New Plymouth’s business economy has just been given a big boost, thanks to the relocation of a highly regarded business management school into the region.

Leading private training provider Aspire2 Group has just shifted its Business Management Programmes (BMP) division from Auckland to New Plymouth, combining it with the Group’s well-established Naturopathic College of NZ (NCNZ). Both are distance learning schools, offering courses that are delivered online all over the country.

Already the Business Management Programmes have brought significant benefits to the area, including 11 new jobs – five full-time and six part-time. Not only that, but staff are immersing themselves in the local business community, injecting fresh energy and sharing their expertise with business owners and leaders.

Aspire2 Distance Learning Division Chief Executive and New Plymouth local, Linda Weterman, says she is delighted to be expanding offerings in the region.

“Bringing together our emerging and expanded Business Management Programmes and our established and successful Naturopathic College of NZ has offered an opportunity for us to take these businesses from great to best in class,” she says.

“There are so many benefits to relocating the Business Management Programmes here. It has brought many exciting new employment opportunities with more on the horizon. In addition, we have been able to link with Venture Taranaki and Chamber of Commerce Taranaki. This has led to staff participating in and supporting local initiatives such as emerging leaders and entrepreneurs through the Young Enterprise Scheme and Busines s Mentors NZ. Not only does this help the local economy, but our students benefit from staff being actively involved in the business community.”

In addition, the school is currently establishing an Industry Advisory Group, giving local business leaders the opportunity to help shape its programmes, and ensure graduates are entering the sector with the right skills and knowledge for today’s business world.

“Amongst BMPs’ most popular offerings are our NZQA accredited qualifications in small business, leadership and management – it is great for a regional PTE to have the opportunity to build business capability and contribute to strengthening the NZ business and economy.”

BMPs’ move from Auckland to New Plymouth has been applauded not only by the local business community, but also by distance learning students across the country, the majority of whom live and work in the regions.

“The team in New Plymouth are highly experienced in successfully delivering online and workshop-based training – we’ve been doing it here through the Naturopathic College for 40 years! With the joining of the two schools, we now have a much larger team of tutors and student services staff to support students’ learning journeys.”

Weterman says recruiting experienced and talented staff in – and into – Taranaki to fill new roles has been relatively easy, aided by the fact that it is a growing region that offers an enviable lifestyle, affordable housing, and the highest median wage growth in the country.

Emma Kilsby recently moved into the area to take up the position of Enrolments Administrator at the school. After four years living in France and 18 months living and working in Auckland, she is delighted to be somewhere where the lifestyle is more relaxed, and closer to family in her hometown of Levin.

“My fiancé and I feel so fortunate to have both found jobs in our fields in New Plymouth. We just love it here – everybody is so friendly, kind and welcoming,” says Emma.

“Moving here has given us the Kiwi lifestyle we have dreamed of. We can cycle to work, the beach is five minutes away, and we have finally been able to afford a house. We feel like we have found our home here and we definitely want to stay.”

Business Management tutor Bridget Taylor hasn’t travelled as far to take up her position – she hails from Waitara – but she is equally as enthusiastic about the relocation of the BMP school, and the region itself.

“We have so much to offer here and the opportunity to build significant and strong relationships not only with New Plymouth and Taranaki but across the other regions too,” she says.  “It’s great to have everyone in the same space so we can talk, innovate and solve problems really quickly, giving us a lot of flexibility and mobility. New Plymouth is a small city that punches above its weight and I think relocating the BMP here was an excellent move.”


*Local business leaders interested in joining BMPs’ Business Advisory Group can contact Linda Weterman – [email protected]

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