Friday, 31st March, 2023


Wow, a third of the year gone already. The clocks go back this weekend and for many businesses, another financial year has just finished.

Here at the Chamber, we are about to prepare our accounts for this year, and start actioning our plans for the next financial year. We recognise that this is a busy time for businesses too, so if you need assistance, please reach out to us or other Chamber members. Between us, we can support each other and build a strong business community based on collaboration and mutual support.

It’s also tax time, and for well established businesses, this is just another process to be followed. For newer businesses, this could be your first year of provisional tax, where you not only pay tax on what you earned in the previous year, you also pay ahead on your expected earnings for the new year. If you have any questions on this, it is best to discuss with your accountant to avoid any nasty surprises.

One highlight of the month was our Business Breakfast where we met with the Mayor of Whakatāne, Victor Luca, and CEO Steph O’Sullivan over an informal breakfast. They outlined their plans for the next couple of years and answered questions from the floor. Unfortunately, we had to cut the session short due to time constraints but will look to run more of these events across the region.

Another highlight was the recent BNZ Women in Business networking event where Steph O’Sullivan (Whakatāne District Council CEO), Faylene Tunui (Mayor of Kawerau), and Bronwen Foxx (CEO Disabilities Resource Centre & Chamber President) shared their leadership journey. The feedback from this event was very positive so we will look to do more of the same.

I hope you all have August 12, 2023, marked in your calendars for the 2023 HEG Business Excellence Awards Celebration Dinner. Nominations for the awards open today and remain open until 19 May. There are six business excellence categories (Emerging Business, Small Business, Medium Business, Large Business, Community Organisation, Māori or Pasifika Business); five capability categories, and four individual awards. All finalists in the business excellence categories are eligible for the HEG Supreme Business Award, and potentially a Capability Award if they are the best in that category.

The individual awards are nomination based rather than entry based, so I urge you to consider who you would nominate as Business Leader of the Year, Community Leader of the Year, Employee of the Year, or Young Entrepreneur.

As we move into our new financial year, we are keen to hear from members what you think we do well, and how we could deliver even more value to you. We occasionally do surveys but we’re also open to general feedback at any time, so feel free to reach out and offer your opinion. We’ll even meet over a coffee to discuss if that works for you.

And finally, a huge thanks to all our members and sponsors that have supported the Chamber, and we look forward to another successful year working alongside you.


Andrew Watson
General Manager