The past year has been a transition for the NZ economy from several years of relative stability in government and business certainty, to a new government and a gradual drop in business confidence. This has been brought about by international events such as changes taking place around trade tariffs as well as local policy changes to employment legislation and new government spending. Growth forecast which was around 3% is now closer to the 2% mark.
It is now close to 8 years since the formation of the single Auckland Council unitary authority and we are seeing just what the cost of many years of underspending on infrastructure of the previous legacy councils is likely to be – and the costs are huge and will ultimately be funded by the community, both private and business.
It has been another busy year here at GETBA, as we continue to best represent your interests in East Tamaki. We have made submissions to Auckland Council on plans impacting the area including the Long Term Plan and 10 Year Budget 2018-2028, and the Regional Fuel Tax and Auckland Transports Regional Land Transport Plan. It’s pleasing to see that after several years of lobbying, funding has now been committed for the Smales Allens Road Widening and Intersection Upgrade, albeit in the last half of the decade.
Crime prevention will always remain a top priority with several initiatives in this area, and we are pleased to report a 33% reduction in business burglaries on the previous financial year, and a 79% reduction since 2006.
We embarked on some new initiatives in the past year including a Small Business Interest Group which meets monthly with a focus on peer support by sharing information and ideas on how to tackle common issues. This was started following last years’ member survey and is being piloted with a group of 12 small business owners. We also introduced subsidised St John First Aid courses locally that have been well subscribed and promoted the value and location of defibrillators in the area. In November last year we launched the GETBA Facebook page to reach out to members on a more relaxed and organic platform to foster a sense of local community, which is building well.
We are very conscious that the primary role of GETBA is to serve the business community, whether you are a property owner, business owner or working in the area, and that you see value for your investment. The Annual Report enables you to see where your investment has been focussed and what has been achieved over the past 12 months, referenced against the four key strategies. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our business community to ensure that East Tamaki remains ‘’a great place to do business’’.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our GETBA sponsors for their ongoing contribution which has enabled GETBA to continue to provide the broad range of initiatives and activities without any increase in funding for the members. I would also like to thank the committee members for their voluntary time and input in steering and supporting our very competent GETBA team, who have achieved much over the past year.