Business and Employment | Ngā Umanga me te Whiwhinga Mahi

Defining Business:
Business is the activity of making one’s living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (goods and services). Business is extremely important to a Community’s economy and wellbeing because businesses provide both goods and services and jobs.

Business in Whaingaroa

Whaingaroa Raglan has an array of local businesses that help to create a thriving community. From retail shops and cafes in the CBD, trade services, health and wellbeing, home-based business ventures, tourism operators and more. Local businesses tend to align themselves with positive values that focus on sustainability and maintaining a healthy environment. Successful businesses operating in the Raglan community provide employment opportunities and positive economic growth. 

In 2013 there were almost 800 workers with a workplace address in Raglan, implying a relatively high proportion of jobs per capita (of residents) of 29%. As of 2016 there were almost 1,200 jobs (employment counts) and 431 businesses within the Raglan Community boundary. The highest employment sectors were:

1. Accommodation and Food (249)

2. Retail trade (137)

3. Construction (126)

4. Education and training (121)

5. Health care and social services (119)

6. Manufacturing (94)

Citizens of the Whaingaroa community are happy to support local business and regularly patronize the services provided. On any given day visitors and local Raglanites will experience the unified atmosphere that exists in the shops and on the streets.

Raglan has a resident population of around 3,100 (2016). An estimated 500 ‘holiday homes’ (accounting for close to 30% of total dwellings in the town), provides capacity for an additional 1,500 to 2,000 persons, implying the overnight ‘day to day’ population could be closer to 5,100 at regular periods of the year. Higher peak populations occur during seasonal periods such as Christmas/New Year and Easter when larger groups of friends and family, and visitors occupy holiday homes.

Over the 2016/17 November to April period, the total number of ‘unique’ visitors to Raglan was estimated by Qrious Ltd. (June 2017) to be an average 145,000 per month or 36,000 per week – refer Table 1. Domestic visitors (from outside of the Waikato Region) account for a similar share of Local visitors (Waikato Region) while Internationals account for 20%.

What topics were covered and who has been involved so far:

We appreciate all the work of the Focus Group members

Please note: this Snapshot report is a starting point for community-wide input and is not a finished or complete report. Your input will build on this report.

Topics covered:

  • Agriculture/Farming
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Central Business District:
  • Retail
  • Accommodation
  • Food Services
  • Light Commercial
  • Trades
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Childcare
  • Specialised Services (i.e. Bizworx, MetOcean, Chronicle)
  • Childcare
  • Employment & Training
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Home Based Ventures
  • Arts
  • Knowledge Workers
  • Technology Experts
  • Food Services
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Light Commercial & Manufacturing
  • Maori Owned Business
  • Property & Development
  • Not-for-Profits
  • Retail
  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Accommodation
  • Food Services
  • Recreation
  • Trades
  • Waste Management
  • Education Providers

Who is contributing to this Snapshot

Frida Kabo, Geoff Kelly, Annick Janson, Phil McCabe, Dave Peacock, Etai Gilad, Andreas Broring, Tim Duff, Charlie Young, Adrian Morton, Thea Eytan

We need more input from major landowners in the CBD.


• Iwi and hapu
• The Raglan Chamber of Commerce
• Raglan Area School
• Xtreme Zero Waste
• Met Ocean
• Busines Owners

The Raglan Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber supports, fosters and advocates for vibrant and sustainable business in Whaingaroa Raglan. They encourage their members and the wider business community to uphold our community values.

Business Strengths & Assets

  • A really strong business community (that we don’t necessarily see) around 400 businesses[1]
  • All the different sectors that we have in Raglan
  • Lots of technology experts based at home
  • Supportive place for start-ups
  • Family feel, strong small to medium market
  • Social and environmental values /social corporate responsibility
  • Chamber of commerce being very active in the community and recognized for contribution to a sustainable business attitude and being community leaders in a wide range of community areas as in Raglan Plastic Free, also advocating for business with both local regional and central government
  • Raglan House – Workshops and CV writing support
  • Sense that people want to support local business
  • Growing community
  • Great lifestyle – Business support work/life balance
  • Engaged community – people volunteer/pitch in around community in lots of ways

Future Challenges & Opportunities

Key challenges that are specific to business in Raglan:


  • High amount of tourism
  • The rise of Air BNB and the fact that they contribute to the infrastructure problems as in sewage without paying their share like other businesses do
  • Freedom camping impacting on the town and local accommodation providers


  • The one lane bridge out to along Wainu will be a major issue in the next five years as traffic increases
  • Fibre internet
  • Freedom camping impacting on the town and local accommodation providers
  • Wallis street needs curb and channelling completed
  • Wi Neera Street needs a comprehensive plan in place to allow for parks etc.


Security/Police with crime being a challenge, Ambulance, Banking, Post


  • Hard to get local people + youth into jobs.
  • We need industrial land if we want to provide employment where will this go
  • Housing challenge – Accommodation for staff to live here if you can get them

Central Business District (CBD)

  • Commercial space CBD is small
  • CBD is small, and easy to walk around
  • Enable landowners to provide apartments and mixed use zones in the CBD
  • The leasehold land in the CBD needs to be carefully considered in terms of lease payments etc. as if these raise to high the CBD will become deserted
  • Is there a long term plan around the Palm trees in the main street what happens when they become old and need replacing?
  • The land at Raglan Club is a major opportunity maybe council need to purchase the land to secure it for future growth
  • Opportunity to build our own guidelines for CBD and retail

Raglan's unique character

  • Protecting what’s here from big organisations
  • Opportunity to build our own guidelines for CBD and retail
  • Growing population

Increased cooperation and partnership

  • Permits for business on public space/reserve All existing business on reserves should be allowed to continue as they are presently new business should have to establish that they will bring value to the town not just copy another business but bring fresh ideas
  • Tension between Mana whenua and expats – Lifestyle differences – need to be aware of being respectful
  • A coordinated tourism body to represent Raglan
  • Increased connection and support within the businesses to cooperate for growth
  • A stronger local element should be involved in the I site. The I site needs to be brought under the stewardship of the local Raglan Community.
  • Local currency

For the key challenges that need to be considered across all focus areas, these are the questions we are asking:


  • How does this challenge impact on Business?
  • How does Business impact this challenge?


  •  What is the opportunity for us in Business and Employment in relation to this challenge?

The key challenges: (Please note that some of these areas are still to be completed.)

Climate change




Growth in visitor numbers


Implementing the Treaty of Waitangi




Aspirations & Goals Identified by the Focus Groups with supporting projects, strategies and initiatives.  
(Please note that there may be areas that are still to be completed.)

Values behind the goals & aspirations
Aspirations vision for long term
& Goals measurable, specific, achievable
Different ways goals can be achieved
Projects & Initiatives
Specific actions, responsibility, funding
with other Focus Areas
Liaising more closely with hapu/kaumatua –  Maori worldview cultural considerations within business + science
Boost local employment
–       youth into the workforce
–       unemployed back into the workforce
–       Youth training programmes (mayors taskforce for jobs ex) (transitions to work)
–        Organize internships for local students
–       Work with schools to help share knowledge about careers in community.
–       Create pathways for our children to learn and educate in Raglan/Waikato and get jobs here (for example science and tech)
–       Reach out to local business about what is needed
–       Training programmes for students in winter so they are ready to work in summer
–       Working with school for careers fair/showcase day
–       Education & training, Pathways – to great training/education to then come back to work
–       Create opportunities so people can help themselves from the bottom and up – skills
–       Develop opportunities for seasonal employment for locals, including youth
–       Tourism training programmes for locals to build capacity locally
Community wellbeing
Sustainable and resilient businesses
–        Great “eco system” of businesses that can support one and other
–        Support for locals to start business- training, mentoring, identifying opportunities
–        Social framework & Support network to grow amazing businesses
–        More local people supporting local business and keeping the business local
–        Satisfying the local needs locally by for example establishing a big supermarket in the CBD. There is a need there, the countdown truck coming to Raglan 3 times a day.
All of life in raglan thrives
– Long term thinking
–        Continue to encourage businesses to keep on contributing time and resources to the community – for development & growth of community.
–        Manage growth to ensure we hold onto what is important
–        Balance the tension between growth/desire to live here with what is physically possible
–        Planned sustainable growth that allows us to expand with collaboration with developers, locals, community, council
–        Collaboration to work together to grow what we have
–        Care for the land and people with long term vision.
–        Encourage social enterprise
–        Living wage –what would it take
–        Establish what is a living wage for someone living in Raglan as opposed to a person living in a large city
–        Multi generational planning / Future proofing
Upholding the ‘Whaingaroa Raglan kaupapa’
–        Communicating our community values and expectations to new business owners and investors
–        Creating a cohesive “look and feel”, sharing the Raglan kaupapa
–        Businesses who choose to brand themselves using the name ‘Raglan’ need to uphold the kaupapa while operating within the community and when promoting their product outside of the community. Taking into consideration the values of Raglan Naturally, the people and the land.

Questions from the Business & Employment Group

  1. What’s missing in our Snapshot?
  2. What do people want?
    • To see Raglan grow?
    • To work here? Or happy to go to the city/other?
  3. What employment opportunities do people want to see in Raglan?
  4. What business do the local community want here that we don’t have? (i.e indoor pool, climbing wall, etc? )
  5. What is the Waikato District Council doing about business development in terms of providing support to the Chamber of Commerce and those groups who promote business in Raglan

©2022 Raglan Naturally


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