The country's senior business leaders are becoming increasingly concerned about the slowing economy, the Government's strategy and our reliance on China and dairy exports.
The 2015 Mood of the Boardroom, published today, surveys 110 top corporate chief executives and company directors as well as heads of our leading business organisations.
The results show 75 per cent want to see the Government formulate a Plan B in case the dairy slump continues. Eighty per cent want diversification of the economy accelerated.
Broadly, economic confidence has slipped among top business leaders. On a scale of one to five, confidence in the local economy averaged a rating of just 2.3 compared with 2.54 for the international economy and a slightly more optimistic 2.99 for the respondents' own business situations.
Sixty-four per cent of respondents agreed that indicators pointed to an economic slowdown from their own business perspective.
Of major concerns on the international front, dairy tops the list followed by the economic slowdowns in Australia and China respectively. There are concerns that New Zealand may have too many eggs in one basket with its China relationship.
Although the results were split, 42 per cent of respondents felt New Zealand was placing too much emphasis on the Chinese market compared with 41 per cent who felt we were not.
On the domestic front, quality infrastructure regulation and skills shortages remain the top concerns. Although answers to the question "what keeps you awake at night" highlighted more immediate business worries.
For 52 per cent of respondents the answer was achieving top-line revenue growth. Sourcing and retaining skilled staff was the thesecond biggest nightmare at 35 per cent.
But this year digital disruption is weighing more heavily on the minds of business leaders, with 32 per cent saying the challenges that new technology poses are keeping them awake.
On the political front, the survey sees Finance Minister Bill English as the most highly ranked of Government MPs.
Chief executives ranked his performance at 4.6 out of 5 compared with 4.75 last year. Prime Minister John Key was rated at 4.28, compared with 4.49 last year.
Of Labour MPs, Jacinda Ardern was most rated the most impressive for the second year running.
Biggest concerns (international):
• Low dairy prices
• Slowdown in Australia
• Slowdown in China
Biggest concerns (domestic):
• Skills and labour shortages
National, Bill English
Labour, Jacinda Ardern