Networking, Community, and Policy Innovation: A Week of Engagement in Tauranga and Hamilton with NZ Business Connect

This past week, NZ Business Connect has been busy in Tauranga and Hamilton, blending the vibrancy of networking events with social giving and significant policy proposals presented by Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate, from the Hamilton City Council, aimed at shaping the future of development in the city.

Waikato Women’s Refuge Representative Raewyn Curtis
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate

A Flourishing Network: NZ Business Connect Events

The NZ Business Connect community hosted two notable networking events that drew in a diverse group of participants, from seasoned business owners to potential new members eager to establish connections within the local business ecosystem.

The first event of the week was in Tauranga at Jack Dustys, on the 12th of March, and was a testament to the community’s enthusiasm for collaboration and growth. Featuring Dan Allen-Gordon from the Graeme Dingle Foundation, attendees were treated to insightful discussions on community impact, followed by an innovative round of speed networking. Despite minor system hiccups, the exercise was a hit, fostering a lively exchange of ideas and contacts under the adept MC-ing of Ricki Cotter.

Jay Randhawa

“Our members come together not only to expand their business horizons but also to make a meaningful impact on the community. Through initiatives like supporting local charities such as the Graeme Dingle Foundation and the Waikato Women’s Refuge, we offer an approach to networking that enriches both our members and the wider community.” – Ricki Cotter, NZ Business Connect Tauranga Regional Manager

Dan Allen-Gordon from the Graeme Dingle Foundation

Building on this momentum, the second event on the 14th of March at The Bank in Hamilton saw an even larger turnout. The evening was enriched by the presence of Hamilton’s Mayor, Paula Southgate,

who shared her insights on the city’s development, “I strongly encourage the community and our key stakeholders to share their views about what’s proposed.” Representatives from the Waikato Women’s Refuge came along to the event, highlighting the crucial support they offer to the community. Jay Randhawa, a noted figure in the networking and business sphere, captivated the audience with his perspective on the power of networking, setting the stage for another successful round of speed networking. The energy was palpable, with participants relishing the connections made and the conversations that continued long into the night.

“Our events are designed to inspire collaboration and growth, fostering a network where members support each other’s successes. This approach has not only helped our members thrive but has also built a vibrant community that values the power of connection.” – Phillip Quay, Founder of NZ Business Connect

NZ Business Connect founder Phillip Quay

Policy Innovations for a Sustainable Future

Amid the networking and community building in Hamilton, the City Council has proposed updates to its Development Contributions Policy to drive urban development and social housing. Key proposals include a 100% remission of DCs for developments on Māori land and papakāinga housing to support tangata whenua communities. The Council also plans to adjust DC remissions for central city and high-rise developments to boost the city centre’s vibrancy and density. Further adjustments to DC charges, community housing remission, and stormwater charges aim to bolster local businesses, increase social housing, and enhance environmental sustainability. The Council invites public feedback on these proposals until 21 April 2024, offering Hamilton’s community a chance to shape the city’s future.

NZ Business Connect Tauranga event

“I recognise that the financial environment is also tricky for developers and don’t wish to deter their great work. However, it’s also important to note that growth costs not covered by DCs or external funding become a cost to the ratepayer. Our aim is to develop a DC Policy that’s fair to the development community, considers the wellbeing of residents, and balances the present and future costs of growth.” – Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate 

A Unified Vision

The convergence of engaging networking events and proactive policy proposals epitomises Hamilton’s dynamic approach to growth and community engagement. Through fostering connections among its business community and seeking innovative solutions to development challenges, Hamilton is charting a course towards a more connected, sustainable, and vibrant future. NZ Business Connect is planning to broaden its own horizons by expanding to the Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Taupo, and Rotorua in the future.

Contact NZ Business Connect

027 458 7724