The Friday Download

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Chat with BusinessNZ CEO - Kirk Hope - on business confidence, international uncertainty and the future of work.

Show Notes

In this episode Friday Download host - Jordan Small - is joined by Business NZ CEO Kirk Hope for a discussion on local and global business conditions and concerns and how New Zealand businesses are responding to these. 

They focus in on low business confidence levels and what the reasons might be for this given some pretty positive headline figures and the international factors that are weighing on the minds of New Zealand CEO and business leaders.  They look at the geo-strategic tensions and change of posture of the New Zealand government towards China.

Kirk makes the point that it is important for New Zealand to continually diversify its market risk through continually expanding to reach of New Zealand’s FTA network. On pursuing an FTA with the US we should, he argues, pursue all avenues and highlights the value-add, services, creative and technology components of the US-NZ relationship. 

For the policy discussion they listen to a clip of Jamie Dimon - Global CEO of JP Morgan and Chair of the US Business Council - talk about the Roundtable’s statement on the purpose of a corporation, which signals a shift away from maximising shareholder value to being focused on broader stakeholder value. 

This is something New Zealand business seems to be well ahead on, for example, 86% of CEOs say they’re investing in employees to acquire new skills for the changing workplace, while some 84% say they are supporting local communities and sustainability practices. The future of work and regional economic development are a focus for the Council and an area that BusinessNZ has been doing a lot of work in. Kirk takes us through his thoughts on the scale of potential displacement, examples of how businesses are currently responding, and what New Zealand businesses need from government to effectively respond. 

The show rounds out with a short segment on the business of the Council and upcoming trip to the US in late January where we’ll be meeting with think tanks, industry associations, and political and policy leaders. Updates will be provided via this podcast and the Council’s social media channels.     

For comments and feedback:

Links to clips used during the podcast:  

  • Hon Grant Robertson talking in September 2019 at the NZ Herald Mood of the Boardroom event.
  • Jamie Dimon - global CEO of JP Morgan and Chair of the US Business Roundtable talking about the role of business in society]

Credits – opening and closing music:
Happy Boy Theme Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

About the NZUS Council
Established in 2001, we are a non-partisan, non-government organisation focused on advancing New Zealand’s interests in a strong bilateral relationship with the US.

What is The Friday Download?

A weekly celebration of democracy, creativity, innovation, technology, business, and trade