New Zealand’s virus response has attracted both local and international accolades. As a geographically isolated island nation of 5 million people, the approach adopted by the New Zealand government meant we did not squander our advantages: time to observe other responses, a unified approach, relatively low population densities and controllable borders. This combination of advantage and response now means the focus is fully on an economic rebuild. At Level 1, the current status, it is business as usual but with closed borders. As businesses return to more normal practices in the workplace they are navigating through recovery and opportunity in the realities of this new normal.
In this trading context there are some great examples of Irish businesses bringing their advantages for the benefit of New Zealand businesses.
Financial services is a strength and innovation nexus in Ireland. Companies like Taxback International and Brightflag can use smart technology to unlock latent funds in businesses in these times where cash is key.
Taxback International combines innovative technology, deep industry expertise and value-added partnerships to deliver comprehensive VAT/GST solutions that maximise both domestic and foreign tax reclaim whilst minimising risks. Through intelligent automations informed by machine learning, Taxback International are leading experts in increasing GST/VAT recovery by an average of 50%, allowing businesses to focus on growing their business.
Brightflag enables organisations to take control of their legal spend with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution that is easy to use and backed by proactive support. Their legal spend management platform is a smart AI based approach to invoice review for corporate legal teams. It enables efficient operations, cost savings and effective collaboration with external service providers. Brightflag empowers corporate legal services to be delivered in ways that consistently drive better business results.
Meanwhile, back on the farm, MagGrow are bringing advantages to New Zealand horticultural businesses with their ability to grow more using less. Their advanced spraying system significantly reduces the amounts of pesticides used whilst improving efficacy. It is a cost effective and sustainable environmental solution now available in New Zealand at a time when we look to primary industry as an ever more important part of the economic recovery.
Across all industries, companies are adapting what was learned during lockdown and re-opening their offices. They are more aware than ever of the needs and capabilities of their people. For many, change and uncertainty have introduced new pressures and levels of stress. Irish company PulseLearning, a global e-learning solution business, has introduced I Am Here to New Zealand. I Am Here is an evidence-based initiative that supports employees to become ‘Mental Wellness Ambassadors’ and signpost existing support services in their workplace or community. It was based on the insights that a) people may be less likely to ask for help when they most need it and b) we all have a deep desire to help each other but we don’t often know what to do. This innovative approach amplifies the utilisation of existing help and supports whilst creating a platform for long-term culture change through a supported on going learning solution.
In any sort of a recovery, you look to your friends for support and collaboration. It is encouraging to see so much of the Irish Advantage finding purpose in the New Zealand recovery efforts. These are natural partnerships with mutual benefits.