Immigrants toast NZ business environment

JAZIAL CROSSLEY
WELLINGTON BUSINESS REPORTER
Last updated 08:36 18/10/2012
Roseneath deli
DIEGO OPATOWSKI/Fairfax NZ
Roseneath Deli owners Martin and Anja Wagner, who moved to Germany from New Zealand four years ago.

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Business owners enjoy operating in New Zealand for the quality of life it offers, according to a survey of more than 1000 small to medium companies.

The latest MYOB Business Monitor survey found that 83 per cent of respondents thought New Zealand was a safe place to live and work, and 82 per cent enjoyed the "great" lifestyle here.

"This survey shows that New Zealand, by virtue of its relaxed culture, amazing lifestyle, and safe and stable business environment, enjoys some impressive advantages when it comes to running a business," MYOB general manager Julian Smith said.

Three-quarters of the respondents also said the economy in New Zealand was stable, 68 per cent had access to a strong local market and 54 per cent thought levels of bureaucracy were low. Having a business-friendly government was a reason that 64 per cent said they chose to do business here.

Wellington suburban Roseneath Deli owners Anja and Martin Wagner moved to New Zealand from Germany four years ago and really enjoy the quieter environment in Wellington.

"New Zealand is way more laid back than overcrowded Europe," Mr Wagner said. "We went to Castlepoint on Monday and caught two red cod; there was no-one else around."

The couple were drawn to New Zealand because Mrs Wagner had spent a holiday here 16 years ago.

"We gave up our restaurant in Germany because the costs of heating and everything were getting so high at that point, so we decided to pack everything we own in a container, including all the stuff from the restaurant," Mrs Wagner said.

She said the New Zealand business environment was completely different from Germany, with tax-paying more straightforward.

The pair, who live in Kilbirnie, settled in Wellington after visiting a friend who once owned a Paekakariki cafe. He offered Mrs Wagner a job at his new deli in the capital. "We're still here."

Around three-quarters of the respondents said they believed New Zealand had a stable economy and good education system. According to MYOB, 71 per cent thought New Zealand's No 8-wire mentality and culture of innovation offered real benefits for companies.

Contact Jazial Crossley
Wellington business reporter
Email: jazial.crossley@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @msbananapeel

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