Airbnb has unveiled the regional destinations in New Zealand topping itineraries ahead of the 2021 Easter holidays, as new research shows guests will be making a special effort to support local businesses during their travels this year.
Research conducted by YouGov has revealed about a third of Kiwis (35 per cent) are more conscious about how they spend their money and the local businesses they're contributing to after a tough year for many of them.
That's great news for regional businesses looking to snag tourist dollars, given 42 per cent of Kiwis say they're expecting to spend more on domestic getaways since they're not
expecting to be going abroad.
Travellers remain budget-conscious, and are also primarily looking for affordability when
deciding on accommodation, with more than two thirds (72 per cent) identifying it as the most important consideration.
The list of most-searched regions for check-in dates of April 2-9, 2021 includes Queenstown, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, Napier and Wanaka, among others.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb's country manager for New Zealand and Australia, said it has been a tough year for businesses throughout the country.
"It's great to see Kiwis are so keen to spend their precious tourism dollars supporting these small businesses that are typically the backbone of their local community."
Mount Business Association announces new chairperson
The Mount Business Association (formerly Mount Mainstreet) has a new chairperson and a new direction for 2021.
Last week the board voted in 37-year-old Kim Renshaw of Beyond the Bin as the new chairperson.
Brought in initially as a guest to discuss strategy at the December board meeting, Renshaw's passion and experience in events and facilitation led her to nomination in early 2021.
Renshaw is focused on stimulating more business for members, many whom she recognises have suffered since the pandemic, and is calling on all members to attend next month's meeting to discuss new strategies.
"The cancellation of event plans, and the loss of tourists and cruise-ship passengers is a huge challenge for us to mitigate. We need members to bring their best ideas to the table, and let's together make a compelling business case that we can all be inspired by and action quickly."
Renshaw has lived at the Mount for 10 years and has been heavily involved with events and the community through her creation of the Gourmet Night Market event in 2013 (since sold) and work through her waste education consultancy Beyond the Bin.
"I love the Mount and hope to inject my passion and values-based, collaborative approach into the governance of the Mount Business Association."
Renshaw says the organisation would deliver multiple events in the 2021 calendar year, but what exactly they would look like would depend on the members: Their needs and their target demographics.
"It's likely that our members' needs have changed significantly since Covid-19. We have a large number of professional services businesses here, as well as our retailers and hospitality providers.
"We need to map out who the [potentially new] members' customers are and then plan our activities around that, to ensure we are servicing their needs, as Tauranga City Council collect a specific targeted rate from these businesses explicitly for our organisation to produce an economic return for them," Renshaw says.
The new chair will host a meeting with all Mount businesses (members) on March 10 from 4.30pm to 6pm at the Mount Ocean Sports Club to discuss the path forward, what promotional and event activities they wish for and what the identity of the Mount Business Association will look like in a post-Covid-19 world.
Renshaw encouraged all members to attend, to ensure their targeted rate was being put to good use.
Classic Builders calls Katikati home
Classic Builders has set up a branch office on the main street in Katikati and public interest is high, says branch manager Callum Armstrong.
Armstrong, who was born and raised in Katikati, says people have walked in off the street to inquire about housing opportunities.
"We are design and build specialists, so people with their own sites can come and see us to discuss what we can offer."
Classic Builders BOP regional manager Nathan Watkins says Classic Builders was keen to respond to market demand and expand its operations further north.
"This new location will allow us to create a stronger presence in the Western Bay of Plenty and, in turn, give our clients easier access to areas like Omokoroa, Katikati and Waihi Beach."
While design and build is a big focus of Classic Builders' presence in the northern part of the district, the company is also looking for subdivisional opportunities in the Waihi and Katikati areas, Watkins says.
The company's recently released subdivision in Katikati's Park Rd has had very strong inquiry and they anticipate similar levels of interest for Kaimai Views, their subdivision in Omokoroa, with the next release planned for later this year.
The Kakikati office is the third Classic Builders branch in the Western Bay of Plenty, with the others in Tauranga and Pāpāmoa.
Katikati's branch manager has been with Classic Builders for about five years. Armstrong started as a construction manager, then worked his way up to senior construction manager, before taking up his role at the helm in his old home town.
PMG announces new equity partnership
PMG Property Funds Management Limited (PMG) has announced a 50 per cent equity partnership, through its parent company PMG Holdings Limited, with listed Australian-based investment and funds manager, 360 Capital Active REIT (360 Capital).
The national property funds manager, PMG, has offices in Tauranga, Auckland and Christchurch.
PMG chief executive officer Scott McKenzie says he is excited by the opportunities the partnership presents PMG's investors and tenants, and the company's five unlisted commercial property funds.
Integral to the partnership, PMG's existing management team, brand and staff structure will remain the same. All day-to-day operating and management decisions will continue to be made by the existing PMG executive and investment management team – including PMG chief executive officer Scott McKenzie, chief financial officer Nigel Lowe, and head of investment Daniel Lem. All three remain committed to the PMG business for the long term.
Scott McKenzie, Nigel Lowe and Denis McMahon will remain on the PMG Board. Dr Wayne Beilby will also remain on the PMG Board as an independent director. Founder and chairman of PMG Denis McMahon will remain as chairman.
An additional independent director and three members of the 360 Capital team will join the PMG Board, adding to PMG's property funds management experience and growing governance capability.
360 Capital's head of real assets James Storey says the company is excited about partnering with PMG, considering PMG's solid performance and history over the past 29 years, and the potential they see for PMG and investors long term.
PMG chairman Denis McMahon says the partnership will provide investors with even more confidence in PMG as a manager of their investments.
Bakels Supreme Pie awards return
After a year's lapse of the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards, one of the largest and longest-running food competition in New Zealand is back on again.
The 24th Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards was postponed due to Covid-19 but will return in 2021 on July 27.
Patrick Lam of Patrick's Pies Goldstar Bakery in Tauranga is reigning champion, having won seven Supreme Pie Awards and in 2020 he claimed the first Bakels Legendary Sausage Roll prize.
NZ Bakels managing director Brent Kersel says last year it was like the whole nation let out a sigh of disappointment when the competition was postponed.
"New Zealanders love their pies and it was hard enough that the lockdowns closed their
favourite bakeries without losing the Pie Awards as well.
"This year we're thinking positively about how much as a country we have to be thankful for and the Bakels NZ Supreme Pie Awards helps celebrate that. So let's find the best pie in the country and get everyone to try it. We know people will want to."
Entries open May 3 and close June 24, with judging day on July 22 and the awards night on July 27.
National economics forum
The University of Waikato is set to host a national economics conference on March 3 and 4 to ask the big questions about the future of New Zealand's economy.
The 2021 New Zealand Economics Forum, Economics for Tumultuous Times: Finding the right policy mix in the post-Covid world, will provide a platform for economists, policymakers and industry leaders to discuss the major challenges facing our economy, including the long-term impacts of the global pandemic.
The two-day conference is the first convened specifically around the economic implications of Covid-19.
"The forum comes at a pivotal time, as we weigh up the long-term effects of our Covid-19 response with other challenges facing our economy including climate change and the housing shortage," says Professor Neil Quigley, University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor.
Deputy Prime Minister Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, will present a keynote address sharing his views on using fiscal, monetary and micro-economic policy to build a thriving economy for New Zealand.
Other keynote speakers include Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Te Pūtea Matua, and ASB Bank CEO Vittoria Shortt, who will share their thoughts on the future of monetary policy and banking for a strong New Zealand post-Covid.
The conference programme explores timely issues including the economic challenges presented by the Climate Commission's 2021 Draft Report, the interdependence of fiscal and monetary policy and whether inflation will return after the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We've seen unprecedented investment and policy responses to keep our economy afloat through Covid-19. A big question being asked by Kiwis now is how do we deal with the resulting imbalances and land in a strong, sustainable position for the future," says Quigley.
"Our aim with the forum is to enhance public conversation around economic policy in New Zealand and debate priorities and pathways for the decade ahead."
Priority One joins Techweek 2021
Priority One has joined the Techweek team for 2021 as the regional event coordinator for the Tauranga region.
People are encouraged to get involved with Techweek2021 by submitting and hosting their own event, or attending the festival in May.
Techweek is a nationwide festival of events (face-to-face, digital and hybrid) to showcase and celebrate New Zealand's world-class tech and innovative solutions. It's the place to check out what's new and happening across technology here in New Zealand.
People can take part in several ways, either by running or attending an event. It's a great opportunity to showcase your association/business/technology/research and network.
The Techweek2021 theme is Connecting for a Better Future - something we think will resonate well with event organisers, partners and attendees. This theme is significant in considering future workplaces, towns, cities as well as connecting to your local communities and schools.
E-waste recycling trial launches at Noel Leeming stores
Noel Leeming is trialling a free e-waste recycling programme in partnership with TechCollect NZ, a not-for-profit organisation committed to supporting product stewardship for electrical and electronic products in Aotearoa.
The recycling programme aims to divert thousands of kilograms of e-waste from landfill by offering free drop-off recycle points at 16 participating Noel Leeming retail stores nationwide.
Customers and small businesses can take e-waste including printers, computers, laptops and tablets, as well as peripherals such as keyboards, mice, power supplies, monitors, copiers, scanners and multifunction printers and cameras to a participating Noel Leeming retail store. Customers are responsible for clearing personal data from devices prior to dropping it off in store for recycling.
Excluded products include televisions, white goods, non-IT electronics, loose batteries, toner and ink cartridges. Mobile phones can continue to be recycled through the Noel Leeming partnership programme with Re:Mobile.
David Benattar, chief sustainability officer at The Warehouse Group, said the programme allows customers to responsibly and conveniently dispose of their e-waste in one of its 16 stores free of charge.
"E-waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world, with the average Kiwi generating more than 21kg of e-waste each year. By introducing a programme where unwanted Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment can safely be recycled, we are hopeful we can divert a considerable amount of e-waste from New Zealand landfills."
As part of the partnership, Noel Leeming will encourage recycling and reusing wherever possible and adhere to stringent health, safety, and environmental standards to support a sustainable environment and circular economy.
The stores participating in the recycling trial include Whangarei Supa, St Lukes Mega Centre, Wairau Park, Manukau Supa Centre, Te Rapa, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Nelson, Moorhouse, Dunedin, Queenstown and Invercargill.
Free business programme makes a difference
Rotorua businesses and non-profits have benefited from a free business training programme.
The next course will start in March and Rotorua organisations are encouraged to take part.
Melanie Schuler from Woodhouse Architecture completed the Incubate programme in November and said it was a great experience.
Schuler's business is an architectural design and consultancy company. Her passion is for healthy and affordable housing, regenerative designs and educating the next generation. Her aim is to design buildings that contribute more to their environment than they take.
Toni Adams from Fanny Adams Underwear also completed the Incubate programme last year and urges other businesses to do the programme.
Firestation provides business coaching and training to help businesses and non-profits connect, launch, grow and scale sustainably and for founders to achieve success while maintaining work-life balance.
Programme director Darren McGarvie says Firestation's flagship Incubate programme is focused on execution and helping businesses and non-profits become more resilient.
The free Incubate programme can accept 10 businesses to take part.
Rotorua gets new taxi company
Urban Link Taxis is one of the newest taxi companies in Rotorua.
All drivers have been in the industry for 20-plus years and they have a range of cars and vans available and a growing fleet.
They are ACC accredited, as well as being connected with Bay of Plenty Regional Council for all DPA customers. All drivers have First Aid Certificates and NZQA qualifications, meaning they are all fully trained in helping with our disabled community.
Pop up job shop
If you're shopping but really should be job hunting, from next week you can kill two birds with one stone.
The Ministry of Social Development's work services team will be working from a temporary job shop inside Rotorua Central Mall from Monday next week.
The job shop will open from 10am to 4pm daily from March 1 to 5.
It's the second time a job shop has operated from the mall and it is aimed at providing an innovative way of connecting with jobseekers and potential employers - so it's not just for those looking for jobs, but also for those who might be looking at hiring.
Tauranga's Robotic Plus receives up to $15m in ACC investment
Tauranga's Robotic Plus is set to benefit from ACC investment of up to $15 million to improve the wellbeing of employees in the country's most dangerous industries.
ACC's Impact Investment Fund has taken a share in the globally-recognised company to improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of New Zealanders and provide a strong investment return that helps Kiwis pay less in levies for accident cover.
Robotics Plus was developing new technology to keep forestry, agriculture and transport workers safe and was attracting global interest.
It included a robotic scaling machine that could more quickly and accurately measure the volume of timber on logging trucks, eliminating what was a dangerous manual task at ports, forestry sites and sawmills.
ACC's investment sits within the target range of $2m to $15m.