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Business greats hit Christchurch

Former Christchurch High head boy Jake Millar is a 23-year-old with a $9 million video company and the world at his feet, so why is he bringing some of the world’s most successful business leaders back home? To teach New Zealand businesses about failure.



Millar’s commercial baby is Unfiltered which, at face value, is focused on content creation. But amongst the vast and impressive range of video interviews on its website which include Sir Richard Branson and former Prime Minister John Key, there’s an overriding theme – education. The website is designed to be a ‘hub’ of information sourced directly from the best business minds in one easy to navigate spot at

Since launching in Auckland back in 2015, Millar and business partner Yuuki Ogino have uploaded more than 200 videos, attracted almost 30 million views and worked with companies like Bell Gully, AMP, PwC and Spark to create and distribute branded content. It’s seen Millar and Ogino ranked in Forbes’ North American ‘30 Under 30’ list in the education category.



Together the pair have hundreds of interviews under their business belts, with as many again in the pipeline – unsurprisingly it can take years of legwork to get some of America’s biggest household names on camera. Now they’re bringing some of the business heavyweights to Christchurch, from the former worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, to the founder and CEO of Masterclass, and NASA’s former administrator.

Unfiltered Live is hitting Christchurch on 25 June, with the top business leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world here to share the biggest, most transformative mistakes they’ve made and how they turned devastating failure into global success.



“We’re really excited to bring the event to Christchurch. We’re now in our fourth year and we have a feedback rating of 97 percent of people who attend that want to see the next event,” Millar says. “It’s time to have an open and transparent conversation, a behind the curtains look at the mistakes that everyone makes. We’ve got a fantastic line up that is a mix of international and national speakers.”

Find more at


Hot Business Property

Christchurch is embracing the burgeoning international trend of co-working, with savvy businesses snapping up shared spaces throughout the city.



Businesses both big and small are taking up the clever co-working concept, which can prove to be a more simple, cost-effective and flexible way of operating.


1. Evil Genius Bar & Lair
Unit B, 1091 Ferry Road, Ferrymead
Situated on the estuary, this coworking lair is said to inspire creativity, productivity and collaboration. There is no slouching with an outrageous selection of ergonomic office furniture, plenty of parking, endless wifi, free printing and scanning as well as wickedly cool breakout spaces.

2. Regus
6 Hazeldean Road, Addington and Awly Building, 287-293 Durham Street, Christchurch Central
Rent an office, desk space or meeting room for an hour, day, month or years, or establish a business presence with a virtual address – it’s all here to rent between these two innovative spaces.

3. Christchurch Community House
301 Tuam Street, Christchurch Central
So much more than just a shared space, Christchurch Community House Trust is a group of non-profit organisations committed to making a difference through modelling a strong, connected community, with ‘hot desking’ for community groups, and a range of tenancy options and bookable rooms.

4. C-Lab
270 St Asaph Street, Christchurch Central
C-lab is Christchurch’s co-working space for start-ups, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Here you’ll find desks and meeting rooms in the vibrant Boxed Quarter laneways. The roof-top balcony is an added bonus.

5. GreenHouse
146 Lichfield Street, Christchurch Central
An innovation hub for start-ups, scale-ups and small businesses with 40 desks, meeting rooms and an open event space for up to 100, offering tailored support, programmes and events.

6. Awesome HQ
192 St Asaph Street, Christchurch Central
Provided by the Ministry of Awesome, this co-working space is designed to support start-ups, freelancers, small businesses and individuals.

7. The Collect
Suite 1, Level 1, 185 Manchester Street, Christchurch Central
Offering desks and meeting rooms, its founders wanted to create a home for freelancers, start-ups and entrepreneurs to ‘create a diverse community where our workspace continually inspires us’. Not just any ordinary shared workspace, The Collect has been painstakingly curated to achieve an inspiring place to work and collaborate.

8. BizDojo
4 Ash Street, Christchurch Central
There are 150 desks, three meeting rooms and an open event space. Marketed as ‘more than just a desk’, insightful people and programmes are on hand to help businesses grow.

9. community101
111 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central
A free co-working space at BNZ in the CBD offering flexible hot-desks and meeting rooms, available for anyone during business hours.


Brokers behind the business

Brokers behind the business

Boutique business brokers Tabak Business Sales understands that the decision to put your cherished business on the market is about much more than the numbers on the bottom line.


Brokers behind the business


Partner Damien Fahey says, “Tabak does it differently to other brokerages. We take the time to get to know our clients really well. We can settle them down about their decision if needed, we thoroughly explore the drivers of the desire to sell, and examine all the options.”
Damien says they do come across owners who ultimately just need a really good break, “Once we’ve talked they realise they need a decent holiday, and then they come back to their business with fresh eyes and enthusiasm.”

There is a real sense of social good in Tabak’s approach, which is focused on solving problems and creating opportunities. “It’s a buzz when you see the vendor able to make the move to their next passion or life phase, and the new owner of the business full of excitement and energy about the opportunities ahead,” Damien says.  Whilst Tabak has five offices nationwide, the South Island team has three brokers in Christchurch and one in Queenstown, and all have the experience that comes from running businesses themselves, along with qualifications in accounting, sales and business analytics. “There are a fair few grey hairs between us, but clients appreciate knowing they are in experienced hands,” Damien says.

Repeat clients are the norm. “We take a lot of time over every business and understand that generally 60 to 95 percent of the value is in the good will. We defend that business good will, and ensure it is protected and passed on,” Damien says. Integrity is key: Tabak does all its own due diligence and won’t broker a business if they cannot genuinely see the value in it. Damien says the three elements essential for excellent business brokerage are relationships, analysis of the business, plus wordsmithing. “You need to create a compelling document, setting out the information memorandum or company profile saying what it has done, where it is going, and identifying the new opportunities.”

An expert in the local market, Tabak’s niche is sales of businesses valued between $300,000 to $5 million, or generating more than $100,000 in owner profit, and excluding accommodation such as backpackers or motels; plus it is very selective about hospitality. Rather than commercial buildings, it’s about selling plant, stock and intangibles, or goodwill. Nationwide the company shares a database of more than 4,000 potential buyers. “Advertising is often not necessary and protecting confidentiality is a huge part of what we offer,” Damien says. “We love what we do, our business really is more than a job; it’s a calling – and our clients will testify to that.”



Quality Laundry Services

Your local laundry: Quality Laundry Services

American comedienne Phyllis Diller is famously said to have quipped “I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard”. Rather than Christchurch businesses having to resort to that radical means of dealing with soiled articles Quality Laundry Services Ltd offers a personalised package – pick-up, laundering and drop-off. No need to take the staffroom tea towels home to wash. They will come back pristine clean, folded and ironed.

Quality Laundry Services

Owner Paul Gray says Quality Laundry Services is a small business doing work for other small businesses. “We like to stay small and personal. Clients really like that and our helpful staff members, many of whom have been in the laundry business for years and years. Our company began back in 1995 so we do know a thing or two about washing and ironing and how to treat each and every item. We can handle whatever businesses send our way – from table clothes and napkins for cafés and restaurants, overalls, uniforms and high-viz vests for construction and the trades, or towels and sheets for motels.”
Quality Laundry Services uses specially-formulated eco-friendly laundry products which allow them to achieve perfect results at lower temperatures, saving energy and cutting out potentially harmful chemicals at the same time. Stain removal is a specialty, without resorting to colour-fading bleach. The largest of the company’s washing machine fleet manages a massive 70kg load and the Huebsch dryers automate the perfect drying time.
Visit to see a complete list of services. Email or phone 03-374 2188.

Cameron Bailey

On top of the world: We chat to the number one Harcourts sales consultant in the world who just happens to be Christchurch’s very own Cameron Bailey

Cameron Bailey has been awarded the number one Harcourts sales consultant in the world and is also thrilled that the company he is part owner in has had its Papanui office announced as the top office for Harcourts out of over 800 offices globally. Metropol talks to Cameron about the 15 years of dedication behind the accolade.

Cameron Bailey

What attracted you to real estate?

I’ve always been a people person and prior to real estate I was working in hospitality – restaurants and cafés. I’ve always loved property since buying my first home at 20. The longer I’m in real estate, the more I realise it’s about the people and not the houses. I see a real estate agent as the middle man negotiating fair value between sellers and buyers. Building rapport and trust with both sides gets the deal done.

How do you get to be the No 1 Harcourts salesperson in the world?!

I’ve only achieved this accolade twice in a fifteen-year career. I think people see the award but don’t realise there’s fifteen years of hard work behind it to get there. I also have an amazing team of sales consultants and personal assistants that I work with who drive the business behind me. In this marketplace the successful agents are backed by a team, so they can provide better service and better support than a lone ranger agent.

What has been your recipe for success in the real estate space?

As I’ve said before, work ethic is always the basis for success but after fifteen years in the industry I bring to the table a lot of experience and credibility. In a tighter marketplace the credibility of the agent representing your property can mean extra money when it comes to the sale price. I always like to think that we’ve been ahead of the trends and other agents follow us and look at us for what to do in the market.

What does a day in your life look like?

Monday to Friday my alarm goes off at 5am. I go to the gym at 6am, breakfast at 7:30am, arrive at the office at 8:15am, I am in and out of appointments all day and I am constantly on the phone in between appointments. Usually I finish the work day after 8pm, or even later if I’m negotiating a deal or appraising a property. Saturdays and Sundays, I work both days and usually do 12-14 open homes for the weekend. Real estate is a lifestyle, not a job.

Besides from real estate what else are you passionate about?

I have two beautiful identical twin girls that are now seven, I try and spend as much time with them as I can and our favourite place to go for a quick week away is Fiji. I also try to lead a healthy lifestyle, I’m a fitness fanatic and I’m obsessed with eating healthy food. I’m trying to eat a keto based diet at the moment. I love travelling and I try to have some down time overseas a couple of times a year with South America being on the hit list in the near future. I’m also a car enthusiast; I’ve loved cars since I was a kid.

Any words to live by?

One of my favourite quotes at the moment is, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” – Martin Luther King.

Aaron Pero

Forging his own path: Q&A with real estate whizz Aaron Pero

It can be a hard road growing up in the shadow of a big name, but Aaron Pero has stepped up to the commercial party and forged a career path all of his own. Metropol talks to the real estate whizz about his new career.

Aaron Pero
Aaron and Sophie Pero

Can you tell us a bit about your foray into real estate and what attracted you to this career path?

When I was 14 I developed a website for a New York Times bestselling property author and since then I’ve continued working with investors, developers and real estate agents with marketing and technology. I was the Marketing & IT Manager at my father’s real estate company for two and a half years before going back on my own to work with developers and agents in real estate marketing. It was a natural progression.

You grew up with a very high profile father, what influence did this have on your career path?

I spent most of my childhood in Wellington with my mum but there was no escaping the Mike Pero Mortgages jingle which kids would recite at school on a daily basis, so I guess I was always destined to be connected to property! I would fly down to Christchurch during school holidays and spent time in my father’s office. When I was 19 I moved back down to Christchurch and started working for a property investor as an unpaid intern, then went on to work in my father’s aviation technology business. I’ve been lucky to have had those opportunities which all shaped my career.

How difficult was the decision to go with a completely different company?

It was easy. I respect what my father has been able to build in real estate but wanted to take my own path and build a business of my own, which he understands. Good friends of mine, Sarah and Hamish Mcleod, bought the Halswell Harcourts office last year and a conversation in February resulted in me completing my real estate papers, obtaining my licence and getting a desk at the office the following month. They are incredibly supportive and have a wealth of knowledge and experience. I couldn’t ask for better managers. Being backed by the Grenadier franchise means I have a lot of resources at my disposal and the Harcourts brand is an amazing asset.

You’re a bit of an entrepreneur. Can you tell us about some of your other ventures?

On Valentine’s Day 2011 I started an online divorce business with a friend of mine to help people finalise their separations and move on. The Christian group Family First criticised us for being destructive and the publicity they gave us got us on TV3 news, Seven Days, radio and in most newspapers around the country. We received 150,000 hits on our website in a day.
More recently I created software for real estate agents called AgentSend. It helps agents deliver property documents to potential buyers and track their interest while also keeping the property at the top of the buyer’s mind by showing them ads across a network of more than two million websites. The software is used by agents from all brands around New Zealand, including myself!

What do you love about Christchurch?

I love that it’s both a major city and small town at the same time. There are plenty of opportunities and things happening, but people are still friendly and there’s a real sense of community. I think it’s an exciting place to live, we are lucky to have local developers and businesses willing to invest in our city and make it the wonderful town that it is.

What are some of your favourite city haunts or things to do in the weekends?

I’m a big fan of Victoria Street: Louis, Sister Kong and Dirty Land. I’m also really enjoying The Terrace – it’s great to be back dining there again and it’s come back better than ever. I look forward to Saturday mornings when my wife and I grab Posh Porridge at the Riccarton House Farmer’s Market before taking our dog Ruby to Halswell Quarry.

McFadden Accounting

Accounting magic: Jason McFadden from McFadden Accounting is back with more great advice on simplifying your book-keeping

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” Arthur C Clarke once said. Thankfully, if you are struggling with your small business paperwork, you can now pack away your Gandalf robes because Jason McFadden of McFadden Accounting says that advanced technology is now both mainstream and user-friendly when it comes to accounting software.

McFadden Accounting
Jason McFadden

Approaching wizard status himself, Jason has seen the rise and rise of technology in his 30 years of accounting and remembers the day the first computer came through the corporate front door.
Now IRD is front-footing technology and, from 1 April 2018, will require businesses to electronically file their pay roll on every employee payday of the year.
The most popular accounting software packages are available for about $600 per annum. You or your accountant can run it, or a combination of you both. The cost can be offset through time saved at your accountant, but it depends on your business as to whether it really is a cost effective and suitable choice. “Firstly, always talk to your accountant before you decide to buy,” Jason says.
There are different features available, and part-time, low-transaction, or no-staff businesses can often do very well sticking with a simple cash book, while others keep organised with Excel.
Secondly, if you do purchase, get your accountant to help set it up for your business. Finally, learn how to use it properly and code transactions accurately, Jason says. “The principle of garbage in garbage out is fundamental to success with your software.”


Built to last: After 125 years local book-binders and print finishers McHargs have certainly become masters of their field

Business has existed in some form since the early barter systems of ancient civilisations. Yet despite the long history, few have mastered the key to corporate longevity.

Johnny, Debs, Jo and Tim McHarg

As local family owned business McHargs celebrates 125 years in the print finishing industry, it’s clear this is one business that has truly been built to last.
Established in 1893 by Samuel Irvine McHarg, it is one of the oldest businesses in Christchurch still owned and operated by the founding family, an illustrious occasion which was marked with a cocktail party last month for 150 clients, suppliers, staff and friends.
A well-known identity in the New Zealand industry, Stuart McHarg has run the business since he was 18 years old and continues to work in the business with his wife Christine.
Their sons – the fourth generation of McHargs – General Manager Johnny McHarg and Factory Manager Tim McHarg, continue to run the business, which offers traditional book binding and the largest commercial print finishing operation in New Zealand.
Moving with the times has enabled McHargs to stay ahead of the commercial game and, during the past three decades it has become fully automated, using modern folding, collating, guillotining, stapling, wiro and perfect binding, with continual investment in the latest machinery supporting these abilities.
Binding and restoring books is a tradition and a skill which has earned the company recognition at the highest levels in the country, including supreme runner up at the Pride in Print Awards for a fully cased Christchurch earthquake book in 2017.
McHargs is bound by tradition but equipped for the future. Visit


Call in the cleaning pros: tops tips to choosing a professional cleaning firm

‘Let your fingers do the walking’ was once the catchcry of calling in the professionals and, although our fingers are now doing the walking in a directory of the digital kind, the premise behind this concept remains true. Sometimes the professionals really are the way to go.


Methamphetamine, animal waste, insect infestations, mould, industrial accidents, contaminated batts, crime scenes, death and odour are all scenarios where your home and health can benefit from the safety and security of a professional eye.
At its simplest, a professional cleaning firm is highly experienced, with the products and techniques to tackle any manner of mess. While at face value, this provides a tidy space for you to get on with life, at a deeper level it gives the safety that comes from professionally removing germs and pathogens that risk your health.
Cleaning is, after all, not always a one size fits all affair and turning a professional hand over to this job can ensure your service is customised to your needs and it can be as simple or as thorough as you choose.
Although the state of cleanliness can be somewhat subjective, varying at least in some degree from person to person, what’s more objective are the sanitation practices and procedures that a professional cleaner adheres to, in order to keep your space germ free.
After all, they make it their business to keep your business clean.

McFadden Accounting

A taxing affair: McFadden Accounting takes the pain out of tax time

Rumour has it the Beatles got taxed at 94 percent in the UK in 1963, rousing George Harrison to write the heartfelt lyrics, ‘Now my advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes…. yeah, I’m the taxman, and you’re working for no one but me’.

McFadden Accounting
Jason McFadden

We haven’t reached 94 percent in New Zealand, but according to Jason McFadden of McFadden Accounting, the New Zealand system is so complex, “people are often paying more tax than they need”.
Take Portfolio Investment Entities (PIE) and KiwiSaver, taxed at a discounted rate determined by your income band. People nominate the tax rate at the outset: if you set your tax rate too high and pay too much, you won’t get the excess tax back; set the rate too low and you have to include your PIE or KiwiSaver income in your tax return – you’ll be taxed in your income band and lose the discounted rate. “A rate set too high or too low sees you penalised. It is quite a prevalent problem,” Jason says.
Buy a new mortgaged home and rent out your retained mortgage-free house, then no claim on mortgage interest payments is possible. However, sell the renter into a company which raises the mortgage, and that company can claim a tax deduction for the interest. Jason says you will incur conveyancing costs, but you can be better off longer term.
With 26 years’ experience, Jason offers a competitive service, travelling to you to see where, why, and how you operate. Jason can see you promptly throughout Christchurch and North Canterbury.