Where can I find information about business in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Senior Secondary

(Years 11-13)

2016 colour photo of an aerial view of the Auckland central business district.

Image: Auckland CBD aerial 2016 by [unknown] on Wikimedia Commons.

Entry last updated: 16/10/23


Business generally refers to organisations that seek profits by providing goods or services in exchange for money. Businesses are an important part of New Zealand's economy because they employ from one to thousands of employees. There are several different types of organisations in New Zealand. These include food (hospitality), clothes and material things (commerce), building materials (trades), as well as professional knowledge (accountants, lawyers), or expertise (consultants).

Business Models

Business is a broad subject that branches off into different types and audiences. Here are a few common models, but there are heaps more.

Sole Trader: A business that is owned by one person.

Partnership: A business that is owned by two or more people.

Company: A business that is run by members of a board, for the shareholders of a company. Companies in Aotearoa New Zealand must be registered with the New Zealand Companies Office.

Commercial: a business that exists to make a profit.

Professional: a business that generally provides specialist business support to businesses of different types and industries.

Charitable or Not-for-profit: an organisation that exists to fulfil a purpose, other than making money. They are required to be registered as a charity or trust with Charity Services.

Industrial: an organisation that uses people or machines to create goods.

General Websites

These websites have lots of general information about Businesses.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC databases, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It has been put together for New Zealand schools. Britannica School is the online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica and covers lots of different topics.

  • Choose the secondary level.

  • Enter the keyword ‘business’.

  • Select business organisations to find information about the history and types of business associations.

  • Also, explore human resources management to find out about managing people within a business.

  • Or you could try searching for another keyword from the list above.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

High School (Gale in Context)

Also one of the EPIC databases, High School offers reliable information on business topics.

Tips: Go to the top of the page and explore the tools to help you use this page. There is an option to translate this page into a number of language or highlight material to take notes.

New Zealand Websites

These websites will help you find out more about business in New Zealand. It includes the history of business in Aotearoa, starting a business, and other common factors.

Te Ara — The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we look down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Go to Sections and select Economy and the City.

  • Explore each of these stories to understand the background of business, types of businesses, changes and various impacts on business in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This website is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and is focused on making it easier for New Zealand small businesses to succeed. They work closely with New Zealand businesses, government agencies, and organisations, to understand challenges and how to address them in the most effective way. They have lots of tools and resources with advice from across the government.

Tips: A website’s address (URL) can give you a hint about how reliable it is. Look for addresses in the results that include .govt or .edu in the URL. These are quality sites from government or educational organisations.

Young Enterprise

Young Enterprise is a charity, with a vision to build the strengths of entrepreneurial-minded young people. They have lots of classroom resources, programmes and games to inspire students into exploring and discovering their business potential.

  • Go to Resources at the top of the page.

  • This will lead you to a range of resources for various levels.

  • Try the bp Business Challenge or Start-Up.

  • Go to YES Alumni to explore or connect with students who have participated in this programme in the past.

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.


Your local or school library may also have some books about business. Check out these titles:

SCIS no. 5402239

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