New Zealand business this month has seen some interesting updates. Technology continues to reign in the business world, with things like barcode printers and 3D printing becoming more and more common in businesses. From book binding or document binding businesses to engineering businesses or even airlines, New Zealand continues to change, and usually for the better!
Join us as we skim through the top headlines and speculate on what this means for business in NZ.
Weleda has had to issue a recall for some of their baby pharmaceutical products, like Baby Teething Powder and Baby Colic Powder. The reason for the recall is that batches manufactured in October of 2018 were found to have small plastic slivers, which could end up being a choking hazard for babies. Weleda has issued an official recall, with a full refund for any of the affected products to be provided. They have linked the reason to the slivers to the tight fitting of the caps. You can read more about the recall and what to do if you have products from October 2018, here.
Possible rate cuts
New Zealand may be cutting interest rates soon, as the new numbers are coming up short. Essentially, the NZ dollar is not performing as well as expected at the moment, and cutting interest rates is a way to help stimulate economic growth and help the dollar rise. This is in part due to the Australian dollar growing at a faster rate, which is often what New Zealand uses as a benchmark for growth as the economies are similar. Banks in NZ will be watching inflation rates, and may propose a rate cut for sometime in May.
Lower interest rates mean that it is easier for Kiwis to borrow money, and often means an increase in spending as well. If there are lower interest rates for lending money, for example, then Kiwis might be more interested in purchasing those big ticket items like a new house or a car. People may be less apt to save as well, considering that their money won’t make very much in savings account with a low interest rate. This in turn also helps increase spending. In the world of business, lower rates can be a positive boost to businesses just as much as individuals, as companies can expand easier as well as enjoy the increase in public spending.
We’ll keep a close eye on what happens over the next month and if the government decides to make any big rate cuts.
Air New Zealand updates
Air New Zealand is, as evidenced by the name, New Zealand’s flag airline carrier, and has been a member of Star Alliance since 1999. While they are known for their flights throughout Australasia, they also have long haul flights to the United States and the United Kingdom. Air NZ has seen some tougher years as of late, and has recently been in the news as they look to cut costs where they can.
The latest news is that Air New Zealand will be bringing in consultants to help them reduce overhead costs. The project is calculated to take 3 months, and Air NZ is hopeful that they will cut 5% in costs by the end of it. Part of the reason behind this is a slowing demand from customers, as well as rising operating costs. As of now, there is no talk of involuntary redundancies or other effects on employees, like wage cuts.
Social Media Summit
In wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack tragedy, a Social Media summit has been confirmed to be held in May 2019. The summit, co-hosted by both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and President Emmanuel Macron of France, will host not only Social Media leaders, but also technology companies and other world leaders. The goal is to create an agreement to try and stop the sharing of terroristic and violent extremism being shared on Social Media Platforms.
This has come about for many reasons, but one main one being the sharing of a live video of the terrorist carrying out his attack in Christchurch. This type of vile act being shared on Social Media is certainly not the first time, but this summit is working toward a solution to make it be the last. Ardern, who has already made world headlines with her swift response to the attacks, including changing the gun laws with incredible speed, hopes to further change Social Media. The hope is that by the end of the summit, there will be a signed agreement with recommendations for Social Media companies to follow.
Century 21 updates
The long standing real estate company, Century 21, has some new blood in its owners. An Auckland businesswoman has purchased 25% of the company with hopes to add some business, expand, and create a more hands on approach. The main change as of now will be the creation of new franchisees across New Zealand. The new owner is also hoping to bring in new talent and high-performing salespeople to help boost the company. We won’t be surprised if new advertising kicks into high gear, with things like building signage for Century 21 getting an uplift.
Many of the big real estate companies are still doing quite well in New Zealand. Agencies like Bayleys, Harcourts and LJ Hooker reign supreme in NZ, but Century 21 looks to up their competition and catch up with these giants. The housing market in NZ is still extremely competitive, especially in the big cities like Auckland and Wellington, despite government attempts to even the playing field and make more properties available to Kiwis versus overseas buyers. Only time will tell how the real estate game shakes out over the next decade, and if Century 21 can take a larger piece of the real estate pie with their big changes.