Monday, 9th October, 2023

What's happening in the Digital space?

Written by Adria Green - Grahn Creative

Google have changed the way they are doing things. If you have been searching for something on Google lately, you may have noticed the results are displayed a bit differently. They are migrating the desktop and mobile feeds for results to be more consistent with one another.

But what does this mean?

Basically put, search results now come in the form of infinite scroll, no more page 1,2,3 at the bottom to toggle through.

This is great news for those businesses who may not have been on page 1, there is a higher chance of you being discovered when the user is continuing to scroll down. You’ll notice moving forward that all those spammy emails you get won’t be saying ‘Get your website on page 1’ but the messaging will change to ‘Get your website into the top position’ or something similar. Still don’t fall for them!

Facebook has updated their logo (again!) although you may not have noticed because the changes are ever so slight, however there are some people out there complaining about the new version of the colour (they must have way too much time on their hands).

ChatGPT has just released that it can now access up to date information. Older version of ChatGPT could only access information up to November 2021 but the most recent release which is currently being rolled out is able to search the internet for current information - this means your business could be recommended to people who use ChatGPT for searches. It’s a great time to be updating those online presences!


Adria Green




Updates to ACC levies on overseas income. 

Until now, ACC hasn’t been able to routinely include overseas employment income in levy calculations because it was combined with non-ACC leviable foreign earnings as part of individual tax returns. Inland Revenue can now provide ACC with more detailed overseas income information, so ACC is obliged to levy this income.

This change will impact 2023 ACC levy invoices and will include earnings received between 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2023.

It does not impact:

  • an employee of a New Zealand company, including a shareholder-employee. They're levied on their income regardless of whether their work takes place overseas.
  • New Zealanders receiving passive income, such as pensions, from overseas sources.
  • self-employed people who file IR3NR non-resident returns.


It’s time to check your ACC details are correct  


If you’re self-employed, you’ll receive your ACC levy invoice from September onwards. Checking and updating your policy details now in MyACC for Business will mean that you get invoiced the right amount. 


What do you need to check?  


ACC uses the below details to calculate your levy, so you need to make sure they’re correct. 

  • Classification Unit (CU) – this tells us what industry you work in and affects the levy you’ll pay.
  • Employment status – are you working full or part time, or have you ceased trading? 
  • Contact details – check we have your correct details and set your communications preference to ‘email’.

For more information on ACC levy invoicing for 2023 visit the ACC website. 



0800 222 276



Health & Safety - Fatigue. 

Written by Isabelle Pryde - SafeStaff.

As we approach the busy Christmas season, it's important to recognise the additional challenges that may arise in the workplace. With extended work hours, increased tasks, and various commitments outside of work, fatigue can become a prevalent concern. Additionally, the anticipated warmer summer days, (if we get them), can potentially heighten exhaustion levels for all.

To address these concerns, consider implementing flexible work hours, such as starting work earlier to avoid the heat of the day (where applicable). Ensure that shaded areas are provided for rest and meal breaks and prioritising hydration and encouraging proper nutrition. It's imperative to foster a culture of open communication, your workers are best positioned to identify and address challenges they face. Encouraging them to propose solutions not only affirms their value but also enhances overall engagement with health and safety initiatives.


Isabelle Pryde - HASANZ Registered Safety Professional, ProNZISM




Whakatāne Council Updates.

Peace Street Stormwater + Road Safety Upgrade

Peace Street in Whakatāne will be the site of major road and infrastructure works over the next few months as important upgrades are rolled out. While the road is a key connecting link to the CBD, there are issues with Peace Streets’ busy four-way intersection with McGarvey Road, lack of safe crossings points, and stormwater drainage issues.

The improvement project aims to reduce instances of flooding after heavy rain and increase safety of all road users travelling through the area. Strengthening stormwater infrastructure in the Peace Street area will be a two-pronged approach:

  • Wider, deeper kerbside channels will be constructed along Peace Street to improve surface water drainage on the road, with improved gradients so water flows better also. These channels will also connect into the Peace Street Reserve to take more water off the road surface.
  • In a progressive move toward more sustainable stormwater management, Peace Street Reserve will be transformed in to Whakatāne District’s first official ‘sponge reserve’. This is a wetland designed to absorb and filter rainwater, helping to reduce the risk of flooding and pollution in nearby water bodies while replenishing groundwater.

In addition to the stormwater upgrade, work to improve road user safety in the area will also occur and includes:

  • The Peace Street / McGarvey Road intersection will be upgraded to a roundabout.
  • A raised pedestrian crossing will be installed between Peace Street and Brabant Street.

Work commences Monday, 9 October and is expected to be completed by 1 May 2024. Work will be completed in three phases, between 7am-5pm Monday-Friday. Residents and motorists are advised to expect closures to sections of Peace Street and temporary disruption to off-street parking during this time. Access will be maintained for residents.

Follow Whakatane District Council's Facebook page for more updates or head to their news section on their website.










Tsunami evacuation map and signage update

On Wednesday, the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group rolled out updates to the region’s public evacuation maps, to be consistent across all councils.

Key points:

  • The evacuation zone boundaries are no longer shown as red-orange-yellow.  
  • Now, Bay of Plenty tsunami evacuation zones will be defined by one BLUE area to make them simpler and easier to read.  

How we’re telling people about it:

  • A detailed marketing campaign is being rolled out throughout October, including radio, social media and print advertising.
  • WDC Communications has developed tailored fliers (quick guides) that will be delivered around the third week of October into all letter boxes within the BLUE zones in our District.
  • WDC website is updated with the new information
  • The signboards located along the coastline throughout the region will also be updated. Installation is due to start from mid-October.

 Further information and copies of all the Bay of Plenty maps can be viewed at


Landing Road Roundabout – renewal and upgrade

Thank you to motorists who are navigating the temporary changed roading layout that’s supporting the Landing Road Roundabout work. In general, people have responded well to the comprehensive communications in the lead-up to the project that signalled commuting delays and the road layout changes to the Landing Road neighbourhood. The project page on the council we website has all you need to know in terms of where the project is as and what to expect in coming weeks; if the answers you need aren’t in the info and FAQs, there’s a dedicated project email address for people to fire through any concerns or patai/questions.


Events Update

Two great events coming that will be bringing people to the District – the iconic local Toi’s Challenge (12 November) and the Women’s Spring Challenge Adventure Race (27 – 29 October).




Financial updates - IRD. 

Written by Bronwyn Pilkinton -Accountants on Domain.

One of our team attended the Institute of Certified NZ Bookkeepers conference in Auckland last month.

IRD had a presentation which talked about their current focus areas around tax and a big one of these is IRD debt – in particular GST and PAYE.

If you’re not up to date with your payments with IRD, we suggest you set up a payment plan through your myIR account before IRD get in contact with you. If you are unable to meet the repayments they require, contact IRD by sending a message through your account or calling them and let them know and see if you can come to some other arrangement.

If you don’t have a myIR account or need assistance with this, we suggest your contact your accountant to help you with this and find out what your options are.

Contacting IRD before IRD contact you, will help put you in a better position to negotiate with them on how to manage your debt.

For more info:


Bronwyn Pilkinton