Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

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


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. Check our directories page to see which ones we have access to in-house and online, as well as the business directories listed on our free internet sites (for access within the Library). See also our list of public business directories. As well as finding out more information about a specific company, these directories will enable you to find out which companies are in a specific industry.
New Zealand business Who's Who (Available Central Library 1st floor Science & Humanities desk)
This directory will give you basic information on 22,000 companies. You can search from a number of different starting points.

Each entry will tell you:

  • A company's location and where its head office and branches are
  • Whether it is a private or public company and the year it was established
  • Size & turnover

Staff at the Science & Humanities enquiries desk at the Central Library have access to the online version of NZ business who's who and can assist you.
A'court's (Also available in our Business Directories - Central Library, 1st floor north)

  • find brands and links to companies
  • find companies by trade or industry or service
  • find companies manufacturing or trading particular brands
  • find companies by name, their addresses, phone and fax numbers and which brands they represent

Free online access to Kompass New Zealand and 1.9 million international companies in 75 countries is available. Website links to company sites are included, as well as other contact details.
Subscriber access which allows you to use all the Advanced Search and sorting criteria, to view the entire searched company list and to view and print full company profiles of non-advertisers is available within the library.
The IRG database has in-depth financial data for about 180 New Zealand publicly listed companies (through a link to the latest Financial Report, company announcements, forecasts and brief company analysis. IRG can be accessed at the Science & Humanities Desk at the North end of the first floor of the Central Library.

Finda: This e-directory lists over 225,000 businesses . It provides a profile and contact details as well as email and website links.
Annual reports
The 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. Wellington City Libraries has a large collection of publicly listed company annual reports across a number of sectors. Access to the NZ Stock Exchange online annual report collection of delisted and listed companies (many going back a decade) is available at the Science and Humanities desk.

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), Truth, 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. Business Source Elite contains full text 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. Many of the articles are available as pdf files.
  • INNZ (Index New Zealand) is an index with abstracts from selected New Zealand serial publications, including newspapers, and nearly 300 journals. As it is only an index you will then need to search the journal name on our catalogue to see if we hold the individual journal but many may be available on our full-text databases. It is worth searching for articles about New Zealand companies because it indexes some of the major business business journals including HER Business.
  • Datamonitor is a resource which can only be accessed within the library via the free internet pcs at the business link under the freesites page. This is a valuable site with in-depth international material seached via company, geography or industry.

Business Newspapers and magazines

The National Business Review : is received by the Library, and can be found on the 2nd floor of the Central Library.
New Zealand Management : Each December issue has a special section called the 'Management top 200 New Zealand companies'. The listings are usually accompanied by an article giving an overview and also by mini-listings, for example the ten biggest profit and loss makers, 20 companies with the most improved turnovers. Wellington City Libraries subscribes to this magazine. (Also available through mygateway)
Unlimited: Indexed by INNZ (Index New Zealand) but also available online. When in the site use the Search unlimited box, and type in the company name. The magazine Unlimited often includes case studies. Unlimited is indexed and is also full text online at its own website.

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). The library also holds a current collection of annual reports for metropolitan and District Councils. (2nd floor, Central Library).

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - for information on New Zealand's science enterprises.

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 merger and acquisitions reports, under the Public Registers tab 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.

NZTIC The New Zealand Technology Industry Association (formerly NZICT) 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 November 2013, together with contact details.

Why buy from New Zealand has industry information, as well as links to some of the major companies.

Market research library from the US Commercial Service has industry sector reports for New Zealand for a number of industries.

Ministry of Economic Development

This site has includes information, media releases, statistics and links to full text publications for a range of sectors including broadcasting, electricity, energy, electronic commerce, telecommunications, SMEs.

NZBio lists companies in nine primary biotechnology industry sectors.

New Zealand FoodWorks hosts New Zealand food, beverage & grocery-related companies and organisations.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's Invest in New Zealand features a

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
Appreciating capital report produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers provides estimates for selected New Zealand listed companies of earnings multiples, equity betas and their Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)
A useful site for business news, education, market data, NZX weekly diary and links to financial newspapers and magazines.
In addition to providing links through to company websites, the site provides shares information, links to stock exchanges and news websites.
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.

Information for jobseekers

In order to appear well prepared and confident at your interview, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with your prospective employer. That way, you can hopefully anticipate questions, and have the answers prepared. It is also useful to do some preliminary research about the company before you send in your resume.

What background information do you need? It is worthwhile finding out as much information about what the company does, its history, corporate structure, and what its possible plans for expansion or the future are. It would be also useful to see if you can find any biographical details about the people who may be interviewing you. In addition:

  • If you are a recent graduate you may be interested in what training programmes or career steps exist, (Look on company's website) or
  • If you are applying for a marketing position you need to become familiar with the company's advertising campaigns, strategies etc, (look on company's website) or there may be media coverage or
  • If it is a sales position you are interested in, you need to know what the company's products and services are. (Again, look on company's website, but also this should be readily available through a business directory)
  • If you are changing careers, (see also our guide for employment seekers) or even just starting your career, you need to become familiar with the general industry outlook. The business pages of most newspapers and online news resources cover broad industry trends, as well as the economic and political trends that affect business. These resources, many of which are available at Wellington City Libraries, may cover specific geographic locations, or have a broader scope.
A 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.

Kenexa Best Work places.

If you are a Philanthropist/Fundraiser:

  • Collect biographical information on CEOs.
  • Find out the key person in the organization or company to contact regarding fundraising.
  • What is the history of the company's past giving and does it have a foundation that provides grants?
  • How do different charities spend their money?
Much of this information may be easily found in newspaper and journal articles, or within the company's annual report. However, in addition to the resources mentioned below, there is a database called Corporate Citizens which is a collaboration between the Funding Information Service and Saints Information which holds details of over 80 New Zealand businesses who are committed to building relationships and voluntary organisations.
Ask at the Science and Humanities desk to access this database. Also ask at the Science & Humanities desk to view our subscriber access to the Stock Exchange online site for annual reports going back many years for NZ listed and delisted companies.

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 20 November 2013

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