Wellington, October 18, 2018
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a diverse cross section of leaders from the business community will form her Business Advisory Council to advise the Coalition Government as it works on building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that improves the wellbeing of New Zealanders.
“New Zealand needs a modern economy that has the investment, innovation and skills required to ensure we can all share in prosperity and opportunity in a sustainable way. To do that we need to work closely with business leaders, share ideas and consider solutions to overcoming barriers together,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, chaired by Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon, brings together a mix of experts, six women and seven men with small to large business experience, from across New Zealand, to provide advice.
It is expected to meet three times a year with the Prime Minister and her representatives.
Terms of Reference
The terms of reference for the Council sets out that it will (a) provide high-level free and frank advice on policies that directly affect business (b) harness the expertise of the private sector to inform government policy and (c) build closer relationships between government and business.
Ms Ardern said that she will be asking the Council to gather advice from their peers in the domestic and international business community on some of the most important issues facing New Zealand including how we best grow and share our prosperity, support regional development, and transition to a clean, green New Zealand.
“I have asked the Council to drill down into key issues within our four economic priority areas that will provide answers to some of the big economic challenges regularly raised with me by business leaders. The Council’s work will complement the work the Government is already doing with the Small Business Council, and business and union representative groups through the Tripartite Forum. It will do this by focusing on macro level economic strategy, and providing active leadership on the Government’s economic agenda,” she said.
Areas of focus
The Council’s initial areas of focus will include skills, investment, infrastructure, sustainability and regional development.
Christopher Luxon said that the Council’s composition reflected a diversity of skills and industry experience from businesses of different sizes and locations across the whole economy designed to make a significant contribution to building a more productive, sustainable and inclusive economy.
“All Council members are committed to seeing New Zealand realise its potential and are excited to step up and play a role in supporting the Prime Minister. The Council will provide free and frank advice to the Prime Minister on economic issues, build closer relationships between business of all sizes and the Government and provide expertise to inform policy decisions,” he said.
Ms Ardern said that she is looking forward to the first meeting of the Council in Auckland on November 8, 2018.
“I will also be attending a meeting of the Small Business Council shortly,” she said.
Business Advisory Council members
Christopher Luxon, Chair, Air New Zealand; Peter Beck, Rocket Lab; Barbara Chapman, Professional Director (started as Genesis Chair on October 10, 2018); Jacqui Coombes, Bunnings; Anna Curzon, Xero; Andrew Grant, McKinsey & Company; Miles Hurrell, Fonterra; Bailey Mackey, Pango Productions; David McLean, Westpac; Joc O’Donnell, HW Richardson; Gretta Stephens, Bluescope/NZ Steel; Rachel Taulelei, Kono; Fraser Whineray, Mercury