Date posted: 12/02/2021

Submissions on the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into frontier firms

CA ANZ’s submissions to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into frontier firms

The Productivity Commission called for submissions on the New Zealand firms: reaching for the frontier Issues Paper and Draft Report, as part of its inquiry looking at New Zealand’s most productive firms and how their economic performance could be maximised.

Submission on the Issues Paper

Key points from our submission

  • CA ANZ supports the objectives of this inquiry. Lifting productivity is crucial for securing economic and social progress and this is particularly relevant now as New Zealand's economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We also support the specific focus being placed on the Māori business community. We continue to encourage all businesses to learn from the Māori business community and incorporate principles such as kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga in their approaches to strategy and operations.
  • In determining how best to measure productivity, we agree with the Productivity Commission's approach to use international frameworks as a starting point (particularly as this aids comparability of data across jurisdictions). We also encourage the Productivity Commission to consider multi-capital frameworks.
  • The regulatory framework is crucial in encouraging the diffusion of technology, ideas and business practices as well as the appropriate allocation of resources needed to create a strong platform for ongoing productivity and prosperity. In addition, this framework can be used as a platform for encouraging trade and international business connections.

Submission on the Draft Report

Key points from our submission:

  • CA ANZ continues to support the objectives of this inquiry. Lifting productivity is crucial for securing economic and social progress and this is particularly relevant now as New Zealand's economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • We agree that adoption and diffusion of technology are key to achieving greater productivity and growth. Technology and innovation are also essential to New Zealand's transition to a low emissions economy, and to realising the economic and societal opportunities from this transition.
  • Successful diffusion requires a regulatory framework which balances the need for regulation with the need for innovation.
  • While we support the development of open data systems, we recommend care is taken to avoid unintended consequences associated with unclear boundaries over who can access information on behalf of the consumer, and the costs associated with doing so (such as where information is held by a software service provider).
  • Diversity in the workforce (including diversity of thought) directly influences productivity levels both within an organisation and in the New Zealand economy as a whole. Achieving this diversity requires both a suitable internal governance and decision-making structure as well as transparency of practices with stakeholders.
  • We also encourage consideration of talent and leadership investment within organisations not necessarily at the frontier – including small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs) that  are typically less likely to have the resources necessary to do so themselves. Development of employees within these organisations ultimately extends the pool of suitable and portable skills available to enhance New Zealand's productivity levels in anticipation of the natural flow of labour within the domestic marketplace.

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