CEO Comment 20 July 2021

20 July 2021

It is my pleasure and privilege to officially begin my role as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Business South, and to progress the amalgamation of the Otago Southland Employers’ Association and the Otago Chamber of Commerce.
It is exciting to be in the position of leading Business South (working name) at this time of transformation, to build on the work and legacies of two highly-respected organisations.  This merger will deliver enhanced benefits to you, our members, as well as our stakeholders and local communities.
Many thanks to those who were present or involved in the wonderful welcome and mihi whakatau held for me and my Executive Assistant, Jodie Walker, on Monday 19 July.  We are looking forward to talking and meeting with many more of you as the weeks progress.

The Ministry of Health is inviting eligible workplaces and vaccination providers to express their interest in being part of at-work vaccinations for those in Group 4 (general population).  The focus is on larger workplaces as well as Māori, Pasifika and rural workforces.  It also includes those for whom it might be difficult to find the time to be vaccinated, such as shift workers.

Catherine Beard, the Executive Director of ExportNZ – part of BusinessNZ – wrote an excellent opinion piece in the NZ Herald this month about the effects of decisions about vaccination and MIQ places on our exporters.

In the absence of a direct line to MIQ for business currently, officials strongly encourage applying separately under the time critical criteria detailed here.  The criteria will be strictly applied, so your application must very specifically provide commentary against these requirements as written.

I value your support as we forge a clear path ahead for Business South – please feel welcome to contact me with any thoughts or feedback you may have.


Ngā mihi nui,


Mike Collins   

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