I spent most of the past week up in Auckland on a Business and Parliament Trust placement at Sky City. The placements are a great opportunity for MPs from all parties to spend some time in a large company learning more about their business and the business environment in general. I chose Sky City for a variety of reasons, including my role as Labour’s spokesperson on gambling issues. I was also interested in the hospitality and conventions side of their business.
Throughout the week I had an opportunity to sit down with most of the company’s senior team and discuss everything from their HR practices through to their approach to foreign exchange, interest rates and debt management. Naturally we spent quite a lot of time talking about the gambling side of the business, their host responsibility policies and the constraints the regulatory and legal environment places on them.
Although I’ve worked for a large corporate before (I spent a couple of years working as a training manager in the oil and gas industry), I’d never seen the inside of a large hospitality business before. We did a tour of the convention centre and the various kitchens throughout the complex and I was simply blown away. I’d always wondered how the catering was handled for a 1,000+ conference dinner – now I know!
The Business and Parliament Trust does a really great job of providing MPs with the opportunity to stay in touch with business and providing business with opportunities to engage more with politicians. I found my week at Sky City an incredibly valuable one and I’d highly recommend a business placement to any MPs who haven’t already done one. I certainly hope to do another one in future years.