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Howick’s world first BNI brunch networker

20 October 2008

Howick’s world first BNI brunch networker

Of the more than 4,500 BNI business referral groups in over 37 countries – all of whom meet at either 7am or lunchtime – it took a newly launched chapter in Howick, Auckland, to go against conventional business practice and set-up a brunch meeting.

The aptly named BNI Business Brunch chapter was launched this week, becoming the 101st in New Zealand and the 9th in South/East Auckland.

Inaugural chapter president, Carol Livingstone (a partner with Gibbs and Mills solicitors), previously belonged to a BNI chapter in the city and said it’s a different kind of business person who attends a brunch networking meeting.

“The meeting is actually taking place in business hours, so members are more focussed on the meeting, but they’re also a bit more relaxed – they don’t have that rush hour personality.”

Carol said the idea of belonging to a networking group in the suburbs appeals to her and many of the members because business in the suburbs is by its very nature more face-to-face and personal.

“So much of what we do is electronic nowadays. Practising in the city I didn’t get to personally meet as many clients as I do working in Howick. BNI helps stimulate business by facilitating relationship building, it takes us out of the office and away from the electronics,” she said.

The BNI Business Brunch chapter, which meets at the Howick RSA on Wednesdays at 9am, is looking for more members, including (among others) an automotive technician, painter, florist, sign-writer, chiropractor and personal trainer.


BNI is New Zealand’s biggest structured referral network with 101 chapters from Dunedin to Northland. Each chapter typically consists of between 20 and 40 business owners and sales people who work to generate referrals – within a structured environment – for each other as part of a mutually supportive team.

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