Covid-19 has taught us all a great deal about resilience. As a country, as businesses and personally.
Regular Herald Business Reports readers will have noticed the publication dates of the 2020 reports were out of sync.
On March 6, we published a bumper edition of the Herald's Project Auckland, jam-packed with exclusive insights into the city's infrastructure developments as it prepared for 2021's Year of Events; revelations of a planned new city at Drury and more. Three weeks later, New Zealand was in alert level 4 lockdown.
The annual May Infinz Awards were postponed (and with that the Herald's annual Capital Markets report).
The reports did not resume again until late June with Agribusiness 2020; this was published 10 days after the Southern Hemisphere's biggest agricultural show Fieldays which was held virtually, and, (for once) did not see the reports team up at dawn to drive down to Mystery Creek for KPMG's Leaders' breakfast.
The last two months have been a pressure cooker.
The Mood of the Boardroom CEOs Election Survey and breakfast event was deferred twice. First, due to Auckland's move back into alert level 2, then when the General Election was deferred from September 19 to October 17.
Thanks here to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and his then sparring partner, National's Paul Goldsmith, who kept their diaries flexible, and debated in front of a deliberately sparse audience of CEOs (we were still at alert level 1) who had to register in advance. A special shoutout to BusinessNZ and our project sponsors, and, to Auckland Business Chamber CEO Michael Barnett whose relationship with the Cordis hotel assisted with date shifts.
The Infrastructure report shifted from August to November to coincide with InfrastructureNZ's annual Building Nations symposium which was held in person.
We collaborated with the Aotearoa Circle to produce Financing the Future.
Our final project for 2020 was the Deloitte Top 200 Awards and the Dynamic Business report.
As judging panel convenor, I would like to thank independent directors Cathy Quinn and Jonathan Mason, Forsyth Barr managing director Neil Paviour-Smith and Direct Capital CEO Ross George for making time to comprehensively judge these premier business awards when their own diaries were under pressure.
The Herald Business Reports team wishes all readers, contributors and sponsors a safe and Covid-free Christmas and New Year holiday season.
We're looking forward to coming back recharged in the New Year with our first report — Project Auckland — and the accompanying annual sponsor luncheon.
Thanks to the sponsors and business organisations we collaborated with to publish the 2020 Herald Business Reports Series and put on events like Project Auckland and Mood of the Boardroom. We look forward to reconnecting in 2021.
Finally, my special thanks to the core Herald reports team: Tim McCready, Natalia Rimell, Isobel Marriner, Richard Dale, Graham Skellern, Bill Bennett and Tim Wilson.
You aced it.
- Fran O'Sullivan is Head of Business and Executive Editor of Herald Business Reports.