For the British High Commissioner to New Zealand, the Honourable Jonathan Sinclair, the only dark clouds which were likely to emerge in Hawke's Bay in the wake of his Brexit-focused meeting with the region's business leaders yesterday were in the sky.

The weather may have been grey but as Export New Zealand executive officer Amanda Liddle said the atmosphere within the Hawke's Bay Business Hub was a lot brighter after representatives of 24 of the region's leading industries heard Mr Sinclair's address about what the Brexit decision would mean for Hawke's Bay businesses.

Representatives from across the fruit, timber, wine and meat sectors were on hand to hear Mr Sinclair.

"He was excellent - he covered everything," Ms Liddle said.


"They had their questions answered and he gave everyone the opportunity to speak during his open floor forum."

Mr Sinclair told the gathering how three months ago, in June when the Brexit decision was made, he felt "terrible".

But he added that three months later, with the situation having settled down and after more detailed examinations of what it would mean, along with other political issues resolved, he felt more positive about it.

At the end of the day, Hawke's Bay's export industry relationship with the markets of Great Britain were not about to be left in neutral or hindered by the decision to break away from the EU.

Since the decision to exit, which was still two years away, everyone had simply "got on with it", Mr Sinclair said.

The uncertainty had been swept away quite quickly, and he said the UK would continue to provide a strong market for New Zealand and Hawke's Bay exporters, pointing out that 36 percent of the total exports to the EU were destined for the UK.

"It is something of a balancing act and in the short term there will be no change - think they (exporters) are in a good place."

There was increased activity in high-technology business and that was a "good fit for Kiwi companies".

He said it was crucial get "got out there" and spoke to the regions and yesterday's visit added to calls at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Palmerston North.

His Hawke's Bay audience effectively echoed the reactions and views of other regions - that there was nothing to fear about Brexit.

Trade officials from New Zealand were visiting the UK and officials from there were calling into New Zealand.

He said the vote from Britain to leave the EU could lead the country to become an even bigger, and better, global player and that would have beneficial spin-offs for New Zealand, and strong regions like Hawke's Bay.

It was his second visit here, having attended the Spring Show last October.
"And I'm coming back for that and bringing the family for the weekend."

The meeting was one of seven Mr Sinclair is staging throughout the country in association with Export New Zealand.

"It was all very positive and it was an excellent opportunity for companies presently trading or looking to trade with the UK market to find out the latest on Brexit," Ms Liddle said.