Kia ora 2015

December 16, 2014 at 8:08 PM


It has been another turbulent year full of ups and downs in various market sectors in New Zealand and globally. Dairy farmers’ payouts were at record highs and are now predicted to be at subsistence level for most farmers for the 2015 season.

I want to share with you a summary of excerpts from a number of articles by leading financial commentators that I receive on a daily basis that could have benefits for New Zealand business owners.

Their Disclaimer - The information below in this communication is provided for information purposes only, it is general in nature and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person and is not acting in an advisory capacity.


  • The New Zealand economy is in an enviable sweet spot; demand indicators remain strong and inflation nuances benign.
  • Readings across the survey flag good growth, employment and investment.
  • Inflation expectations have now fallen to within a whisker of the RBNZ’s 2% target, a first since September 1999. Whether this is a one-shot wonder remains to be seen.

Good news: business confidence lifted again in November. A net 32% of firms are optimistic about general prospects, up 5 points on the month prior, further extending October’s post-election recoil.

Confidence was up in three segments (agriculture, manufacturing and service industries) and down in two (retailing and construction).

Pretty well all of the survey indicators moved in an encouraging direction.

  • Business owners remain very optimistic about prospects for their own business – that’s the real litmus test as opposed to general business confidence. A net 42% expect an improvement. That’s somewhere between healthy and stellar.
  • Investment intentions nudged up from +16 to +20.
  • A net 20% of business owner respondents expect to be hiring more staff over the year ahead, up a fraction on the month prior.
  • Sentiment in both the residential and commercial construction arenas was up and the levels are very buoyant.
  • Export intentions bucked the improving trend and eased down from +25 to +21.
  • Pricing intentions dropped and inflation expectations too. A net 21% of respondents expect to be raising prices over the year ahead, down 4 points on the month prior. Inflation expectations at 2.1% are within a whisker of the RBNZ’s 2% target; that’s the lowest read since September 1999!


1st December 2014: The decision last week by OPEC not to reduce their production quotas in response to low global oil prices has seen prices plunge to new lows.

It is being taken as a sign that the world has changed; that OPEC will no longer be the “swing” producer group who takes it upon themselves to restore some kind of balance between supply and demand. And indeed, why should they?

In broad terms, they are the world’s cheaper oil producers. They can get by at US$60/barrel, but that price would knock out a fair whack of the competition – much of the US shale oil for example – as well as put investment in future capacity growth firmly on the back-burner.

They’re playing the long game, banking that others can’t (a similar dynamic is playing out in the iron ore market).

So who are the winners and losers from the oil price wars?

Net energy importers like New Zealand and much of Asia are clear winners – Indonesia and Malaysia have grabbed the opportunity to remove costly and distortionary fuel subsidies.

Large oil producers are obvious losers – oil prices at these levels are threatening to send the Russian economy into recession; the Norwegian kroner is getting punished; Middle East equities are falling. Countries worried about deflation won’t be happy either. And the US? A win for consumers, but a big worry for the ‘shale miracle’ states, with a lot of investment and jobs on the line.

From Me Now

The All Blacks had a good season producing some exciting rugby and with the Rugby World Cup in the UK in September, 2015 is a year to look forward too. I can’t wait until it starts but I’ll be watching it from here in Mount Maunganui. I predict that we will win the Cup based on the credentials and performance of our experienced coaching crew. There, I’ve said it!

Our oldest son Jackson Henri (Jacko) is living in London working as a financial analyst and loves his job. He’s learning something new every day he says. Bennet Douglas (Benazzi) is living in Melbourne working for a large American agricultural company as a business analyst managing a small team and loves his job. Harris James (Harry/Hazza) is flatting in Wellington working on his BCom at Victoria University, including French, and majoring in International Business. He has played a season of rugby in France and is a fluent French speaker. He’s holidaying here at the Mount with Jo and me and is going to teach me to surf. Yes, this year will be the year! Yeh right!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. I’ll see you in February.

2015 is looking good, say it out loud! 

If you have any questions after reading the information, go to Contact Us on our website and type in your request.

by Dean Dalton DBA
Director, DaltonPlan® Business Action Planning Limited

BUSINESS PROFILE – Here’s the Proof

By Pori Workman
Director of
021 404 504

Mahi is a Māori-focused employment opportunities website. It was the first and is the largest site of its kind. Operational for over ten years we have the most complete listings of Māori-focused jobs, with approximately 20 - 30 positions on the site at any one time. The positions we advertise cover all sectors and range from graduate level to CEO positions, throughout the country.

After 10 years I felt that I needed to grow, to do things slightly differently and offer new services. A couple of months ago I went to a Maori in Business conference in Tauranga where Dean was presenting his business planning seminar. Kia ora to the Maori Business Facilitation Service at Te Puni Kokiri in Wellington. Everything that he talked about seemed to be totally relevant to what I was looking for including benchmarks, flowcharts, marketing and business strategy.

I manage the business by myself and the challenges are on a personal level. While working with Dean to develop my business plan I realised that it is the day to day running of the operations that tends to take over the bigger picture and it can be difficult to extract oneself from it and stand back to see where the business is heading.

In order to grow the business we discussed that it is important to have a wider perspective and for me to extend my views to manage this growth in an efficient way. In practice it's about getting out there to enlarge my network by meeting clients. The work that Dean and I did together was intense as it was about taking this overview and looking at the business as a whole. It was interesting to think about employing someone to take care of the time-consuming office administration work while I go out and grow my client list.

This idea of freeing up more of my time went hand in hand with the realisation that I could, and probably should, double my profits after working with Dean on his Benchmarks for my industry.

As well as gaining more clients I plan to introduce some new services that we discussed, to fill in the profit gap. These new services might include, for example, supplying information to clients and candidates on general trends regarding recruitment within the specific market in which I operate.

One of the tools I'm planning to use for sales and marketing purposes are the flowcharts. They will save me time and give me consistency in the way I approach prospective clients. For example I will practice the telephone scripts and flow chart up basic administrative tasks to follow for myself and anyone that I might employ in the future.

The overall feeling about this business plan is that we worked out how I can meet my new goals by thinking of different options and coming up with different solutions.

It's great to have another viewpoint from someone who is a professional and whose mind is more focused on the big picture, and as a result, can help with direction. It has been a great help.

My advice, work it out with a professional rather than trying to piece it together in your head.

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