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Key Fact Sheet: Regional economic development

Key Fact Sheet: Regional economic development

Key facts regarding regional development


The Labour-led government is committed to raising New Zealanders' living standards further by building a sustainable and inclusive economy, capable of continued growth, for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Over the next decade, we are aiming to work with business to progress our economic transformation into a high-income, knowledge-based export-led economy that is producing high value goods and services and selling them to the world.

- Regional economic growth: Every single region in the country has now been in positive growth mode, year on year, for 25 consecutive quarters. This government's partnership approach to working with the regions has clearly contributed to this consistent growth.

- Regional Partnership Programme: Since 2001, NZTE and its predecessor Industry New Zealand have invested more than $50 million into regional economic development (including Regional Partnership Programme - Strategic Planning, Capability Building, Major Regional Initiatives, Inter-regional Capability Building and Polytech Funding).

- Business Incubators: The 39 companies that have successfully graduated from the incubator network (as at Apr 2005) recorded an average annual turnover growth rate of 135 per cent during incubation; their employee number growth has averaged 375 per cent, and they have raised $9.2 million in investment capital.

- Enterprise Training: Support, advice and training have been provided to over 12,300 businesses across New Zealand over the last year through the Enterprise Training Programme, and over 1000 companies have received grants.

- Enterprise Development Grants: So far 760 awards to small business, worth $7.44 million.

- New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has also been working in partnership with the following industry sectors: biotechnology and agritech, information & communications technology, creative industries, food and beverages, wood, building and interiors, specialised manufacturing (including general engineering and marine), education services, Maori businesses, tourism.

- NZTE delivers a range of schemes to build firm capability, including $90 million per year in grants and awards, $23 million in tailored information and advice to enable businesses to identify and address opportunities and constraints, $13 million in training in management and exporting capability to boost skills, and $26 million for support in identifying and pursuing business opportunities both domestically and internationally.

- building supportive networks and encouraging collaboration through part-funding sector and regional strategies and initiatives ($48 million per year), and through NZTE's Incubator Development Programme.

- creating more high-growth, high-value firms with programmes that provide mentoring, information and practical business advice to new businesses and the $100 million contribution to the Venture Investment Fund, which assists building a domestic venture capital industry to invest in fast-growing, innovative firms.

- public research -almost one third of the $633 million for Vote Research, Science and Technology goes into Research for Industry. Technology New Zealand funding has increased by 146 per cent to $54.4 million since 2001. The $60 million per year New Economy Research Fund is supporting investment in research capability in new technologies and emerging industries. Encouraging industry co-funding has also improved alignment between public research and industry goals.

- Many Tertiary Education Commission initiatives, such as the Innovation and Development Fund ($40 million over four years), the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics Business Link Fund ($21.5 million over four years) promote networks and partnerships. With some of these, such as research consortia and Partnerships for Excellence government has required co-funding to ensure government money goes further.

Budget 2005:

- To build the conditions necessary for sustainable economic growth, Budget 2005's growth and innovation programmes focus on lifting our game in four key areas: skills, innovation, global connections and infrastructure.

- The total investment in Vote Economic, Industry and Regional Development is now close to $250 million. Ninety-four percent of it ($235 million) is for services and/or grants and awards to firms, sectors and regions.

Please see attached table - Regional Economic average annual percentage change in growth rates for the year ended September 1999 and 2005

Annex One: Table of Major Regional Initiatives (15 in 13 regions)

Northland - tourism
This project aims to build the capability of many small tourism operators in Northland to take advantage of the large numbers of tourists that visit Northland.

Auckland - screen production
This project builds up the screen production infrastructure through securing private sector support for a sound stage in Auckland, the key New Zealand centre for screen production.

Hamilton - innovation park
The Innovation Park provides a facility that houses a number of dynamic, innovative companies.

Hamilton - aviation
This project builds upon the role of aviation in the Waikato economy and aims to help its export success.

Eastern Bay of Plenty - engineering
This initiative is a partnership between the major industries in the region (eg Norske Skog and Fonterra) and the Union (EPMU) and aims to develop the workforce of the future.

Hawkes Bay - food and beverages
This project links education and training with the small food producing businesses that the Hawkes Bay is famous for.

Tairawhiti - food and beverages
This project links major food producers (eg Cedenco) who are seeking more land to grow produce with owners of under-utilised Maori land.

Rotorua - forestry and wood
This project aims to develop the skills in the wood processing industry that are necessary if it is to become a high value exporter (for instance the development of complex wood based products).

Taranaki - engineering
This project aims to address both the skill needs and the export potential of the heavy engineering industry in Taranaki, through combining a number of firms into a consortium.

Wanganui - tourism
This project aims to increase the role that tourism can play in the Wanganui, Rangitikei, and Ruapehu districts' economies.

Manawatu - biotechnology
This project has created an "incubator" that will support the development of small start-up companies with a high-tech focus.

Wellington - screen production
This project has developed a sound stage that will enable more post-production work to be undertaken in Wellington.

Marlborough - food and beverages
The Wine Research Centre brings together science with Marlborough's most famous industry to create more value in the industry.

Marlborough - aviation heritage
The aviation heritage project builds upon the special skills that lie in Marlborough for the restoration and reconditioning of old heritage aircraft.

Southland - technology
This project recognised the key role that high speed communications infrastructure (broadband) can play in a remote region like Southland. It complements the government's Project PROBE roll out to schools nation-wide.


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