New Zealand businesses seem as confused as a losing All Black coach when it comes to identifying factors that would dramatically drive their business forward, according to the recent Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR).

When asked in the  survey “what is the one thing that would dramatically drive their business forward in 2013”, the expected responses were the current topical issues such as an improvement in the exchange rate, skilled staff, technology improvements or research and development incentives. Instead, Greg Thompson, partner, Grant Thornton New Zealand, said that the staggering fact was that there was no consensus as to what makes a difference. Only ‘More Capital’ and ‘A Tax  Break’ garnered 8% support for a solution, with all other suggestions receiving less than 5%, and 74% of the respondents picking “some other factor” rather than those suggested.

“What this really indicates is a country without direction when it comes to building a stronger economy, with businesses’ views being extremely varied. It would appear we are going round in circles rather than forward.

“What is drastically needed is strong leadership to define actions that will make a difference, and then make that happen. This is probably a job that should fall to the Government as the one organisation in New Zealand than can galvanise a wide group.  

“There was some hope that the last Budget would give that clear direction, but this was not the case. With next year being an election year, there is little chance of improvement in this area.

“For the sake of New Zealand’s prosperity and future, leadership and direction has become the number one priority. If the All Blacks were as confused and rudderless as New Zealand business, change would occur quickly.

“Unfortunately, New Zealanders take their rugby far more seriously than business, otherwise the rudder would now be fixed,” he said.

Further enquiries, please contact:

Greg Thompson
Grant Thornton New Zealand National Director and Partner, Tax
T +64 (0)4 495 3775