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Business Expansion Continues In Manukau

1 May 2002

Over the 2001 year, 830 new businesses or branches were set up or expanded in Manukau's main industrial areas and 200 new businesses or branches opened in the main commercial centres. This type of investment is important in shaping and supporting the economic development of the City.

The main factors attracting new businesses were being close to customers and other businesses, large floor areas, lower rents, quality of buildings and good growth prospects.

These findings are among the results of the latest annual survey of Manukau's commercial and floor space in the City's main centres.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says, "There are always businesses moving on or closing down, for a whole variety of reasons. But the important thing is that more businesses are starting up or expanding than are leaving, and they're bringing jobs with them."

Over the 2001 year the economic growth rate of Counties Manukau was 2.6%, compared to growth in the national economy at 2.4%. For some years now Manukau's growth rate has been markedly higher than the national average.

The survey shows there is a continuing shift towards higher-value-added manufacturing industries requiring sites of higher quality. This is a trend likely to continue and is in line with the recently adopted SmartManukau strategy which aims to change the future direction of the City.

Sir Barry Curtis says, "We must change with the times. The days of factories needing largely unskilled labour are coming to an end. Knowledge and skilled employees will be the main assets of successful businesses in future.

"The SmartManukau approach is to attract sophisticated new industries producing high technology products and services. This change will produce knowledge-led economic growth that will benefit the entire City."

In 2001 there was a strong increase in both commercial and industrial building activity, accompanying the growing population and the advantages provided by Manukau's location. Manukau's population grows by around 5,000 per year.

The development of Botany Town Centre was the principal driver of commercial growth. At the same time, vacancy rates at many of the other shopping centres in Manukau increased. Due to its exceptional size, it is not expected that there will be a single commercial development with the same impact as Botany Town Centre in the immediate future.

Of the 830 businesses newly established or relocated in Manukau, 257 are in manufacturing, 135 in wholesale, 120 in retail, 105 in transport and storage,
They include Cardinal Freight Distribution, Nuplex MediSmart, Yates, Dalgety Stores, Hallenstein Distribution Centre and Alto Plastics.

Ends

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