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Kiwi CEOs And Business Owners Working Hard

7 September 2008

Kiwi CEOs And Business Owners Working Hard

Heavy workloads and tax issues are bugging New Zealand’s business leaders rather than the economic downturn according to a recent Staples Rodway “What’s Bugging Business” Survey.

CEOs and business owners throughout New Zealand were surveyed by TNS on behalf of Staples Rodway to determine the issues affecting businesses currently.

Peter Guise, Chairman of Staples Rodway New Zealand, says the situation may not necessarily be as bad as other commentators have predicted, with the economy coming well down the list of business leaders’ concerns.

The most stressful issue facing business leaders was their own workloads with nearly a third (33%) saying this issue was “very stressful”.  This was followed by tax issues (32%), company sales (28%) and the economy in general (26%). 

“This tallies with what we are seeing from our own clients around the country.  Business leaders are working very hard and have been doing so for quite some time, but their businesses continue to do well.  Many sectors are still buoyant, such as the dairy, energy and wine industries,” he says.

“What it does show us though, is that tax is still a major source of concern for New Zealand businesses. Tax will clearly be an election issue for many business owners,” says Mr Guise.

When responses from “very stressful” and “somewhat stressful” were combined, the results were as follows:

Top Five Business Worries


1.                  Amount of Work

2.                  Tax Issues

3.                  Company Sales

4.                  The Economy in General

5.                  Compliance Costs


“As a full-service accountancy business we are at the coalface with many of these leaders so anecdotally we were aware that these issues were causing a degree of stress, “says Mr Guise. “However the major cause for concern, workload, has been a feature in good times and bad. It takes sheer hard work and stickability to stay at the top of the game,” he says.


Business leaders were least worried about the exchange rate with 65% saying this was not a stressful issue, staff issues were next (61%) followed by competition (56%) and other business issues (53%).

Other business issues included work/life balance, petrol/oil costs, paying bills on time, running costs, weather, income, home life, finding clients/work, financials, debts and customers paying.

When respondents were asked how long they had been worrying about their most stressful business issue, the majority (36%) said for more than a year. 

Unfortunately the business leaders involved in this survey were not expecting an improvement in their stress levels any time soon, with nearly half (46%) expecting the issue to continue to be stressful to them for more than a year into the future. 


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