A deal arranged by the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board through the local chamber of commerce will give more than 2000 health board staff access to discounts with businesses in Nelson and Marlborough.
The DHB is one of the region's largest employers, with more than 2000 staff in Nelson and Marlborough.
Chief executive Chris Fleming said the DHB approached the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce about establishing a formal staff discount scheme with chamber members.
Chamber chief executive Dot Kettle said it was a good opportunity for the organisations to work more closely together to deliver benefits for both.
She was unsure if there were other similar arrangements in place elsewhere around the country.
Kettle said the arrangement was not limited to one organisation.
"We would be more than happy to explore the model with other significant employers in the region. This is also about how to enable businesses in the region to grow."
Fleming said the DHB would not be bound to purchase goods from any company as a result of the discounts offered to its staff. Taking part in the scheme would not influence current or future contracts with the DHB.
Kettle said the level of discount offered would be up to individual member businesses taking part in the scheme.
Businesses would be encouraged to ensure that offering discounts fitted their individual strategies.
"We're not advocating that it's a way all businesses should operate. They have to make sure it meets their own business goals."
Kettle said it was also a way for the DHB to encourage its staff to form closer links with the chamber of commerce, which would be a good way for them to stay in touch with the local business community.
"This is about more than just discounts."
Fleming said he expected DHB staff would benefit directly from discounts offered through this partnership, and through the networking opportunities the chamber offered.
- The Nelson Mail
Is community service a worthwhile punishment for less serious criminal offending?Related story: (See story)