Our advocacy work

Our EMA advocacy specialists engage with members and liaise directly with Government  and key officials on policy and legislation that impacts business with an aim to create the type of business environment where our members can succeed.

  • Advocacy Update Brett O'Riley covers some of the big issues affecting businesses due to lockdown and issues coming up that we are talking to government about on behalf of our members. Watch update
  • News & publications Our advocacy team represent our members in mainstream and specialist media, and keep them informed via our monthly BusinessPlus magazine, fortnightly e-report and Exporter newsletter and weekly Employment Bulletin. Read more
  • Submissions Communicating members' views through written and oral submissions to public bodies and personal presentations and delegations. Read more
  • Youth employment The need for skilled workers is ongoing, and training young people into employment. Read more
  • Pathways to Employment Trust The Pathways to Employment Trust, formed in 2008, is managed by the EMA. Read more
  • 2020 Election Manifesto Based on feedback from our members via briefings, surveys and other interactions we have compiled a document highlighting the key issues we will raise with Government over the next 12 months. Read news

EMA Advocacy - giving our members a voice

Our members need to focus on growing their business, which is why we act as their voice at senior government level on key issues.

Through our Member Briefings, which run three times a year, specialist Trade Groups and Forums we share information and discuss current and emerging topics directly with thousands of members and feed that back to policy and decision makers. 

We also work with our wider network partners - BusinessNZ, Business Central, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC), Otago Southland Employers' Association (OSEA) & ExportNZ – which represent over 145,000 member companies as we develop policies and lobby for, or against change.

With offices in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato we have a strong regional reach to support our national work, where we use our key influencers and positions on a number of key Forums to influence Government decisions.

We are here for our members and always want to hear your views and concerns so please email us at myvoice@ema.co.nz or call +649 367 0900.



We have a range of resources to keep you informed of the latest news, legislative changes and issues that can impact your business.

  • Latest NewsHere you will find our latest press releases.
  • BusinessPlus An archive of our monthly magazine featuring member profiles, opinion pieces and feature articles on topical issues.
  • Publications We have a range of other publications designed to keep you informed and up to date on relevant topics.

Key advocacy issues for Government

  • Develop a long-term recovery framework

    This would include actioning the key recommendations of the Randerson Report to replace the RMA with new planning and environmental legislation by mid-2022, create a population/immigration  strategy for New Zealand in 2021, benchmarks set and transparency given to quality of government spend and long-term outcomes from that spend, Foreign Direct Investment policies that support recovery/growth  plans by providing access to necessary overseas capital, review all legislation pushed through under lockdowns within 12 months post election.

  • No further changes to Employment legislation with two exceptions

    In the past three years we have seen legislation introduced that has challenged the flexibility that employers have had to alter their workforces and adapt quickly to change. Some legislation that would have introduced less flexibility has also failed to pass but remains on the agenda. To assist the recovery and rebuild business confidence we would like no further changes apart from fixing the complex and difficult to apply Holidays Act and reintroducing the 90-day trials to accommodate redeployment and build in assessments at 45 or 60 days to assist employees in adapting. We also urge government not to implement the $1.10 minimum wage increase scheduled for April 2021.

  • Invest in infrastructure

    Infrastructure has been identified as a key plank of the recovery effort, but issues remain around expected timeframes - 'shovel ready' is a misnomer - and there are concerns around the quality and timing of spending. To address this we want to see the delivery of the National Infrastructure Commission's 30 year plan in2021, start the three waters project in 2021, replace the RMA by mid 2022 with separate environmental and planning legislation, targeted regional funding on the operational spend of smaller councils, give local government access to more funding tools and create a national transport plan to move freight around more easily around the country that also supports electrification of the vehicle fleet.