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NZ-owned, NZ’s profits,

5 May 2014

NZ-owned, NZ’s profits,

If New Zealand is the world’s rock star economy, then cooperatives would be the drummer in the nation’s band.

So says Cooperative Business New Zealand which represents the interests of this country’s cooperative companies. ‘Co-ops’ - as they are sometimes known - account for three percent of New Zealand’s gross domestic profit (GDP), employ 43,000 people and turn over $41 billion a year.

Economist Paul Bloxham made headlines in January for saying the Kiwi economy would be “the rock star economy of 2014".

Applying the musical metaphor, Cooperative Business New Zealand Chief Executive Ian Macintosh says co-ops keep a strong and steady beat throughout the country and across a range of commercial activities.

“New Zealand-owned enterprises producing New Zealand-retained profits, New Zealand cooperatives are as ‘100% New Zealand’ as you can get,” he says.

“Cooperatives operate in a fluid and ever-changing international environment, withstanding the tests of time and including many intergenerational firms. Co-ops deserve recognition as a sustainable and highly successful business model.

“This current government and those who aspire to the treasury benches should acknowledge the significance of the co-op sector and help these community-based, internationally-competitive enterprises to contribute more to the rock star performance,” says the former trade executive.

“Cooperative Business New Zealand sees government’s role as providing a fair regulatory framework for businesses of all types.

“The recent offering of shares in state-owned power companies has been undertaken under the so-called ‘shared ownership model’ – a concept which Kiwi taxpayers are offered a share in a 51% stake but which does not guarantee New Zealand ownership at the end of the day.

“The government might wish to consider the co-op model for some of its other non-core enterprises, the key difference being a 100% New Zealand stake is guaranteed.

“Education is one area where the UK has applied co-operative principles to great effect, Manchester’s Cooperative Academy being a good example. This success could be repeated in New Zealand where charter schools are already changing the academic landscape.

“Kiwis come into contact with cooperatives every day – from their daily milk and groceries, to car repairs, DIY materials and banking. They are truly the nation’s heartbeat being New Zealand businesses run by and for their members, serving their communities and proudly representing the country on the world stage.”

Bringing together the country's cooperative businesses in a not-for-profit incorporated society, Cooperative Business New Zealand:

• promotes the cooperative business model;
• encourages and supports New Zealand cooperative enterprise;
• acts as a representative society for those engaged as cooperatives;
• promotes discussion and cooperation with decision-makers at all levels of government designed to further the interests of cooperatives;
• facilitates and coordinates services, expertise and research in support of the cooperative business model;
• collects, verifies and publishes relevant and useful information relating to cooperative enterprise.

For more information visit


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