NZ Business leaders say investment, innovation, sustainability most important for growth

Deloitte-BusinessNZ survey offers insight into what business thinks are the most crucial issues facing nation.

The business community thinks investment, innovation and sustainability are most important for achieving sustained economic growth, followed by skills and human capital, according to the 2014 Deloitte-BusinessNZ Election Survey.

This was one of the key survey findings presented to over 300 business leaders and representatives of the main political parties at the Deloitte-BusinessNZ Election Conference held in Wellington today.

BusinessNZ CEO Phil O’Reilly says the area of investment, innovation and sustainability has overtaken skills and human capital as the most popular overarching issue for business.

“This notable change from the Deloitte-BusinessNZ Election Survey conducted in 2011 indicates the high level of importance that New Zealand businesses put on innovation and technology in an export dominated market within an increasingly connected world,” Mr O’Reilly said.

In presenting some of the survey’s most important results, Deloitte CEO Thomas Pippos noted that while there were a number of questions where business had a clear majority view, there were a surprising number of questions where the business response was divided.

“Perhaps most heartening to the current Government should be the fact that a clear majority (63%) of respondents believe that the Government has a coordinated plan for the economy, up from only 35% in 2011,” Mr Pippos said.

“But the findings aren’t all good news for the incumbents, with respondents disagreeing over the extent of progress in a few areas, most notably on government policy around skills and human capital.”

Phil O’Reilly said over a thousand New Zealand enterprises responded to the survey with their views on what issues are most important for their business.  And political parties were also surveyed to compare their policies to what business wants.

“This gives business a periscope view of the political landscape. In an MMP environment, party commitments are liable to undergo change in post-election negotiations.  Knowing the policy positions of all parties gives the best sense of what might emerge after the election.”

Some highlights of the business response to the survey include:

  • 78.5% believe Government should be clearly signalling options and timelines for changing the eligibility for NZ Superannuation
  • 54.4% support the mixed ownership model for SOEs and believe the current mix is about right
  • 62.5% do not support the introduction of a capital gains tax and almost three-quarters (73.5%) do not support increasing the highest personal marginal tax rate from 33%
  • 57.8% think additional government resources should be put toward better connecting science and business
  • 43.1% say the Government is not doing enough to improve workforce literacy, language and numeracy
  • Respondents were split over the concept of a living wage with 42.6% supporting it and 47.8% against
  • 51.6% were unsure of whether or not the Government’s current infrastructure spending plans will deliver the best economic outcomes for the country
  • 35.9% believe the Resource Management Act is fundamentally broken and legislators should go back to first principles
  • 44.4% say the 90-day trial period has assisted their business operations 
  • Only 14.6% say the Labour/Green NZ Power initiative is a sound policy


The complete results of the 2014 Deloitte-BusinessNZ Election Survey can be found at


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