He has been the main man behind helping new businesses get established in Tauranga for nearly four years. Now Stan Gregec is handing over the reins.

The self-appointed "chief enthusiast" for the local business sector has resigned from his position as Tauranga's Chamber of Commerce's chief executive since being appointed to the role in June 2015.

Gregec said the chamber was charting a new pathway forward and it was time to hand on the reins to somebody new.

"The chamber is one of those organisations that needs a constant injection of new ideas and fresh energy to stay relevant and exciting to its members," he said.


"I am not one for overstaying my time in any role. I've had my day in the sun, and I want to make way for a new person and what they can bring to the role."

Gregec resigned earlier this month and planned to finish up his role this Easter.

He had no specific new role to go to but planned to stay in Tauranga and hinted at the idea of returning back into the private sector.

For now, he has taken time off to reflect on his next steps and married his long-term partner Ali Pomstra at the weekend.

Gregec said helping new businesses get established in Tauranga was one of the highlights of the role.

"It gives you a real buzz when you see a great business idea and can help in bringing it to fruition," he said.

Gregec also highlighted achievement in helping create Small Business Tauranga, which now operates as one of the chamber's main network and advocacy groups.

When he first came on board, Gregec said many small business owners saw the chamber as an organisation for bigger and more established businesses.

"We changed that perception by launching a new network just for them," he said.

Small businesses made up the backbone of the industry and commerce in the region, Gregec said.

"If you think about it, small businesses with less than five staff make up the vast majority of Tauranga's business sector... and their voice is often lost or not heard clearly enough."

The chamber's advocacy on issues, including the Tauranga City Council's proposal to reintroduce a rates hike of 60 per cent on some local businesses, was another major highlight for Gregec.

He also highlighted business events such as the annual business awards, Biennial Business Women's Network Conference, and the Small Business Conference.

Gregec said it had been a privilege to have been entrusted with leading the chamber in the last four years alongside an "enthusiastic and dedicated" team.

"I am leaving the chamber with mixed feelings but with the confidence that the timing is right and that the chamber is poised for a new era of opportunity and renewed relevance."

Gregec's career:
- Actively involved in Tauranga business since 1995
- Established the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Tauranga office
- Previous Tauranga Chamber of Commerce regional business advisor
- General manager of Tauranga-based Atlantis Bathroom Style
- Internet development manager at the University of Auckland business school (2001-2005)
- Appointed chief executive officer in 2015-2019