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New Economic Development Forum For Auckland Region

Media Release: Auckland Regional Council
27 May 2005

New economic development forum for the Auckland region

Details around the form and function of a new regional economic development forum were confirmed by the Auckland Regional Council earlier this week, signalling the beginning of a new approach to economic development in the Auckland region.

The Regional Economic Development Forum will be a partnership made up of representatives of the major players involved in the region's economy.

Its primary responsibility will be to oversee the implementation and review of the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy which was developed in 2002 by a broad partnership of agencies, including all councils in the region.

In addition, the forum will also play an advocacy and liaison role amongst key stakeholders throughout the region and will provide a regional voice on issues that affect Auckland's economy.

Chaired by ARC Councillor and CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Michael Barnett, the membership of the forum will reflect the range of agencies involved in the development of the strategy. It will include approximately 12 people, with representatives from the ARC, local councils, economic development agencies, business, education, labour organisations, infrastructure providers, Maori, and Pacific people.

ARC Councillor Craig Little will be the second ARC representative on the forum.

ARC Chairman Michael Lee says that the formation of the forum, and the confirmation of details around an economic development unit within the ARC, signals the start of a new approach to economic development in the Auckland region.

Cr Lee says that the new forum will help ensure that the region's economic development strategy sits alongside other regional strategies such as those for growth and transport.

"The establishment of this forum, and the new economic development unit, is an important milestone for the ARC and for the Auckland region. I am confident that by bringing together representatives from a number of sectors we will have a forum that can provide the leadership needed to ensure that the vision outlined in the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy * that Auckland is an "internationally competitive, dynamic and inclusive economy" is achieved."

The forum will be established by 1 July and will operate as a committee of the ARC. The forum will work closely with the new economic development unit which has also been set up within the ARC, and will provide strategic direction to the unit on work priorities. The unit will report regularly to the forum on work programmes, new initiatives, and achievements.


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