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Business Performance Newsletter – December 2008

1. Business Performance & Energy group update

We are now processing the 2007 suite of business performance surveys – this is going well and results are expected to be released on time. In this newsletter, you will also read about the Energy End Use Survey (EEUS). In early September the EEUS merged with the Business Performance unit, taking along the responsibility for the energy domain plan and other work. Since this move the team has been working steadfastly on the EEUS so it will be out in the field by March 2009. To cover this new survey, the unit is now called Business Performance, Energy & Agriculture (or BPEA for short). Another recent highlight for the past period was the second release of the biotechnology data in 2008. The learnings from this analysis are shaping the 2009 survey, particularly on the splitting of core, active and research biotechnology firms. The research from the Improved Business Understanding via Longitudinal Database Development (IBULDD) also continues to be of great interest. While we have had a few staff departures recently, I'm pleased at how the team continues to develop and provide added value.


2. Information and communication technology programme

Internet service providers

The Internet Service Providers (ISP) Survey measures Internet service provision in New Zealand every six months. The survey collects Internet subscriber, connection technology and speed, email and web content filtering information.

The team is reviewing the survey to ensure content is relevant, and that users’ needs are being met. Additionally the survey has moved from being produced six-monthly to annually. The new annual release date aligns with the reporting timeframes of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The next survey results will be published in October 2009.

Latest results cover the six-month period to March 2008, and were published in August 2008 – Internet Service Providers Survey: March 2008.

For further information, contact Deborah Harkin: info@stats.govt.nz

Information and communication technology supply

The information and communication technology (ICT) sector is a key industry in the New Zealand economy. The measurement of this sector's growth requires the collection of current and accurate information on how ICT businesses operate and what is important to their success.

The Information and Communications Technology Supply Survey 2008/2009 reached the target response rate of 75 percent in November 2008. The survey is now being analysed and results will be published on 29 April 2009.

Future collections for the ICT Supply Survey will be undertaken every two years.

Latest results were published in April 2008 – Information and Communication Technology Supply Survey: 2006/07.

For further information, contact Deborah Harkin: info@stats.govt.nz.

Business use of ICT

Data on how New Zealand businesses use ICT is collected every two years, as one of three modules within the annual Business Operations Survey (BOS). The ICT module is currently in the field for the 2007/2008 collection period. The Information and Communication Technology in New Zealand: 2006 report investigated the data further, and included comparisons with government use from the Government Use of ICT Survey: 2006.

The team is also investigating the relationships between the business use of ICT data and other general business performance data that are available through the modular design of the BOS survey.

For further information, contact Hamish Hill: info@stats.govt.nz.


3. Business Operations

The Business Operations Survey (BOS) is a modular survey that was developed to give current and accurate information on how New Zealand businesses operate, and what factors are important to their success.

The latest results can be found in the Business Operations Survey: 2007 Hot Off The Press, and further results were published in the Innovation in New Zealand: 2007 report which was released in July 2008.

The 2008 questionnaire is currently in the field, and includes the existing module on business use of ICT, together with a new module to examine the impact of skills shortages on businesses. Data processing is underway, and results will be available in April 2009.

We are currently preparing for the 2009 collection, which includes a review of content and the innovation module.

For further information, contact Hamish Hill: info@stats.govt.nz.


4. Screen industry

The Statistics NZ Screen Industry Survey collects information that measures the size and nature of the screen industry in New Zealand. Currently we are working on the analysis of the 2007/08 survey, with results due out in May 2009.

On 20–21 November, Statistics NZ attended the annual Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) conference. This meeting allowed us to interact with those who work within the screen industry and increase our understanding of this sector.

Latest results can be found in the Screen Industry in New Zealand: 2007 report, which was published in August 2008.

For further information contact Korena Cunnigham: info@stats.govt.nz.


5. Research and development

The Research and Development (R&D) Survey for 2008 was posted out in August 2008. Key results of this survey will be released in April 2009, followed by a comprehensive report released in June 2009.

Additional analysis of the 2006 R&D survey showed that $41.8 million of R&D was carried out in the health sector. The Crown research institutes, district health boards and other government departments carried out $22.9 million, $16.8 million and $2.1 million of R&D in this sector, respectively. For more details, read the report Research and Development in New Zealand: 2006.

For further information, contact Ritesh Anand: info@stats.govt.nz.


6. Biotechnology

The Biotechnology Survey is carried out every two years, and collects information about the use, application and funding of biotechnology. The first release of information from the 2007 survey occurred in April (Biotechnology Survey: 2007) with a follow-up release in October (Finance and Expenditure in the Core Biotechnology Group :2007).

The survey is currently being reviewed and updated before the 2009 collection.

For further information, contact Meighan Ragg: info@stats.govt.nz.


7. New Zealand Energy Use Survey

Business Performance and Energy has recently started work on the New Zealand Energy Use Survey (NZEUS). The NZEUS collects information on energy use from the New Zealand economy to fill important information gaps required for effective policy formulation. The project will survey a number of selected industries per year using the ANZSIC06 industrial classifications, and will cover the whole economy within five years. The first year will cover industries A and B (agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining) and the results are planned for 31 July 2009.

The project has already achieved some important milestones, including the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Statistics NZ, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority, to carry out the project, the completion of a business case, and several streams of work at an advanced stage of development.

The Manufacturing Energy Use Survey (MEUS) was a precursor to the NZEUS. For more information on MEUS, see the webpage, Manufacturing Energy Use Survey – Information releases.

For further information, contact Martin Brown-Santirso: info@stats.govt.nz.


8. Improved Business Understanding via Longitudinal Database Development

Over the last quarter, many research papers have been disseminated, while work has continued on adding 2007 data as part of our annual update. The research papers all use IBULDD data and are available from the IBULDD webpage.

In July 2008 six of these research papers were presented at the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) Conference 2008:

  • "Complementary personnel practices and firm performance" by Richard Fabling
  • "Estimating aggregate R&D expenditure using a micro model" by Richard Fabling
  • "Exporters’ Optimal and Selective Hedging Choices" by Arthur Grimes
  • "Export Market Choice For New Zealand Firms" by Lynda Sanderson
  • "Multi-Product Exporters And Product Switching Behaviour Of New Zealand Firms" by Muge Adalet
  • "Relationship Banking and Access to Finance in New Zealand Firms" by Phillip Stevens

In August 2008 the paper "Labour Productivity in Auckland Firms" by David Mare was published and is also accessible through the website.

For further information, contact Julia Gretton: info@stats.govt.nz.


9. Who’s who in Business Performance

Ben Nimmo, Screen, ICT and Research Statistical Analyst
Carolina Cladellas Escola, ICT Suite Statistical Analyst
Deborah Harkin, ICT Project Leader
Elizabeth Chisholm, Questionnaire Design
Gary Dunnet, Manager, Business Performance, Energy and Agriculture
Hamish Hill, Energy and Innovation Project Manager
Julia Gretton, Screen, ICT and Research Project Manager, IBULDD Project Leader
Kathy Jackson, Business Operations Project Leader
Korena Cunningham, Screen Project Leader
Martin Brown-Santirso, Energy Use Project Leader
Meighan Ragg, Biotechnology Project Leader
Ritesh Anand, Research and Development Project Leader
Rosi Zeiske, Business Operations Statistical Analyst
Will Lu, Screen Industry Statistical Analyst


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