Kaikoura Star - Linking commerce and community

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Last month I wrote a column here in the Kaikoura Star about a day I spent visiting a number of fantastic Kaikoura businesses and initiatives.

As I said then, I was thoroughly impressed with everyone I met and what they were doing within their own ventures and the positive influence they are having on the local community.

Part of what makes a successful business community is the ability to liaise with one another, to network, share ideas, inspiration, experience and perhaps even share resources.

With that in mind, Marlborough Chamber of Commerce General Manager Stephen Gullery and myself think it would be very worthwhile to hold a chamber event in Kaikoura.

This would provide a valuable opportunity the Chamber of Commerce and Kaikoura business people to meet face-to-face, network and catch up with people who perhaps they have only spoken to over the phone.

Who knows what great things may come about from strengthening the business ties between our two parts of the Marlborough region.

The idea to bring the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce to Kaikoura for a day came off the back of a chamber Business After 5 event recently held in my Blenheim office.

The chamber holds these networking events regularly, and I was very pleased to be able to host one.

It was great to have the opportunity to speak to so many of our business people at once and a number of great questions were asked about some of the major issues facing our region.

Stephen and I discussed the merits of holding a Business After 5 events in other parts of Marlborough besides Blenheim - where it is usually hosted by a local business - and Kaikoura immediately sprung to mind for both of us.

The Marlborough Chamber of Commerce has existed for over 100 years and during that time has served all areas in northern Marlborough from Havelock to Picton, and also south to Kaikoura.

Stephen tells me the chamber has a couple of members in Kaikoura, but that it would be worthwhile to inform more businesses of what benefits the chamber can offer them that they may not be aware of. Some of these benefits are offered to nonmembers as well as members.

This is not a membership drive - as I said, it is simply an opportunity to strengthen ties between our two areas and for the chamber to inform businesses of what role they play in Marlborough's commerce scene.

Above all, this would be an enjoyable way to celebrate together our vibrant, innovative and thriving business community.

Stephen, whose mother originally came from Kaikoura, and I always welcome any chance to visit Kaikoura and hear firsthand what is happening in this area.

We will contact Kaikoura locals about a date and venue in due course: I look forward to seeing you there.

Who knows what great things may come about from strengthening the business ties between our two parts of the Marlborough region.