New Zealand, the country whose economy is rated as the world’s most co-operative by the United Nations, is lending its support to a global initiative dedicated towards sustainable development.
Cooperative Business New Zealand, the industry body which advocates for and supports the co-operative sector in NZ, is backing the International Day of Co-operatives (Saturday, July 2nd).
Themed Co-operatives: The power to act for a sustainable future, the day will be dedicated towards the United Nations’ sustainable development goals which are to achieve three extraordinary things – end extreme poverty, fight inequality and fix climate change – over the next 15 years.
Cooperative Business NZ Chief Executive, Craig Presland, says that as a member of the International Co-operative Alliance, Cooperative Business NZ fully supports the initiative.
“These goals are obviously critically important, world-changing objectives that will require co-operation amongst governments, international organizations and world leaders,” Mr Presland says.
“New Zealand’s co-operatives are key partners for achieving the agenda for sustainable development. We encourage Kiwi co-ops to reflect upon the co-operative business model of 100%-member ownership and sustainability, the latter extending towards sustainable economic, social and environmental development.
“We foster and support democracy, equality, social inclusion, job security, decent working conditions and the sustainable utilization of resources. In addition, we promote and encourage local community investment.
“We all play our co-operative part in making the world a better place by promoting and supporting globally recognized co-operative principles,” he says.
Mr Presland says all of these goals are relevant to New Zealand as a country and New Zealanders as people.
“Over the next 15 years, countries will mobilize efforts in an attempt to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
“The new goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth while addressing a range of social needs including education, health, social protection and job opportunities, as well as tackling climate change and environmental protection,” he says.
What is a Co-operative?
By definition co-operatives are member-owned organisations, businesses and enterprises whereby the members contribute equitably in owning a share of the organization with benefits gained being based on volumes supplied and /or the amount of business transacted.
Co-operatives: some background locally and globally
· NZ was declared the world’s No 1 ranked co-operative economy by the United Nations in 2014 following a survey of 145 nations. The combined revenues from NZ co-operative organisations and businesses currently exceeds $NZ43 billion pa which equals almost 15% of GDP, while NZ co-operatives employ over 43,000 staff and are responsible for over one-third of our exports. Cooperative Business NZ, the industry body which advocates for and supports the co-operative sector in NZ, currently has 55 Full Members which contribute the majority of the above revenues and jobs.
· Globally co-operative enterprises employ over 250 million people and generate $US2.2 trillion in revenues while providing the services and infrastructure that society needs to thrive upon.
About Cooperative Business NZ
Our vision is to be the respected authority on co-operative business in NZ that champions the co-operative business model:
Cooperative Business NZ:
1. Promotes the co-operative and mutual business model;
2. Encourages and supports New Zealand co-operative and mutual enterprise;
3. Acts as a representative association for those engaged as co-operatives and mutuals;
4. Promotes discussion and cooperation with decision-makers at all levels of government designed to further the interests of co-operatives and mutuals;
5. Facilitates and coordinates services, expertise and research in support of the co-operative and mutual business model;
6. Collects, verifies, and publishes relevant information relating to co-operative and mutual enterprise.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Presland, Chief Executive
Cooperative Business New Zealand
DDI 09 539 5482
M 021 800 387