About Better for Business

Better for Business identifies and develops easier and smarter ways for business and government to interact.

Better for Business (B4B) represents the voice of New Zealand businesses and works with a collective of agencies to make it easier and more seamless for business to deal with government.

B4B’s kaitiaki role involves leading initiatives that unify public services for business, including leveraging digital technologies and innovating approaches to policy, service design and delivery. This role is even more important in the post-COVID environment as we focus on supporting and enabling businesses through initial recovery, reset and revitalisation, including ensuring that we collectively establish an enabling regulatory environment.


B4B originated in 2012, and plays a significant role in bringing together ten government agencies that make up 83% of the interactions a business would normally have with government. 

The ten agencies include MBIE (the lead agency), Inland Revenue, ACC, the Ministry for Primary Industries, the NZ Transport Agency, the New Zealand Customs Service, WorkSafe New Zealand, Stats NZ, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Callaghan Innovation.

B4B’s long term research with over 18,000 NZ businesses shows that improving the consistency of the service experience and coordination between agencies has the highest overall correlation with business satisfaction with government.

Our unique research and insights on NZ businesses identifies where we can collectively make improvements to the business experience of government – together we work on initiatives that makes our services to businesses more seamless.

How we make a difference to Small Businesses

The B4B Research Monitor, running since 2012, is a biannual survey of 2,000 NZ businesses. The Research Monitor provides a unique system-wide view of the business experience with government, and provides us with insights into the world of government from the business’ perspective. It is the only research mechanism of this nature.

By supporting the voice of NZ businesses, B4B can identify and prioritise opportunities for improvement across a number of agencies.

Our work so far

The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)

Every New Zealand business can have an NZBN, a globally unique identifier that links to core business information (for example, trading name, location and contact details).

Together, all of the NZBNs make up the online, searchable NZBN Register that businesses and government agencies can use to quickly and easily identify who they are working with and stay up to date. 

Digital Assistant

Another initiative currently being trialled is Tai – a Digital Assistant. Tai can navigate across several government agencies and present the required information based on questions users ask him.

We are jointly working with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Customs New Zealand and the developers, Datacom, on a proof of concept for a Digital Assistant using conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Business Connect

Business Connect(external link) is a new digital service platform that will allow businesses to apply for things like licences and permits from different government agencies in one place.

Business Connect is powered by the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN)(external link). Once a business registers for Business Connect their NZBN will pre-populate all the key information about their business that we frequently ask them to supply.

Business Connect is one of a range of initiatives the Government is focusing on to help make our small businesses the best supported in the world.

These are a just a few examples of Better for Business working with government agencies and businesses to create smarter ways of engaging – and there’s a lot more on the way. Together we are helping business be more productive and New Zealand better off.

Last updated: 10 July 2020