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Auckland launches ambitious economic plan

Media release
14 September 2012
Embargoed until 12 noon 14 September 2012

Auckland launches ambitious economic plan

Auckland’s ambitious new Economic Development Strategy (EDS), designed to boost Auckland’s role as the nation’s economic powerhouse, reached a significant milestone with its official launch today.

The EDS is a 10-year roadmap for Auckland, which sets out the priorities to develop an internationally–competitive economy that delivers opportunity and prosperity for all Aucklanders and the country as a whole.

The Mayor says Auckland needs to become more outward looking and globally focused to achieve this ambition.

“This strategy guides Auckland in its economic transformation, away from being a domestically focussed service economy, towards a high-value export economy,” says Len Brown

“We need to be less focused on things like property speculation and more focused on increasing our base of productive and tradable sectors and clusters which can earn us overseas exchange, provide skilled jobs for all Aucklanders and add value to all New Zealand.”

He says becoming export focussed would allow Auckland’s economic growth to be driven by the larger, faster growing economies of our trading partners. This focus will also allow the region’s firms to the achieve economies of scale by selling into much larger overseas markets.

“We are committed to making Auckland prosperous. Auckland will be a region where innovation thrives and doing business is easy, a place of opportunity, investment and connection - an exciting city, full of vibrancy and diversity.”

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Auckland Council’s Economic Development Manager, Harvey Brookes, says the strategy has ambitious economic goals.

“They include an average increase of regional exports of greater than 6 per cent per year, average annual real GDP increases of greater than 5 per cent, and average productivity increases of more than 2 per cent annually,” he says.

“I am pleased that excellent progress has already been made to put the plan into action, with the roll out of broadband across the region, the designation process for the City Rail Loop and are pressing on with the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative – both key integrated transport projects that we help to unlock the economic potential of Auckland.”

The EDS has five priorities:
• creating of a business-friendly and well-functioning city
• developing an innovation hub recognised across Asia and the Pacific
• becoming more internationally connected and export-driven
• investing in people to grow skills and a local workforce
• developing a vibrant, creative international city.

Auckland Council Economic Forum Chair Arthur Anae has welcomed the support from central government and others to develop the EDS.
The launch of the EDS was attended by approximately 200 people including National MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and Business New Zealand Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.

Copies of the EDS are available at libraries and council service centres. A digital version is also available at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/eds.


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