Boosting New Zealand productivity with the new Venture Capital Fund

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP

As part of the Coalition Government, New Zealand First welcomed the unveiling of the Venture Capital Fund last week. This $300 million fund, named the Elevate NZ Venture Fund, aims to help our start-ups expand and boost New Zealand productivity.

The Productivity Commission previously noted a reduced per capita capital investment in the productive economy, which has inhibited our productivity level.

Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of our production process. This measures the amount of goods and services produced relative to the resources – such as labour hours - used to produce it.

While the National Party proclaim themselves to be “responsible economic managers”, the fact is that during their nine years in government New Zealand productivity plummeted. NZ First wants to implement a solution to this problem and the VCF will do just that.

Our Party has identified for some time the gap in investment funding for early-stage companies, this has hindered their ability to expand. By enabling Kiwi start-ups to have access to much-needed capital, we can help them expand and further increase our number of “unicorns”.

A “unicorn”, in the business world, is a start-up company with a value of over $1 billion. New Zealand has seen some unicorns in recent years, with Xero and Rocket Lab being prime examples, but we want to increase this at a more rapid pace.

Having more unicorns emerge in New Zealand will boost our productivity and promote Kiwi innovation. The VCF incentivises private capital into the market, increasing the availability of capital available to Kiwi entities.

This will ensure ownership of these fast-growing start-ups remain in Kiwi hands, and will help connect them to the global marketplace which will benefit our economy at the same time with added jobs, increasing productivity, and eventually, a robust venture capital market.

Over time, the Government’s $300m funding is expected to be more than doubled by matching with private capital, to invest in Kiwi entities. Businesses and experts have been clamouring for such a fund for years, along with the R&D tax credits and retaining 90-day trials for small businesses, NZ First is showing that we are listening to our business community.


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