Going with the Flow? NZ SME talks business with Labour

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern talks business with integration and EDI specialist Flow Software.

Labour Party small business spokesperson and MP Jacinda Ardern sat down to talk business with Flow Software last week, in a bid to better connect politics with growing Kiwi organisations.

As part of Labour’s efforts to connect with business to understand how the government can better support SMEs, and what issues are important to those at the coal face of the market, Ardern chatted with General Manager David Masters at the company’s Albany head office.

In doing so, Ardern learned that Flow Software is a business that is firmly established having gone past start-up phase and solidified itself as a key market player in the ICT sector.

Having cracked the New Zealand and Australian market as integration and EDI specialists, Masters has first-hand experience of existing legislation and is well placed to provide feedback and ideas on how the government has performed and can assist businesses.

At present, Masters gave both the previous Labour and current National led governments pass marks for the time the company has been operating.

“In general terms New Zealand is a country that encourages ease of doing business and has low barriers to starting a business,” he says.

“This isn’t to say we can’t do a lot better in specific areas. Among the topics discussed were access to capital, ways to provide guidance and advice for doing business, the tax system and the government procurement system.”

Going forward, Masters says Flow is looking forward to seeing how the business landscape in New Zealand shapes up in the coming years.

“Jacinda has some very good ideas and I’m interested to see how these will form into policy, its clear she is putting real thought into new ways to assist early stage growth businesses and streamline the compliance regime,” he adds.

For Masters, the meeting was a welcome change from the day to day operations of running a business.

“As a business we don’t align ourselves with any specific political party, but it was really refreshing to have an MP come out and talk about issues that are relevant to SME businesses,” he adds.

“It’s the first time in our 10 year history this has happened. Jacinda or any other MP’s for that matter are welcome back anytime.”

Ardern is tasked with fleshing out policy for Labour’s pledge to make small business a priority in the next two years and has been out visiting a number of businesses recently.

“It’s a great opportunity to talk to businesses, listen to them and test some of our policy thinking,” Ardern adds.

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