Business Mentors Increases One-Off Registration Fee To Cope with Loss of Charitable Status

Business Mentors NZ, the nation’s number one not-for-profit mentoring organisation, will increase its one-off $100 registration fee to $150 from 1st June to enable it to cope with the financial implications of its loss of charitable status.

The Charities Commission has deregistered the not for profit organisation on the basis that the key benefactor of the business mentoring service is the individual business owner and that the community gets no measureable benefit.

Business Mentors CEO, Ray Schofield explains: ‘We are committed to keeping the day-to-day running costs of Business Mentors NZ to a minimum. However, the loss of our charitable status combined with increasing demand for our services from small and medium enterprises and the associated costs means that we have to put our registration fee up to cope.

‘The extra income will assist with any administration costs not covered by our private sector patron sponsors and NZTE government funding enabling us to cope with the financial implications of the Charities Commission’s decision. ’

Business failure is a serious problem for New Zealand with devastating consequences for families and communities. The Business Mentoring service is a proven generator of employment and growth, which is vital to our nation’s well being. In particular we help to grow the economy through building performance capability, especially exporting from the SME sector. With over 1800 volunteer mentors Business Mentors New Zealand helps on average 4,300 business clients a year and has assisted over 60,000 businesses since its inception in 1991. In addition we have also supported 127 Not for Profit organisations in the last two years. 

The organisation also plays a key community support service in the Canterbury reconstruction through its 330 local volunteer mentors. The critical importance of this activity has been recognised by the Government paying the current $100 client registration fee for Canterbury businesses as well as funding an additional part time administrator in our Christchurch agency.

The Government’s appreciation of the effectiveness of business mentoring is evidenced by its decision to fully fund for six years the delivery of services to 10 Pacific Island nations as part of MFAT/NZAID, programme using NZ Volunteer mentors.
Although Business Mentors New Zealand receives an annual grant from NZTE for its work in New Zealand, the Business Mentoring service could not continue without the support of its 85 private sector business sponsors.  Our volunteer mentors give their time freely to their local communities, which in itself is a charitable activity.

The registration fee, which has remained unchanged since October 2007, will entitle business owners to all Business Mentors services for up to two years, including mentoring sessions with an experienced business person and access to a wealth of information and resources. 


Attention deficit hyperactivity, autism, dyslexia and a range of other neurobehavioral and developmental disorders may be due to an imbalance between the two hemispheres of the brain, the national conference of the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association was told yesterday (19th May).
Speaking at the association’s meeting in Auckland, Dr. Robert Melillo, chiropractor and former chairman of the American Board of Chiropractic Neurology told the meeting: `Traditionally clinicians have viewed these disorders as separate entities, however advancements in evaluative capabilities and diagnostic imaging have revealed striking similarities so that these disorders may be considered points on a common spectrum of Neurobehavioral/Developmental Disorders.’

Dr Melillo, author of the best-selling books Disconnected Kids and Reconnected Kids explains: `These conditions all have in common an underlying functional imbalance or under-connectivity of electrical (brain) activity within and between the right and left sides of the brain. As a result, the brain literally becomes desynchronized or “out of rhythm‟. Where the child falls on the spectrum is dependent on the severity of the imbalance and the specific regions effected within the brain, which may result in many, if not all, of the common symptoms of these disorders.’

Dr Melillo an internationally known lecturer, author, educator, researcher and clinician in the areas of neurology, rehabilitation, neuropsychology and neurobehavioral disorders in children who founded the Brain Balance Programme with over 20 centres across the USA believes that chiropractic along with other therapies has an important role to play in restoring brain synchronicity through improving motor skills and posture.

He says: `Along with other treatment programmes a series of simple exercises can be taught which can be done at home to stimulate one side of the brain more than the other. Differences in muscle tone can be improved by gentle manipulation of the spine.’

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ALSCO Nelson Boiler Upgrade Significantly Cuts Discharge

ALSCO, supplier of rental linens, mats, uniforms and hygiene products, has completed the boiler upgrade at its Nelson Laundry, which will significantly reduce discharge from the plant.

According to ALSCO NZ chief executive Tony Colenso: `The reduction in emissions significantly exceeds the policy guidance for existing industrial discharges in the Nelson Air Quality Plan.  We are very pleased that the boiler conversion makes a positive contribution to the ongoing improvement of air quality in the city. 

`Our Nelson Laundry has operated a 1.95 megawatt coal-fired boiler for many years.  The boiler did not require a discharge permit prior to the development of the Nelson Air Quality Plan.  Once the Air Quality Plan became operative ALSCO lodged a consent application and we have worked very hard to upgrade the plant as quickly as possible. The consent application included a comprehensive assessment of the effects of the discharges from combustion of both the existing coal and the proposed wood pellet fuels.’

The conversion from coal to wood pellets will result in a significant improvement in local air quality. The assessment found that the change in fuel would result in a 54% reduction in maximum inhalable particulate matter (PM10) concentrations at ground level in the valley, a 93% reduction in peak sulphur dioxide (SO2) concentrations and an 80% reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations. The assessment concluded that any adverse effects of the boiler discharge would be minor and that no persons would be adversely affected. 

Tony Colenso explains: `The process of converting the boiler from coal to wood pellet fuel is now almost complete.  New fuel feed augurs have been installed and new heat sensors and safety equipment fitted.  ALSCO began operating the boiler on wood pellets at the beginning of May.’

A bunker is being installed to allow the long-term storage of dry pellet fuel.  In the meantime, pellets will be stored under waterproof covers. The change to the fuel feed system serving the boiler will enable improved control of the combustion process, with more consistent and efficient operation.  As a result, it is expected that operation on wood pellets will significantly reduce intermittent visible smoke emissions that have occurred at times when burning coal.  The boiler will be capable of operating on low steady load at times of low heat demand in the laundry, reducing the frequency cycling on and off that occurred when burning coal.

Overall the conversion of the laundry boiler from coal to wood pellets will significantly improve air quality and reduce the visual impact of smoke emissions.  Wood pellet fuel has the additional benefits that it is carbon neutral and can be obtained from a local supplier.


Sitting for too long and with bad posture is bad for your health the country’s chiropractors advised today. They point out that increased computer use at work and home means that over half of your day is spent sitting and that our sitting habits can have significant impact on our overall health[2][3].

The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) is joining with the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA) to focus on a Sit Right campaign during May.
Dr Hayden Thomas, chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association explains: `We know that the body will adapt to cater to what you do most often, so as your body adapts to constant sitting it makes you less skilled at basic functions like standing, walking, running and jumping[4].’

But Dr Thomas warns: `Sitting all day can result in muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobilityas well as pain in your lower back, neck and hip. Research has shown that excessive sitting can be lethal[5]. The aim of this campaign initiated by our colleagues in Australia is to highlight the problems associated with bad posture. Many people don’t realise that when you sit for extended periods in the wrong position this posture can stay with you even when you stand or walk around[6].’

As part of the Sit Right campaign The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia has developed a Sit Right Widget as a simple tool to prompt computer users to take more regular breaks. The default setting is to prompt for a break every hour, although users can change these settings for 20 minute or 40 minute intervals after consulting their local chiropractic healthcare professional.
For further information see

 For further information on the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association visit

[2] Healy, G.N. et al. 2007. ‘Objectively Measured Light-Intensity Physical Activity is Independently Associated With 2-h Plasma Glucose’, Diabetes Care, Volume 30, Number 6, June 2007.

[3] Owen, N. et al. 2009. ‘Too much sitting: a novel and important predictor of chronic disease risk?’ Br J Sports Med February 2009 Vol 43 No 2.

[4] Masters, M.,‘Why sitting all day is slowly killing you’,, 26 October 2010. Retrieved 1/12/11 from

[5] Vlahos, J., ‘Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?’, New York Times, 14 April 2011. Retrieved 2/12/11 from

[6] Masters, M.,‘Why sitting all day is slowly killing you’,, 26 October 2010. Retrieved 1/12/11 from

SMEs unprepared for crises, say researchers

New Zealand's small and medium-sized businesses need help to prepare for crises like the Christchurch earthquakes, say researchers from Massey University.
The recommendation comes at the conclusion of the latest BusinesSMEasure report from the University’s Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Research. The study is the first to examine the effects of the Christchurch earthquakes on SMEs across New Zealand, as well as their readiness for dealing with a crisis or a natural disaster.
The study found a high degree of vulnerability and a lack of formal crisis planning amongst small businesses across New Zealand. Only a small proportion of the businesses surveyed had a formal business continuity plan and less than ten per cent had a written crisis management plan. Of these, less than half had tested their plan in practice.
The proportion of SMEs undertaking continuity planning did increase after the first Christchurch earthquake in September 2010, and the experience of dealing with the impact of the subsequent earthquakes has actually made surviving Christchurch SMEs more resilient.
“It was interesting to see how much better prepared and less vulnerable Canterbury SMEs were compared to those in other parts of the country. The experience of dealing with a natural disaster clearly raised the level of companies’ crisis management planning and awareness,” says centre director Professor David Deakins.
“While Canterbury SMEs were better prepared as a result, it was not through formal continuity planning. They were more resilient because of changes they had made to their businesses – this might be better computer and online systems, the ability to trade outside their premises, or additional staff training so their people know what action to take in a crisis.”
Their experiences could be useful to others, says Professor Deakins. That’s why the BusinesSMEasure report concludes with a recommendation that a national programme of measures to improve SME resilience “should be given a high priority”.
“Any such programme would have a number of components, including training in business continuity planning, using online computer systems for financial and office management, methods for maintaining customers and building networks, and coverage of psychological elements, such as dealing with trauma,” says Professor Deakins.
BusinesSMEasure is an annual, longitudinal study aimed at providing New Zealand’s SMEs, their support infrastructure, and policymakers with useful research. The 2011 survey, which had over 1000 respondents, focused on crisis management and the impact of the Christchurch earthquakes.
Its findings will be discussed at the Disaster Management Symposium at the ICSB World Conference, to be held in Wellington in June.
The New Zealand Centre for Small and Medium Enterprise Research is based at Massey University’s Wellington campus. It was established in 2000 to help maximise the contribution to the economy of New Zealand’s more than 470,000 SMEs, which account for 31 per cent of all employment.
Key BusinesSMEasure findings include:
•    43 per cent of SMEs surveyed had experienced a crisis in the past five years.
•    Only one-third of firms responded to the most recent serious crisis in a resilient manner.
•    Vulnerability increases if the crisis is caused by a natural disaster, rather than an internal crisis.
•    Less than 10 per cent of SMEs have a formal written crisis management plan.
•    A formal written crisis management plan does not necessarily make a company more resilient; experience in dealing with the consequences of a crisis is more important.
•    Canterbury SMEs that are still in business after the earthquakes have an increased capability to adapt to changes in the business environment.
•    Belief, by owner-managers, in business continuity levels were relatively high, but Canterbury SMEs were less likely to believe their current level of insurance would safeguard their business if their business was unable to operate for three months.
Please note: While the survey highlights differences in how the sequence of Canterbury earthquakes have impacted on New Zealand SMEs, the results refer only to surviving businesses.


A New Zealand designed system of managed first aid kits has become a roaring business success on both sides of the Tasman. Over 7000 of the kits are now being serviced in Australian workplaces, which together with the 4000 in place in New Zealand, make the system one of the most successful Kiwi occupational health and safety innovations.

According to Gavin Smith, New Zealand manager of ALSCO First Aid and the designer of the tailor made managed first aid system, an increasing number of Australasian businesses are now opting for this type of system.

He says: `They elect to contract their first aid kit management to an all in one rental service because the DIY approach doesn’t meet the stringent OSH or Australian state requirements. We’re also providing managed vehicle kits, eyewash stations and defibrillators.’

Gavin adds: `We have grown this Kiwi developed service so that we are the only true Australasian provider. We are picking up regional and national organisations, as well as smaller owner operators, because of their need or desire to standardise systems.’

In a newly launched initiative ALSCO First Aid has sold 1000 first aid training places. The training programme complements the First Aid services providing compliance over a three-year contract.
Gavin explains: ` A lot of businesses don’t realise how much they spend managing their first aid kits and training overall. It’s false economy just to consider supplies alone. They don’t know if their kit is being serviced to the correct standards if it has been allocated to a staff member, or how robust their internal auditing ability is. But many businesses now prefer to have it all done for them, and know that they are meeting relevant OSH requirements. Our managed rental programme for around a dollar a day per kit removes the need to supply and check the kit yourself.’