What is it?

The New Zealand Business Roundtable is New Zealand’s leading public policy think tank.  Founded in 1985 by a group of New Zealand business leaders, the organisation’s mission is to research and promote policies for achieving a better standard of living and quality of life for all New Zealanders.  Members of the Business Roundtable are chief executives of many of New Zealand’s major firms operating in many business sectors. They are involved in the organisation because they believe business leaders have a responsibility to speak out on matters that affect the well-being of the wider community.

The organisation is concerned with the broad national interest, as opposed to sectoral interests.  Its major concern is with the quality ofNew Zealand’s public institutions and policies, which have a profound impact on the country’s economic performance and its attractiveness as a place to live, work and do business.


The Business Roundtable’s vision is of an open, dynamic economy and a prosperous, fair, cohesive society.  It supports the concepts of individual responsibility and choice, competition, entrepreneurship and risk-taking as vital to achieving economic and social progress.  It believes that a healthy, flourishing business sector is fundamental to the achievement of the economic, social and cultural aspirations of New Zealanders.


The Business Roundtable believes that thorough research, objectivity, a long-term view and dispassionate dialogue and debate are the best tools for developing and promoting sound policies.  It is prepared to put forward ideas on matters of national importance which challenge current thinking.

Independence and funding

The organisation prides itself on being independent and politically and sectorally non-partisan in its views and research.  It is funded entirely by its members’ subscriptions, donations and book sales.  It receives no funding from government.

Key themes

The organisation’s activities cover a broad range of areas dealing with social and economic policy. Its key themes are:

  • smaller, better quality government
  • labour market flexibility and job creation
  • choice and excellence in education
  • fostering entrepreneurship
  • less regulation of the private sector
  • fair opportunities for all

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