Community Wealth Building (part 2)

Chamber media release 30.4.19

Interestingly Government is in the process of running a survey with regard to Procurement, something they do a lot of, around $41 billion per annum in fact.

Below is an excerpt from a recent mail on Government procurement:

“Each year approximately $41 billion is spent on a wide range of goods and services from third party suppliers like yourself. Our aim is to ensure that the government delivers value for all New Zealanders while supporting the delivery of better public services through its procurement activity. Working effectively with business is crucial to achieving this goal.

We are seeking feedback from organisations that supply government on how the procurement of goods and services is undertaken across government, including any government department, ministry, crown entity, district health board, tertiary education institution or local authority – not just MBIE.

Your feedback is critical in helping us focus our efforts to improve government procurement practices. In regards to last year’s business survey, officials established a set of initiatives to address some of the most common feedback issues from the survey.

One common theme last year was how crucial the procurement capability of individual procurement professionals is to the overall experience businesses have with government procurement. As such, the online Procurement Capability Index (PCI) tool was implemented in August 2018, for agencies to assess their capability and steer improvements. A Social Services Procurement Training Strategy was also recently developed and will, over the next 3 years, provide training in contract management for staff engaging with social service providers”.

You can read about the results from last year’s survey here:  New Zealand Business Survey 2018 [PDF, 498KB]

So, what do you want us to tell them! Is it ‘all good’ or do you see elements that need to change? I was recently in a meeting where this sensitive topic boiled to the surface, the local government representative pointed towards a lack of experience/professionalism in taking part in submissions/bids that are critical to being able to win business. I feel that SME’s are daunted by the processes involved. Remember, you do not have to try and navigate these minefields alone, after all, that is a primary reason why organisations such as NorthChamber exist, to make it easier for you to do business. Talk to us!

There are of course other measures of community wealth, one of the more obvious being the development of local talent and retention within the region.

Alongside our Polytech (NorthTec), there is a growing need for the establishment of a ‘University of Northland’, this could be delivered under an umbrella brand with other New Zealand and select international faculties included to deliver their specialty curriculums. The resulting ‘crop’ of graduating students would be encouraged to remain in the North either as staff in existing businesses, potential specialist employees of business looking to set up here (as a result of the talent existing here), or as entrepreneurs setting up their own businesses.

Initiatives such as employment hubs and tech hubs (throughout the North) are well underway, all adding considerable momentum to the North becoming a rich vein of human talent shaped perfectly for tomorrows commerce and industry needs. This is something NorthChamber will talk more about in the near future, along with plans for the Whangarei Central Business District, perhaps the future home of our University.

Stephen Smith


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