Posted on February 27, 2019

During the months of December and January the management teams at Kauri Park get together a number of times to plan the following 12-24 months. It is a fun and challenging time with no ideas discounted as not worth tabling.

In one of the exercises this year, the owners of Kauri Park were asked a simple question; “Why are you in business?”

This question is a lot deeper than a surface answer and it takes a good drill down into what values we have for doing what we are doing.

The first answer that comes to the front of the mind is probably that we are in business to be profitable. This however is not really a good enough conclusion and a shallow answer. You are either profitable and survive to play another game or you are not profitable and one day will have to be your last in trading. The financial side of being in business is a by-product.

We drilled a little deeper into our “Why” and found that we love growing the best plants for our clients that we can and have done this for generations. The respect for the environment and outdoors is a reason we exist in business. We must be sustainable in our methods of growing plants and are always seeking to improve. We are passionate about our revegetation plantings that we supply, and it gives you a real sense of joy to visit projects that Kauri Park have supplied the little plants into and are now part of Mother Nature functioning with a better ecosystem than prior to the planting. The “Why” is somewhere in here and part of the driver to be in business we felt.

Our staff we employ here are a big part of why we are in business. We found that we were very passionate about the people we employ and their families. There is a very good mixture of nationalities and ways of life, but each and every person is respected and accepted. The number of persons that are relying on Kauri Park to put food on their plates and clothes to wear is humbling. We truly care about this aspect of life. It is really a foundation pillar of Kauri Park and a big part of the “Why”. Our employees need the security of having part in a company that is moving forward each day. If you haven’t got good employees, you haven’t got a business.

Having good employees means sharing the success. The staff here are valued, and they know that we have their best in mind. At Kauri Park we support schools, sports teams, community events, not just in this area but also where our projects take us. This wraps nicely around why we are in business. We trade across New Zealand and internationally and part of that trading needs to be put back into the area we employ people from. Kauri Park is located in the Kaipara district and there isn’t as many opportunities compared to a city for example. We feel it is our duty to give back to the locals and this is the way rural NZ survives.

On Saturday of the weekend just passed is an example of how this can happen in a small community like Maungaturoto. Kauri Park received a sponsor invite and was part of a small team of businesses and volunteers who have donated time and money towards a new helipad for the Northland Emergency Services Trust NEST. Up until now whenever the rescue helicopter had to land in Maungaturoto it would meet the ambulance on the muddy rugby grounds and often during the night. The local volunteer fire brigade would have to attend the landing and take off to secure and mark out the landing site. The helicopter would land, and in winter the wheels would sink into the mud and need full power to take off again. Now we have a purpose-built pad that has lights and all-weather landing ability. The pilot of the helicopter can control the lights of the pad leaving the fire brigade to stay in bed during the night or at work during the day from now on.

This project is truly shared success. It is not a project that is even going to seen by most people but a project that will improve the life of the locals. It would be nice if the helicopter never had to use the landing pad, but accidents or sudden poor health will always be part of the reality of living in a rural community not close to a hospital, that need the amazing service of the NEST team.

A big thanks to the volunteer Rapid Relief Team RRT for raising the funds and organizing the construction of this helipad. It will be a huge asset to the community. Also a big thanks to all our unnamed emergency service volunteers – your time and effort spent serving our communities and saving lives is truly appreciated!

It occurred to us that this project is an example of “Why” we are in business. Our Triple bottom line is “People – Planet – Shared Success”. That is what we care about, and all our customers deserve credit for being part of the Shared Success. Our customers can feel good that in a small way they are helping the lives of others as we continue to share and give back to the communities we live and work in. It is an economy operating in the plant nursery industry.