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Half Million-Dollar Boost For Region’s Economy

June 19, 2002

Auckland City is planning to spend half a million dollars on economic development.

Auckland City councillors are being asked to approve, at the combined committees meeting tomorrow (Thursday, June 20), a half-million dollar funding contribution to regional economic development.

A total of $350,000 will be set aside to implement an Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy (AREDS) which is due out in July. The AREDS process began after Auckland's local authorities recognised the need to co-operate amongst themselves and with other organisations on economic initiatives.

The council will use $150,000 to increase in-house capability to undertake economic-development activities.

Chairperson of the council’s Strategy and Governance committee, Councillor Mark Donnelly, says he will support the move to put "some grunt" into economic development activity both in the council and regionally.

He says with the exception of Auckland City, all local authorities fund their own local economic-development agencies.

"However, the council will not set up its own economic-development agency as this is not seen as being very cost effective. The council would rather align itself with initiatives put into place through a regional approach,” said Councillor Donnelly.

"The exciting thing about the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy is that for the first time the region is taking a co-ordinated approach to make sure that we do something about creating an environment that will stimulate economic growth and create jobs."

Chairperson of the Finance and Corporate Business committee, Councillor Douglas Armstrong, says he is delighted the council has been able to incorporate the half million dollars in the budget without increasing rates.

He says the AREDS project emphasises the critical need for Auckland's economy to become more export- and knowledge-industry based and less oriented to the domestic market.

"This is a positive investment which will generate a good return for the region," he said.


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