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Electra Promoted ICT Hub Gathers Traction

Electra Promoted ICT Hub Gathers Traction

The regional development initiative to establish a purpose-built information and communication technology (ICT) ‘hub’ at Kapiti Airport is gathering momentum.

A forum of Kapiti-Horowhenua business leaders sponsored by Electra last year and supported by both the Kapiti and Horowhenua District Councils identified providing a base for the development of ICT businesses in Kapiti as one of the keys to making the most of expressway and airport developments.

Airport founder and shareholder, Sir Noel Robertson, said today that he and Todd Properties were “fully committed, incredibly keen and fully supportive of the project” and were looking forward to a meeting later this month with ICT leaders in the region to take the project further.

“The Kapiti and Horowhenua community should be very proud that Electra and the
two local Councils have taken this initiative. It’s a very impressive thing they are doing,” Sir Noel said.

The business forum identified four potential areas for development including ICT, distribution and logistics, back office services and food and beverage production and processing.

Project director for the ICT development, Chris Dyhrberg, said that research had shown it was clear many of the local ICT companies were already doing well but that providing purpose built premises would make it easier for them to attract staff and to share knowledge and collaborate on opportunities.

“Many of these companies have developed from home office environments. They’ve
done well but they can do far better if they are in a situation and space where they have the opportunity to share technology and ideas with others.”

Kapiti Airport and its associated Kapiti Landings retail and office development offer what appears to be an ideal environment for this kind of thing to develop.

Follow up work had identified around 20 to 25 ICT companies within Kapiti –
Horowhenua. They vary in their size, scope and kinds of operation.

Dyhrberg believes they have talked to around 70 to 75% of local IT companies but there are others who have not been identified as yet. “Hopefully more will come forward when they hear that the project is closer to becoming a reality.”

Any ICT companies interested in becoming involved should contact Chris Dyhrberg
(chris.dyhrberg@xtra.co.nz) for further information.

He is meeting with a few of the main ICT players within the next two weeks to
establish levels of interest and commitment and they will then meet with Sir Noel and Todd Properties later in May.

As well as coming up with a concept design that will meet the requirements of the various ICT players, it is essential to establish the commercial viability of a building or ICT campus within the airport precinct.

“It’s very good news that the Airport Company is interested in making the oject

happen,” Chris Dyhrberg said. “However, clearly from their point of view it has to be a sound business proposition.”

The research has also shown that if an ICT hub or campus is set up in Kapiti it could also attract companies from outside the area.

The independent chair of the regional initiative group set up following the forum, Bryan Jackson, believes progress is being made in developing all four of the initiatives.

“Our overall aim is to expand the number of high value jobs in the region. While we’re doing that it’s also important we make sure we support and retain our existing business base.”

An ICT hub at Kapiti Airport would be an outstanding example of this, Bryan Jackson said.

Ends

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