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Book that helps businesses strangled by red tape


9 February 2004

Minister to launch book that helps businesses strangled by red tape

Today (9 February) in Wellington, Minister of Small Business Hon John Tamihere will launch a book and website designed to help owners and managers of small to medium sized (SMEs) businesses in New Zealand cut through red tape.

Mr Tamihere has committed to reducing compliance costs for small and medium-sized enterprises in New Zealand, and the new book represents support for that drive from Brookers, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, and Bank of New Zealand.

Compliance and your Business and the website has been published by legal publisher Brookers Ltd, who partnered Minter Ellison Rudd Watts (MERW) with a team of business reporters to ensure the information is credible, highly readable and practical. The key benefit is that the book and the website bring together information which people normally have to go to a range of sources to get.

Bank of New Zealand is the principal sponsor of the book, as part of its commitment to small and medium enterprises.

Neil Story, Managing Director, Brookers says that more than 95 percent of businesses in New Zealand are SMEs and the majority of these simply cannot afford the time and money of a tailored legal compliance programme.

“The risks to these businesses of non-compliance are significant and a tool such as this book and website go a long way to meeting the needs of the sector,” he says.

Bank of New Zealand has also recognised the need for an authoritative resource on compliance for SME’s.

Mike Skilling, General Manager, Business Financial Services, with Bank of New Zealand says both customer feedback and research in the public sector underlines the compliance challenges facing SME’s.

“The range and complexity of legislation, along with time and costs associated with compliance, are proving a very real burden for businesses. It is our pleasure to support this initiative which we believe will ease the way to compliance and in turn, allow business leaders to focus on what they do best …. running their businesses. This book will complement our business managers’ expertise in working with clients to achieve greater business success,” he says.

Karen Price, Partner, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, says they were keen to be involved with the project because they saw the information resource as a great first step for the many business owners and managers that are currently not well equipped to tackle the issue of red tape.

“Just keeping on top of the sheer volume of compliance issues can be a major resource issue for SMEs, as can keeping abreast of new legislative developments, recognising the potential impacts on the business and taking appropriate actions early enough to satisfactorily mitigate the compliance costs, says Ms Price.

These businesses still face the same compliance requirements as the corporates and Robert Falvey, MERW partner specialising in due diligence and risk management, says this can be a huge challenge for them.

“Issues small and medium sized businesses get tangled up with are most likely to be those not core to their particular business. Many business managers are unaware of either the need to comply or the extent of compliance required resulting in large fines and potentially imprisonment,” says Mr Falvey.

The book costs $90 inc GST and can be ordered by visiting

Further, Bank of New Zealand business banking managers will be providing 10,000 abridged versions of the book to some of the Bank’s business customers.


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