The Influencers: Leeann Watson

Happy new year

Already 2022 is shaping up to be another year of change, with central government policies tackling immediate economic headwinds such as our slow economic bounce-back, immigration, a slowing China, tourism and inflation.

Other big issues will be climate change, industrial relations and three waters reforms, the overhaul of the RMA, and the compulsory Fair Pay Agreements.

It would be good to see Government take some pressure off with a pragmatic approach to immigration and getting skills into New Zealand to support business activity.

At a regional level, we are on a relatively strong footing. Our economic activity has been robust, retail spending bounced back strongly last year and net exports remain strong.

We are also looking forward to events at Te Pae now that it is open, SailGP, the ICC Women’s World Cup, and the return of international events including Bread & Circus World Buskers Festival and Snoop Dogg.

There is also the local election in October. Then it will be important to elect a council able to build on existing strengths, one with a willingness to incorporate new approaches and above all an enabler of business. We also look forward to (we hope) to the borders re-opening.

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