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Industry NZ Welcomes Councils Support For Areds

22 August 2002

Industry NZ Welcomes Councils Support For Areds

Industry New Zealand’s Northern Region General Manager Lance Wickman says the news that all the local authorities in the Auckland region have now agreed to endorse, implement and fund the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy (AREDS) is fantastic news.

It is the first time that the Auckland region’s seven local authorities together with the Auckland Regional Council have agreed to jointly support a large-scale regional economic development initiative.

Mr Wickman says AREDS received Industry New Zealand regional development funding last year that recognised its size and unique characteristics.

Industry New Zealand contributed a total of just under $500,000 under the Regional Partnership Programme (RPP) to develop AREDS. The funding exceeded the usual cap of $100,000 for strategic planning projects under the RPP. The Auckland region was given special consideration because of its huge economic significance and potential, coupled with the particular issues and challenges it faces.

“Auckland region generates around a third of New Zealand’s income and includes about a third of the country’s people,” he said. “The economic performance of Auckland is therefore of national strategic importance.”

The local authorities also contributed significant funding and in-kind contribution.

Mr Wickman said in addition, Industry New Zealand staff had worked in close partnership with the AREDS Strategy Leaders Group and Project Team to facilitate the development of the strategy.

Mr Wickman said AREDS was the product of eight months of research, extensive consultation and strategy development. “As much work went into building the partnerships as went into the actual strategy development.” he said. “Broad-based support for AREDS from a wide cross-section of interests was great to see – and essential to its success.”

“AREDS is partnership in action in the most socially and economically diverse and geographically spread region in New Zealand,” Mr Wickman says. “It’s a partnership between central and local government, business, economic development agencies, Mâori, Pacific Island, education, youth and the communities of the Auckland region.”

As the strategy is implemented over the next 12 months, Industry New Zealand is committed to working closely in partnership with regional stakeholders providing expertise and financial support for AREDS initiatives.

It recognises that, to achieve the economic transformation necessary for the region to compete internationally, we must harness the talent and resources of a wide range of people and organisations – not just in a few businesses and industries, but also right across the economy.

About AREDS
AREDS stands for Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy.
It is a project funded by local and central government, taking place over the seven months from December 2001 through to June 2002. The project is about forming partnerships across the region’s communities in order to define a clear economic direction for the region’s future. The partner groups include central government, local government, business, including Competitive Auckland and union representatives, Mâori, education providers, economic development agencies, pacific island communities, migrant communities, youth and non-governmental organisations. The Strategy Leaders Group consists of people with strong links to these communities. Visit our website at www.areds.co.nz.


Ends/…

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