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Otago Receives $100,000 For Capability Building

28 June 2002

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton today announced Industry New Zealand funding of $100,000 for capability building in Otago.

Funding was approved upon completion of Otago’s Regional Strategy for Development.

The funding is part of Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships programme, which provides guidance and financial support to help regions identify and develop sustainable economic growth strategies and put them into action.

At a meeting with Dunedin mayor Sukhi Turner, Jim Anderton expressed his satisfaction at the progress being made by the region thus far.

“I’m pleased to see Otago coming together as a region. It’s excellent to watch local groups working in partnership with the Government to identify growth opportunities for the whole region.

“The investments this Coalition Government has made in the regions prove that sustainable regional development is possible.”

“Every region in New Zealand now has an economic development plan in place. All 14 are currently in a positive growth mode.

“This level of growth is a direct result of regions playing to their individual strengths, instead of competing against other regions. Continued growth in our regional economies will add up to sustainable growth for the entire country.”

The five Otago Mayors, together with the Chairs of the Community Trust of Otago and the Otago Regional Council, have been working with the Otago Chamber of Commerce and Ngai Tahu representatives. This group is formally known as the Otago Mayors’ Joint Committee for Regional Economic Development (or the ‘Mayors’ Joint Committee’). Their focus is to devise and implement an Otago-wide regional economic development strategy.

The strategy provides a framework and focus for economic development for the region, and identifies specific regional development initiatives. Funded by Industry New Zealand, one of the report’s key recommendations was for the creation of a Board to manage the day-to-day implementation of the identified regional initiatives.

The Board is responsible for setting a high-level development strategy, as well as developing and extending a funding base for development projects and establishing an appropriate working relationship with the four district councils and the Dunedin City Council.

The Otago Mayors’ Joint Committee for Regional Economic Development will use the capability building funding assistance in several areas. These include the appointment of a regional co-ordinator for economic development initiatives and four strategically important projects to help Otago enhance its development.

Ends

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