Strengthening trans-Tasman connections

Business South CE Mike Collins recently joined the New Zealand business delegation taking part in the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum, which was attended by both countries' Prime Ministers, a number of government ministers and opposition shadow ministers, and business leaders.

The delegation also met with a range of other business membership organisations – Business Sydney, the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, and the Business Council of Australia.

"One of the overriding messages was that our countries are facing very similar issues, including infrastructure deficits, inflation increases, inventory and supply chain problems, labour shortages, migration policy and energy challenges," Mr Collins says.

He says to deliver our strategies and increase productivity, as leaders we need to pause and reset to acknowledge this new environment we live in.

“By doing this, we can create a positive vision, break it into bite size chunks and get stuff done,” he says.

Mr Collins says a key focus for both countries must be to get back to a stable predictable supply chain, and to invest in technology and innovation to drive transformation.

“New Zealand and Australia can work together to grow our workforces, and re-evaluate migration settings to ensure we can meet labour force needs,” he says. “Both countries would benefit from education systems with an emphasis on agile and industry-driven skills training, leveraging micro-credentials and work-based learning opportunities.”

There are also exciting opportunities to build capability in partnership with tangata whenua, and our trans-Tasman and Pacific neighbours.

“Climate change mitigation and sustainable tourism are great examples of areas that would benefit us all, and could position us as international leaders.”