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Waitakere City focuses on economic development

3 October 2003

Press release

Waitakere City focuses on economic development

Waitakere City took another step towards a robust future economy with the Council’s adoption of a draft Economic Development Strategy.

The strategy is designed to promote expansion of the economy with new businesses and growing businesses bringing wealth and employment to the City. The focus is on “clean green” and high technology and knowledge industries, which bring high value and minimal undesirable impacts.

The downstream effect is to boost the social conditions in the City and promote the well-being of its residents.

"This strategy is vital in that it sets out what Council needs to do to help improve the local economy. If we wish to create more local jobs and improve the quality of local businesses, then we need to be playing an active part,” says City Development Committee deputy chair, Councillor Greg Presland.

"We need to ensure that we build on the City’s natural strengths and successes and identify initiatives to improve Waitakere’s economy in both the short and long term.”

The strategy was developed from the results of consultation and research undertaken by the Council and its business development arm, Enterprise Waitakere, over the last three years, and from the wealth of data used for the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Common themes raised during the development of the strategy will be built into the implementation phases. These include both short-term developments that can be progressed immediately at no, or minimal, cost and longer term matters that will be considered through the Council’s next Annual Planning round and incorporated into its Long Term Council Community Plan. More consideration of ‘economic well-being’ is now required of all councils under the Local Government Act 2002.

Themes identified include:

- A package to attract new business and investment in the City.
- Support for small and medium enterprises as key to economic development.
- Investigate an emergent Clean Technology Cluster as key to strengthening the City’s identity.
- Education and training for a flexible, highly capable workforce.
- Infrastructure to meet business and employment needs.
- Initiatives to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Council will also continue to support the City’s specialised business clusters, such as the marine, film and wine industries and the emerging organics industry.

Since September 2000, when the Council first formally decided to work on an economic development strategy, it has taken a number of steps towards developing an appropriate strategy to support the City’s economic goals - including hosting an Economic Summit (April 2001), participating in the regional economic development work (through 2001-2002), undertaking research with business stakeholders and building on the existing partnerships with central government and business and community sectors.

Public consultation will be held during the Annual Plan process in 2004 before the final version returns to the City Development Committee for approval.


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