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Chamber making right moves

By Seamus Boyer

[email protected]

The Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce has been making some clever moves lately, and it’s good to see.

Inviting Olympian Liam Malone to speak at yesterday’s business breakfast is one, naming Greytown’s Catherine Rossiter-Stead as its new general manager is another.

The organisation has been going through some big changes recently, splitting with the Manawatu chamber after a resource-sharing arrangement that had been in place since 2011.

As part of that, long-term chief executive Stephanie Gundersen-Reid saw her position disestablished.

Chamber of Commerce chair Sean Stafford said recently that business breakfast events were one area the body was seeking to develop more effectively.

“We received some strong feedback along the lines of these breakfasts being one of the areas of value that the business community liked about the chamber.

“Our objective at the moment is to get really good speakers in over the next 12 months to really kind of rev these breakfasts up.”

Paralympian Malone, New Zealand’s ‘blade runner’, is by all accounts of such a calibre.

He has triumphed on the international stage after enduring a hell of a lot of adversity in his life.

Consistently ensuring such talented and interesting speakers come to the region will help to inspire business leaders throughout Wairarapa.

The business community needs inspiration just like the rest of us.

The chamber hasn’t always communicated effectively, and it would probably acknowledge that.

Mrs Rossiter-Stead, as an administrator has her fingers in many pies, from the Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union to Central Districts cricket to the Greytown Trust Lands Trust.

But it’s her other strength which will be truly important to the chamber — her ability to communicate.

In the PR world, Mrs Rossiter-Stead has achieved a lot, and knows the game inside and out.

Mrs Rossiter-Stead can help re-establish some of those links both within and outside the business community.

This will help the body to become more relevant to the region.

A thriving, energetic business community, making bold decisions that help the wider population, is good for all of us.

Let’s hope the chamber, and Mrs Rossiter-Stead, can succeed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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