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South African insurance company heads to New Zealand

South African insurer eyes NZ market

source: Sunday Star Times
Last updated 05:00 11/05/2014

Giant South African insurer Youi is tipped to launch in New Zealand in a bid to exploit what Insurance Council figures suggest is weak price competition in the car, house and contents insurance markets.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Commission gave the green light to Australian insurer IAG to take over Lumley General Insurance as part of a A$1.85 billion trans-Tasman deal, saying it did not believe it would cause a “substantial lessening of competition”.

But figures released by the Insurance Council imply that even before the merger, competition in the house, contents and car insurance sectors is not delivering lower prices for consumers.

And sources say Youi, part of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Rand Merchant Insurance group, is attracted by the profits to be made in New Zealand.

After launching in Australia in 2008, it boasts that: “Our customers could fill Eden Park five times, with over 500,000 policies open with Youi.”

The company opened a call centre in Auckland last August and its website says it has “big plans” for its business her

Spokesman Trevor Devitt said the company was looking at opportunities, but its plans for New Zealand were subject to “detailed investigations and board approval”.

IAG, which owns the NZI, AMI and State brands, has a market share of just over 40 per cent of the entire general insurance market, but the Lumley deal, will see that rise to just over 50 per cent, giving this country a level of insurance concentration far beyond that in other developed countries (see chart).

Its share of the home and contents and vehicle insurance market will rise to 66 per cent from 60 per cent.

It protested that competition was strong when seeking the commission’s approval for the deal.

But the Insurance Council’s annual release of statistics shows that the ratio of claims to premiums paid for car insurance has been falling.

In the 12 months to the end of September 2008, private and commercial vehicle insurance paid out $73.68 in claims for every $100 of net earned income. The following years saw it fall to $70.08, then $64.17, before in 2011 going up to $65.16, dropping again in 2012 a new low of $63.52, before rising to $68.11 in the year to the end of September 2013.

Safer cars, and the insurers extracting better and better deals from collision repairers have been behind that shift, but in a highly competitive environment, it might have been expected to see premiums falling as the claims ratio fell.

There has been a similar pattern for domestic building and contents. The Insurance Council

splits out the earthquake cover associated with those policies, and with that removed, the loss ratios have dropped from $82.33 in 2008, to just $59.33 in 2012, and $58.11 in 2013, painting a picture of people paying much more for getting the same non-earthquake risks covered.

Tim Grafton, chief executive of the Insurance Council, denied that competition was weak and said focusing on individual loss ratios was misleading, especially at a time when the insurers were being required to hold more capital by the regulators.

“There are a number of providers for motor insurance out there,” he said, adding: “People do shop around and they can get better deals by shopping around. Our observation would be that the market is working. There is plenty of advertising of motor insurance and no barriers to switching.”

Grafton said the bigger picture of the total loss ratio across insurers’ entire lines of business, including all commercial insurance, marine, cargo, director liability and earthquake, showed a flatter line, with the loss ratio of $68.46 in 2008 having fallen to $62.03 in the latest figures.

He also pointed out that once payments to staff, and other business costs, including payments to overseas parent companies, were included, the net profit was just $3.73 for every $100 earned.

IAG said in a statement: “IAG believes its premiums are very competitive and reflect good value for the risk cover they provide. While claim costs in some categories have fallen other costs in our business remain stubbornly high and we must price for long term sustainability.”

Gary Young, head of the Insurance Brokers Association, said households were being told to brace for further premium rises, while corporate insurance premiums were level or falling as reinsurers soften their stance on New Zealand.

Richard Conway, a British expat trying to launch an online insurance comparison service called iCompare with former Vero chief executive Roger Bell, said he was not convinced competition is particularly strong in the house, contents and car markets.

Neither IAG and Suncorp’s New Zealand businesses will deal with iCompare, which is designed to make shopping around for insurance easier.

Conway, who is expecting Youi to launch here soon, said the big insurers were very focused on not allowing prices to “erode”.

“It doesn’t seem like there’s a huge amount of competition.”

Grafton, who also expects a launch by Youi, said: “If premiums in any line rise then the natural counter to that is aggressive business plays in those lines.”

In fact, just the kind of move Youi, which has opened a corporate office in Auckland and is hiring staff, appears to be planning.

Grafton said Youi’s planned move “indicated we have got no barriers to entry and people can provide a level of competition, if there’s seen to be money to be made.”

The public has to wait for the Commerce Commission’s detailed report on why competition is not necessarily reduced by its decision, as it works to “redact” parts of the document which are not for the premium-paying public’s eyes.

“There’s a confidentiality issue and some material has to be redacted from the public version and then that must be signed off internally,” the commission said.


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Success | Great and Affordable biltong made using The Biltong Box

Biltong Maker for affordable meat drying at home

The biltong added to the Biltong Box. Two days later – great biltong for a family to enjoy.

Product Recommendation – The Biltong Box from www.biltongbox.co.nz

The biltong box and meat dryer is designed and handmade by an engineer.

It is an appliance which can stand in your living room and has been made to last!

Only the best commercial material and supplies have been used to create this box.

Instead of biltong or dried meat  being a luxury, it can now be affordable and part of your family’s weekly diet. There is no guess work.  I followed the recipe  and within 2 days and for some pieces 3 days my biltong was ready.

The savings of making your own biltong will make this appliance a worthwhile investment for years to come.

Biltong Recipe

1.  Easy to use and simple to keep clean.

2.  Great support from supplier.

3.  Well packed and protected when posted.

4.  Recommended biltong recipe works well.


Source your own biltong maker today.

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Robin Banks Returns to New Zealand | International Speaker and Mind Power Expert

Robin Banks in New Zealand.  Free community news broadcast from the south africa website and south africans web siteA community notice as published on our South Africa Blog.  A website supporting the South African community living in New Zealand

Renowned International Speaker and Mind Power Expert, Robin Banks, returns to New Zealand
Mind Power expert Robin Banks has been wowing audiences for over a decade and now, following incredibly successful previous tours, he is returning to New Zealand for a fourth campaign.
Robin’s love of the New Zealand people sees him return to offer free introduction seminars and a full Mind Power course in Auckland this May.
“I am delighted to be returning to New Zealand again,” says Robin. “I love the realness of the people and that enjoying life is at the core of your purpose. It feels like coming home and the demand for Mind Power is both humbling and reassuring.”
As one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of Mind Power and Personal Mastery, Robin is a highly sought after international speaker. With multiple testimonials from leading business CEO’s the world over, Robin is a prolific speaker and presenter, with an amazing ability to combine solid content with a humorous and dynamic presentation.
Robin’s philosophy follows on from John Kehoe’s popular Mind Power course, established in 1977. Kehoe handed the reigns over to Robin in 2003 and since then he has connected with audiences from all walks of life around the world.
The free Mind Power introduction seminar covers the power of mind sets, dealing and coping with change, internal versus external control, maintaining a positive attitude, creating empowering beliefs and generating a vibrant energy field.
Robin will also be running a truly life changing four week Mind Power course as a follow on from these introduction seminars.
“The world is going through rapid change and now more than ever before is the time to take charge of our lives and shape our destinies. All we need to do is get clear on what it is we really want and focus our intentions,” says Robin.
“We truly are incredibly powerful beings and we are constantly creating our own reality.”
Free Introduction Seminars: 28 & 29 May (evenings)
Mind Power Course: Tuesday 3 June, Monday 9, 16 & 23 June (evenings)

Venue: Auckland Conference Centre, 12 – 16 Nicholls Lane, Parnell, Auckland

Please see the website http://www.robinbanks.co.nz for more details.

Contact us to share your community news.  Proudly supporting the South African community living in New Zealand.

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Cost of living in New Zealand

Living and visiting NZ

New research proves what Kiwis already suspected – housing is expensive in New Zealand compared to the rest of the developed world.

Research by Victoria University public finance professor Norman Gemmel on the costs of goods and services in New Zealand compared to other OECD countries showed construction and investment prices were high here. This led to high rents and house prices.

Gemmel based the price comparisons on figures released by the World Bank in 2005, the most recent data available.

The figures showed rents in New Zealand were between 20% and 25% higher than the average for 30 other OECD countries.

Goods and services related to investment (such as property), construction and utilities (like water and electricity) were “relatively high” in New Zealand compared to other OECD countries, including Australia, the research showed.

Gemmel said capital was expensive in New Zealand due to a high exchange rate. This pushed up the price of investment-based goods and services. The lengthy resource consent process also had an effect on house and rent prices, he said.

Private passenger transport services, alcohol and tobacco prices were also high compared to other OECD countries, due largely to tax, the paper said.

Some tradables, such as supermarket food, were expensive in New Zealand because costs of things like freight, fuel and storage had an “unfortunate knock-on effect”, Gemmel said.

Only 11 out of 70 tradable goods compared were found to be cheaper in New Zealand. However, products New Zealand produced and exported, such as beef, veal, lamb, fish and dairy products were cheaper than in other countries.

Although Kiwis often complained about the cost of dairy products, considering the high quality of such produce, they were very cheap on a global basis.

Government-provided services, such as education, health and social protection, were cheaper than other OECD countries due to New Zealand’s low average wages.

The World Bank’s International Comparison Programme figures from 2005 were still “broadly representative” of price differences between New Zealand and other OECD countries, he said.

If anything, the cost of goods and services would have increased since 2005 due to higher interest rates and exchange rates.

However, Kiwis did not necessarily have a higher cost of living because construction, utilities and tradables costs were balanced out by the low cost of government services and locally produced goods. But someone travelling to New Zealand might find the cost of living more expensive than back home due to the high kiwi exchange rate.

Sourced from TVNZ . 27 April 2014


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Wellington Get Together | South Africans in New Zealand – 3 May 2014

Wellington | South Africans in New Zealand get together and community news.  Please contact the following person to RSVP.


Marijke Willemse               


Date and place:

Saturday 3 May 2014 – For some tea/drinks and desserts

Time: 14:30

Venue: Southern Cross 39 Abel Smith Street, Te Aro, Wellington


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Searching for… South African living in New Zealand

Searching for Nomaza Paitin – South African living in New Zealand.

I’m a journalist at the Saturdar Emy Star newspaper in Joburg. I am urgently trying to find a South African citizen who was last heard of living in New Zealand, Nomaza Paintin. She was the first black South African woman to cast her vote on April 26 1994. We are doing several stories on 20 years of democracy in SA, and would like to chat to her, if anyone knows of her whereabouts…

Thanks so much +27 11 633 2714.

Please  Email sheree.bega@inl.co.za if you are able to assist.

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Job Search alternative for prospective migrants to New Zealand.

Job Search International on The South Africans in New Zealand business directory.

Job_Search_International  for New Zealand job opportunities for South Africans when immigrating  to NZImmigration – Moving to New Zealand.

Job Search International work with skilled migrants that meet their clients’ needs.  Their service offering includes an active job search alternative for employment within the New Zealand job market.

If you are looking to move to New Zealand our team are able to assist you in a number of ways and minimise the risk associated with your move to NZ.

Most migrants (immigrants) spend thousands on getting to New Zealand Immigration agents and then are poorly prepared to cross the most important hurdle of gaining employment.

Help is a phone call away.  Contact us for more information or more detail on how we can help you kick-start your employment search.

job search international in New Zealand

Job Search International – Contact us

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Looking for South African Dancers or Singers? Wellington

south african flagWe are looking for South African performers who would be willing to do a song or dance at our staff quarterly to announce a trip to South Africa.Approximately 3-6 people for about 15 mins on March 12th in Central Wellington between 5.30 and 6.30pm.

If you are able to assist,  please contact Cathy on 0211229116.



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South African Wine at Mates Rates? Limited Stock.

Early Bird Mates Rates Wine Sale in New Zealand.   This week only!

We have a container of Rooiberg Wines somewhere between South Africa and New Zealand, and are running a promotion, for example 2011 Reserve Shiraz $10.83, 2012 Merlot $7.50, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc $6.67 and 2012 Cape Vintage Port for $12.50 per bottle. There are 14 varieties.
Message me if any New Zealand based friends are in for a bargain!
Available for delivery after 13th April 2014.

Contact Number is  027 347 1577 or email is heinerasmus@xtra.co.nz

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Mango Groove Concert Postponed Now May 2014 with additional performance in Dunedin




Management of iconic South African band Mango Groove have issued some changes to the band’s first Australian tour in 20 years. “The upcoming Mango Groove tour of Australia and New Zealand has had to be rescheduled due to entirely unforeseen, last minute personal circumstances,” a spokesperson said today. “However we are delighted to announce with this that all new tour dates have been secured and confirmed – including the addition of a show in Dunedin. All existing tickets (with the exception of Adelaide) will remain valid for the new shows. Those patrons unfortunately unable to attend the revised dates will be entitled to a full refund.”

Band founder and leader John Leyden says the rescheduling of dates was unavoidable and the band is really looking forward to their Australian and New Zealand tour. ‘”Ouch – this was a very tough one for us, but we are ecstatic that everything is 100 per cent back on track,” he says. “This tour is a huge deal for us and we in fact shifted other commitments to make sure that the new dates were secured immediately.  We have been seriously blown away by the volume of support and sales for the tour so far and really hope we haven’t inconvenienced anyone with the new dates. We can’t wait to hit Oz shores again after all these years, and are equally excited that a new date has been added for our first ever trip to New Zealand. The band has been in intensive pre-production for the whole tour for a while now, and we guarantee Mango’s Australian and New Zealand fans that they will be in for a big party!”

Mango Groove in New Zealand Auckland book your tickets NOWTour promoter Tony Lock says he hopes the rescheduling doesn’t impact fans. “This really was something entirely unforeseen and beyond everyone’s control, and we are upset that we have had to disappoint the thousands of existing ticket holders by making them wait a few extra months for their favourite South African music export,” he says. “At the same time, however, we are delighted that we are going full steam ahead with the new dates, and that we are in fact able to add in the Dunedin show. Most existing tickets will remain valid for the new dates, and any ticket holders unable to make the new dates will be entitled to full refunds.”

In their first Australian tour in two decades, iconic South African band Mango Groove are heading back down under for a string of special tour dates this May and June. The tour will also see the band perform in New Zealand for the first time. Mango Groove are a musical institution in South Africa, in the 25 years since their inception they’ve had over 20 platinum sales in the country, and 12 #1 charting hits, as well as incredible successes overseas. The band still hold the legendary status of the largest live attendance for any South African artist thanks to their six sold-out shows at the Sun City Superbowl, six consecutive sold-out shows at the Standard Bank Arena and unforgettable performances to 20,000 plus people at Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town.

Mango Groove burst onto the mid-1980’s South African music scene and they haven’t stopped since. Their 1989 debut album went six times platinum and their sound, described as Big Band Marabi-pop has captured the hearts of music lovers around the world. They’ve toured extensively and their considerable back catalogue has earned them a stellar reputation amongst music fans of all ages. Their return to Australia in 2014 and the busy year they’ve got planned mark a special milestone for the band, both as musicians and proud South Africans. They’ll be writing and organising pre-production for a new album to be recorded in 2015 and putting on some massive outdoor concerts in their home country.

The 11-piece band will be traversing their hits during their Australian tour; performing tracks from their debut album to their latest release Bang the Drum. Tracks like Dance Sum More, Special Star, Hometalk, Moments Away, Another Country and Bang the Drum, to name a few, will make up the party atmosphere. Mango Groove are well known for their spontaneity on stage, which means you never know what to expect and no two nights are the same. Their live sets are incredible and unforgettable – they are one of those bands that you just have to see in the live arena.

Don’t miss this chance to catch one of South Africa’s best bands as they bring their unforgettable tour to Australia this year. Whether you saw them 20 years ago, are a new fan, or are ready to experience some incredible live music, this is an experience not to miss. Tickets are on sale now for the new tour dates. Existing ticket holders for the Adelaide show will be contacted by email to advise of the arrangement for exchange of tickets.

Tuesday 27th May 2014

Bruce Mason Centre, AUCKLAND NZ

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.co.nz

[Tickets for 25.02.2014 remain valid]

Wednesday 28th May 2014

Dunedin Centre, DUNEDIN NZ

Tickets: www.ticketdirect.co.nz

*** NEW SHOW ***

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