Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Pakihi - te kimi i ngā mōhiohio Kamupene Business - finding Company information

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General Company Information

Getting started: how much information is available?

Information available depends upon the company's status, i.e. whether it is a public or private company, large or small, and whether its activities are mentioned in magazines/newspapers. Usually, large public companies are the easiest to research. By law they are required to produce an annual report. In New Zealand, small private companies are the most difficult to research, especially if you are looking for financial information, but the Companies Office is a good place to start. This site gives you basic details including company directors. Other information available here is "pay to view".
The news media is often the most easily accessible sources of information about a company. Look for media coverage of a company in press releases, and news and feature articles in the magazines, newspapers, periodicals, and journals that cover the industry.

Sourcing your information online

With so much information available online now, it is more important than ever to critically evaluate your source. The following criteria are useful in doing this:
  • Is the source authoritative; is it an established publication with a good reputation; does it outline its credentials and qualifications?
  • Is it accurate?
  • Is it objective; is the site biased? A company's own site will tend not to publish negative information; a third party objective site would treat this differently.
  • Is it current; when was the site last updated and do all the links work?

Should I look on the Company Website?

Yes, but when searching on a company's website, have a good hunt around! The information you are looking for is not always where you would expect to find it. The website can be a valuable source of information on what the company is doing and how well they are doing, ie the Annual Report and financial information, press releases, newsletters, products, job vacancies, but ultimately it is only going to provide you with positive information.
For unbiased news stories on a company you need to search newspapers, magazines or trade journals. Use what you find to ask questions in your interview or prepare solutions in advance.
You can find out about management changes, new products, international ventures, market strategies, etc. Biographical data and personal profiles found in newspapers and magazines on whoever is interviewing you can be very useful.

Using Directories to find basic company information

A basic company profile can be found in a business directory. The vast majority of directories are now only available electronically, enabling them to be updated much more frequently than the equivalent print resources. The company's annual report is perhaps the best single source of information on a company, but keep in mind that it is written partially as a promotional tool by the company itself and is not an entirely unbiased source.

Katalyst: Free online access to Katalyst which covers over 14,000 New Zealand companies. Website links to company sites are included, as well as other contact details.
Our subscription enables you to email full company records in pdf format. Only available for use within our libraries..
Finda: This e-directory lists over 225,000 businesses . It provides a profile and contact details as well as email and website links.

Accessing newspaper or journal articles to see what has been written in the media about a company or industry

Although Wellington City Libraries hold a large number of business journals and trade journals, individual articles in journals and newspapers are not listed separately on our catalogue. However, references to specific articles in many of the journals are available through online indexes or full-text databases. mygateway.info provides access to a large number of full-text metropolitan, national and international newspapers and magazine articles, through a number of databases. This can be accessed within the library, or remotely from your desktop (if you have a current library card).

  • ProQuest ANZ Newsstand offers full-text access to Fairfax New Zealand newspapers including The Dominion Post, Sunday Star-Times, Waikato Times, The Press (Christchurch), and past issues of The Evening Post and The Dominion. Australian newspapers include the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age (Melbourne), the Australian and ABC news sources.
  • The Business Source Premier database on our Ebsco database includes Datamonitor reports for a large number of international companies as well as a limited number of New Zealand companies, as well as full text articles from the world's top management and marketing journals including NZ Business, Management, and Marketing Magazine.
  • Australia New Zealand Reference Centre has the full text of articles in North & South, Metro, NZ Management, NZ Herald and NZ business.
  • INNZ (Index New Zealand) is an index with abstracts from selected New Zealand serial publications, including newspapers, and nearly 300 journals. There is a growing number of fulltext articles available.

Online access for finding company/industry information within specific sectors

Use the NZ government website for information on all public organisations and local councils (including links to websites). .
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
Commerce Commission
Established in 1986 it enforces legislation that promotes competition in New Zealand markets and prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct by traders. Much valuable company and industry information is contained within the Case Register section, as it includes company's submissions and Commission decisions (often including industry overviews).
Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit monitors:

  • State-owned enterprises
  • Crown research institutes and other Crown entity companies
  • some statutory entities, and
  • Crown's shareholding in a shipping line and three airports
  • Includes brief details on each of the 36 companies that CCMAU monitors.
NZTech promotes the growth of the technology industry in New Zealand by taking a leadership role on behalf of members, through direct communication with government leaders, the media, other sector groups and the public both locally and abroad.
Industry training organisations.
This site provides a list of all the New Zealand industry training organisations as at July 2019, together with contact details.
BIOTechNZ lists companies in nine primary biotechnology industry sectors.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's Invest in New Zealand features a investment opportunities for New Zealand business, with profiles as well as links to reports and publications for the following: tourism, high value manufacturing, primary production, infrastructure, food and beverage, and technology.

Other online resources

  • PriceWaterhouseCooper's Global CEO Survey. This is the latest survey of 1,201 business leaders across all major industry sectors around the world.
  • Deloittes fast 50 The 50 fastest growing companies are listed with links through to the company's website.
  • Financial Markets Authority is New Zealand's main regulator of investments and works to help people make better investment decisions. On their website are brochures about investing, including how to choose an investment advisor, information you are entitled to before you invest, and how to spot a scam.
  • NZ Stock Exchange
  • Sharechat: A useful site for business news, education, market data, NZX weekly diary and links to financial newspapers and magazines.
  • Statistics New Zealand business demographics Use the two free tools in the Business Toolbox to investigate a small-business industry in New Zealand or to find your target markets.

If you are an Investor: the questions you need answered are:

  • What is the company's financial condition and history?
  • Is the company involved in any legal activity?
  • Are there any regional or national trends that might impact the company's financial condition?
  • Have any directors or company officers been involved in company failures, or ever been bankrupt?
The Insolvency and Trustee Service (ITS) Database provides information and online services on personal bankruptcies and company liquidations that are administered by the Service. This includes searching the Insolvency Database and registration or updating of online claims for convenient, inexpensive and fast compliance with legal obligations. The weekly NZ Gazette publishes a list of bankruptcies and company notices which include appointment and release of receivers/managers/liquidators, removals, and applications for winding up. This is also available in MG Business (held Central Library, 1st floor)
Look for financial projections, industry trends, and any details of competitive intelligence on the particular company, i.e. any information regarding companies which are in the same business and the current business environment. This can be found in newspaper articles and journal articles, as well as specific websites and databases.

Tip: Always allow yourself plenty of time to research the information. Please ask at the Science and Humanities Desk, 1st floor, Central Library if you need further help.

Last updated 1st October 2019

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