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Helping family businesses reach their full potential

Family Business Association (NZ) offers its members education programmes and special events that are designed to generate opportunities for them to learn, prosper, and grow their business.

Founded in New Zealand in 2019, Family Business New Zealand (FBNZ) is a not-for-profit membership organisation that’s dedicated to supporting Kiwi family businesses to succeed.

The organisation has members across New Zealand, including current family business leaders, the next generation of leaders, and independent directors and advisors from a range of backgrounds.

Members represent businesses of various sizes across a wide range of industries and who are willing to share their experiences with other members.

FBNZ has been a Crombie Lockwood partner since 2021. This partnership builds on the successful 25-year relationship Family Business Australia enjoys across the Tasman with Crombie Lockwood’s parent company, Gallagher.

What is a ‘family business’?

Family businesses can face unique challenges, such as the emotional toll of transitioning ownership to the next generation.

The family dynamic can be complicated and it can be difficult to balance the needs of the business with the needs of the family. However, being part of a national network like FBNZ can provide a wealth of knowledge and support.

Iain Blakeley, FBNZ’s Chairman, says that family businesses are best defined “as a business that has a mind-set of transitioning ownership down the track.

“This means that these businesses are not just focused on the here and now but they’re also thinking about the long-term future of their business and their family."

Ian Blakeley speaking at conference

“Sharing the lessons FBNZ businesses have learned over the years with other businesses in the network is an important means of helping local businesses to learn, prosper, and grow.”

Iain Blakeley, FBNZ Chairman

Events and high-profile members

FBNZ's education programmes and special events include regular online training opportunities to help upskill members, and in-person networking events, including business breakfasts and awards events – watch this space as their Family Business Excellence Awards open for nominations in June 2023. Board members are also located across the country, expanding FBNZ’s support network.

After establishing regular networking events in Auckland over the last few years, FBNZ is expanding its footprint into Christchurch this year.

Face-to-face events are held regularly to encourage the family business community to meet, learn and share stories with one another. These events are often hosted at member organisations such as PARKS Towing and Barfoot & Thompson.

Barfoot & Thompson, one of Auckland's largest real estate agencies, is a high-profile member of FBNZ, which Managing Director Peter Thompson says has been a “wonderful” network to be part of.

“Through its members FBNZ shares the family values that very much stand out in all those companies associated with it. This allows greater cooperation on such topics as succession planning, growth opportunities, family involvement within the business and leadership development skills.

“Members are more open with each other and happy to share what works well for them versus what areas they would stay away from in the future. This would not happen in a corporate business world.”

Peter & Paula Thompson with Crombie Lockwood Broker Jarrod De Pont at the Family Business Insights Conference receiving the Family Business Excellence Large Family Business Award for 2022.

Another high-profile member of FBNZ is PARKS Towing, a Christchurch-based towing company that has been in operation for over 70 years. General Manager Stuart Gerring says that being part of FBNZ has allowed him to connect with other family businesses across New Zealand.

“Being part of FBNZ has helped us raise our profile and tell our family story so that we are recognised for more than just a towing business. It has also provided the opportunity for us to share our succession journey with some of the smaller businesses within the network and for us to learn from other sizable organisations through shared experiences.”

“I encourage all families to look at FBNZ as your sounding board outside your own family business where you can discuss likeminded issues in a safe environment and where transitional leadership is at the forefront of every discussion.”

Nominations open for 2023 Family Business Excellence Awards 

The Family Business Association is seeking nominations for its annual Family Business Excellence Awards in the following categories: 

  • Emerging Family Business
  • Established Family Business
  • Legacy Family Business 

Nominations close at the end of July with the awards to be presented at Family Business Insights Conference on 14 September 2023 in Auckland.

For more information and to nominate a business go to the FBNZ website

Published June 2023