Economic development conference

This year's Economic Development NZ Conference will take place in Paihia from October 17 to 19 with speakers including PM Jacinda Ardern, as well as a host of MPs, and national and international experts. The conference at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort in the Bay of Islands will feature speakers Bruce Katz, an economics and public policy expert, International Economic Development Council chairman Craig Richards, author of State of the Nation report – Salvation Army, Alan Johnson, Infometrics economist Benje Patterson and Dr David Wilson, CEO of Northland Inc, chairman of EDNZ and member of the PGF advisory panel.

Latest business confidence survey

Northland business owners are "coming to grips with the new Government" but 21 per cent of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce believe things will get worse over the next six months, while many are struggling to find skilled staff. The Northern Regional Chamber Business Confidence Survey for the first quarter of 2018 surveyed almost 300 people north of Taranaki, through Gisborne but excluding Auckland. Responses, of which an estimated one quarter of those are from Northland, according to Northland Chamber CEO Tony Collins, showed that employers were continuing to have difficulty finding the right people with the right skills.

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Cake shop thanks voters

Sandra Boston, owner of Kiwicakes in Kamo has said she was blown away by the support she received locally for being nominated for the Australian Cake Decorating Network retailer of the year. Sadly, she did not win in the category, the Peoples' Choice award, which was scooped by Australian Cake Decorating Solutions, which has eight stores across Australia. "But the fact we were even able to compete is a tribute to the loyalty of our customers," said Ms Boston.

Lean workshop to boost performance

Business owners, innovators, leaders and senior managers will get a chance to take up the Lean challenge, when the workshop comes to Northland on June 13. Run in association with the University of Auckland and Callaghan Innovation, Lean's one-day coaching programme at the Orchard Business and Event Hub in Whangarei is designed to boost competitiveness and performance through the entire operational system - from product development to supply chains, production and distribution, customer touch points and staff skill levels.