The Business Study Programme aims to give an overview of key business functions and to encourage the understanding of Members of Parliaments of the contribution business makes to the economy.
Business Study Attachments
The objectives of these attachments are to provide MPs with intensive one-to-one introductions to a business organisation, to give an overview of key business functions and to encourage MPs' understanding of the contribution business makes to the economy.
By seeing at close quarters how businesses are run, their economic and social environment and how decisions are taken and communicated, MPs are able to gain new insight into the needs, methods and thinking of the business sector.
Each study attachment features placement of a Member of Parliament with a "host" company. The Member is attached to one of the Trust's Corporate members for a period of three days for a Member’s first-time attachment but for shorter periods of time for subsequent attachments. The format of each programme has common elements to ensure the Member of Parliament is exposed to the company's operations.
An attachment programme is intended to:
- provide a bird's eye view of business objectives, strategies for achieving them and the institutional framework for implementing them;
- give an appreciation of the scope of operations from grass roots activities to management and supporting structures;
- show how a professionally managed group tackles planning, budgeting, investment appraisal, overseas trade and other decision-making activities;
- involve MPs in practical processes so they can see at first-hand how decisions are reached, their quality and scope;
- have dialogue with business on industrial relations and give MPs the opportunity to witness company/employee relations first-hand;
- improve MPs’ understanding of the extent to which government strategies and legislation affect business;
- stimulate a two-way exchange whereby the company gains a better understanding of the MP's role.
Last year 9 Members of Parliament successfully completed an attachment.
In addition, each year a Corporate members hosts Members of Parliament at their premises for an all-day seminar to enable them to widen their knowledge of their particular company and its business (see Business-visit Seminars for MPs below).
Business Overview Series
As an extension of the Business Study Programme scheme, each year the Trust organises two Business Overviews where a prominent guest speaker is invited to talk to MPs and Corporate guests, on a subject that may be topical or have specific interest to those in the corporate world.
The aim of these Briefings is to enhance MPs’ understanding of the business world in general, the changes and developments taking place in it and to learn something of the impact of political decisions on the development of business. The events are hosted by the President of the Trust.
The first guest speaker was Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Minister of the Republic of Singapore.
In the last few years, the guest speakers have included Joan Withers of Mighty River Power, Peter Thompson, Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson, Sir Mark Solomon KNZM, Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, and last year, Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone NZ.
In 2016 the Winter Business Overview was held on Wednesday 15 June in Parliament's Grand Hall and Legislative Council Chamber, with guest speaker Paul Muller, Vice President, Hewlett Packard, who spoke on the topic "From Dairy to Digital."
The Spring Business Overview was held held on Wednesday 2 November with Sir Michael Hill KNZM, as the guest speaker. The topic for his address will be "Building a Global Brand".
Business-visit Seminars for MPs
The Trust’s Business Study Programme aims to give an overview of key business functions and to encourage MPs' understanding of the contribution business makes to the economy. An extension of this scheme includes a one-day seminar to visit the premises of a Corporate member. These visits are designed to provide MPs with an introduction to a business organisation, providing the MPs with an opportunity to widen their knowledge of business in general and a specific organisation in particular.
In previous years, groups of MPs have been hosted by Genesis Energy, Auckland International Airport, New Zealand Post, Talley’s Fisheries, Todd Energy, TVNZ, the New Zealand Refining Company, KiwiRail, St John, Westpac, Progressive Enterprises, Spark and Fonterra Co-operative Group.
All MPs who have attended the one-day Business Seminars for MPs have been impressed with the programmes provided which have offered real insights into the operations of the hosting Corporate members. Presentations have been equally of a high standard and with plenty of scope for questions from individual MPs. The feedback from attending members has in all cases been very positive with the comment “extremely informative and insightful day” best summing up the overall view on the value of each of one-day seminars.
In 2016 Members of Parliament visited Microsoft New Zealand Limited on Thursday 21 April and Lion - Beer, Spirits & Wine NZ Limited on Thursday 1 September.