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LGNZ launches Business Friendly Councils guidelines

MEDIA RELEASE

Date 25 February 2014

EMBARGOED FOR 3.00pm 25 FEBRUARY 2014

LGNZ launches Business Friendly Councils guidelines

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is today launching Business Friendly Councils guidelines to encourage economic development across the country by identifying the different ways councils can support local businesses.

The Business Friendly Councils guidelines, produced by LGNZ in partnership with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is an explicit attempt by local government and its partners to increase support of business activity across all of New Zealand.

“In creating these Business Friendly Councils guidelines we invested in research to better understand the role and economic contribution our six largest cities make to the New Zealand economy. This research identified competitive advantage, distinctiveness and specific areas where collaboration can add value,” LGNZ Metro Sector Chair Stuart Crosby, who is also the mayor of Tauranga, says.

“The guidelines give each city-region a set of key principles for becoming more business friendly.”

The Business Friendly Councils guidelines identify six key principles that are intended to reduce the regulatory and non-regulatory barriers, costs, risks and uncertainties in all forms of commercial activity to stimulate and support local business growth, local business retention and the attraction of new business to the local area.

The six key principles are:

• Build excellent relationships and partnerships – at the heart of a business friendly council;

• Context matters – identify local challenges and local business needs;

• Provide certainty and clarity for business decision-making;

• Make every interaction with business count;

• Be proactive and look for opportunities to support businesses; and

• Respond rapidly and flexibly to business after major emergencies.

Local government is currently investing over $8 billion in infrastructure and services annually that enable businesses to operate effectively.

“We are a significant and major player in New Zealand’s economic development. Critical to our success in this role is our partnership with central government and business,” LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says.

“Business Friendly Councils provides an opportunity for LGNZ to further develop an evidence based conversation with the business community on how our sector can help support the economic development of New Zealand.”

Business Friendly Councils guidelines represent the sharing of best practice are available to all of local government as a resource to help create business friendly cities. The guidelines will assist councils around the country to promote prosperous and resilient local economies providing good living standards for local communities that contribute to New Zealand’s economic prosperity.

*Ends*

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