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Support For Regions Economic Development

Central Government Gives Key Support For Regions Economic Development

With business confidence in the region high and unemployment down, Positively Wellington Business CEO Blair McRae believes that Central Government deserves significant public credit for its recent support and initiatives directly benefiting the Wellington region.

“It’s great to see the government adopting a collaborative approach to regional development and implementing solid tangible strategies that support our region”, said Mr McRae.

Of particular note has been the recent announcement of expenditure grants available for big budget local and overseas screen productions. These grants provide a competitive advantage to the region whose Wellywood brand already commands strong global recognition, thanks to Peter Jackson and Richard Taylor.

“The film industry is worth millions to the Wellington region and recent exposure has meant ever increasing off shore interest. Government incentives in this sector will be invaluable to an industry that offers huge potential to the regions economy”

Attracting not only dollars, the increase in film activity has bought many skilled migrants to the region but Wellington still needs skilled labour to continue its growth. In recognising this shortfall, changes in immigration structures have recently been implemented, encouraging skilled migrants to the region by offering higher points for those applicants with skills or qualifications matching skill shortages and for those with job offers outside of Auckland.

The commitment of the private sector, central and local government has also helped make Wellington one of the most wired cities in the world. The Wellington CBD and the Miramar peninsula have world-class telecommunications infrastructure. This has enabled local companies such as WETA to compete internationally and has enabled Wellington to remain at the forefront of film postproduction. It is fantastic therefore that the government has sought to leverage the potential of broadband in its Project Probe, an initiative that aims, with the support of Telecom, to supply broadband high-speed Internet access to all rural areas by the end of 2004.

“These new initiatives are a recognition that Government is listening to our messages and they are dealing with some of our obstacles to growth. It makes our job easier as an economic development agency when we receive support like this from central Government”.

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