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Business To Gather For First Pre-Budget Summit

Media Release 29 September 2006

Business To Gather For First Pre-Budget Summit

Chief executives are being called to New Zealand’s first Business Budget Summit to give the Government advice on measures which could be considered for next year’s and future Budgets.

The country’s first pre-Budget business summit will be hosted by Finance Minister Hon Dr Michael Cullen at Parliament’s Legislative Council Chamber in Wellington on November 1.

The day-long event is being organised by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and one of the world’s largest professional associations for finance, accounting and business professionals, CPA Australia.

It is the first modern budget summit since the economic one held in 1984.

Invitations are being sent to business leaders in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.

The summit aims to give Ministers practical advice on short and long term policies to ensure the country lifts productivity, growth and exports, and successfully manages major issues, like an aging population and the skills shortage, while also improving the quality of life long term.

The summit’s chair, Mr Nick Main, chairman of Deloitte, also a member of the Business Council, says the summit will allow business leaders to talk with, rather than to, Government with the aim of influencing not only next year’s Budget but New Zealand’s direction in future decades.

“We hope it becomes an annual event, where those with invaluable business and other insights will be able to directly suggest to Ministers what should be looked at in the official work programmes which lead up to decisions on what should be in the Budgets, Mr Main says. “It marks a shift from business people talking about what’s in the Budget once it comes out, to offering valuable advice before it’s decided on.

“That will deliver significant value for Ministers, business and the country. It’s something the Finance Minister says he will value. We’ll be asking delegates to attend without their ‘bumper stickers’ and contribute down to earth advice on how we achieve economic growth and economic transformation while improving the quality of life. Many issues have 30 year-solutions, and require long term investment, and we want to ensure policy making also takes that into account.”

The free flow of advice will be encouraged by conducting some Summit sessions, dealing with investment, productivity and sustainable development, under the Chatham House Rule.

Invitations are now being emailed to selected chief executives and advertising starts today to invite others who think they can make a contribution to register via a new web site at www.budgetsummit.org.nz CEOs from organisations with high potential for growth and exporting to attend are particularly sought after..

No fee will be charged.

Further Summit agenda and speaker detail will be released in the next few days.

ENDS


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