The 2 Km canal for the scheme, the power station and the transmission lines will be built on iwi-owned farmland east of the Upper Kaituna River.
The effects of the weir on the Kaituna River, its fish and other aquatic life will be dealt with by Environment Bay of Plenty during another process under the Resource Management Act. After travelling for 2 Km down the new canal and going through the power station, all the Kaituna’s water will be returned to the river’s natural course. The resource consent process will determine the residual flow in the Kaituna below the weir.
The BrightEconomy Advisory Board has identified local energy generation as vitally important to sustainable, long-term economic development for Rotorua. The BoPE proposed scheme will provide energy to 10,000 houses and make Rotorua less dependent on the national electricity distribution grid.
I am pleased to have been asked to contribute to the Tabloid on a regular basis. It will give me the opportunity to profile what we are doing in government as well as keeping up to date with local business. Other than Rotorua Easter Trading, which is on the agenda for the first Members day back in the house this year, I will be keeping you informed on major policy developments relating to small business. I have also started an "e-newsletter" to keep you in the loop on local issues. If you don't get it already and wish to do so, please contact my Electorate Office (the State House – 07 348 6660 / Kath.Peebles@xtra.co.nz) with your email contact.
The Minister of Commerce is currently leading the Quality Regulation Review, which seeks to ensure that New Zealand's regulatory environment is effective in meeting its objectives and does so at least cost to the economy. The first milestone report was considered by Cabinet on 30 October 2006. Two further milestone reports are due by 31 March, and 31 July 2007.
A Ministerial Group, led by the Minister of Commerce and for Small Business, has been convened to undertake the review. The Group is supported by an inter-departmental Taskforce comprising senior officials from key government agencies and led by the Ministry of Economic Development. A final report on the review will be prepared by 31 July 2007. If you would like your businesses to have its say on issues which you find impede on the day-to-day running of your business – I encourage you to make a submission at www.businessconsultation.govt.nz.
The Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel recently released a copy of the Quality Regulation Review's first milestone report and said good progress was being made to identify and address barriers to business growth. The report showed government was taking the concerns of business seriously.
The examples that had been put forward - such as co-ordinating health and safety and hazardous substance inspections, or aligning dates for paying excise duties on alcohol products and alcohol advisory council (ALAC) levies - might seem minor, but they were significant in the drive to minimise the impact of regulation on business.
Cabinet has directed government departments to report back to Ministers by the end of the year on workable solutions to:
Some of the specific issues that will now be looked at now include survey requirements on tourism operators; information requirements under the Gambling
Linda Clark, one of New Zealand’s most formidable journalists, will be a guest speaker at this year’s Tauranga Regional Business Women’s Conference.
These will include Heidi Ward-McGrath, a Wairarapa vet, who was the 2003 Ernst and Young NZ Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Other speakers are:
Tickets to both days of the conference cost $200 and this includes Friday evening wine and meal; Saturday coffee and tea on arrival, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.
Tickets are available from the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce at PO Box 414 Tauranga, with registrations closing on March 9, 2007. Any enquiries can be directed to Chamber’s events manager on 07 5779823 or email email@example.com. Registration forms can be downloaded from the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce website www.tauranga.org.nz.
Conference committee chairperson Lynda Royal says the conference theme is Trailblazers.
The purpose of the conference is to not only showcase the business strength in the region, but to provide a platform for women to: learn new skills; become inspired by hearing the stories of others; form relationships with other women in business; otherwise support the growth of women in business in the region.
It will begin on the Friday night with a conference opening, keynote speakers, panel discussion and an accompanying meal. A full day of addresses by speakers will be held on Saturday. There will be keynote speaker addresses plus attendees will have the option of selecting which other sessions to attend.
The conference will finish on Saturday with drinks and a final networking opportunity at 5pm.
Power Solutions continue with their advice on energy issues.
Energy audits are a useful tool to help energy users understand how and where their energy costs occur. In that regard examination of some typical savings identified through the execution of energy audits are worth exploring as follows;
Council Aquatic Centres
There are many more and the average savings per annum for these wide range of businesses who are all spending a minimum of $100,000 per annum on energy, is 17%.
So a target of at least 10% is a reasonable expectation of the saving potential that can be realized for the majority of businesses. Hence the audit costs can be easily recovered.
In undertaking such audits PSL endeavour to show through the findings of thorough site/premises surveys, the savings available, cost to implement and the returns expected.
This way the client can examine the value to their business and set the priorities for an improvement implementation plan.
Even if a smaller business is not spending up to $100,000 PA on energy, rather than a full energy audit it can be shown justified and cost effective for an “Energy Health Check” to be carried out. This is a brief examination of energy accounts, a review of what’s there and how it is being used with greater input from the client.
There are considerable benefits and cost savings to be made in most businesses and all it takes is merely making a commitment to become energy wise, energy cost aware and do something about it under a structured implementation action plan to SAVE.
Power Solutions Ltd can help you save on your energy costs. If you want to explore the process involved, call PSL on (Ph 3498349).
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