Venture taranaki annual report



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VENTURE TARANAKI

 

ANNUAL REPORT 

2015

Taranaki’s GDP 

per capita  

(the highest in NZ)

$80,297

BUSINESSES

2.9% of national total

14,927

AT A GLANCE

2015: +492



LONG TERM 

MIGRATION

All figures year to June unless stated otherwise. Source: Census 

2013, Statistics NZ, Venture Taranaki Business Survey, New Plymouth 

Airport data, REINZ

Passengers 

through  

New Plymouth 

Airport 2014: 

a record

340,000

BUILDING CONSENTS ISSUED 

IN TARANAKI 2014:

$310 million

UP 27.2% ON 2013

ECONOMIC GROWTH 

(GDP) 2013-2014

+7.2%

2014: +56

4.0% of New Zealand’s GDP 

Year ended March 2014

$9.2

TARANAKI GDP

BILLION

EMPLOYEES

2.5% of national total

50,690

2.4% of  

New Zealand’s 

population

POPULATION: 

109,609

guest nights stayed in 

commercial accommodation

553,209

guest nights stayed  

with friends & relatives

1.1m

cows per person

7.1

sheep per person

5.3

Venture Taranaki Trust is Taranaki’s Regional Development Agency. We help Taranaki grow.

Venture Taranaki is an initiative founded, owned and principally funded by the New Plymouth District Council. In addition to their support, the Trust 

also receives funding from South Taranaki District Council, Stratford District Council, Taranaki Electricity Trust, TSB Community Trust, New Zealand 

Trade and Enterprise, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Callaghan Innovation, Business Mentors New Zealand and numerous other 

private sector organisations. 

VENTURE TARANAKI  

ANNUAL REPORT 2015

Contents

Chairman’s Comment ............................................................. 2

Venture Taranaki at a Glance  .................................................. 2 

Chief Executive’s Comment ..................................................... 4

Achievements 2014-2015 ........................................................ 6

 

Attracting Skills and Population ................................................ 6



 

Business Surveys .......................................................................7

 Infrastructure ............................................................................7

 

Capability Development Vouchers ............................................ 8



 

Study Taranaki .......................................................................... 9

 

Customer Satisfaction .............................................................. 9



 

Events: What’s the Buzz ...........................................................10

 

FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 ...................................11



 Guidebooks ............................................................................. 12

 

Higher Profile .......................................................................... 13



 

Jobs Website .......................................................................... 14

 

Business Start-Up .................................................................... 14



 

Leveraging Conferences and Events ........................................ 15

 Mentoring ............................................................................... 16

 

Newsletters and Events ........................................................... 17



 

Providing Business Advisory Services ...................................... 17

 

Oil and Gas Support ................................................................ 18



 

The Value of Partnership ......................................................... 18

 

Developing New Products ....................................................... 19



 

Digital Taranaki ....................................................................... 20

 

Research and Development..................................................... 21



 

Taranaki Trends .......................................................................22

 

University Partnership .............................................................23



 

Visitor Campaigns ...................................................................24

 

Wealth Beneath Our Feet.........................................................25 



Financial Performance 2014-2015

 

Audit Report ........................................................................... 26



 

Trustees’ Review .....................................................................28

 

Statement of Financial Position ...............................................29



 

Statement of Comprehensive Revenue and Expenses ............. 30

 

Statement of Changes in Equity ............................................... 31



 

Statement of Cash Flows .........................................................32

 

Notes to the Financial Statements ...........................................33



 

Statement of Service Performance ..........................................42

Trust Directory .....................................................................45

Contact Information ............................................................ 46



BUILDING CONSENTS ISSUED 

IN TARANAKI 2014:

Photos: Jeremy Beckers, Rob Tucker & TAFT. Design: C7 Design, New Plymouth



An initiative of

VENTURE TARANAKI ANNUAL REPORT 2015

2

O

ver the past year we have been 



confronted by the scenario of 

significant reductions in the prices 

of oil and milk, both critical outputs to 

our regional economy. These changes 

have been driven by global factors, and 

the impact of these reductions will play 

out over coming years. 

CHAIRMAN’S 

COMMENT

VENTURE TARANAKI – AT A GLANCE

2012: $1,093,380

2013: $1,643,565

2014: $1,963,383

Whilst our region is not able to influence 

global commodity prices, there is some 

consolation that the Trust mapped aspects 

of this downturn several years ago, and 

stepped up its efforts to help diversify 

Taranaki’s products, services, sectors and 

markets. 

The value of an independent and apolitical 

regional development agency is that it can 

freely focus beyond the next few months 

or year ahead, and support and facilitate 

resilient, progressive, and intergenerational 

economic foundations on which all of our 

communities can thrive. 

In response to the economic challenges 

the region faced this year, Venture Taranaki 

bolstered its support of research and 

development, built management capability 

amongst local businesses and attracted 

significant leveraged investment from 

Central Government. You can read about 

the progress in these areas, and across the 

Trust’s full range of activities in the following 

pages of this report. 

With a regional population nearing 110,000, 

our greatest challenge will remain one of 

resonance – both amongst decision makers 

in Wellington and amongst those who 

may look to align their businesses, their 

purchasing decisions and their very lives 

with the unique Taranaki lifestyle.

That Venture Taranaki works with all of 

the region’s local authorities is a critical 

factor in its success. The regional economy 

relies on the output of all districts, as do 

perceptions of Taranaki, its businesses, 

events, and people. 

Following New Plymouth District Council’s 

review of its own economic development 

strategy and ongoing work on the Blueprint 

spatial plan, and under the recent 

amendments to the Local Government Act, 

it is entirely appropriate that the Council 

reflects on the most efficient way to deliver 

economic development within their district. 

Venture Taranaki looks forward to receiving 

recommendations from that process, for 



The number of Taranaki employers 

registered on the Taranaki Jobs Website

2012: 694

2013: 782

2014: 890

2015: 1,131

2013: 11

2014: 12

Major events 

contracted

10

2015

Value of Research & Development Grants issued 

to Taranaki businesses in partnership with 

Callaghan Innovation

2015

$1,401,192

Number who attended Venture Taranaki’s 

free Business Start-Up Clinics

2012 

274

2015 

313

2013 

227

2014 

257

VENTURE TARANAKI ANNUAL REPORT 2015

3

while we have every confidence in the value 

of the interventions we make in the regional 

economy, the Trust maintains a philosophy 

of continuous improvement. 

We can also be confident the region is 

well served in its delivery of economic 

development services. The model 

pioneered by the Trust in Taranaki was 

adopted by Auckland’s ATEED as the best 

mechanism by which to influence and 

support economic growth across New 

Zealand’s supercity. This year the same 

model was also adopted in Wellington with 

the establishment of WREDA – Wellington 

Regional Economic Development Agency. 

Again, I extend considerable gratitude to 

the members of Venture Taranaki’s Board of 

Directors, whose considerable knowledge 

and experience have continued to ensure 

the Trust remains strategically relevant. 

During the year we farewelled Trustee Roy 

Weaver, who relinquished his governance 

position at Venture Taranaki for a 

governance role with New Plymouth District 

Council. Over his 12 years as a Trustee Roy 

brought an incredibly valuable perspective 

to the Board which will be missed. 

We also welcomed the appointment 

of Vanessa James, who brings global 

connections, extensive experience 

Annual Client Satisfaction Survey results

in logistics and insight into the mid/

downstream component of the energy 

sector as Senior Vice President, Global 

Marketing and Logistics of Methanex. 

Vanessa joins Gavin Faull, Kevin Murphy 

and Jamie Tuuta on the Board. 

On behalf of the Board, I thank Chief 

Executive Stuart Trundle and his team. It is 

their role to deliver the strategy set by the 

Board, and they do this extremely well. 

I must also thank the Trust’s instigators, 

owners, and core funders at the New 

Plymouth District Council. Their vision and 

support has been integral to the success 

of both the Trust and the region as a 

whole, and I urge decision-makers around 

the Council table to maintain the vision 

that has made Taranaki such a desirable 

place in which to live, work and play, and 

continue to utilise the strengths of the 

team at Venture Taranaki to leverage their 

investments towards realising that unified 

economic vision. 

Finally I also acknowledge our many 

partners both within the region and beyond 

it. Our colleagues at South Taranaki and 

Stratford District Councils, TSB Community 

Trust and the Taranaki Electricity Trust, 

are strong supporters of the work Venture 

Taranaki does – work which aligns to their 

strategic goals. Along with our government 

partners in Wellington and those further 

afield, we are working towards strong 

and sustained progress for Taranaki, its 

businesses and all current and future 

residents. 

ROBIN BROCKIE 



Chair, Venture Taranaki Trust

IN RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES THE REGION 

FACED THIS YEAR, VENTURE TARANAKI BOLSTERED ITS SUPPORT 

OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, BUILT MANAGEMENT 

CAPABILITY AMONGST LOCAL BUSINESSES AND ATTRACTED 

SIGNIFICANT LEVERAGED INVESTMENT.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise 

Capability Development Vouchers 

awarded to Taranaki Businesses

YEAR

VOUCHERS

TOTAL VALUE $

2013

228

287,638

2014

225

331,501

2015

225

341,444

2012: 59   

2013: 59   

2014: 43

Taranaki businesses 

matched with 

mentors through the 

Business Mentors New 

Zealand programme

2015

44

BUSINESS SERVICES

2015: 91.2%

2014: 90.2%    

2013: 85%

2015: 94.9%

TRUST STAFF

2014: 93.9%      

2013: 91%

VENTURE TARANAKI ANNUAL REPORT 2015

4

T

aranaki’s regional economy ended 



the financial year in a considerably 

weaker position than many 

commentators had anticipated. 

The alignment of lower returns from 

two of our core industries – dictated by 

global commodity markets – has hit those 

companies that had rapidly scaled up to 

meet recent growth, and has seen many of 

our industries pause on capital projects

impacting on the work programme for a 

range of supply chains. 

This ongoing security of work supply is 

critical to retaining skilled workers and 

their families, and as the impacts of dairy 

and oil prices play out, skills retention and 

attraction will continue to be the issue 

that defines our region’s future. While 

Venture Taranaki is actively supporting 

many businesses and sectors to maintain 

momentum, it is also keeping a firm focus 

on the long term strategy and stepping-up 

the regional skills attraction portfolio. 

This is amplified as our region faces 

demographic shift. At a recent event in New 

Plymouth, Distinguished Professor Paul 

Spoonley, of our regional partner Massey 

University, stated demographic changes 

CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S 

COMMENT

THE TRUE VALUE OF VENTURE TARANAKI IS MORE THAN A SET OF NUMBERS. THE TRUST’S 

STRATEGIC INTERVENTIONS OVER THE YEAR HAVE AGAIN BEEN MANY AND VARIED, AND HAVE BEEN 

UNDERPINNED BY THE CHALLENGES OF REGIONAL POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH.

are poised to compound or constrain the 

economic opportunities that we have. 

“If we don’t deal with the demographic 

changes, then some of our economic 

opportunities are not going to come to 

fruition, or they are going to be problematic. 

New Plymouth is leading the country in 

those over 65 – by the end of 2016 the city 

will have more people over the age of 65 

than people under the age of 15.”

“These changes have fundamental 

implications for employment and skills. The 

real issue, and its circular, is that if you don’t 

have local skills supply, employers find it 

difficult to stay in a region. Maintaining skill 

supply is absolutely essential.”

This is supported by Taranaki’s business 

community – over the year our free 

Taranaki Jobs website saw 27 percent more 

businesses register with the site. This year 

the number of local companies using the 

site to attract staff rose dramatically from 

890 to 1,131. 

From a financial perspective, the Trust’s 

total revenue this year was $3,670,280, 

up 1.6 percent on 2013/14. Of that, a total 

of $2,723,927 came from our founder 

and owner the New Plymouth District 

Council for our contracted services across 

economic development, tourism promotion 

and the delivery of the district’s $699,100 

Major Events Fund. Funding from the 

New Plymouth District Council dropped 

1.1 percent on the previous year, the third 

consecutive year we have lowered the 

level of investment by our owners in both 

dollar value and as a proportion of our 

total revenue.

Beyond our local government partnerships, 

the Trust this year leveraged additional 

funding of $1,742,636 directly into Taranaki 

businesses through our relationships with 

Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of 

Business, Innovation and Employment. 

This comprised $1,401,192 in Research 

and Development Grants and $341,444 in 

Capability Development Voucher funding 

through 225 vouchers to build the skills of 

our business owners and managers. 

We met with 313 Business Start-Up clients 

– up from 257 last year – and matched 44 

businesses with a Business Mentor through 

our delivery of the Business Mentors New 

Zealand Programme. 

But the true value of Venture Taranaki is 

more than a set of numbers. The Trust’s 

programme of strategic interventions over 

the year have again been many and varied, 

and have been consistently underpinned by 

the challenges of regional population and 

economic growth. 

A major piece of work was the updating 

and extension of our 2010 Wealth Beneath 



Our Feet report, which for the first time 

quantified the economic value of the 

nation’s oil and gas industry and its supply 

chain. In March we visited Parliament to 

launch the revised edition, which goes 

beyond the numbers to also look at the 

many less tangible benefits of the sector. 

The document opened doors for the Trust 

to increase conversations about the return 

on investment that Taranaki provides 

the nation. 

Effort was again placed in strengthening 

the region’s tourism sector, in part for the 

economic returns greater visitor numbers 

could inject into the region, but also with 

a strategic aim of fostering greater media 

exposure and driving population growth 

through immigration. During the year, few 

stories gained more media exposure than 

our visitor industry, and time and again 

the stories of those that choose to move to 


VENTURE TARANAKI ANNUAL REPORT 2015

5

Taranaki cite a holiday visit as the catalyst. 

This broadcasting of our region’s lifestyle 

also continued across social media, with 

strong growth across all channels. 

Underpinning our business growth mandate 

has again been a credible portfolio of 

regional intelligence products, spanning 

the Taranaki Business Survey, Taranaki 

Trends, comprehensive data on commercial 

accommodation and the retail sector, 

detailed analysis of live-work movements 

and industry projections, and measurement 

of one-off interventions. Our supply and 

demand modelling proved particularly 

insightful, foreshadowing the current lull 

in major shutdown and capital projects 

across the region’s energy sector, allowing 

businesses to plan and respond to minimise 

the impacts. 

In delivering our activities, I thank the 

Trust’s Chair Robin Brockie and Board for 

their vision, governance and guidance over 

the past year. The experience that Venture 

Taranaki, and by association everybody 

in the region, has available in the Board 

members is extensive and the value their 

insights and connections bring to both Trust 

and Taranaki cannot be understated.

25.8%

74.2%

Venture Taranaki Annual Revenue

0

500,000



1,000,000

1,500,000

2,000,000

2,500,000

3,000,000

3,500,000

4,000,000

05

06



07

08

09



10

11

12



13

14

15



YEAR

$

2014/2015 Funding Sources



VENTURE TARANAKI BY THE NUMBERS

New Plymouth 

 District  Council

$2,723,927



Other

$946,353


I also sincerely thank the Trust’s executive 

and staff who deliver considerable value 

to the Taranaki business – and broader – 

community. It is with a measure of pride 

that I commend the team on lifting the 

level of customer approval achieved in this 

year’s annual Client Satisfaction Survey 

to a satisfaction rating of 94.9 percent for 

Trust staff. 

As the economic landscape moves to 

more rugged terrain over the coming year, 

it will offer some measure of reassurance 

that there is a capable and credible team 

who remain fully committed to supporting 

business and economic growth in Taranaki, 

across all its many facets. 

I also echo my Chair in extending a heartfelt 

thanks to our owners and founders the 

New Plymouth District Council. Venture 

Taranaki’s role as an apolitical and 

independent agency has again proven to 

offer a valuable and vital element of the 

Council’s ability to lead its district into the 

future that plays to our strengths.

Taranaki is a region of significant potential, 

enhanced by the renewed vigour of the 

Maori economy. With Venture Taranaki 

keeping a focus on the long term and 

driving the strategy and capability of our 

business sector, a strong and visionary 

local government sector committed to 

supporting growth, and the commitment 

of our business community and central 

government to the region’s future, there 

is little doubt Taranaki will achieve its 

potential and reclaim its position as the 

regional powerhouse of New Zealand’s 

economy and innovation. 

The challenge issued to our region by the 

global commodity markets is significant, 

and the impacts will be felt throughout 

our province. I have every confidence that 

the leadership of Taranaki, the team at 

Venture Taranaki, and the businesses and 

whanau around our maunga will rise to the 

challenge and continue to deliver the vision, 

innovation, passion and performance for 

which Taranaki is legendary.

STUART TRUNDLE 

Chief Executive, Venture Taranaki Trust


VENTURE TARANAKI ANNUAL REPORT 2015



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