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As 2022 draws to a close there are sighs of relief in many quarters. Yet despite the on-going challenges of rising inflation, falling property prices, labour shortages, global political instability and supply chain uncertainty, generally Bay of Plenty businesses maintain a positive outlook; They have adapted to meet the challenges head-on and many are thriving despite the difficult conditions. Over the last 12 months we have provided readers with on-going analysis of the performance of the local business economy, reporting the facts, and providing expert opinion.

For every challenge that 2022 has thrown at us, the local business community has come up with strategies to not only survive, but to thrive. In this BBN 2022 Year in Review, we step through the highlights of the last 12 months of Bay of Plenty Business News and hopefully take heart that we are well positioned to face 2023. – Alan Neben, publisher

January 2022

When the gradual progress in construction of a massive new building has dominated the horizon of the region’s biggest city for more than a year, the population generally want to know what’s happening behind the ‘shrink-wrap’.

The January 2022 issue went behind the scenes to give readers a fascinating update on Farmers Elizabeth Towers project. Hand in hand with the Farmers lead, BBN also picked up on Tauranga City Commissioner Anne Tolley’s announcement that the civic precinct transformation was on the way, “… restoring the heart and soul of the city centre.”


February 2022

While gender pay equity issues were particularly topical in 2022, BBN’s February edition led with an investigative feature entitled, ‘Bay Women emerge as key business leaders.’ The feature, focused on the Bay’s leading businesswomen and led off with an inspiring cover story on the success of maritime startup Tidal Yachting.

But not everything moves fast in the Bay – the February 2022 Business News feature story predicting that ‘delays in consenting could see the port face container constraints’ was prophetic – consenting delays was still a hot topic nine months later when we focused on Port of Tauranga in the November 2022 issue.

March 2022

In March BBN journalist Richard Rennie examined key issues contributing to New Zealand’s supply problems. With the exporting season in full swing, Rennie suggested the grief experienced with shipping delays and capacity constraints in 2021 was unlikely to ease much in 2022. By December 2022 we can safely say, “he wasn’t far off the mark.” We also updated progress on the Whakatane harbour development.

With housing being a ‘hot topic’, the issue also sought the opinions of industry experts in a feature article titled ‘BOP Apartment Developments: When is enough enough?’


April 2022

While the editorial team at BBN try to focus on the many positive and inspirational business stories in the region, we will never shy away from spotlighting the challenges and the difficulties businesses encounter.

In April we shone the spotlight on the looming rates rebalancing for Tauranga businesses – we anticipated significant rate increases for local businesses as the recently reappointed city commissioners worked to rebalance the city’s rating structure. This issue also hailed the sailing of Zespri’s first charter vessel for Japan and editor David Porter investigated the significance of Tauranga MP Simon Bridges announced retirement from parliament.

May 2022

While it sometimes feels like the bigger business centres of Tauranga and Rotorua steal the limelight, there is a buoyant business economy in the regional areas outside those centres. In May Business News zeroed-in on just one such area, The Eastern Bay of Plenty. The Eastern Bay has made steady economic progress in recent years with GDP up over 10% in Whakatane in the last year, the new Whakatane Marina plan started and a new harbour underway in Opotiki.

David Porter explored an exciting new initiative in the area which sees the region embark on funding and development of the Te Kaha mussel spat project – a project described as “massive.” May also featured a profile on Rachel Woods, principal of the new +MORE Bay of Plenty office.

June 2022

“We’re not about politics, we’re about business.” But sometimes politics and business necessarily overlap. In June we chose to drill-down on the surprise Tauranga by-election which triggered a cavalcade of candidates.

Our business readers wanted to know a bit more about the candidates and the election – we obliged. June also saw the introduction of BBN’s new ‘Mining Business Wealth’ column by superstar columnist Freddie Bennett – a world record holder and real dynamo.


You have to be doing something right when you have foreword endorsements from the Prime Minister, the Chairman of ANZ Bank and the champion America’s Cup Skipper … yes, this year’s issue of Year Book was a goodie.” – Alan Neben, Publisher


July 2022

Education featured prominently in the July edition, with a particular focus on the University of Waikato’s jump in global university rankings. With the opening of its central Tauranga campus in 2019, the university cover story complemented the other lead piece in July, the announcement that Tauranga City Council’s new headquarters could be the largest mass timber office building in New Zealand.

David Porter’s July interview with Sam Uffindell gave no hint of the stormy waters ahead for the newly elected Tauranga MP.

August 2022

We had often spoken in our BBN team meetings in 2022 about the wealth of young talent in BOP businesses. In July we decided to stop talking about it and write about it instead. In the August issue we published a feature entitled “Business Under 40’s” where we profiled 16 individuals making exceptional contributions.

The volume of feedback when we hit the streets was amazing; The breadth of young talent across BOP industries we highlighted is exciting – our future would appear to be in good hands.

September 2022

Across the Bay of Plenty whenever we talk to businesspeople one topic inevitably comes into the conversation: traffic … I’m sure you can all relate. BBN journalist Richard Rennie decided to take an in-depth look at one of the region’s most significant new roading projects in the September issue.

His first of two significant recent roading articles looked at progress on Tauranga’s Takitimu North Link*. In the story Rennie spoke to Waka Kotahi’s Jo Wilton about the challenges in a project of this scale. Complimenting the transport story, the issue also featured coverage of local EV developer UBCO’s national hi-tech awards win.

October 2022

Building and development featured prominently again in the October edition, although this month the focus was on the impediments facing the construction industry rather than a celebration of new building milestones.

BBN looked at the wide-ranging problems confronting the industry, and ultimately impacting on us, the buyers and end-users of new buildings. Richard Rennie also investigated a second major roading project in his transport series – the Baypark to Bayfair Link*. The project is not due to be fully completed until Dec 2023.
* View a flyover video of the finished roading projects HERE

November 2022

Bay of Plenty Business News November 2022 featured informative coverage of developments and progress at the Port of Tauranga. Port of Tauranga is New Zealand’s largest, fastest growing and most efficient port.

It is an international freight gateway for the country’s imports and exports, and the only New Zealand port able to accommodate the largest container vessels to visit here. The November issue also introduced new Quayside Holdings CEO, Lyndon Settle.


December 2022

As you will probably have noticed, the Thought Leaders issue is back again this month. We’ve changed things up again this year for the December issue. We’ve said to our regular columnists, “take a break this month”, and we’ve focused the issue almost exclusively on what we term Thought Leaders.

As 2022 comes to a close Bay of Plenty Business News has focused on industry sector leaders and their thoughts on where they see their industry, their business and the Bay of Plenty business community going in 2023 in addition to reflecting on the year that’s been 2022. I hope you find their comments useful. (Don’t worry, the columnists will be back in January)

As you read this, our 12th and final issue of 2022, I’d like to thank all our advertisers, without who we could not produce Bay of Plenty Business News every month. Ngā mihi nui. And to you our loyal business readers, have a safe Christmas and enjoy a break. We look forward to again bringing you more BOP business news in 2023.

New year, new product, new possibilities

100 People Behind Bay Business – that’s the name of Bay of Plenty Business News’ newest magazine, due to hit the market in 2023.

The new magazine is profiling the people behind Bay business in an intelligent, insightful and inspiring way so that readers can learn more about them, their expertise, their experience and their business.

Look out for 100 People Behind Bay Business, coming your way soon.

We’re excited to tell these stories. This new magazine offers a great opportunity for everyone to find out more about the people behind our most successful businesses. It’s quite a unique concept – I think it’s going to be a real winner.”
– Pete Wales, Business Director

BBN online services ‘explode’ in 2022

While Covid-19 saw many businesses pivot to online digital channels, BOP Business News was already well imbedded in that space when Covid arrived. In the last year BBN has experienced an ‘explosion’ in online subscriber numbers.

According to Bay of Plenty Business News Digital Services manager Petrina Wilson, “We have quality content, and the numbers show me that’s what our users demand. The growth in our Business News subscriber base, our social channels engagement and our web traffic has been extraordinary. Our subscribers sure let us know our EDM newsletters are in demand – readers want to be connected, and our exceptionally high open rates prove it,” she says proudly.

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Alan Neben
Alan Neben
Alan Neben is a Mount Maunganui local and experienced New Zealand publisher. His columns provide a light-hearted perspective on social changes effecting New Zealanders

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