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EMA 2023 Policy Manifesto Highlights Business Wish List

Acknowledging the crucial role that the business sector plays in New Zealand’s success should be a priority for any incoming government following the October election, and that requires a shift in attitude says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

"Positive signals about the value of business to the country from a new Government in October would be a welcome relief and perhaps a turning point for the business community," says the EMA’s Head of Advocacy, Strategy and Finance Alan McDonald.

"Over the past few years the narrative around business has been quite negative while the costs of doing business have continued to rise as business owners dealt with multiple legislative changes over a short period of time. That negative attitude needs to shift and that is the focus of our just released policy manifesto for the election."

In the lead-up to the General Election on 14 October, the EMA has released its 2023 Policy Manifesto, highlighting what businesses need to thrive.

The 2023 Policy Manifesto outlines a wish list of what EMA’s members believe the next Government needs to prioritise in order to create the most productive and sustainable business environment.

"A thriving, growing, more productive business sector mindful of its environmental, climate, diversity and community responsibilities, is critical to the success of our country and that role should be acknowledged by any new Government," says Mr McDonald.

"The business sector has repeatedly stated its desire to work and partner with Government, providing ideas, resources and even funding to help the country achieve its goals. Acknowledging that position of importance would be a huge step for a new Government."

Despite some macro-economic indicators showing New Zealand’s economy is performing adequately, the resilience and confidence of many small businesses remains notably low.

Through the 2023 Policy Manifesto, the EMA has suggested and asked for measures that will help create a more productive economy, ranging from infrastructure and employment relations through to climate change and skills.

"Many of the businesspeople we work with at the EMA have been running hard for two or three years," says Mr. McDonald.

"There is fatigue caused by Covid, weather events and a slew of employment and other legislation that has generally raised costs and increased complexity with no discernible benefit to business. And there is growing concern about the mental well-being of business owners and their people. Acknowledging the positive role of business would be a welcome circuit breaker."

The 2023 Policy Manifesto is available on the EMA website.

About the EMA:

The EMA is New Zealand’s largest business service organisation dedicated to helping people and businesses grow. It offers advice, learning, advocacy and support for more than 7,600 businesses as members of the EMA, ExportNZ and The EMA’s Manufacturers Network. The EMA is part of the BusinessNZ network and its territory spans the upper North Island. The EMA also offers many of its services nationally to member businesses, and through its partners.

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