Ray Schofield, CEO of Business Mentors New Zealand, appeared on TVNZs NZI Business yesterday morning to explain how the not-for-profit mentoring organisation assists SMEs across both the North and South Islands.

Watch a video clip of the interview here.


Thousands of New Zealanders suffering from winter coughs and colds could be putting themselves in danger by taking unsuitable medication according to Care Chemist. Care Chemist, New Zealand’s fastest growing community pharmacy group, has launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the risks involved with purchasing medicines without seeking the advice of a healthcare professional first

Some individuals, including those that are pregnant, asthmatic, and diabetic or have high blood pressure, need to be more vigilant in considering the risks involved. A recent study from

Australia has revealed that up to 20% of asthmatics are allergic to a common ingredient used in cold medications and pain killers. The one in seven adults in New Zealand taking medication for high blood pressure should also be careful as several common cold medicines could increase their blood pressure.
‘It’s very important to check that the cold medication you are thinking about purchasing won’t exacerbate an existing condition or conflict with a treatment you are already undergoing,’ explains Care Chemist CEO, Nicolette McDonald. ‘Always ask your pharmacist whether there are any potential drug interactions between your medications and cold medications.’
‘If you’re already taking a painkiller and want to take a cold medication, you’ll also need to check that you’re not double dosing,’ adds Nicolette. ‘Popular painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are often used in cold and flu tablets as well as some hot drinks for colds. Too much of either of these medications can be quite serious and in some cases lethal.’
As well as providing advice on choosing the right cold and flu medication, Care Chemist will be producing an educational brochure on how to get the right advice and what dangers to be aware of. On top of that, Care Chemists pharmacists are always on hand to discuss any issues and possible solutions with their customers.
For more information on Care Chemist, visit their website by clicking here


The new Pacific Islands Business Mentoring Programme, which was launched in the Cook Islands last month, has arrived in Tonga. Five volunteer mentors from Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ) landed in the country on Monday.

Tonga is one of 11 Pacific island countries to be included in the BMNZ managed project over the next three years with funding provided by New Zealand’s Aid Programme.

The programme aims to assist small and medium sized businesses in the Pacific to manage and grow their businesses in a way that supports sustained increases in production and employment over time. It is hoped the programme will be a catalyst for identifying other business needs such as training, and create opportunities for partnerships and joint ventures, and increased Pacific exports, including to New Zealand.

Tricia Emberson, Secretary of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the BMNZ agent for the scheme, says: `Tonga has been hard hit by the global economic crisis so this support could not have come at a better time. Many people here simply don’t know how to cope with such a challenging business environment. Being able to tap into the skills and knowledge of an experienced NZ mentor will help our business owners improve their operations and planning so they can get through the tough times and continue to move forwards.’

Ian Furlong, Pacific Manager at Business Mentors, adds: ‘Independent NZ business mentors have a range of expertise that is often not available in these countries. This includes an in-depth understanding of sales and marketing, financial planning and working out a viable business plan, which are the areas where the most help is usually required in smaller business communities. Volunteer mentors are also able to offer a different perspective and can help a business owner spot opportunities for further growth, profitability and improvement.’

Prime Minister John Key announced the development of the new Pacific Business Mentoring Programme last year to provide practical support for Pacific businesses, explaining: ‘Many of the Pacific business people I have met recently have told me how useful it would be for them to have greater access to business advice and mentoring from New Zealand.’

For more information on Business Mentors visit the website


Mt Eden Chiropractic, a member of the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association, held a competition throughout May, challenging patients to take at least 10,000 steps a day. As part of the ‘Millions of Metres in May’ initiative, the practice handed out free pedometers to encourage an increase in daily activity and to help people keep track of their level of exercise.

'Many people assume that health providers exist to treat problems. However, our aim is to promote overall wellness,’ explains Dr. Simon Kelly, chiropractor at Mt. Eden and spokesman for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association. ‘It’s not just about helping somebody that is injured or sick We talk with our patients about following a healthier lifestyle, so that they can avoid common threats to their wellbeing.’

Dr. Simon Kelly is thrilled with how successful the contest has been and is planning to hold the competition on an annual basis.

'Feedback has been absolutely fantastic. Many participants have started walking rather than driving, and a customer that works in an office has started a weekly walking group. ’ says Dr. Simon Kelly. ‘It seems that the inactive have become active, and the active have become even more active. It’s a great result.’

‘The pedometer has been a really useful tool. Recent studies have shown that people who use a pedometer to measure how far they walk lose more weight, exercise more and have lower blood pressure than those who do not,’ adds Dr. Simon Kelly. ‘Simple initiatives like these, as well as ongoing educational programmes, are what are needed to change our society from one that treats disease to one that promotes wellness.’

The eventual winners of ‘A Million Metres in May’ were husband and wife team, Cathy and Padraig O’Gormon, joined by Cathy’s brother, Michael McCahill, who logged over a million steps between them. They received over $300 worth of vouchers, sports bags and clothes from Shoe Science.

Almost 20 million steps were achieved by Mt Eden Chiropractic employees and 100 of the practice patients.

For more information on the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association, visit their website


According to the Head Injury Society of New Zealand, a charitable organisation established in 1981 providing quality disability support services, there is still not enough awareness of the dangers of head injury and how easily it can happen.

To increase understanding of the risks and to educate New Zealanders on how to avoid head injury, the society will be running it’s annual Head Injury Awareness and Appeal Week from June 8th- 15th 2010. The campaign is being organised by the Head Injury Society Waikato.

‘Researchers at Auckland University of Technology estimate head injury incidents as being between 18,000 and 26,000 per year,’ explains Joan Limmer, Manager at the Waikato Head Injury Society. ‘We would really like to see that number come down and hope that by telling people a little more about the condition and how to prevent it from happening, we can go a small way towards doing that.’

Joan hopes that the educational campaign will help people realise the serious impact a head injury can have on a person’s life.

‘The majority of people with head injuries are not able to work fulltime again as they suffer from short term memory, fatigue and problems with their balance,’ Joan explains. ‘It can be incredibly frustrating as they simply can’t do the things that they used to do.’

‘People also need to understand that it can happen to anybody,’ she adds. ‘This year, we are focusing heavily on individuals playing sport as that is where a huge chunk of head injuries are sustained. Horse riders and cyclists must wear a helmet to protect their heads. Those involved in sports such as soccer and rugby are also susceptible. The key message is to always be careful and never become complacent.’

During Head Injury Awareness and Appeal Week, The Head Injury Society will have stands at supermarkets across the Waikato region, offering educational information to passers by. Banners have been erected in Hamilton and Cambridge.

Saddlery stores, Stirrups Equestrian and Saddlery Warehouse, have also offered their support and will be offering significant discounts on new riding helmets throughout the week, to encourage horse riders to wear protection when participating in their sport.

For more information on the Head Injury Society of New Zealand, visit their website by clicking this link.


On Friday 21st May, former international model and head injury victim, Elizabeth Charleston, launched THINK! The Head Injury Network for Kiwis, to increase awareness about head injuries and to provide support to those dealing with the condition.

THINK! was created in partnership with the Waikato branch of the Head Injury Society of New Zealand and ties in with The Head Injury Awareness and Appeal Week which runs from June 8th- 15th 2010.

‘New Zealand has a higher rate of head injuries than many other countries in the world with researchers at Auckland University of Technology estimating incidents between 18,000 and 26,000 per year,’ explains Elizabeth. ‘One of the main messages I want to get across to people through THINK! is that anybody can suffer a head injury.

‘I would also like to break down some of the attitudes that people have towards head injury victims and the stigma that is attached. Often, even after a sufferer has started to accept that they have a head injury, the people around them do not know how to deal with the changes to their personality and abilities. This has got to change.’

THINK! encourages people to use safety-approved head protection when playing sport or taking part in potentially dangerous activities, such as climbing, horse riding and cycling, and at work when the circumstances or activity being undertaken puts the user’s head at risk.

‘When you get into a car a person instinctively puts on their seat belt. The same level of self preservation should apply. It’s about reducing the risk and improving safety,’ says Elizabeth.
Elizabeth has also launched a campaign to coincide with the Head Injury Awareness & Appeal Week in June that gives equestrians a discount on safety riding helmets at Saddlery Warehouse and Stirrups Equestrian.

For more information on the Head Injury Society of New Zealand, visit their website by clicking here.

THINK! has a Facebook Page at!/pages/THINK-The-Head-Injury-Network-for-Kiwis/378242020990?ref=ts


The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association is encouraging New Zealand office workers to take short, regular breaks this winter or risk suffering back pain caused by remaining in one position for too long.

According to research published by the New Zealand Medical Journal, the cost of lower back pain to the economy is estimated at around $500million . It is also thought that absenteeism from work due to back pain is second only to the common cold.

‘With the weather worsening, it is likely that more people will be tempted to stay at their desks rather than getting up and going outside at lunchtime and during breaks,’ explains Dr. Simon Kelly, spokesman for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association. ‘However, sitting down for long periods of time puts an enormous strain on the spine which can lead to aches and pains.

‘Short, regular breaks will help give the muscles around the shoulders and back a chance to relax, preventing you from getting stiff and tense. Going for a walk around the block is a great way to loosen up but if the weather is too bad, simply getting up to make a cup of tea or doing another task that involves standing up will have a similar benefit.’

Dr. Simon Kelly points out that not having work spaces properly set up will also contribute to bad backs.

‘Sitting in an unsuitable, unsupportive chair and bad posture, which includes slouching over your desk can also cause problems,’ says Dr. Kelly. ‘Good posture at your desk and ensuring that the lower back is supported will help prevent repetitive strain injury (RSI) which is a leading cause of back pain. Using a larger computer monitor so you don’t have to lean forward to read the screen, as well as making sure the machine is at a comfortable height, will also aid in keeping back pain at bay.

'If you’re unsure as to whether your desk is properly laid out, you should ask your employer to assess your work space.’

Avoiding Back Pain at Work
1. Try to have some form of regular exercise scheduled outside of work to keep joints lubricated and muscles moving freely. Muscles kept at bent positions for long periods can become contracted and may become difficult to fully extend when doing other tasks.

2. Adjust your chair so that your elbows are level with the work surface. This will keep you from leaning over your work and causing pain in the upper back area.

3. Try adjusting the lumbar controls on your office chair. If your chair doesn't have a lumbar support option you can use a lumbar pillow to support your lower back. This keeps the back in a much more natural position and helps create better posture.

4. Make sure that your computer monitor is positioned so that you can see it without staining your neck. Neck stain can lead to pain in the upper back, as well.

5. Frequent breaks are important to keep back muscles loose and relaxed. During breaks, take time to do simple stretches such as touching your toes and twisting at the torso. This will keep the muscles limber.