PM's Address at Manukau Business Excellence Awards
Rt Hon Helen Clark
Manukau Business Excellence Awards
Thank you, Sir Barry, for inviting me to the Manukau Business Excellence Awards once again.
This is a night of celebration for Manukau City – a city which is progressive for business, and for all who live here.
In the course of a year, I come to Manukau City on many, many occasions.
I know Manukau City Council as one which goes the extra mile to plan and advocate for jobs, opportunity, and security for its people. The city’s commitment to social cohesion and inclusion is simply outstanding.
Manukau City’s success is underpinned by its strong economic performance.
This city is consistently growing at a faster rate than the national average. Last year Manukau’s economy grew by 5.7 per cent. You are a model for the rest of New Zealand.
New Zealand’s big reduction in unemployment has had huge spin offs in Manukau City – and the gains from having so many more people at work are both short and long term.
In a few short years, we have moved away from the days when neither parents nor children in parts of this city thought it was realistic to get a job.
Now the challenge is to upskill our workforce for a higher value 21st century economy.
Critical to all our hopes and dreams for our local economy, and our New Zealand economy, is the success of our businesses.
We have outstanding businesses, across all sectors of our economy, and at award ceremonies like these we can recognise and applaud the very best of them.
Here in Manukau City, the number of businesses is also growing faster than the New Zealand average; helped by the growth of the city and its economy, and helped by the very positive approach of Manukau City and its economic development agency to attracting business to locate here.
Tonight we recognise companies and enterprise across many sectors of the Manukau economy: manufacturing and technology; distribution; construction and infrastructure; and media, tourism, and other services.
We recognise the best employers, the best exporters, the best manufacturers, the best in tourism and small business, most innovative, the best customer service, the safest businesses, and we recognise those who contribute to the local community in many ways.
All of these businesses are an asset to Manukau, and to New Zealand. They contribute to making this city and our country successful, and they deserve the recognition they gain through these annual awards.
I congratulate all tonight’s finalists on their achievements, and I congratulate Sir Barry and Manukau City Council on making this city one of the fastest growing, and most progressive in New Zealand.