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Jude Thompson moves into Whangarei economic devpmt

5 October 2005

Jude Thompson moves into Whangarei economic development role

Northland business leader Jude Thompson is to join Enterprise Northland in a newly-created role focusing on the economic development of Whangarei district.

The Whangarei District Council asked Enterprise Northland to promote the economic interests of Whangarei, following the closure of Advance Whangarei.

As part of this arrangement, Enterprise Northland agreed to employ a dedicated staff member with a full-time focus on Whangarei district activities, and Jude Thompson – chief executive officer of the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce for the past three years – is the successful applicant.

Born in Te Kopuru and raised and educated in Whangarei, Ms Thompson has 20 years’ business experience, which ranges from running her own company to a management role with Telecom. She is currently working towards a Graduate Diploma of Economic Development through the Auckland University of Technology.

“Jude will hit the ground running in her new role,” said Shelley Deeming, chairman of the Whangarei District Council’s Economic Review Committee.

“With her networks and rapport with public and business communities already established, and experience in working with local and national government organisations, she was an outstanding selection among a large number of high-calibre applications.”

Enterprise Northland chief executive Brian Roberts said Ms Thompson had worked closely with Enterprise Northland in her current role, and would be a welcome addition to the team. She is due to start work on November 1.
Enterprise Northland’s brief from the council is to focus on district needs, leverage region-wide activities to benefit Whangarei, and avoid duplicating initiatives already undertaken by Enterprise Northland.

Enterprise Northland has met with members of the Whangarei business community to hear their views on priorities, and will be ongoingly guided by an advisory/advocacy group, comprising members of the private sector and two Whangarei councilors.

Key activities include:

- Developing a Whangarei district event marketing plan and attracting one new event to Whangarei in the next 12 months

- Maintaining and enhancing the information management role on the Whangarei district

- Attracting central government funding and resources, both to enhance the development of the key industry sectors of woodprocessing, marine and general construction, as well as to provide support to the SME (small to medium enterprise) sector

- Leveraging Enterprise Northland’s region-wide projects to ensure maximum effect in the Whangarei district.

Tourism and the future of the Whangarei Tourism Trust are not part of Enterprise Northland’s accountabilities to the council at this stage.

A review of the regional economic development strategy Northland Forward Together is scheduled for 2006/07, meaning that a short-term and tactical approach is required until the updated strategy is available.

ENDS

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