Businesses have plenty to be proud of

As the days get longer, fresh life is being breathed into Waitaki business.

We especially congratulate Halalele Design for moving into a new establishment in the South Hill and welcome Buggyrobot Gallery to Harbour St.

The spirit of enterprise is alive and well in the Waitaki.

Both these establishments are proudly and purposefully supporting other local businesses, exemplifying what we in the Waitaki already know — when we come together we do great things.

I had the privilege of supporting three Waitaki businesses as they celebrated placing as finalists for the Grand Business South Awards last month.

These awards are rigorously judged by an Otago/Southlandwide panel, and we should all be very proud of Waitaki punching above its weight as we are represented by three impressive businesses: Whistle and Pop, Topflite and Design Federation.

Send them all your support for the awards night on November 18. Or you can do more than that, and vote for them in the Findex People’s Choice Award, through the Otago Daily Times website. Voting opens today.

The awards provide a platform for your business outside the immediate district, and valuable reward and recognition for the team behind it.

If you would like to know more about the entry process, these businesses are available for an ear-bending.

Come along to our next BA5 to celebrate business and the start or end of Christmas shopping, depending how you roll, at Presence on Harbour from 5.15pm on Monday — all welcome!

Being ambassadors for one another and providing opportunities for growing and sharing is integral to the flourishing of business and, by extension, community.

As mentioned in my last column, the Waitaki District Council is adopting this system to promote waste minimisation in businesses with waste minimisation ambassadors.

Another area where community and ambassadorship will be required very soon is dealing with the ramifications of Fair Pay Agreements.

Last week the Fair Pay Agreement Bill passed in Parliament and is effective from December 1.

This Bill has far-reaching implications, requiring only 1000 employees or 10% of any role or any industry to initiate FPA bargaining. After negotiation, the FPA will set pay and conditions, including wages and overtime rates, hours of work, leave and training entitlements across an entire role or industry. These rates and conditions will be binding across the board.

One loophole open for contestation, at this stage, is the legislation is not compliant with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 98. This requires collective bargaining to be voluntary and to respect the autonomy of parties.

Government interference, by requiring compulsory arbitration or requiring Government approval of the results of collective bargaining, is not permissible.

The ILO’s response to the Government’s actions should be expected in due course.

If you would like to have a voice at the negotiation table, please reach out to be included in the Fair Pay Agreement advocacy family being established to support employers through this challenging transition or check out FAQs on our website.