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Drop in calls to biz helpline needs explanation

Katherine Rich MP
National Party Economic Development Spokeswoman

24 October 2006

Drop in calls to biz helpline needs explanation

Trevor Mallard needs to explain why phone enquiries to Government-funded business advisory service BizInfo have fallen by 44% since 2002/03, says National Party Economic Development spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

Answers to parliamentary questions show that in 2002/03 the BizInfo 0800 number received 52,528 calls. By 2004/05 that number had dropped to only 29,000.

“This reduction in the number of calls is disturbing and requires an explanation from the Minister. I understand it comes down to a lack of promotion,” says Mrs Rich.

“NZTE has made a concerted effort to bring all promotion in-house, which has been to the detriment of the service’s profile because it tends to do centralized rather than locally-focused campaigns.

“Local providers of the BizInfo line will have a much better idea of what it takes to connect with their local constituencies.

“More than 95% of calls to BizInfo are start-up businesses. If the service is not actively and regularly promoted then it's no wonder that would-be business people are not picking up the phone.”

ENDS


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