Merger

Otago Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland Employers Association to Merge

 

Update 16 November

Business South Elects First Chair/Accreditation to the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce

Read more here.

Update 5 November

Board of Directors Elected by Business South Members

The inaugural Business South Board of Directors has been elected by the organisation’s membership, following the merger of the Otago Southland Employers’ Association (OSEA) and the Otago Chamber of Commerce (OCC).

Seven of the eight elected Directors were previously on the OCC or OSEA Boards: Neil Finn-House, Lesley Brook, Dominique Dowding, Rebecca Twemlow, Andrew Leys, Grant McKenzie and Will Martin.

The other elected Director is David Kinney, a business advisor and mentor, and the former Chief Executive of the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce during its merger with the Upper Hutt Chamber of Commerce.

Business South Chief Executive, Mike Collins, says the appointment of the Board is an important milestone for the newest and largest business association in the south.

“It’s wonderful to have such high calibre Directors whose expertise will provide invaluable governance support and help determine the future directions for Business South,” he says.

The newly-formed Board will meet for the first time on Tuesday 16 November.

“One of the Board’s first tasks will be to consider and approve an overarching strategy for Business South to drive our work providing services and support to members, partnering with our local sectors and industries, and empowering and elevating business in the south,” Mr Collins says.

The Board election process was administered by electionz.com, and had a return rate of 20%.

Update 14 October

New Role Established to Support Business in Waitaki 

Business South is establishing a new role to support and elevate business across the Waitaki district, to ensure Waitaki organisations have access to the tools and support they need to thrive. 

Business South is the new entity formed by the merger of the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers’ Association, bringing together nearly 300 years of combined experience in the south. It provides a wide range of services including business advocacy, training and development, business support, employment relations and legal support, workforce development services, and business networking and events.  

Business South Chief Executive, Mike Collins, says the role of Business Navigator: Waitaki is a permanent position that reflects Business South’s ongoing commitment to its Waitaki communities. 

“The person in this role will assist Waitaki organisations to access Business South services and support, ensure they are benefiting from all the advantages that come from being part of the Business New Zealand network, and create strong Waitaki business and community partnerships,” Mr Collins says.  

“This is a fantastic opportunity to become the go-to person for Business South in the Waitaki region at an exciting time of innovation and growth for our new organisation.” 

The Business Navigator: Waitaki will be tasked with building strong networks and relationships with members, colleagues, local government, partner organisations and community groups. They will enjoy taking ownership of opportunities, delivering solutions and seeking commercial opportunities, and will also play a key role in celebrating the success of Waitaki business. 

Apply here (applications close on Friday 29 October 2021).  

Update 1 October

Find Business South Online

While our new Business South website is currently under development, we have created a temporary webpage for Business South at www.business-south.org.nz  

This is where you’ll find the full website when it launches – we’ll be sure to let you know when it goes live.

We also have a joint events calendar online in the meantime. You find this here 

The Business South Brand Story

You’ll notice Business South has a fresh new look, thanks to our clean and modern branding created by Firebrand.

The joining of two organisations is referenced with a colour from each legacy brand – blue from the Otago Chamber of Commerce and maroon from the Otago Southland Employers’ Association.

The emblem reflects interconnectedness – Business South connects businesses and communities, supporting them to navigate the inevitable twists and turns of the business environment.

The southern landscape also features. The peak at the top of the emblem is an abstract representation of the Southern Alps, while the three blue lines represent the three longest rivers in Otago and Southland – the Clutha, the Taieri and the Mataura. These are the lifeblood and arteries of many of our southern centres and townships, and they all become one upon reaching our coast.

Update 20 September 

Call for Nominations - Business South Board 2021/2022

An exciting opportunity to represent business in Otago and Southland
 
Nominations are now open for eight places on the Board of Business South, your new southern business association.

We’re seeking applications from across the region, encouraging a diverse group of dynamic, high-calibre candidates to represent the southern business community, and to help chart a path for Business South that is future-focused, sustainable and aspirational. 
 
This is an excellent opportunity to make a significant contribution to our region, which stretches from the south of the Waitaki River to Rakiura/Stewart Island, and to our 1,900 members.
 
This is a time to honour and build on the strong legacies of the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers’ Association, and to deliver enhanced benefits to our members, stakeholders and local communities.
 
Join us and make a difference to business in the south.
 
Eligibility: To apply, you must be a current member of the Otago Chamber of Commerce or the Otago Southland Employers’ Association. Previous governance experience is required.
 
How to apply: Please complete and return both the nomination form and prospective director profile form.
 
Dates

  • Nominations close at 5.00pm on Friday, 1 October
  • Voting opens on Monday, 18 October
  • Voting closes at 3.00pm on Tuesday, 2 November
  • Business South AGM to take place on Thursday, 4 November


Contact us: Please get in touch if you have any queries about the Business South Board election process: communications@business-south.org.nz

 

Update 20 September

Announcing our Official Name

We are delighted to confirm that the name of our business association is Business South: Otago Chamber and Southern Employers.

Business South is an inclusive name that reflects the large southern region we represent through Business New Zealand, and working in partnership with other Chambers across the area – a region that stretches from the south of the Waitaki River to Rakiura/Stewart Island.

We’ve been informally referred to as Business South for some time, meaning this name already has strong recognition within the community. It also aligns well with BusinessNZ, of which Business South is a shareholder.

The tagline – Otago Chamber and Southern Employers – honours our two amazing legacy organisations, which have supported and championed business here in the south for nearly 300 years combined.

In a recent member survey, more than 75% chose Business South as their preferred choice of three shortlisted options. We were pleased that so many members were in agreement – it made our final decision that much easier.

 

Update 12 August

Fees for Business South

In developing a new consolidated structure, we’ve aimed for a simple system that minimises fee increases. Most members will see no change or a reduction in their current fees, while increases for others reflect the additional benefits of belonging to a larger, stronger entity.

At this time of transition, a one-off discount will be offered to existing members whose annual fees will increase by more than $100 (excl. GST) under the new fee structure. The discount will bring these fees back to current levels and will be applied at the time of invoicing. This allows us the opportunity to demonstrate the added value
Business South brings, before these members commit to paying the higher fee.

The new fee structure will result in an 8% reduction in revenue overall, while still providing sufficient income for our inaugural year of operation.

Invoicing timeframes

The Business South fee structure comes into effect from 1 October 2021.

From that date:

  • members who belong to only one organisation will be invoiced by Business South when their current registration is due for renewal
  • dual members will receive a Business South invoice when their earlier registration comes due for renewal. The invoice will include a credit for any remaining time left to run on their second registration.

Before that date:

  • renewal invoices will be issued by OSEA and OCC as usual until 30 September 2021
  • members of only one organisation should renew their subscription as usual
  • dual members should ensure both memberships remain active in order to access a full range of services. By law, OSEA can only provide legal advice to OSEA members.


 Business South Fees (excl. GST)

  Business South Fee

 Fee Difference

(OSEA-only members)

Fee Difference

(OCC-only members)

Fee Difference

(Dual-members)

Sole Trader $395 +$35 n/c -$360
2 to 5 $425 -$35 +$30 -$430
6 to 10 $490 +$30 n/c -$460
11 to 24 $540 -$170 +$50 -$540
25 to 50 $745 -$285 n/c -$745
51 to 100 $2450 +$960 +$1390 -$100
101 to 200 $4300 +$1720 +2525 -$55
201 plus $6100 +$2530 +3500 -$70



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update 7 May 2021

Inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Business South Appointed

After an extensive recruitment campaign, Michael (Mike) Collins has been appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Business South, the new entity created by the merger of the Otago Southland Employers’ Association (OSEA) and the Otago Chamber of Commerce (OCC).

Mr Collins, who has most recently held executive leadership roles at the Southern District Health Board and Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin, will take up his new position in August.

 “I’m excited to lead Business South at this time of transformation and to help chart a path that is future-focused, sustainable and aspirational,” he says. “It’s an incredible opportunity to honour and build on the strong legacies of both OCC and OSEA to deliver enhanced benefits to members, stakeholders and local communities.”

The Chair of Business South’s Board of Directors, Neil Finn-House, says the Board is delighted to secure such a high calibre leader.

“Mike Collins is an exceptional people leader and strategist who has the abilities required to knit together two organisations with more than 290 years of collective history,” he says. “His leadership experience, commercial acumen and collegial approach will be invaluable in forging a strong culture and a bright new future for Business South.” 

Business South (the working name for the new organisation) has recently secured incorporated society status. As merger operations progress, both OSEA and OCC continue to operate on a business-as-usual basis under their respective existing boards.

The merger of OSEA and OCC was first confirmed late last year, after unanimous approval from OSEA members, and 78% majority approval of members of OCC. They have around 1,000 members each, approximately a quarter of whom belong to both organisations.

 

Update 13 April 2021

CEO Appointment Process

Applications have now closed for this key appointment, a role that will lead and shape the operations of ‘Business South’. We were pleased to receive a large number of applications, and the shortlisting process is now underway. We will undertake first interviews next week, and hope to be in a position to announce the successful applicant in May.

Becoming Incorporated
‘Business South’ is applying to become an incorporated society, the next step in formalising the merger between OCCI and OSEA. At this stage, however, it remains business as usual for both OCCI and OSEA, which continue to operate independently with their own boards and staff. We would also like to highlight that ‘Business South’ is a transitional name – hence the quotation marks – and it is clear there are some challenges with it. We will seek collaboration from both members and staff before determining a permanent name, to ensure it is one we can all feel proud of.

Membership Fees
We are in the process of reviewing our new membership fee structure. Our clear objective is to ensure all members receive value for money and clarity about their membership. We aim to provide further details shortly.

Future Planning
The purpose of the merger of OCCI and OSEA is to provide improved representation and advocacy, and to strengthen the value and services we deliver to all members across the region. As we review and develop strategies and services, it is important that we understand both our team and member's feedback – both on our existing services, and suggestions of others you consider ‘Business South’ should provide to members across the region. We will provide details on this process soon. We have also recently welcomed Dunedin-based Project Manager, Stanley Hebden, to the ‘Business South’ team, to oversee the alignment of OCCI and OSEA. Stanley has a strong business background, having held executive management and senior marketing roles with companies such as Southfuels, Polson Higgs, Bunnings and Avis Budget Group.

 

Update 11 November 2020

Progress is being made on the merger of the the Otago Chamber of Commerce (OCCI) and Otago Southland Employers’ Association (OSEA) into a single, unified entity.
 
This follows the unanimous approval of a resolution to merge by OSEA last month, and a 78% majority approval by members of the OCCI.
 
An interim board has now been established to oversee the merger. The board comprises twelve members, half of whom were nominated by OSEA and the other half by OCCI. The OSEA nominated Nina Klemm, Andrew Leys, Will Martin, Darryl Munro, Emily Richards, and Michael Turner. Those nominated by OCCI are George Benwell, Mark Cameron, Neil Finn-House, John Guthrie, Grant McKenzie and Bex Twemlow.
 
The chairperson elected by the transition board is Neil Finn-House.
 
While the merger operations continue in the background, both OSEA and OCCI continue to operate on a “business as usual” basis under their respective existing board – so you will still see the OCCI/OSEA name used for the foreseeable future; leaving the interim board to focus on more immediate and strategic priorities following its recent incorporation.
 
No decision has been made regarding the name of the new organisation and there will be no changes to membership fees until at least 30 June 2021.
 
We look forward to building a strong, unified organisation that not only continues the work the OCCI and OSEA has done to support business in the region for more than a century but builds on it. 
 
We will keep you updated on progress and invite you to contact us if you have any questions about the merger or are concerned about how it might affect your business.

 

Announcement 22 October 2020

Following the unanimous approval of a resolution by members at the OSEA Annual General Meeting in Dunedin last night, the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the Otago Southland Employers’ Association will merge to form a unified business membership organisation from next month.

This vote followed the OSEA Special General Meeting last month in which the resolution was (also) unanimously supported by all members present.  The OCCI members also voted twice on the proposal.  At their first meeting the proposal was supported by 68% of those who voted.  Subsequently, at the AGM and with a virtual vote, 78% of OCC voting members supported the merger.

The now-confirmed merger entails OSEA and OCCI becoming joint founding members of a new incorporated society. The society will be governed by an interim board that will oversee merger operations.

The two organisations will officially begin working together almost immediately.  The newly merged entity will continue to provide the services currently provided by OCCI (and OSEA) across Otago and Southland under their existing names – so you will still see the OCCI/OSEA name used for the foreseeable future.

No decision has been made regarding the name of the new organisation, on which we will be seeking member feedback.

There will be no changes to membership fees until at least 30 June 2021.

The OSEA has been serving and supporting business in the south for 130 years, and OCC for 159 years.  Just as businesses must adapt to change, so must the organisations that serve them. This evolution will enable us to better serve our members and increase member benefits.

We look forward to building a strong, unified organisation that not only continues the work the OSEA/OCC has done to support business in the region for more than a century, but builds on it.

We will keep you updated on progress and invite you to contact us if you have any questions about the merger or are concerned about how it might affect your business.

 

Background information:

Prior to the member vote on the merger, the Otago Chamber of Commerce Board released the following information for members: