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Auckland rising to Prime Minister’s challenge


6 April 2006

Auckland rising to Prime Minister’s challenge

Auckland is shaping up to be a world-class, successful and dynamic city-region thanks to an innovative project linking business, government, community and education interests.

The Metro Project will see a team of international experts visit Auckland from May 1 - 5 to work with local teams to trigger action plans and help our city-region realise its potential.

It’s a challenge addressed by the Prime Minister in a recent speech to the Employment and Manufacturers Association (EMA), when she described Auckland’s role ‘as our leading international city in the transformation of New Zealand’s economy.’

Michael Barnett, Chair of the Auckland Regional Economic Development Forum, says the Metro Project is world class and will benefit the whole country.

“It is the first time an international team of this calibre has been to Auckland,” he says. “It provides a unique opportunity to get together with a group of experts from around the world and it won’t just benefit Auckland, as Auckland’s success is the key for New Zealand to be successful.”

Greg Clark, advisor on City and Regional Development to the OECD, UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and the London Development Agency, leads the international team which includes the best in the business from London, New York, California, Johannesburg, and Toronto (see below for brief bios).

The week-long visit includes a full-day symposium organised by the Committee for Auckland, where invited guests from government, tertiary institutions, non-profit organisations and business will get together with the international experts in round table discussions.

The symposium will focus on commonly agreed topics in the areas of human capital, infrastructure, business capability and innovation, and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Michael Barnett says the Metro Project will deliver a best practice review – outlining how expertise abroad can be applied to Auckland, what can be learned and what are useful benchmarks. "Partner agencies and organisations will have a set of plans to implement, transforming Auckland into a leading international city-region," he added.

The project is based on a partnership between the Institute of Public Policy (IPP) at AUT University, Committee for Auckland and the Auckland Regional Council, with key involvement by central government and the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board (GIAB).


International Team:
Greg Clark London, United Kingdom
Advisor on City and Regional Development to OECD,
UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and the
London Development Agency
(Regional capacity/strategy expert)

Neil Fraser Johannesburg, South Africa
Executive Director
Central Johannesburg Partnership
(Civic Infrastructure/Attractiveness/Business Leadership expert)

Elizabeth Ann Rodriguez Jackson New York, USA
Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
(Community investment/Economic Empowerment expert)

Virginia Hamilton California, USA
Executive Director California Workforce Association
(Skills/Employment expert)

Ian Bromley Toronto, Canada
Director of Infrastructure and Innovation,
Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation
(Innovation/Enterprise expert)

Auckland member:
David Wilson
Deputy Director
Institute of Public Policy, AUT
(Auckland regional development expert) Auckland, NZ

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