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In association with

New Zealand Business Performance Panel

Our new business performance section is packed with expert guidance and practical tips for small businesses. These are the people sharing their knowledge and insights to help shape our tools and content. 

Introducing the New Zealand Business Panel

Why we work with the panel

It’s common for small businesses in New Zealand to be passionate about what they do, but pressed for time. So working “on” the business instead of “in” the business often stays at the bottom of a long to-do list.

Business owners and operators tell us they would love to improve their systems and processes to get better results, and to save time and money. But getting these up and running takes time they just can’t spare.

This lack of time to work “on” the business is one reason why New Zealand’s productivity is comparatively poor. This poor productivity is a problem, whether you want happier workers, bigger profits or a better work/life balance — or a combination of these goals.

To help Kiwi businesses find practical ways to improve their performance, we’ve brought together a panel of experts from New Zealand and around the world, and combined their insights with our own research with small businesses. The result is our new business performance section. It currently focuses on management and leadership, with self-assessments and step-by-step instructions to help you build happy, healthy and productive teams. More topics will be added.

More topics will be added to our business performance section — which would you like us to work on?

More topics will be added to our business performance section — which would you like us to work on?

Julia Richardson

  • Doctorate from the University of Otago
  • Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, and Director of the Human Capital Research Cluster at the Curtin Business School at Australia’s Curtin University

Julia Richardson is the subject matter expert for our management and leadership section.

Her expertise centres on maximising employee performance and well-being, and the changing nature of employment relationships and work outcomes. She has worked in a number of countries in the corporate and public sector, including Canada, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.

Current research topics:

  • Work/life balance initiatives and employee performance.
  • Managing flexible and independent workers.
  • Retention of older workers.
  • The casualisation of labour through casual, short-term and seasonal contracts.

Recent books:

  • An Intelligent Career — how to take charge of your career and professional development
  • Work, Workers and Work Relationships in a Changing World — to be published in 2018

Anindya Sen

  • Doctorate from University of Chicago
  • Academic Leader for University of Otago’s MBA programme, and teaches statistics and finance to MBA students and in the Finance department

Anindya Sen is the subject matter expert for our upcoming section on strategic finance.

Prior to his academic work, Anindya lived and breathed finance in London as a quantitative strategist for the investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He then lectured at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, one of that country’s leading business schools, before moving to Dunedin.

Current research topic:

  • Technological innovations in finance.

Pranab Majumder

  • Doctorate from University of Rochester, New York
  • Associate Professor of Practice in Operations Management, and Faculty Co-Director of the Fuqua Client Consulting Program at Duke University, North Carolina

Pranab Majumder is the subject matter expert for our upcoming section on operations strategy. Before moving into academia, he worked in logistics and information technology for a multinational firm in India.


Current research topics:

  • Operations strategy, supply chains and sustainability.

International teaching:

  • Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina
  • Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Donna Purdue

  • First class honours in economics from University of Waikato
  • Chief Economist at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment

Donna Purdue is making sure we understand the impact of business practices and productivity in New Zealand.

She started out as an economist at Ord Minnett Securities in Auckland. Since then, she has worked with the British High Commission, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Westpac, and as chief economist at Kiwibank. She came to MBIE from the New Zealand Treasury.

Current research topics:

  • Effects of aging work forces in New Zealand.

Paul Conway

  • Master of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington
  • Leads the Economics & Research Team at the New Zealand Productivity Commission, and Chair of the Productivity Hub, a cross-agency collaboration of productivity researchers

Paul Conway is making sure we understand the problems surrounding productivity in New Zealand.

His team at the commission focuses on what affects New Zealand’s productivity performance and the role of policy in improving it. He has previously worked as an economist for the OECD, the World Bank, Westpac and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Current research topic:

  • Understanding productivity among NZ businesses.

Dan Hellyer

  • Chartered Accountant and Certificate Public Practice
  • Partner, Deloitte Private

Dan Hellyer oversees Deloitte’s Queenstown office, working with a variety of businesses and organisations.

Dan and his team at Deloitte focus on enabling business owners to get more real time information about their businesses through the use of technology and cloud accounting services.

Dan has lectured in accounting for the MBA program at the University of Otago and delivered courses in Executive Education.

Current practice focus:

  • New Zealand small-to-medium, fast-growing and high-net-worth businesses.