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AREDS Gains Momentum With Meeting With Minister

AREDS Gains Momentum With Meeting With Minister for Economic Development

Auckland, 24 September 2002 - The Hon Jim Anderton, Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development, today meets with AREDS (Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy) representatives for the first time. The meeting will confirm the high level of central government support for AREDS and its implementation, and the government's recognition of the crucial role that the Auckland region must play in the overall growth of New Zealand's economy.

Jim Anderton will spend a day in Auckland focussing on regional development initiatives including a meeting with the chairman of the Auckland Regional Mayoral Forum together with the mayors and CEOs of Auckland's local authorities. Mr Anderton will also meet with other AREDS stakeholders, give a media briefing on AREDS and Auckland issues, and attend the launch of Film Auckland, a marketing initiative promoting the Auckland region as a film-making and post-production centre.

"Auckland will be an even greater priority for economic development in the next term of government," says Jim Anderton. "This is the first time that every local authority in Auckland has co-operated on a large-scale, regional economic development initiative. This government's partnership with the Auckland region is designed to create more jobs and rising incomes for Aucklanders."

Peter Menzies, Chairman of the AREDS Strategy Leaders Group, says, "AREDS sets out a vision of the Auckland region as an internationally competitive, inclusive and dynamic economy. We welcome the Minister's interest, because AREDS delivers a focus and framework for organising the Auckland region to compete as a global city region. We believe that the AREDS process and strategy has established a foundation of inclusiveness and a respect for diversity that will, together with its strong business and export focus, create a legacy for the entire region."

In August, the eight local authorities in the Auckland region - Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, Waitakere City Council, Franklin District Council, Rodney District Council, North Shore City Council, Papakura City Council, together with the Auckland Regional Council - agreed to endorse, implement and fund AREDS implementation.

Industry New Zealand and the Auckland region's local authorities funded the strategy, the product of eight months of research, extensive consultation and strategy development. AREDS is a partnership between business, central and local government, Maori, Pacific Peoples, educationalists and the communities of the Auckland region.

"This strategy, and the process that delivered it, are remarkable in two respects," added Peter Menzies. "Firstly this is the first time that a clear, outward focus has been developed for the entire region. Secondly the high levels of consultation and the partnership approach mean that the strategy is sufficiently comprehensive and robust to mobilise the wide range of organisations, businesses, communities and people that can make a real difference to the region's economic future.

"What sets AREDS apart from the numerous organisations in the region working on economic development is the mandate AREDS sought and has received from the broadest possible sectors of the Auckland community. We have seen numerous organisations and interests come together under a common goal and we have extended the co-operation further by consulting widely with the Auckland region's communities about what they want for their region."

AREDS first 'Go Now' project is a regional broadband initiative, Project PROBE. In the coming weeks AREDS will make further announcements on this project and other 'Go Now' developments. ENDS 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 business, including Competitive Auckland and union representatives, central government, local government, Maori, Pacific Peoples, educators, economic development agencies, and other communities of the Auckland region. The Strategy Leaders Group consists of people with strong links to these communities. Visit our website at www.areds.co.nz.


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