We are on a Horowhenua mission to activate the opportunities we have right here!


Business After 5 aiming to inspire

World-leading NZCIS among those showcased in these after-hours talks 

Its easy to talk about something you are deeply passionate about.

You got the feeling Jamie Tout could of talked for hours when he was in Levin last week.

Tout was speaking at Te Takaretanga o Kura-hau-pō at the invitation of The Horowhenua Company's business group BA5 (Business After 5), who routinely attract guest speakers each month from a range of backgrounds. He was conscious of the time, glancing occasionally at his watch, as he was supposed to knock off at 7pm. Tout did his best to condense into an hour the story behind one of the most exciting developments Kiwi sport has ever seen.

Tout is the general manager of the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) at Trentham, recognised as one of the most advanced trading facilities in the world.

The 17-hectare site is a shared sports hub that boasts a huge gymnasium, cryotherapy facilities, altitude and climate-controlled trialing spaces, pools, indoor playing fields, an outdoor playing field, and onsite accommodation.  

The $108-million state-of-the-art facility is home base to Wellington Phoenix men's and women's football teams and the Hurricanes and Wellington Rugby, while the Swedish women's team will use the facility as base for the upcoming FIFA World Cup. 

 It was a truly international venture and NZCIS had worked closely with the overseas clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, The Manly Sea Eagles and the New York Giants. 

The Horowhenua Company Ltd (THCL) was the local economic agency for the Horowhenua. THCL chief executive said it took over organising the BA5 event 18 months ago. The BA5 talks had been running for more than eight years. 

Anyone could attend and new faces were always welcome. Finger food and refreshments were included for a small entry fee.

In recent months the BA5 has engaged speakers like Tony Alexander, Cameron Bagrie, Phil O'Reilly, Dr Ellen Nelson and Brad Olsen and also heard from local businesses like Tatana Contractors and Hemp Connect. 

McKay said it was good to have variety and it often gave the chance for local speakers to talk onsite at their pace of business. They were often the most popular, showcasing local business stories and success."We have quite deliberately tried to mix it up. It's about sparking ideas and bringing people together".

The next BA5 speaker would be local businessman Wayne Bishop, providing an insight into the new business park development in Bush Street, on May 18.

THCL had also started a Women in Business lunch group that met quarterly with guest speakers. 


Horowhenua Chronicle April 28th, 2023