Trust in Government's Economic Management On the Rise

13 Mar 2015

The Government’s handling of the economy at the start of their third term has won approval from New Zealand’s small business community according to the latest nationwide MYOB Business Monitor survey of business owners and operators from around the country.

The survey of over 1000 SMEs conducted by Colmar Brunton shows 65 per cent of local SME operators trust National’s management of the economy – up from 63 per cent just prior to the election.

Labour is also on the rise, up to 11 per cent from just 8 per cent in September 2014. Only 2 per cent of SME operators trust the Greens or New Zealand First the most to manage the economy, while ACT and the Conservatives, who failed to pass the 5 per cent threshold at the election, are on 1 per cent. As in the previous survey, the Maori Party and United fail to register. Fourteen per cent of SME operators don’t trust any one party more than the others to manage the economy – down from 15 per cent.

MYOB New Zealand General Manager, James Scollay says the Government’s ‘steady-as-she-goes’ approach since the election has won favour with the SME community.

“Our local SME operators are enjoying stable revenues and a positive outlook at the moment – and that’s good news for the Government,” says James Scollay.

“However, Labour leader Andrew Little’s appeal to the SME community has clearly garnered some attention, with more local operators showing trust in how Labour proposes to manage the economy.”

Trust for National is highest among older business operators, with Traditionalists (65+: 71%) and Baby Boomers (50 – 64: 69%) showing more confidence than their younger, Generation Y (18 – 29: 59%) and Generation X (30 – 49: 58%), counterparts. Auckland business owners are more positive about the Government’s economic handling (71%) than SME operators in Christchurch (66%) and Wellington (65%).

Labour sees its highest levels of economic confidence in younger business owners, from Generation Y and X (15%), and SME operators in Wellington (12%) rather than Christchurch (8%).

Satisfaction with Government support remains steady

Business operators’ satisfaction with the support of the Government has remained steady for the past 12 months, according to the Business Monitor. Currently a third (33%) of SME operators are satisfied with the support of the Government, while less than a quarter (24%) are dissatisfied.

However, satisfaction among a number of key business sectors has fallen in the last 6 months. Just over a third (36%) of operators in the finance and insurance industry are satisfied with the support of the Government – down from 53% satisfied late last year. Satisfaction has also fallen off in the manufacturing and wholesale sector down from 42% satisfaction to just 26%, with 31% now unhappy with the support of the Government – up from 9% in the last survey. Dissatisfaction has also increased in the primary sector, with 28% of agriculture, forestry and fishing industry business operators unhappy with the help they get from the Government – up three percentage points.


Sector satisfaction with Government support

Total satisfaction

Total dissatisfaction

Business, professional & property



Finance & insurance






Construction & trades



Transport, postal & warehousing



Manufacturing & wholesale



Retail & hospitality



Opportunity to make business life easier

Mr Scollay says with the economy currently showing signs of strength and stability, the country’s leaders have the opportunity to ensure a positive environment for SME growth and development for the long-term.

“New Zealand has a strong record for the ease and simplicity of setting up a business,” says Mr Scollay.

“But there are some key areas of compliance – particularly around Provisional Tax – that are still a great concern to local business operators. They are looking to their representatives to focus on cutting red tape which will in turn allow them to focus on growth, innovation and employment – to the greater benefit of the local economy.”

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, there are around 460,000 SMEs operating in New Zealand, employing 30% of the workforce and contributing nearly 30% of the country’s GDP.

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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 now spends NZ$35+ million annually 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 July/August 2014. 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.