Secrets of Success

Secrets of Success

A business blog by Robin Martin

Big Brother Is Helpful

If you’re running a business, there’s no point in being afraid of "The Man" - the Government already knows who you are and they’ve got all the info they need about you. This makes Government agencies a treasure trove of up-to-date information and accurate, free advice.

The data these agencies collect is a huge resource and one you should be mining, especially as most of it is yours already (as long as you’ve been paying your taxes) and in most cases it’s free to access.

Some government websites are a bit hard to navigate until you get the hang of them, and many are so big they can be daunting, but as I’ve said before, persevere and you’ll be well rewarded.

Here are some examples:

1. Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment

This is a brilliant source of great information, support and advice – use it! There is a raft of great info such as:

Starting a Business

  • 9 Step Guide
  • One Check
  • Compliance Matters

Growing a business

  • Quick Focus Business Plan
  • SWOT Checker
  • Common Milestones

Managing Staff

  • Employee Cost Calculator
  • Employment Agreement Builder
  • Workplace Policy Builder


  • A Guide to Reducing Your Tax Bill
  • Consumer Laws
  • Health and Safety /

2. Statistics New Zealand

As I have said before – “Data Is Gold” and Statistics New Zealand is a gold mine! I use this site often as it’s fantastic source of a huge array of free relevant and accurate information. Give them a brief and they will help you get the info you want. They will reconfigure info to give you data in the format you need. They’ll even give you data you didn’t think you needed! There is sometimes a small charge for personalised requests. / 0508 525 525 /

3. Immigration New Zealand

A myriad of information to help you help yourself and your staff – and it’s free.

4. Employment New Zealand

This site is largely directed at employees, but it’s really good for employers as well – stay up to date with what your obligations are and be sure you’re operating inside the law. It’s the leading source of employment information in NZ and the “go to” place for useful templates and guides.

5. Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ)

This site is designed to help employers recruit and keep quality staff. This site, together with, is really useful for understanding the various visas and the process around getting them – ideal for use by employers around Queenstown. Information on the flexi-wage policy (help employing a person currently on a benefit) or Skills for Industry programmes (helping industry meet skill shortages) are also included on this site Who ever thought WINZ could be useful? You’ve got to believe it, they can be. I have benefitted repeatedly from their advice and support. / 0800 778 008 /

6. Inland Revenue Department (IRD)

Simple advice presented in a useful and easy-to-read way. A good source of data which may even help you to reduce your tax bill. It will definitely help you set up better systems, teach you what you need to look out for and help you understand your obligations. It’s worth investing some time… /

7. Small Medium Enterprise – IT Tool Kit

This is an easy-to-read tool kit aimed at demystifying cyber security. It’s been put together by a panel of cyber security experts from ANZ, Vodaphone, Waikato University and Business New Zealand. Do you understand what you need to do to keep all your IT systems secure? If not, start by having a good look around this website.

8. Worksafe New Zealand

Lots of tips to ensure you comply with Health & Safety at Work Act. It provides simple check lists for common health and safety issues. A great read, it could save you lots of money but more importantly, keep you and your team safe. / 0800 030 040

9. Intellectual Property Office New Zealand

Great advice on how to protect your name, your brand and your best ideas.
www.iponz.govt / 0508 447 669

10. Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

Introducing ACC Cover Plus Extra which is aimed at self-employed people and non-PAYE shareholder employees. Saves you money and increases your cover. Read it.

11. Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade

These guys have a network of diplomats and trade officials working globally to assist NZ exporters and maximise the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) around the world. Vastly useful. / 0800 824 605 / 0800 555 888 / 0800 428 786

12. Regional Business Partner Network

This is a great group of specialist business advisors set up to provide advice, information and connections to support your business. It’s is a great source of information, advice, data and support. Use it.

So, as you can see, Big Brother can be there for you.

Make sure you’re taking full advantage.


Robin Martin

P.S. This article is part of my Secrets of Success series, aimed at helping business owners and entrepreneurs with some of the key components of business success. The insights I wish I’d had at the start of my business career. I hope that by passing on these little gems of knowledge I can give you some support and help you along the pathway to growth and prosperity.

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