The productivity of New Zealand businesses, or lack of it, has had a bit of attention lately and that looks likely to continue as the Government’s Fair Pay Agreement working party gets underway.
Productivity can be a difficult concept to really get to grips with, as is why New Zealand is seen as less productive than many other countries. This issue we have an excellent article from the Productivity Commission’s Paul Conway on why so many businesses have low productivity and what needs to happen to lift the collective bar.
He says lifting productivity is the key to a successful business community and a more prosperous New Zealand. “But moving from an economy based on low-cost labour and long working hours to one driven by productivity improvements is difficult and may entail some short-term pain for long-term gain,” he says. See page 12.
This issue we also take a look at the cooperative sector, which provides more than 17 percent of the country’s GDP. And maybe its day has come. With a philosophy based around intergenerational thinking, much like many iwi-owned businesses, and a focus on looking after their local communities, the sector is certainly in line with progressive business thinking. Although, in fact, it has been well ahead of many other parts of the
New Zealand business community in employing this type of thinking since the first co-op emerged in New Zealand in 1871. (See page 6).
As I write, the country is experiencing a very sustained cold blast of weather and I do wonder what that is doing for our collective productivity. I know it is not helping mine. Have a good month.