Business in Brief

A short update of what’s been happening in the business community. 

Finalists have been announced for the 2017 Waipa Business Awards, which include Raglan Rock for Excellence in Small Business and Xtreme Zero Waste for Excellence in Large Business and Sustainability and Community Contribution. Finalists for the remaining categories will be announced later this week. The Waipa Business Awards provides an opportunity for businesses throughout Te Awamutu, Cambridge and Raglan to highlight their achievements and gain valuable feedback from an established panel of judges. Winners will be announced at the Waipa Business Awards Gala Evening on 18 August at Mystery Creek. Tickets are now available at waipabusinessawards.co.nz./shop.

The Raglan Chamber held their Annual General Meeting last Friday at Rock-it Kitchen. The Chamber bid farewell to longtime Board Member and past Chairwoman, Stephanie Philp of Metamorphosis, who has been involved in the Chamber since its inception. Frida Kabo, a new resident to Raglan and a trained leadership coach joined the Board and brings new perspective and insight to the team. Co-Chairs Hayley Willers and Morgan Morris are looking forward to another productive year and will be focusing on strengthening Chamber membership through various networking and outreach opportunities.

Changes have been announced that will affect the Essential Skills work visa. The changes are designed to continue to enable employers to employ temporary migrant workers where there are genuine shortages while ensuring that lower-skilled migrants are clear about their future prospects in New Zealand. The changes will be introduced on 28 August and include:

  • The introduction of remuneration bands to assess the skill level of roles offered to Essential Skills visa applicants
  • The introduction of a maximum duration of three years for lower-skilled Essential Skills visa holders, after which they will need to spend 12 months outside New Zealand before they can be granted an Essential Skills visa to work in another lower-skilled role, and
  • Requiring the partners and children of lower-skilled Essential Skills visa holders to meet the requirements for a visa in their own right (they will still have access to short-term visitor visas).

– Local organisations and businesses have come together to create the Whaingaroa-Raglan Destination Management Organisation. As the visitor numbers continue to rise each year, the Organisation will outline and implement strategies that will help to manage the growth and keep the values of the community at its core. These strategies will be inspired by the original Raglan Naturally Community Plan. The Raglan Naturally community values will be referenced through aspects of operating and marketing in all aspects. The DMO will align the messages being shared and work to highlight and communicate Raglan as the environmentally friendly town to visit. For further information, please contact whaingaroa.raglan@gmail.com.