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Council Supports Regional Approach To Economy

Council Supports Regional Approach To Economic Development
August 22, 2002

North Shore City Council, along with other councils in the region, reinforced its support for a regional economic development strategy this week.

The council is contributing $50,000 towards developing a more detailed work programme to implement the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy (AREDS).

The AREDS vision is to make the Auckland region, which includes North Shore City, an internationally competitive, inclusive and dynamic economy. It identifies the need to promote the region, encourage innovation, develop overseas markets and support exports.

AREDS is a joint regional project to develop a framework and overall direction for the region's economic development. It focuses on promoting the Auckland region, encouraging innovation and developing export markets, while recognising the need to maintain a high quality local environment, skilled workforce and infrastructure to support economic development.

North Shore City's strategy and finance committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says the council is taking a cautious approach.

"Having a regional approach to economic development is important but we need a better understanding of the benefits this will have for North Shore City," he says.

"We will need to look at how the developing work programme fits with our Strategic Plan and City Blueprint goals, and review future funding on a project by project basis," says Councillor Holman.

The programme will identify 'go now' projects that bring significant local benefits as well as regional opportunities.

An example includes Project Probe which will roll out high speed internet access, or broadband, to all schools and provincial communities in the region.

The council is preparing its own Economic Development Strategy to help guide the city's future economic activity and growth. The strategy will take into account North Shore City's Strategic Plan and City Blueprint and focus on sustainable activity and growth, accessible knowledge and education, providing opportunities for a skilled workforce and recognition for the city's unique local attractions. It will also complement the regional approach while advancing local initiatives.

The AREDS programme of action will be developed over the next 12 months.

(ends)


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