13 Jan 2020

Spotlight on NZ's top firms as part of productivity push

12:24 pm on 13 January 2020

The government has launched an inquiry in a bid to make New Zealand businesses more productive.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson

Finance Minister Grant Robertson. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

The Productivity Commission will lead the inquiry focused on the country's most productive companies that are leading industries, dubbed frontier firms.

"These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into the wider New Zealand economy," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.

"While we do have some world-leading firms, we need them to lift performance and productivity to create a pathway for more firms to succeed on the world stage."

Previous work by the commission found local businesses were on average one-third less productive than similar international businesses.

"There are many factors behind our poor productivity performance, but the performance of New Zealand's leading firms is vital to our productivity," commission inquiry director Steven Bailey said.

Businesses, staff, unions and other agencies will be involved in the inquiry, which was expected to give policy recommendations by March next year.

It will consider what causes low productivity and build on other work the commission had done, including recently on the future of work and technology.

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