Small business view mixed on Wellington Super City

08 Apr 2015

SMEs are currently undecided about the concept of a Wellington super-city council structure, according to the latest MYOB Business Monitor survey of business owners and operators in the region. The survey of SMEs in the Wellington region showed 40% were either neutral or didn’t know, while 38% were opposed and 22% were for amalgamation.

Support for the proposed council structure is strongest among city-based businesses, with the response finely balanced between those positive about the idea (28%) and those opposed (30%).  Outside the metropolitan region, however, business operators are more strongly opposed, with 43 per cent against the concept, and 19 per cent in support.

If the plan goes ahead, the first Greater Wellington Council would be elected at the next local body elections in 2016. It would replace the existing councils of Masterton, Carterton, South Wairarapa, Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti Coast and the Wellington Regional Council. A two-tier structure is envisaged for the proposal, with a governing body comprising a mayor and 21 councillors representing eight wards, and 60 members of local boards.

MYOB New Zealand General Manager, James Scollay says it’s important that the views of the SME community are taken into account when considering the impacts of the super council.

“SME businesses are often quite strongly affected by the work of local councils. Whether it’s in granting a resource consent for a new premises or managing the myriad of local regulations that govern how businesses operate, a local council can have an enormous impact on how easy it is to do business in a region,” says James Scollay.

“So local businesses owners and operators are quite right to be interested in the process and concerned about how it affects the level of representation they can have in terms of SME issues.”

Although uncertain about the super city proposal, businesses in the region are relatively happy with the current level of support provided by their local council. Wellington SMEs have the second-highest levels of satisfaction in the country, and the highest of the main centres. Twenty per cent of SME business operators in the region are satisfied with their council, while 17 per cent are dissatisfied.

In New Zealand’s only super city, dissatisfaction among SME operators is high, with 35 per cent unhappy with the Auckland council’s support and 17 per cent satisfied. In Christchurch dissatisfaction is also high at 32 per cent of SME operators, with just 14 per cent satisfied; while across the rest of New Zealand, 34 per cent are dissatisfied and 18 per cent satisfied.

“SME businesses are the lifeblood of local communities,” says James Scollay. “They don’t just provide investment and jobs across local regions, they also the create the entertainment, provide the meeting places, and offer the unique choices and hidden gems – all the things that make communities special.”

“So when deciding how the council structure which could affect so many of them is developed, it is vitally important that the SME operators’ voices are heard.”

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For further comment or other information please contact:

Sarah Putt, MYOB NZ Public Affairs Manager

P: 09 925 3515 / M: 029 777 0256/ E:

Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited Director

P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E:

About MYOB

Established in 1991, MYOB is New Zealand’s leading accounting software provider. It makes life easier for approx. 1.2 million businesses across New Zealand and Australia, by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory, mobile payments and more. MYOB also provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and has spent $100 million in past three years on research and development. For more information, visit

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in January/February 2015. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.