Across the country, over 200,000 people pull the strings every day to make our nights out, treat meals, and coffee catch-ups happen. Many of them are linked to the Restaurant Association of New Zealand (the Association), who have been on the side of all the waiters, chefs, bartenders, baristas, and everyone in between.
Chief Executive, Marisa Bidois (Ngāti Ranginui), has been working with Awhi to tackle hospitality’s opportunities and challenges in the political realm that affect the daily lives of thousands of Kiwis.
“We started our engagement journey in 2019, a year when there was a wealth of legislation and policy changes coming down the pipeline that would affect our industry – we knew we needed help to have a louder voice in political circles. I’ve done a little bit of government relations work before here and there, but since we have such a small team, we don’t have the capacity to dedicate the intensive attention it requires.”
“...Holly ensures that the voices of every type of business is heard, not just big business, but small business as well.”
After linking up with Awhi, Marisa and Holly sat down for a strategy session and soon after, the Association was booking meetings with the key politicians and stakeholders they were looking for.
“Holly has been great with nailing down important meetings, supporting us with supplementary information, and guiding us through the submission process. Our submissions have been punchier. She’s helped us refine our message to Government and brought a bunch of new ideas to the table.”
Marisa maintains that every business, no matter the sector, would benefit from government relations assistance. She attributes this to the fact that business owners often have an idea of how things in their business can run better, and do hold opinions on important issues that come up in government.
“Government need to hear the voices of everyday business people to make better decisions for the country. The great thing about Awhi is that Holly ensures that the voices of every type of business is heard, not just big business, but small business as well.”