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Greater commitment to economic development

Greater commitment to economic development

North Shore City Council took a major step forward this week in its commitment to helping shape the future development of the city's economy.

The council's strategy and finance committee approved the city's draft economic development strategy in principle, recommending that it be made available to the wider community.

More consideration of 'economic well-being' is required of councils under the Local Government Act 2002. Once consultation has occurred and appropriate funding decided, it will be incorporated into the council's Long Term Council Community Plan.

Committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says people who live, work or visit North Shore City do so because of the environment and lifestyle opportunities that it has to offer.

"We must ensure that this unique and valued environment is preserved and that any future economic development activities recognise and support this," Councillor Holman says.

"North Shore City's 'quality of place' is at the heart of the draft strategy which reflects the interplay of business activity, education, training opportunities and leisure time. The strategy recognises the role of business enterprise in generating the jobs, income and opportunities that underpin an attractive quality of life, but also acknowledges the importance of quality of place - reflected in a mix of environmental excellence and education, health and community services - in attracting new and emerging businesses," he says.

North Shore City's economic development manager, David Knowles, says the strategy recognises that there is no silver bullet solution.

"Economic development is about the environment in which business can flourish rather than supporting the activities of individual businesses."

Mr Knowles says economic development involves a complex set of inter-relationships.

"We need to take a collaborative approach. There is no single initiative that can deliver economic development, nor can any single organisation be responsible for the economic life of a community," he says.

A copy of the draft economic development strategy is available at www.northshorecity.govt.nz or by emailing sarah.beaman@northshorecity.govt.nz. Focus groups will be held in October to review and refine the draft strategy before taking the final version back to the strategy and finance committee for final approval in November.

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