Business resilience in New Zealand

Better for Business commissioned a study to better understand how resilient small businesses are, and how government can best support them to be stronger.

Increased business strength will improve small businesses' ability to survive and thrive through future disruptions and transitions.

New Zealand has been ranked second in the world for exposure to natural disasters which means small businesses need to be stronger to survive and thrive. Better for Business commissioned The Research Agency (TRA) to provide in-depth research into small business resilience and how to support it.

Stronger businesses – MBIE & TRA resilience research

They surveyed 2,278 small businesses, chosen to reflect New Zealand’s small businesses by size and industry, during late 2023 and found the following:

  • Small business think they are resilient and score well (71%) on a business resilience scale.

  • However, they aren’t generally undertaking actions which build strong organisations, e.g. only 27% have taken out contents or businesses continuity insurance.

  • They don’t have deep knowledge of the benefits of stronger businesses, which hinders their actions.

  • The busy lives of small business owners means that they see a number of barriers to becoming stronger.

  • Harnessing their motivations will help drive businesses to be stronger.

  • Improving resilience amongst small businesses will have benefits to New Zealand’s economy and communities.

Published: January 2024, based on data collected October to November 2023.

More information

For more information about our Stronger Business research or to request a copy of any of our reports, contact us at

Last updated: 27 March 2024