PEN members met on Tuesday 23 September at the offices of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.
The morning event was planned to enable members to contribute to scheduled activities and directions in 2015. Having the result of the recent General Election at hand also provided a basis on which the future activities could be viewed.
The meeting focussed on PEN's business objectives, progress made in the past year in events, membership and finances, plans for 2015 and member suggestions on how PEN's prospects could be enhanced going forward.
Among matters discussed were:
- The overall poor NZ export performance to Pacific countries for the year ended 2013 (latest figures available). These show that aside from Fiji, exports were increasing slightly or falling in most countries. Fiji was the stand out performer with an additional $50 million of exports (from $358 million to $403 million). Significantly this was during a year when Fiji was politically isolated by both Australia and New Zealand.
- Hawaii and its potential as a NZ exporters destination was introduced by Robyn Bartram of the NZ Hawaii Business Association. The exciting programme of promotion described by Robyn was well received. PEN will work with Robyn to ensure that her plans in 2015 succeed.
- The opportunities that the Pacific countries offer Maori businesses and how PEN might engage with iwi in 2015.
- Potential future speakers for upcoming events (6 events are confirmed for 2015 with more likely to be added).
In all this was a timely meeting. Having members affirm the business objectives and vision that PEN is following was encourging. The consensus was that PEN is on the right path to achieve its vision.