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Survey Reveals Business Leaders Cautiously Optimistic About Progress Under New Government

A post-election survey conducted by Grant Thornton New Zealand has revealed over 330 business owners and leaders across the country are very much in the ‘wait and see’ camp when it comes to the new Government’s performance.

Asked how optimistic they are about the outlook for New Zealand’s economy under the new Government over the next 12 months, 53% are ‘slightly optimistic’, while 20% are ‘very optimistic and the remainder (27%) are either slightly or very pessimistic.

Confidence levels in the Government’s ability support and promote business growth and development returned much the same results with 52% feeling ‘somewhat confident’, 27% ‘very confident’ and the remainder either slightly or very pessimistic.

Greg Thompson, Business Advisory Services partner at Grant Thornton New Zealand says, “The trend towards only slight levels of optimism and confidence are to be expected after the formation of New Zealand’s first three-party coalition Government, particularly one government operating under two agreements. It’s new territory for everyone so these ‘wait and see’ sentiments aren’t surprising.

“However the majority of survey respondents (57%) are confident in the new Government’s ability to create a more favourable regulatory environment, with the biggest trend emerging around the Resource Management Act; 28% want some serious reform. The second biggest trend is strong support for reduced compliance burdens for SMEs (18%) including employment law, health and safety regulations, and red tape in general.

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“This represents a clear need for businesses to have the ability to run their operations more cost effectively and efficiently. It also sets a strong mandate for the Government to move at pace to provide some clear direction about how they’re going to move the economy from steady as she goes to full steam ahead”.

Notes to editors

About Grant Thornton New Zealand’s research

The Grant Thornton New Zealand bi-annual business survey was launched in February 2023 to provide insights and views from business owners, directors and leaders throughout New Zealand. The H2 2023 research was conducted in November 2023 and the results are based on 339 survey responses.

About Grant Thornton International Ltd*

Grant Thornton is one of the world's leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. These firms help dynamic organisations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, actionable advice through a broad range of services. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to solve complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients. Over 62,000 Grant Thornton people, in more than 130 countries, are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work.

Grant Thornton International is a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organised as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales. References to "Grant Thornton" are to the brand under which the Grant Thornton member firms operate and refer to one or more member firms, as the context requires. Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered independently by member firms, which are not responsible for the services or activities of one another. Grant Thornton International does not provide services to clients.

*All references to Grant Thornton International in the press release and this “Notes to editor” section are to Grant Thornton International Ltd. Grant Thornton International Ltd is a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organized as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales.

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