How NZTE works with customers

Clint Jones – managing director at Oceanmax International; with Mohit Misquitta – NZTE customer manager

Me mahi tahi tātou. Let's work together.

If you're getting ready to export, growing your business internationally or looking to raise growth capital, NZTE is focussed on adding value to your business.

We'll start by finding out about your goals, needs and export stage, so we can add our support where it counts. Then we'll develop a plan together.

As an NZTE customer, your growth is our priority, and you can expect the right wraparound support to help you succeed overseas.

We look forward to working with you.

What can NZTE do for me?

Here in New Zealand, we'll enable you to get your business ready for exporting and investment so you can accelerate your international growth.

Internationally, we can equip you with local market knowledge and connections, through our in-market teams or network of private sector advisors.

We try to fast-track your learning curve by connecting you to the right agency, service provider, business advisor, market research, resource, workshop or event, or to another New Zealand business with helpful insights to share.

What does it cost?

It doesn't cost anything to be an NZTE customer. We do offer some resources and programmes that require co-payment, but these are optional.

(Although we don't charge anything, we call the businesses we work with "customers" to reflect our focus on adding value.)

How do I become an NZTE customer?

To qualify for NZTE support, you need to be a New Zealand business or Māori entity with a New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).

Ideally, you will already be generating sales in New Zealand or overseas and exporting, or planning to, in the next 12–18 months.

If this sounds like you, the next step is to get in touch and fill out a brief assessment, which one of our team will send to you.

We'll then welcome you into one of three groups – Start, Build or Focus – which you can read more about in "What level of support can you offer me?"

What level of support can you offer me?

NZTE works with all kinds and sizes of businesses, from primary and consumer goods to e-commerce and SaaS businesses.

We offer three levels of support – Start, Build or Focus – based on a brief assessment. This assessment helps us understand your needs and where you are in your export journey.

NZTE's support typically increases as your business progresses from one group to the next, though it is not necessary to move between groups.

Learn more about the levels of support below:


Businesses that are considering exporting or just getting started are "Start" customers.

Start customers can get access to:

  • a team of customer advisors who can answer general questions

  • exporting resources such as market guides and research through NZTE's self-service platform, myNZTE

  • workshops and events relevant to your needs.


Businesses that are committed to or demonstrating signs of international growth are "Build" customers.

Build customers can get all of the above, plus:

  • regular contact with a dedicated customer manager

  • bespoke market research and in-market activities

  • access to our global network of NZTE business development managers and private sector advisors (Beachheads)

  • advice from our investment managers.


Businesses that have significant international growth, potentially on a scale that benefits New Zealand, are "Focus" customers.

Focus customers need to share more detailed company information, such as your growth strategy, and be willing to work closely with us at a senior leadership level.

Focus customers get all of the above, plus:

  • frequent contact with a dedicated customer manager, who will work closely with your senior leadership team to build customised, wraparound support

  • additional services and expertise related to your business needs

  • access to our Investment Growth Fund, which co-funds international growth projects (eligibility criteria apply).

To measure the impact we are having on your business, each year we will ask Focus customers for information such as employee numbers, total revenue and international revenue.

How will we work together?

We'll work in a partnership, which means commitments on both sides: we share our knowledge, expertise and connections with you, and we ask you to be open and frank with us. The best plans grow out of deep exploration, and the support we offer can change and evolve with your business.

The core of our relationship is realised in an action plan, which we develop together, through a three-step process:


We form an understanding of your business, its opportunities and challenges


We work with you to develop a customised plan to help you succeed internationally


We support you to deliver your plan, using our shared knowledge, solutions and connections

How do you work with Māori entities and businesses?

Te Taurapa Tūhono | NZTE works with a wide range of Māori entities and businesses that are preparing to export, already exporting, seeking investment, or wanting to invest. We work with iwi-operated companies, Māori land trusts and incorporations, whānau-owned companies, Māori small-to-medium sized businesses, Māori entrepreneurs, and companies with Māori shareholders.

Māori businesses sometimes have unique opportunities and drivers, competing demands to balance, and complex governance and management structures. While everyone at NZTE works to support Māori business, we also have a dedicated team with the cultural and commercial competence to meet these needs and engage appropriately. We don't set the definition of a Māori customer. It is up to you to self-identify as a Māori business or entity. Generally, this relates more to how you conduct business rather than what products or services you sell.

As a Māori customer, you can get all of the usual NZTE services as a Start, Build or Focus customer, as well as access to:

  • support from a specialist Māori team

  • tailored Māori investment opportunities

  • a network of government and non-government agencies dedicated to supporting Māori development.

How do coalitions work?

Coalitions are groups of New Zealand export businesses that have chosen to work together to expand into international markets, leveraging their collective resources and expertise to accelerate their growth. They are typically from the same sector and have complementary products or services.

You can work in a coalition on international goals, while keeping the rest of your business interests separate. To become part of an NZTE coalition, you need to:

  • be willing to engage with NZTE as partners

  • share a common purpose or objective

  • have hunger and ambition to succeed internationally

  • add value to New Zealand's economy.

You don't need to be an NZTE customer to join a coalition, but once you do, you can get the same services and support as a Build or Focus customer with similar needs.

NZTE is currently working with coalitions in food and beverage, technology, wood, energy, fashion and other creative industries. If you have an idea for a coalition or are interested in finding out more, please get in touch.

What information will you need from me?

To become an NZTE customer, you'll need to provide NZTE with some basic business information, including your company name and New Zealand Business Number, product sector, point of contact, address and email, and you'll need to show evidence of existing sales in New Zealand or overseas.

To measure the impact we are having on your business, we ask Focus customers to share domestic and international revenues by market, and full-time employee numbers. We'll also ask you to provide us with feedback through customer surveys.

Who can you introduce me to?

NZTE has an extensive international network of valuable government and business contacts. This can include:

  • NZ Inc, an ecosystem of New Zealand government agencies and offshore organisations that collaborate to deliver seamless services

  • trusted service providers in some international markets, who can advise on local matters such as tax and legal obligations or translation services

  • a network of private sector advisors (Beachheads) with useful sector or entrepreneurial experience and connections

  • partners, distributors and agents who can offer insights, representation or commercial sales opportunities, including iwi and Māori entities

  • thousands of other New Zealand export businesses.

NZTE can help you to connect with the right in-market partners, but to ensure we are making mutually beneficial connections, we first need to understand your business. For this reason, you need to become an NZTE customer before we can connect you with anyone in our network.

Exporting101 Lets Get Started 1600x1600px

Let's get started

If you're interested in becoming an NZTE customer, fill out an enquiry form and someone from our team will be in touch with next steps.

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Contact us

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