Mood of the Boardroom: Opportunity to take best from diverse cultures

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs. Photo / Michael Craig
NZME chief executive Michael Boggs. Photo / Michael Craig


NZME chief executive Michael Boggs lists ensuring New Zealand's quality of life, adapting to cultural diversity and increasing globalisation among the key challenges the nation faces.

Boggs points out the two key income earners for the country, tourism and dairy, are running at high capacity. "This is risking the quality of life for New Zealanders and New Zealand's reputation both locally and globally," he says. "Immediate planning and substantial investment is required in key infrastructure, natural resource protection and cross city/community co-ordination."

Boggs, formerly the company's chief financial officer, stepped up as CEO earlier this year at a critical juncture in the company's history.

The company had recently shifted to its new Auckland HQ -- NZME Central -- enabling a fast-paced integration of its various news and commercial operations.

In May, NZME announced plans to merge with Fairfax NZ to form a major listed media company.

Boggs says partnering with a local competitor will help build the scale needed to compete in a market increasingly dominated by global media companies.

The deal still requires Commerce Commission approval, but meanwhile, NZME has listed on the ASX and NZX as a stand-alone NZ media company after being spun off from APN News & Media through the issue of shares to its existing shareholders.

Boggs says the changing cultural mix of New Zealand is testing socio-economic practices and boundaries.

But though the customs and traditions of various cultures are different, New Zealand has the opportunity to take the best from each.

"Businesses must take the opportunity to embrace new cultures and ways of doing things to ensure a harmonious business and social environment".

Chinese languages are now the second most commonly spoken in Auckland after English, with the 2013 Census recording 99,744 Chinese speakers, making up 7.7 per cent of Aucklanders who were old enough to speak.

Businesses must take the opportunity to embrace new cultures and ways of doing things to ensure a harmonious business and social environment.

NZME has formed a joint venture with the owners of the Chinese Herald to publish a Chinese language news website called chinesenzherald.co.nz.

It will publish translated versions of stories from the NZ Herald.

Boggs' third point is the need to develop and promote New Zealand on the global stage as a supportive business environment, with strong talent pools, and as a stable economic and social environment for global businesses (who invest and pay tax).

He says this is important because globalisation is increasing and New Zealand continues to be a nation of SMEs.

Michael Boggs' Top Three:

Top three business priorities:

- Scaling for survival and then growth.

- New business and revenue model opportunities.

- Investing in and developing talent.

Most likely to keep me awake at night?

- Achieving top-line revenue growth.

- Meeting customer expectations.

- Digital disruption.

- NZ Herald

What are your thoughts? Tweet us @nzherald using the hashtag: #Boardroom2016

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