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A feminine perspective: Anderson Lloyd

Law truly is an awesome profession! So says litigator Charlotte Houghton, a new partner at Anderson Lloyd.



A member of the firm’s Christchurch-based litigation team, Charlotte recently became a partner shortly after a 12-month parental leave break with her second son.

Her promotion (together with the appointment of three other female partners in 2021) puts Anderson Lloyd ahead, having the highest proportion of female equity partners of any large law firm in New Zealand.

Her expertise is in contentious personal and corporate insolvency disputes, debt recovery and security enforcement. “I also advise on complex commercial disputes including disputes between directors, shareholders and trustees and disputes in relation to construction contracts.”

A favourite aspect of her job is the opportunity to become an expert in areas that she may not otherwise have been exposed to.

“In big litigation files you often get to dive down into the detail of industries other than the law. For example, I have learnt a lot about farming, mining, construction and so many other things.

“Another facet I enjoy is building relationships with clients. One of our values at Anderson Lloyd is to ‘keep it real’ which is about being authentic to the core and forming deep relationships. This is a value that resonates with me as I think we are in a position of privilege when it comes to representing our clients.

“No one is particularly happy when they have to contact their litigation lawyer; they are stressed and often in very difficult situations, which we get to help them through (and I love that). I love helping people and it allows me to draw on my psychology background as well.”

Charlotte initially graduated university with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in psychology and education.

Approaching the end of her degree, she was drawn to part of a psychology paper about the legal obligations on psychologists (around disclosure and the duty of confidentiality).

“I found myself more interested in that than anything else I had studied. As I had already completed one degree, I was able to do first year law and part of second year law concurrently. I have never regretted that decision to follow my gut and study law.”

She’s happy to encourage others into law, although she adds that it should be for the right reasons. “It can be a hard profession to work in.

Our clients often find disputes stressful and there can be tense moments. But helping them through that is very rewarding and as the saying goes: ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’.”

Now Charlotte’s looking forward to building, expanding and strengthening her own practice and the firm’s litigation practice together with her litigation partners in Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.

Add to that raising “two good wee men” and running a few half marathons and that sums up her bucket list for the next few years.


Buying and selling business: NAI Harcourts

There comes a time for every business to sell, allowing the owner to retire, or to focus in another direction. We chatted with Athol McCully at NAI about the process.


Athol McCully


“First, engage a qualified business broker, who will have the training and expertise to assist you,” he says.

“Next, your accountant should ensure the financial position of your business is presented clearly, and in the best possible light. Finally, instruct your lawyer to ensure that the legal aspects of your business, for example supply contracts, are all in order and are up to date.”

Meanwhile, back on the shop (or factory) floor, Athol advises that: “Sellers should ensure the business premises are well-presented and attractive to prospective purchasers. Of course, the business needs to continue to operate well, and if appropriate, be fully stocked.”

The business broker team at NAI Harcourts Grenadier can ensure your business is presented to the market in the most positive light, ensuring the best possible result achieved for you.

The team deals with enquiries, while ensuring confidentiality and prepares all offers for your consideration.

“The benefits of utilising a professional business broker will be many, and you can expect the process to be completed in a stress-free manner, with a great result.”


Business sales set to grow: LINK Business

Low interest rates, retiring baby boomers, returning expats, migration and growing business confidence as New Zealand remains Covid-19-free is contributing to a “cautiously optimistic” Canterbury business community, according to LINK Business Brokers’ latest market update.


LINK Business Brokers at the recent REINZ Awards


LINK Christchurch Sales Manager Katherine Shepherd says local Canterbury businesses have found themselves in a better position than they were twelve months ago, despite the uncertainty and fear experienced during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In fact, the company recorded the busiest year in its 24 year history to October 2020.

LINK also had a clean sweep at the latest REINZ awards – winning all available business brokerage industry awards. The Christchurch office won Small Business Brokerage of the Year.

So what’s fuelling the activity? Key indicators include: Low interest rates; government policy creating potential for more focus on business lending; baby boomers retiring and selling up; returning expats looking for small business ventures over employment, and business confidence building the longer we remain Covid-19 free.

Other factors include: Migration (especially to the South Island); the lack of a Capital Gains Tax, and a growing attitude to the security building equity by running your own business can bring.

Katherine says New Zealand is very much the envy of the world at the moment.

“If you are looking to sell up and retire or buy that perfect business, 2021 could just be the year to make it happen.”


The Influencers: John Bridgman

Ōtākaro Limited
Chief Executive

Because Ōtākaro Limited was born out of the response to a natural disaster, we’ve never lived in a “business as usual” environment.

This inherent agility has enabled us to continue to make good progress on Christchurch’s Anchor Projects in a year that ranks right up there with the most unusual the world has known.

To regain momentum, contractors got back to work post-lockdown quickly, successfully implementing social distancing measures on sites where nationalities and languages are as numerous as the façade tiles on Te Pae.

This rapid return to work allowed us to keep funnelling millions of dollars into the community through a nervous construction sector, at a time when many people were worrying about their jobs.

So, while the doors may not have swung open at the convention centre this year as planned, it has still served us well.

This year the Metro Sports Facility has sprung out of the ground.

It’s a towering steel skeleton reminding all who travel along Moorhouse Ave that Christchurch will be home to one of the country’s top sports and recreation facilities.

The South Frame is now close to 90 percent complete and 95 percent of the first 172 homes in the East Frame have been sold.

There’s also a 100 percent chance the award-winning Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct will be finished next year, when we open the North Frame pedestrian bridge.

So even though it may be through a mask, there has still been plenty of progress to smile about this year.
Happy holidays.


Carving out change: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot

What do you do when all your business instantly stops? For one Christchurch business, Moko Pounamu, it meant completely changing business models and moving from a wholesaler of beautiful greenstone and bone carvings – to a retailer.



The greenstone and bone carving specialists have supplied beautiful New Zealand keepsakes for the country’s souvenir gift shops since the early ‘90s. When the Covid-19 pandemic saw the end of international tourism, founder Deane Moreton knew he had to act quickly to save not just his business – but the jobs of his carvers, sales reps and distribution staff, too.

“When the announcement was made that borders were closing, everything just stopped dead,” he says. “People stopped ordering; the orders just stopped.

“Over lockdown I put a lot of thought into what I was going to do next and how I was going to keep the business going for my staff for the next year or two until the tourists come back.”

And so, a retail website and store were born. Moko Pounamu now sells directly to consumers online and at a bricks and mortar premises on Durham Street.

“There is a lovely sense of patriotism in New Zealand at the moment to support New Zealand businesses and New Zealand-made products, and we have seen that people want a piece of pounamu to give to their family members.

“It’s not just in New Zealand either, though. We have had orders from Switzerland, Hungary, England, Australia and the US.”

The shift has also meant the business has been able to employ more local carvers making more bespoke, one-off pieces.

“We’ve always had production in New Zealand, but one thing we have found is there’s lots of talented carvers who don’t have their own marketing or sales channels, so now we can provide that for them while offering customers beautiful one-off designs.”

Visit the Moko Pounamu retail store at 340 Durham Street, or online at


Ricoh Pandemic Pivot

All in the family: North Canterbury Energy Centre

It has built its reputation as being one of the most trusted names in cooling and heating solutions because it is a family owned and operated business dedicated to delivering a high standard of customer service.



North Canterbury Energy Centre (NCEC) is headed by Tracey and Joanne Brown, with sons, Joshua and Jarrad, and daughters, Hollie and Zoe, making up the engineering, installation, operations and communications team.

“A family business makes for a better business; it makes for a higher morale. Everyone gets stuck in,” says Operations Manager, Hollie.

The business focuses on both the commercial and home sector, as specified below.

• Heat-pumps/air conditioning
• Ventilation
• Heat transfer systems
• Log burners

The NCEC showroom at 694 Lineside Road, Rangiora, showcases heat-pumps and premium log burners, and the team will happily discuss customer requirements and offer expert advice.

With a branch also at Kaikoura, booking a consultation with NCEC is your next greatest move.

Phone (03) 313 0531 or 0800 NC HEAT for Canterbury and (03) 319 7559 for Kaikoura.


Do you need Devine intervention? Michael Devine Insurance

Independent and professional advice. That’s what clients receive when they discuss their insurance needs with Michael Devine.



“It’s forming strong personal relationships with clients so they know they can trust us and the insurance solutions we develop for them. A real empathy for each client and their individual circumstances is key to creating the right portfolio for them. It’s not a one-size fits all situation.”

“I’ve been in the industry for more than three decades. That longevity coupled with being a qualified QFE Advisor with a diploma in financial services are vital to understanding clients’ needs and finding the best selection of insurance products to secure their family, their home and their lifestyle against any misfortune.”

“We offer advice on all personal and business insurance and can provide clients with a package that fits their current concerns. Personal insurance ranges from life insurance, health insurance and income assurance to trauma assurance and mortgage repayment assurance. Business insurance might be partnership assurance, key person assurance or disability income protection.”

They can call me on (03) 341 0000 or 027 437 9119.


Local business stories on show

Stories of hospitality, social enterprise, horticulture, healthcare, tech and art are amongst those shared as part of a campaign which highlighting business growth in Waitaha Canterbury recently.



Westpac and the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce’s Canterbury Business Champions campaign is a digital evolution of the organisation’s annual Westpac Champion Business Awards.

People were encouraged to give a shout out to a local business, team or individual or share their own story throughout October and early November.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson says the initiative aimed to create a place to share the “best kept secrets” of the region and reinforce the role that business plays in our wider community.

“Throughout the last few months, we have talked to thousands of businesses and have heard some amazing stories of innovation, nimbleness, determination, collaboration and kindness, so we wanted to provide a platform to share those stories and celebrate our business champions who contribute to the strong quality of life the people in Ōtautahi Christchurch and Waitaha Canterbury enjoy,” says Leeann.

One business nominated was 27 Seconds wines (pictured). The Chapman family donate 100% of the profits of their Canterbury-grown wine to end child slavery.

The business is named after the UNICEF statistic that estimates that 1.2 million children are sold into slavery every year. When you break that down it works out to be one every 27 seconds.

“While in a normal year, we could showcase some of those businesses at our annual awards ceremony, this year we decided to take the celebration online, given the uncertainty of running events during Covid-19, and focus on collectively championing all businesses – as there has never been a better time to share positive stories about our business community than right now.”

Westpac was the lead sponsor for the campaign, and South Island Area Manager Commercial, Mark Forward, said the initiative provides an opportunity to recognise the resilience, determination and creativity of Canterbury businesses.

All individuals who shared a story went in the draw to win $18,000 worth of prizes.


The business of discovery: The Vintro Room

The excitement of the chase and discovering unique and collectable pieces is what drives Maddie Hatton who opened her shop, The Vintro Room, just two weeks before the country went into lockdown.



“The timing wasn’t great,” says Maddie. “And I admit I had my doubts about whether we could make this work, but we had a lot of support from neighbouring retailers and are starting to build a regular base of customers and thanks to them, it has gradually built up.”

It has been many years since Merivale had an antique shop, art gallery or a shop full of unique and vintage collectables so The Vintro Room, which combines all three, is a welcome addition.

Maddie has always been a hunter and collector of art and antiques, and puts the blame firmly on her parents for her inability to pass up going to auctions or sorting through estates in search of the perfect piece.

“They are collectors too, and my brother has his own business in Perth as a designer and manufacturer of art in steel, so The Vintro Room was probably an inevitable and very happy outcome for me.”

Based at 186 Papanui Road, beside the Nurse Maude Hospice Shop, The Vintro Room is open from 10am to 2pm Tuesday to Saturday with new stock arriving every day.

“We deliberately keep the prices very reasonable and rely on a fairly quick turnover so there’s always something new to see. We also have people coming in and asking if we buy, which we do if it fits.”

Success in this field takes a good eye and a whole lot of research, and Maddie says a large part of the attraction of this business is the constant learning.

“There will always be pieces you’ve not seen before or haven’t got much information to go on,” she says. “So good research is important. You also need to be aware that art, antiques and collectables go in and out of fashion cycles like anything else, so what’s highly desirable one year can fail to achieve a good price the next.”

Maddie is also mother to a very active two-year-old and busy six-year-old – so running a business can be quite a juggling act.

“Having the support of family and friends is what has made this possible,” says Maddie. “Even my husband has stopped raising an eyebrow when I come back with yet another car-load of stock. Although I suspect this is only because he knows it will be going straight out again.”

While every business can have its moments and life is certainly being lived at a breakneck pace at the moment, Maddie can’t imagine doing anything else.

This will no doubt come as very welcome news to her customers.


Getting down to business: NAI Harcourts

For many, 2020 has proven to be a gamechanger, with lockdown providing the opportunity for a lifestyle reassessment.


“We’re finding a lot of people are looking for employment alternatives,” NAI Harcourts Grenadier Business Sales Manager Athol McCully says.

“They may have gone through lockdown and reassessed, they’ve lost their job and they’re looking to get into a business of their own and there are vendors who have decided it might be time for them to move on, particularly if they’re nearing retirement.”

With the largest team of NAI Harcourts business brokers in New Zealand, Harcourts Grenadier can guide you through the buying and selling process, ensuring everything is simple and straightforward.

“We have a huge amount of experience within our team and sell a wide range of businesses,” Athol says.

“We’ve also got a lot of qualified purchasers looking for businesses right now.”

Athol has the hands-on experience of 25-years of business ownership and operation and more than 15-years as a business broker.

“We have such a strong team of 10 here, with a huge amount of experience – three of our business brokers each have over 15 years’ experience in business sales. We cover business sales from cafés to motels to agricultural businesses and everything in between.

“If you’re considering buying or selling a business, get in touch with myself or our team and we can take you through the process. It’s a well-worn path, but it’s a process we go through to get a successful outcome for buyer and seller.”