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Dick Hubbard's Speech: Values the new bottom line

Dick Hubbard's Speech: Values the new bottom line

Values are the new bottom line in business and the good news is they are both fashionable and marketable.

This was the message from his Worship the Mayor of Auckland, Mr Dick Hubbard, when he told a Business Network International (BNI) Leadership Dinner at the Auckland Club last night (March 16) that there are those that argue that the business of business is profit, and that the financial bottom line is the only one.

“If we focus on values then we can generate a strong connection for Kiwis with economic growth and with creating value. Our values centre on quality of life and environment.

“The good news is that these values are both fashionable and marketable. There is increasing value in our films, fashion, food, software or beautifully designed and engineered appliances and furniture overseas. So a focus on Kiwi values can create dollars for the New Zealand economy.”

Mr Hubbard was speaking to more than 100 small to medium enterprise business owners who are leaders of BNI chapters in the Auckland region. BNI has 1,500 members in 60 chapters throughout New Zealand.

The organisation is founded on the principal ‘Givers Gain’ and consists mainly of business owners who meet in their various chapters (average 24 members per chapter) once a week to follow a ‘structured network referral’ programme.

The idea is that each member is constantly looking for referrals to pass on to members – the more you concentrate on ‘giving’ in business, the more you’re likely to achieve.

Mr Hubbard said the the ‘Givers Gain’ philosophy of BNI recognises that ‘what goes round, comes round’. It also recognises that accepting responsibility can also bring business benefits.

“I was particularly impressed by a description of the BNI programme as ‘more like farming than it is like hunting – it needs to be nurtured and results happen over time’.”

He said social responsibility means being in it for the long haul.

“Sustainability by its very definition means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

“But responsibility does not mean that business cannot benefit. And sustainable business must also first be profitable business.

“For SME’s sustainability is often about business survival once you have taken that first major plunge into running your own business. Leaders however often thrive on risk taking.”

Mr Hubbard said the high road for SMEs was where sustainability is part of the company’s DNA and permeates through the organisation.

“Since I took office, Aucklanders have made it very clear to me that they want to live in a vibrant, prosperous and more inclusive city, with transport, urban design and open space made top priority. This is absolutely consistent with the findings of the Growth & Innovation Board that New Zealanders put ‘sense of place’ above everything.

“Last month we announced a proposed rate increase of 9.7 percent which will deliver an extra $42 million to vital city transport projects during the next three years; $8.4 million for open space, particularly preserving our city’s volcanic cones and $4.2 million focused on urban design and heritage preservation.

“Leadership is also about making difficult decisions.

“Local government has the responsibility to look beyond the typical three-year cycle of government to build a city of the future - a city of 50 years' time. I am committed to developing the right framework for a sustainable Auckland City.”

Mr Hubbard told his audience that BNI’s ‘Givers Gain’ maxim is about sharing.

“I would also say that it is about incorporating sustainable design into your processes, technologies and product development. It’s about efficient use of resources and innovating to eliminate waste across the whole life cycle of a product or service. It’s about making your businesses move from being on the low road toward the higher one.

“For those of you in the housing and building environment it is about creating a sense of place, well maintained local, user friendly public and green spaces with facilities for everyone including children and older people. Providing a high quality, well

designed built environment of appropriate size, scale, density, design and layout that complements the distinctive local character of the community.

“That is what our recently announced plans for the Auckland CBD will deliver. But sustainable cities are also built around delivering social equity.”

He said the Auckland City Council has taken the decision to reduce the size of the uniform annual charge that all ratepayers pay because its introduction in the previous term of council meant many of our people on the lowest incomes were hit with a 37 percent increase while people in high value properties saw less than a five percent rise.

“By reducing it from $189 to $95 we make Auckland a more equitable place to live.

“Rates like taxes and insurance are never going to be popular but they are necessary. As elected leader of Auckland City I will take those decisions.

“I was asked to talk to you this evening about leadership and the responsibility which this brings with it to society. Working together businesses and local government can really make a difference,” Mr Hubbard said.

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