Kia ora,
2019 is just flying by – this Chair’s report picks up on our local Porirua Chamber of Commerce highlights for the last month. 
The Porirua Council election has been a real focus for us, and it was fantastic to see so many of you at our Mayoral Debate, hosted at Whitireia. With the election held, voting papers counted, and result declared we will be getting in touch with all incoming Councilors and the new Mayor, to ensure business has a real voice at the Council table. Our congratulations to all the successful candidates, and our thanks to those that stood but didn’t make it. 

Our Chamber Election guide identified a number of critical priorities, and over the next three years we want the Council to focus on:

  • Business Wellbeing - Councillors must be focused on the wellbeing of businesses This will enable SME business owners to responsibly contribute to our local communities, supporting businesses to upskill and employ local residents.
  • Fiscal Responsibility & Council Spending - We need councillors who understand a balanced budget, the difference between core services and nice-to-haves, and the required resilience of a balance sheet.
  • Roading, Transport & Infrastructure - Significant projects need clear oversight to ensure the city gets the right benefits from these projects.
  • Leadership - Councils everywhere function best when they’re operating cohesively. This cohesion and leadership need to come from all involved in the council, irrespective of history, faction or position.

We look forward to seeing progress in these priority areas. Our Council needs to be absolutely focused on wellbeing and growth—it is business and investment that are going to get Porirua humming.
The latest quarterly Business Confidence Survey revealed that many of you continue to be uncertain about the coming 12 months, as sentiment fell again across all three areas we measure: national economy, regional economy, and own business expectations. When it comes to what’s holding Porirua back, many of you believed this was due to lack of leadership, need for better planning, and had concerns about current local infrastructure – transport in particular. 
Our thanks to those of you who take the time to complete the survey – your feedback is invaluable to the Chamber to make sure we’re fronting the issues you need us to be. On this, myself and Steve Lovell recently met with our local MP, Hon. Kris Faafoi and put to him the issues that you’ve raised with us – including mitigating some of the poor transport planning ahead of Transmission Gully coming online. We will keep you posted on how we get on. 
Our recent Porirua Business Briefing event, with Steven Perdia from Porirua City Council,
David Perks from and Nick Leggett from the Road Transport Forum, had an excellent turnout. The panelists shared helpful insights as to how new development projects could affect visitor numbers, and business in the area. 
Are you a franchisors or franchise owner? Looking at our upcoming events and training, we’ve joined up with Kapiti and Wellington Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with BDO, Duncan Cotterill, and Westpac, to host a roundtable session. This will bring together franchisors and franchise operators from every industry, to discuss the unique challenges you face as a group.
And finally, we will be rounding out the year with December BA5 to open Johnston Ebbett Holden new premises. Not one to miss! 
As always, get in touch – otherwise see you at our next event!
Chair, Porirua Chamber of Commerce