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New structure for Business Hawke's Bay

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Kate de Lautour

The governance and management of the region’s economic development agency Business Hawke’s Bay is set to change, following mutual agreement from both Chamber of Commerce and Business Hawke’s Bay boards.

Business Hawke’s Bay (BHB) was created nearly two years ago as an initiative of the Chamber of Commerce with the support of regional stakeholders. At that time the decision was made that the BHB function would be held under the legal entity of the Chamber and be effectively governed by the Chamber Board. 

Business Hawke’s Bay chairman Stuart McLauchlan said that the governance, management, and organisational requirements of  Business Hawke’s Bay had grown since its inception.

“Business Hawke’s Bay will become a separate legal entity, governed by a private sector board.”

He said the Business Hawke’s Bay board would appoint a chief executive, dedicated to the attraction, retention and growth of vibrant businesses.

“Business Hawke’s Bay’s vision is to provide insights, advice and introductions to create highly profitable sustainable local businesses, while also attracting new businesses to the region.

“We see the Chamber of Commerce as being complementary to this vision and would envisage that the Chamber becomes a foundation member of Business Hawke’s Bay, with shared services continuing between the two organisations.”

A new CEO would be charged with leading the collaborative efforts of the Business Hawke’s Bay Advisory Group, with continued representation from all councils and other organisations with a significant interest in economic development in the region including tourism, Hawke’s Bay Airport, Napier Port, Ministry of Social Development, EIT and Iwi.

“It is vital that Business Hawke’s Bay continues to promote the coordination of Hawke’s Bay’s economic development resources in a productive and successful way.”

President of the Chamber of Commerce Katja Williams welcomed the shift towards autonomy for Business Hawke’s Bay.

“This signals the growth and maturity of Business Hawke’s Bay and its importance to the region’s economic development.”

“The Chamber is looking forward to a new chapter, working with Business Hawke’s Bay to achieve the business vitality our region must strive for, in order to see, real and sustainable economic growth.”

Working parties had been created by both boards to streamline the transition to the new structure which was expected to be finalised by July 1st.