Better for Business (B4B) represents the voice of New Zealand businesses and works with a collective of agencies to make it easier and more seamless for business to deal with government.

Why we exist

Better for Business (B4B) has a kaitiaki role - meaning guardianship - which involves understanding and supporting the diverse needs of New Zealand businesses. We look to “lighten the load” on businesses, this includes identifying opportunities to help reduce the cumulative impact of compliance – particularly on small business. 

B4B works on initiatives that help unify public services for business, including leveraging digital technologies and innovating approaches to policy, service design and delivery. This role has become more important in the post-COVID environment as we focus on supporting and enabling businesses through initial recovery, reset and revitalisation.

B4B will continue to support the response to COVID-19 by providing business insight to inform both policy and operational decisions. This includes a strong focus on support for small businesses to find and use the right tools to digitise their businesses and leading key initiatives within MBIE's Small Business Collective work programme.

How we do it

Better for Business partners with the government agencies NZ businesses deal with most regularly.

Our role is to understand the unique needs of NZ businesses and identify any friction or difficulties they experience when dealing with government. We share and highlight these insights with the agencies we work with and work together to find solutions.

Our unique business insights enable us to identify and prioritise where we can collectively make improvements to the business experience of government. Together we work on initiatives that make our services more seamless.

Our long-term research with over 18,000 NZ businesses shows that improving the consistency of services and the coordination between agencies has the highest overall impact on business satisfaction with government.

We constantly measure the experience that businesses have with government to ensure that progress is being made and to provide ongoing direction for future improvement initiatives.

What have we done?

Just some of the services Better for Business have created, supported or incubated include:

These are just a few examples of Better for Business working with government agencies and businesses to create smarter ways of working.

The B4B ecosystem

B4B is part of MBIE’s Small Business Collective. The Small Business Collective represents the 2 MBIE branches most focussed on small business; Small Business Services (including business.govt.nz, Business Connect, NZBN) + Small Business and Strategic Programmes (including B4B and Small Business Policy).

The government agencies we partner with include MBIE (the lead agency and where B4B is based), Inland Revenue, ACC, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the NZ Transport Agency, the New Zealand Customs Service, WorkSafe New Zealand, Stats NZ, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation.

A notable channel for NZ businesses is Business.govt.nz(external link) – who deliver tools and advice from across government to save businesses time and help make businesses successful.

The history of B4B

Better for Business was established in 2012 as part of ‘Better Public Services – Result 9’. At the time the programme had key targets in place, including reducing the cost of dealing with government by 25% and matching the private sector for ease of doing business. Part of the early programme included the Result 9 Accelerator – which facilitated start-ups to build prototypes focused on reducing the cost of dealing with government using the latest technology and customer-centric design methods. It brought public sector staff together with private sector entrepreneurs, developers and mentors to test new ideas and drive change.

In 2017 B4B adapted to be more responsive to the full business experience of government. Better for Business continues to work across government – and in particular with the 10 original agencies – to help reduce the cumulative administrative impact of compliance on business and to identify opportunities to improve the overall experience of dealing with government. While B4B continues to track effort, we have evolved our measurement to be more multi-dimensional – the Customer Experience Index – which has been measuring the overall quantity and quality of businesses dealings with government since mid-2017.