Looking to test the international market? Michael Crawford, Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) in Auckland,
shares his advice for trading successfully in New Zealand.
1. New Zealand is socioeconomically stable, with
a similar culture to Australia.
New Zealand has the highest available ranking for political freedom and civil liberties. It takes just over three hours to fly to Auckland from the Australian eastern seaboard, and many big Australian companies – including Westfield and four of the big Australian banks – have a presence here.
Tip: The business style is slightly more conservative and cautious than in Australia, so you may need to modify your manner accordingly.
2. Trade agreements make it easy to do business.
The Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA) is almost 30 years old and is considered by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be a model for free trade agreements. No duties are payable on Australian-made products and services.
Tip: GST of 15 per cent is paid on everything, so make sure you take this into account when working out your pricing. As in Australia, quarantine is very strict – you need to have the correct approvals in place before you begin exporting.
3. Due diligence is good business practice anywhere.
Sign agreements and put contracts in place before you start
trading. We also recommend that Australian businesses either have their own representatives in New Zealand to ensure good customer service or that you engage a reliable local distributor. If you visit New Zealand to investigate business opportunities, Austrade can help set up a business program and introduce you to potential distributors.
Tip: Make sure you have a clear value proposition – know what you have to offer and why it’s relevant to the New Zealand market.
4. This is a tech-savvy market of early adopters.
Did you know that New Zealand is one of the first places where
ATMs were trialled? As an island state like Australia, New Zealand
is outward focused, used to looking to the rest of the world to buy
and sell products and services. The market isn’t saturated and consumers are always on the lookout for something new.
Tip: Mobile payment is very popular here. People are able to pay for anything from store goods to bus tickets on their mobile phones.
5. New Zealand is a gateway to other Pacific nations.
Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world. It has longstanding historic relations with other Pacific nations such as Fiji, Tonga, the Samoas and others. Once you’re comfortable doing business here it’s an excellent hub point to other markets in the Pacific.
Tip: New Zealand’s own Māori tribes are often substantial economic entities. For example, the Ngāi Tahu tribe on the South Island is a big property developer.
- The New Zealand population is around 4.4 million.
- More than 17,000 Australian businesses export to New Zealand.
- A move into New Zealand can expand an Australian business’s reach by around 20 per cent – equivalent to adding another Victoria.
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and the interviewees, and not of Australia Post.
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