Social Media and the New Zealand Exchange

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By: Dylan Colaneri

          Social media can be a powerful tool for any company. New Zealand and their Stock Exchange (NZX) are currently working together with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “allow companies to disclose material information to the public through social media sites.” A recent Facebook post from Netflix was the influence for the SEC to clarify its rules in New Zealand. 

          Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Snakk Media in New Zealand, Derek Handley, had several views on the SEC’s stance. Handley noted that “if a vice-presidential candidate for America can be announced via Twitter, then you should be able to use it to announce some news to the market.” 

          The SEC emphasized to listed exchange companies in New Zealand that they must receive a confirmation from the NZX prior to releasing material company information. The presence of social media is slowly changing the ways businessmen like Derek Handley conduct themselves and their ventures. He added that Americans in general are more active on social media than New Zealanders, and that his country needs to keep up with the change. 

          Rod Drury, executive at Xero in New Zealand, referred to social media as a “double-edged sword.” Like his fellow countryman Handley, Drury acknowledged the importance of  having a social media presence in business but also highlighted the need for companies to avoid gossip and rumor business news. 

          Do you think the growth of social media in New Zealand’s business culture will improve for the better? What are some examples of positive company social media use in America that New Zealand can look to for inspiration? 

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