Labour MP Jacinda Ardern is fleshing out policy for the party’s pledge to make Kiwi small businesses a priority, following a sit down with Flow Software general manager David Masters last week.
The visit is part of Labour’s efforts to connect with business to understand how the government can better support small business, according to a statement.
“It’s a great opportunity to talk to businesses, listen to them and test some of our policy thinking,” Ardern says.
Flow Software is a business that is firmly established having gone past ‘start-up’ phase and solidified itself as a key market player in the ICT sector, Masters explains.
Having cracked the New Zealand and Australian market, the company has first-hand experience of existing legislation and is well placed to provide feedback and ideas on how the government has performed and can assist businesses.
Masters gave both the previous Labour and current National-led governments pass marks for the time the company has been operating.
“In general terms New Zealand is a country that encourages ease of doing business and has low barriers to starting a business,” he says. “This isn’t to say we can’t do a lot better in specific areas.”
According to Masters, among the topics discussed were access to capital, ways to provide guidance and advice for doing business, the tax system and the government procurement system.
Masters says Flow Software is looking forward to seeing how the business landscape in New Zealand shapes up in the coming years.
“Jacinda has some very good ideas and I’m interested to see how these will form into policy, its clear she is putting real thought into new ways to assist early stage growth businesses and streamline the compliance regime,” he says.
The meeting was a welcome change from the day-to-day operations of running a business, Masters says.
“As a business we don’t align ourselves with any specific political party, but it was really refreshing to have an MP come out and talk about issues that are relevant to SME businesses.
“It’s the first time in our 10 year history this has happened. Jacinda or any other MPs for that matter are welcome back anytime.”