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Michael Barnett to lead Business Advisory Panel

Michael Barnett to lead Auckland Council Business Advisory Panel

Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Michael Barnett will head up a re-shaped Business Advisory Panel aimed at ensuring a stronger working relationship between Auckland Council and the business sector.

The membership and terms of reference for the group is currently being developed, to be announced in the new year.

Mayor Len Brown welcomed Michael Barnett’s role as chairperson: “Michael brings a wealth of experience and credibility to the role. I am delighted that he will be working closely with the council both to ensure a strong and effective voice for business in Auckland, and to help drive forward our shared economic goals.

Mr Barnett said he was delighted to take on the role and saw it as important to putting a focus on Auckland lifting its economic performance: “This won’t be about re-litigating the council’s economic development strategy,” he confirmed. “The focus will be getting traction on the issues we all agree require urgent attention.”

“These include addressing Auckland’s high youth unemployment, encouraging more Auckland businesses to get seriously into exporting, especially in Asia, and attracting the investment we need to address our infrastructure deficit and skill shortages.”

Cr Cameron Brewer will provide liaison for the council’s governing body. Cameron Brewer says: "I'm delighted Michael Barnett has agreed to take the reins. His enthusiasm and passion for Auckland's economic success is legendary. The first term of Auckland Council was mostly about planning and policy development. This second term is more about delivery so it is timely for the Business Advisory Panel to move from a largely feedback role to a leadership role."

Ends

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