Published: Monday 26 April 2021

Kia ora koutou

I am excited about some of the innovations happening in Taranaki. Firstgas recently announced that it would gradually phase in hydrogen-gas blends regionally, increasing from one per cent to 20 per cent hydrogen throughout the non-Maui transmission network by 2035. They have clearly said that consumers do not need to make any changes for the next 15 years.

I am excited about:
  • Ara Ake investigating and supporting research into new energy technologies
  • WITT increasing its suite of training courses to align with 2050 goals
  • Our community becoming more aware of Te Ao Māori (the Māori or natural way)
  • Our Wellbeing conference is being held this Thursday to address a critical need in our community – our thanks to sponsors Beach Energy, BDO, TSB and Tui Ora
I am deeply concerned about:
  • The record amount of coal Aotearoa is importing and burning to meet our energy and electricity needs
  • This coal is increasing our emissions while we are working towards a low emissions economy
  • The job losses that have occurred recently in our industrial sector – at Methanex, many engineering companies and in the service sector
  • The potential job losses that are on the horizon as Aotearoa reduces manufacturing
  • The cost of living and how it affects the vulnerable sector of our society, especially those who cannot even afford to rent a home

At an energy panel discussion last week we heard from experts that people want electricity which is affordable, reliable and renewable - in that exact order. Energy transition should not jeopardise investment in Aotearoa. Nor should it create a massive unemployment issue, or unaffordable electricity prices.

The question before us all is - “How do we meet the energy needs of New Zealand in a way that is affordable, reliable and sustainable?”  The answer is not an easy one. However it seems that there has to be blend of old and new energy sources for a few decades, before we can say with certainty, that we can now stop using natural gas.

The Chamber is interested in hearing your comments on the above topics.

Chamber Hub

We are excited to have started Chamber Hub South in Hawera, along similar lines to our Chamber Hub in Bell Block, which was set up in partnership with MSD, WITT, Tasman Toyota and Our Cloud in December last year. South Taranaki District Council under the Mayors’ Task Force for Jobs programme has made this possible in South Taranaki. Although it is in its establishment phase, we gladly invite job seekers and employers looking for staff to contact us.

WITT Top Shop

Now is the time to nominate the shop that gives you excellent customer service. Just go to

Nominations close at 12noon on Monday 3 May

April Highlights
  • Business Connections was hosted by the Mayor and Councillors at NPDC where we had the opportunity to discuss the proposed LTP for 2021-2031
  • Tandem Group Network of Trades event was hosted by Location Homes at their new premises. Owner Campbell Mattson gave us some detailed insight on medium density and in-fill housing
Upcoming Events
  • A lunch with Cameron Bagrie is at the Plymouth International this Friday from 12.30pm-2.00pm. He will discuss new housing laws, property investment and bright line tests
  • Taranaki Cathedral will host Business Connections on Tuesday 4 May from 5.15pm-7.00pm where will receive an update on site progress
  • Tandem Group Network of Trades will be hosted by Carac Group in Eltham on Tuesday 11 May from 5.15pm-7.00pm
  • Microsoft Excel: Pivot Tables – Tuesday 4 May
  • Social Energy: Social Media and Facebook Content Planning – Thursday 6 May Stratford
  • Speaking and Presenting with Confidence – Series of 6 workshops – starts Monday 17 May

To RSVP for any of our events, register for training, or for more information click here

Is your business a Chamber Member?

If not, you are missing out on huge opportunities to showcase your business, grow your networks, be represented via our advocacy and be part of a vibrant Chamber network!

Let’s do better business, together!

Ngā mihi

Arun Chaudhari