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Regional partnership for Auckland

21 December 2001 Media Statement

Regional partnership for Auckland

The Auckland region is to receive Industry New Zealand regional development partnership funding that recognises its size and unique characteristics.

Industry New Zealand contributes funds for regions to develop strategies, and to build capacity to implement them. Further funding is available to contribute to major regional initiatives that come out of the strategies developed in the first two stages.

Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said the Auckland region generates around a third of New Zealand’s income and includes about a third of the population.

“The economic performance of Auckland is of national strategic importance,” Jim Anderton said.

“Unfortunately, Auckland is falling behind many overseas cities and regions with which it competes, and this has implications for the economic health of the whole country.”

Industry New Zealand will contribute a total of just under $500,000 under the Regional Partnership Programme (RPP) to the Auckland Strategic Leaders Group to develop the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy.

In addition, funding of approximately $250,000 has been approved for capability building initiatives in the marine, biotechnology and education sectors.

The funding represents approximately 40% of the total cost of the strategy development and capability building projects, with significant support coming from the combined councils and the business sector.

Mr Anderton said the funding exceeded the usual cap applied to funding for strategic planning and capability building projects under the Regional Partnerships Programme.

“Auckland requires special consideration because of its huge economic significance and potential, coupled with the particular issues and challenges it faces.

“Auckland is diverse and unique both in the make-up of it’s communities and its business activity.

“The funding includes significant investment in consultation forums and partnership building processes because developing a strategy for the region and ensuring broad-based agreement is much more complex and costly in Auckland than elsewhere.”

The Strategic Leaders Group has a broad base of support, including from all seven councils in the Auckland Region and the Auckland Regional Council, as well as from business, Maori, education and community interests.

“For the first time all local authorities in the Auckland Region are committed to collaborative action and are working closely with business for economic growth,” Jim Anderton said.

Conditions apply to the funding, related to timeframes, budgets and commitment.

Before today’s announcement, the most recent Regional Partnership announcement awarded $2 million for an Innovation Park in Hamilton.

ENDS

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