Sir Stephen Tindall has been at the forefront of the collaboration between Government and the private sector. He, along with other Kiwi business leaders and entrepreneurs have supported the government with accessing critical equipment in the fight against Covid-19. Now, looking forward, we spoke to Sir Stephen about what’s next…
Why has it been so important for the government to collaborate with the private sector during the Covid-19 pandemic?
I think the collaboration between Government and the private sector signals a united front and approach to Covid-19, this has been really important. By working in unison on social cohesion we can convince the vast majority of the public to do the right thing with regards to social distancing etc.
What steps do you think New Zealand needs to take to minimise the economic impact of Covid-19?
I believe we need to continue to support people’s wages and our SME community so that the maximum number of them can survive without too many job loses. We need to take every opportunity, using 21st century technologies, to get NZ trading again both internally and through our export markets. We have the opportunity to build a sustainable future by looking through a decarbonising lens to help the world to be a better place. This is a time to look forward and to use the latest tools such as AI and machine learning to reinvigorate and build a resilient modern New Zealand.
Now that China seems to be opening up again, what opportunities do you think this brings for New Zealand’s own economic recovery?
The biggest opportunity for New Zealand in China is by engaging all of the really valued Chinese-Kiwis who have lived and been educated here and asking them to do all they can to help us promote and sell more New Zealand products into China. If our China-based friends of New Zealand own or work for businesses that could import and on-sell Kiwi products or even help us to build relationships with small Chinese businesses interested in buying products from SMEs in NZ, this would really make a difference!
How do you see consumer behaviour changing?
I think we will see a definite change in consumer behaviour, people who are cautious about going out will drive a huge increase in online business. There will be far fewer New Zealanders travelling and eating out.
As a co-founder of Kea, what are the benefits of a network like ours during this unprecedented time?
The primary benefit is our desire to support each other as one big family. Kea is a global network of people living in many many countries who are all bound by one thing: our admiration for what New Zealand and our parents have done for us. Now in hard times like this, it is our turn to step up and give back.