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Focus on Business

Hastings District Council is hosting a quarterly series of business breakfast events to provide inspiration and networking opportunities to our business community. Join us for breakfast and hear from a a range of inspiring speakers across the year.

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Anyone watching, listening to or reading business news over the past year is sure to have come across economist Brad Olsen, and next month will have the opportunity to hear him speak at the upcoming Focus on Business breakfast event at Functions on Hastings located at Toitoi.

Brad OlsenJoin us to hear Brad’s valuable insights into the Hawke’s Bay economy. Brad will discuss our regional economic conditions and future outlooks that will be of interest to businesses across all sectors.

Brad is one of New Zealand’s most prominent, and youngest, economic commentators, with a focus on getting useful, relevant information to businesses, decision makers, and the public. His current focus is the economic effects of COVID-19 and the re-imagination of the New Zealand economy as business practices change and a new normal emerges.

After a sell-out inaugural event, this will the second in the series hosted by Hastings District Council to provide inspiration and networking opportunities for our business community.  

Date: Wednesday 23 June 2021
Time: 7.00am, speaker commences at 7.30am
Venue: Functions on Hastings, Toitoi - Hawke's Bay Arts & Events Centre, Hastings
Tickets: $35 per head or $240 for a table of 8 (includes buffet breakfast)

David (Toddy) Todd, Toddy Talks


Q&A’s with leading economist, Brad Olsen ahead of the Focus on Business breakfast on June 23.

I’ll be providing a detailed look at how the economy is currently going across New Zealand, how different industries and regions are experiencing the recovery, and what new trends have emerged in the local economy since COVID-19 has hit. I’ll also examine how the local economy in Hastings and across the Hawke’s Bay is going at present, and the outlook is for the regional economy. 

Hawke’s Bay has been a strong economic performer, in fact, it’s been one of the best regional economic performers since COVID-19 has hit. Not all parts of the Hawke’s Bay economy have seen this economic strength, with tourism activity still recovering, but healthcare, construction, education, and manufacturing jobs are all higher than pre-pandemic. Hawke’s Bay’s growers and farmers have provided a firm economic foundation that’s kept local economic momentum.

The world is reopening, but in fits and starts. The US and Asia are both areas expected to recover faster, but Europe will take longer. New Zealand’s built up a strong reputation overseas with our response to COVID-19, and with some great products to back us up, our international stocks are high. But we’ve got to continually look for new trade opportunities, and I’ll profile some of our thinking at Infometrics about the future of trade.

Hawke’s Bay has some strong economic momentum driving it forward at the moment, with businesses and households upbeat about the future and committed to supporting the local community. That momentum and local support will go a long way to keeping things moving. But there are supply chain and capacity pressures in some parts of the economy, with skills shortages, price increases for materials, and the difficulty of getting some products all putting possible limits on economic activity. But there’s ways we can deal with these issues, with local opportunities to turn a problem into a solution.

I always aim to ensure that people get some useful information out of the analysis I do, so that they can make better informed decisions about the future. Useful information has to be understandable information, so it’s critical to make the analysis relatable and with real world examples – too much theory can miss the point of activity on the ground. Not taking myself too seriously helps too – no one wants to hear a boring stuffy speech. An engaging conversation, with some jokes and stories tied in – now that’s more fun.

Everyone’s busy all the time, especially with the pandemic still disrupting our old “normal”. I’m keen to give business leaders and the public an opportunity to pop their heads up and look at what new trends have emerged and what might be around the corner, so they can make better decisions in the future with more information in their minds. It’s also a great chance to ask any and all of your burning questions, no matter how big, small, or silly they might seem.

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