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The latest New Zealand Private Equity and Venture Capital Monitor shows the number of deals increased, but on average were much smaller than 2007. The total investment value fell by 45% to $112m in 2008. This means that the larger deals have been withdrawn from the marketplace. 2009 will be a very challenging year. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that New Zealand companies have access to equity in order to grow. The reduction in the OCR by 50 points is heartening. David Norman from Berl has written a very simple and elegant article on what drives New Zealand merchandise exports and this month I interview Linda Norris from Sift about a local Canterbury initiative that entrepreneurs may be interested in. As always, if anyone has any news or views that they wish to have published on Vcapital, just drop us a line.