What is the Regional Business Partner Network?

Regional Business Partners are part of a nationwide network of organisations that can help businesses access information, funding and training and development services.  The Tauranga Chamber is the lead agency for the delivery of Regional Business Partner services in the Bay of Plenty.

The 14 Regional Business Partners are supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), New Zealand’s international business development agency helping firms grow into international markets, and by Callaghan Innovation, the Crown entity charged with accelerating commercialisation of innovation by firms in New Zealand.  Since 2016 Business Mentors of New Zealand has also been part of the programme.

Further information on other support available to businesses can be found at

What support do the Regional Business Partners offer?

We have specialist business advisors who are available to meet with businesses and work with business owners and/or key managers to identify needs and opportunities to grow the business.

The business advisors can provide advice, information, referrals and connections to ANY business seeking support for their growth journey.  If you are a business seeking advice and support to help you grow, get in touch with us and have a conversation about where to next.

NZTE Capability Development Vouchers

If you have aspirations to grow your business you might also be eligible for an NZTE Capability Development Voucher.
NZTE Capability Development Vouchers are available to businesses to use as partial payment towards the cost of capability development and training. Vouchers can be used to help businesses build capability in the following areas: Business Planning, Business Systems, Business Sustainability, Capital Raising, Export, Finance, Governance, Lean Manufacturing/ Business Operations, Managing Resources and Marketing.

Is my business eligible for a Voucher?

To be eligible for a voucher a business must be:

  • Operating with 50 or less FTEs
  • Be GST registered in New Zealand
  • Operating in a commercial environment – i.e. is currently trading
  • Be privately owned or a Maori Trust or Incorporation under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 or similar organisation managing Maori assets under multiple ownership
  • Have undergone assessment by a Regional Business Partner.

Business should also:

  • Be exporting, have export potential, be involved in the export supply chain or have the potential to contribute to economic growth in the region
  • Demonstrate commitment to improving management capability. Indicators of commitment include the fact they have sought advice, have worked through the assessment process and a willing to co-fund capability building activities and make the required time commitment; and
  • Have an identified gap in its capability that can be addressed through management capability building and training.

To receive a Capability Development Voucher, a business must be registered on the Regional Business Partner Network website  This website has been especially developed for the programme.  Before you register we suggest you call us on our 0800 number (0800 249 842) to talk through what’s involved with one of our Business Growth Team.

Capability Development Vouchers – funding

Capability Development Vouchers are used to co-fund training and capability development up to a maximum of $5000 per year per business.  The business must pay at least half of the training costs.

Research and Development support and funding

As well as supporting building business capability, Regional Business Partners can help businesses access R&D grant funding from Callaghan Innovation.  Further information is available from Callaghan Innovation’s website

Business Mentors

You can also apply for a Business Mentor to help you gain a fresh approach or use as a sounding board in your business.   Your mentor will provide you with independent, impartial advice that may challenge you to go further, set new business goals, and achieve better results.

For more information about Business Mentors, please visit our Business Mentors page.


Philip Becker

Regional Business Advisor

P (07) 349 8365 021 420 991