Doing business in Central Otago
Our vision: a thriving business environment that benefits the whole region
Photo credit – Will Nelson
Central Otago is an amazing place to live and work. The region is recognised nationally and globally across energy development, horticulture, viticulture, tourism and has a rapidly expanding population driving building & construction, infrastructure and related services. It has incredibly talented people but but has the challenge of developing a skilled workforce to match growth and seasons.
Business South is your partner on your business journey. We want to connect you; help you navigate the landscape and empower you towards your goals.
Central Otago Advisory Committee
Representing the interests of the Central Otago business community
Nigel Smellie (Chair of the Central Otago Advisory Committee)
Nigel is a Chartered Accountant and Partner of Findex Central Otago where he is responsible for helping businesses with all their business advisory requirements. He strives to provide relevant and reliable, accounting, taxation and business advice to all his clients.
Nigel is also the current Treasurer of the Alexandra Blossom Festival Committee.
In his spare time, Nigel enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter.
After a 13-year banking career, Brent spent most of the last twenty plus years as an independent financial planner, setting up Central Financial Planning in 2016.
With extensive governance, management, and lending expertise, in addition to Brent’s Advisory Committee role, Brent currently holds executive positions with the Alexandra Golf Club, the NZ Tournament Water Skiing Association, the NZ Four Wheel Drive Association, the Alexandra Blossom Festival Trust and the Central Otago Flying Club. He also spent seven years on a national advisory board, liaising with corporates and regulators, representing his fellow advisers and striving to improve the standard of advice and solutions available to New Zealanders.
Tim has been Mayor of the Central Otago District since October, 2016. Prior to this he owned two businesses (in law and retail) and had also worked closely with the business community as copywriter for the local radio station for a decade. Tim considers being part of the Advisory Committee as a crucial function in role as Mayor, as it allows high-level two-way communication helping business and council work together for the benefit of everyone in the community.
Mary is a Partner at AWS Legal and practices in Rural/Residential property transactions, Irrigation issues, Trusts and Estates and Family law.
Mary was admitted to the Bar in 1987 and went on to develop her skills both here and in the United Kingdom. For a number of years, Mary then concentrated on raising her family and managing, with her husband, the family farm at Poolburn, Central Otago.
In 2004 Mary returned to law and has developed further skills in in the areas of Rural Law, Private client, Trusts, Estates, Relationship Property and Family matters.
Mary is a committed local focused on addressing the issues found in Central Otago region in particular those surrounding Health and Irrigation. Mary is a former member of the Irrigation New Zealand Board and a current board member of Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust and an Ida Valley Irrigation Company Ltd director.
Born and raised in Southland, Mike started his career with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Hydrographic Surveying branch. After numerous deployments around New Zealand and the South Pacific gaining experience in all aspects of Hydrographic Surveying, Mike left the navy to start a role in a survey consultancy firm in the south.
Mike then moved into a mining role at Macrae’s Gold Mine, before heading overseas to work on a variety of projects, including Oil and Gas, Railway, Roading and civil projects. At the start of 2008 Mike returned to New Zealand, and with his two business partners now runs consultancy firm LandPro.
With 30 years in the survey industry Mike has experienced multiple changes in the market and can apply those lessons learned along the way.
Nick grew up in Alexandra, but left at the end of high school to pursue higher education, a career and his OE. Six years ago, Nick, his wife Christine and young family decided to return to Central Otago and they haven’t looked back.
As Economic Development Manager, at the Central Otago District Council, Nick’s role is about creating an environment for the economy to prosper in a way that meets the aspirations and values of the community. Day-to-day this may involve connecting individual businesses with council processes or government funding opportunities, undertaking research to inform decision and policymakers, working with groups of businesses to overcome a collective problem such as labour shortages or creating an eco-system to support for start-ups in Central.
A leading business identity across the Roxburgh and Teviot Valley district, Sally is the owner of the iconic 103 The Store on Roxburgh’s SH1 and has business interests across other sectors. Sally is also the Roxburgh and Districts Business Group convener.
Sally brings to the committee a deep appreciation for retail, hospitality and the needs of the community.
The Business South Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer
Te Kaiwhakahaere Matua
Director of Business Experience & Engagement
Director of Business Growth
Director of Workforce & Business Development
Operations Manager Workforce Central Dunedin