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Council Invites Feedback On Economic Diversification Plan

A draft economic diversification plan developed by Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) alongside local businesses and industry experts has been shared for public feedback.

Queenstown Lakes District Councillor and local business owner Matt Wong said the draft plan, New pathways to a thriving future, seeks to support the diversification work already happening across the district and help achieve Council’s Vision 2050 goal of a resilient and sustainable economy offering a diverse range of career and income opportunities.

“A variety of local businesses and individuals are already creating income streams outside of traditional core sectors like tourism and construction, and this in turn is nurturing a new range of suppliers and associated businesses supporting them. This new plan aims to boost these innovations further, creating a local economy better able to withstand potential disruption and capitalise on new opportunities,” he said.

QLDC Economic Development Manager Peter Harris said the draft plan proposes a keystone project called A world of connections underneath which sit three strategic pillars each with their own objectives and supporting projects.

“The intent behind the keystone project is to acknowledge the international experience and outlook of our locals and how this can be channelled for the benefit of businesses across the district and wider region. The three pillars then outline the need to, respectively, create the conditions that will help retain and attract diverse businesses, build on the district’s tourism expertise to grow related sectors like film and screen, and foster new niche industries,” he said.

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“With tourism and construction currently so dominant, change will take time but it’s really encouraging to see some amazing businesses flourish outside these sectors and there are many other people keen to support them to grow. Fresh opportunities will inspire budding junior entrepreneurs and encourage homegrown talent to remain in the district.”

The draft plan sits alongside the district’s regenerative tourism plan Travel to a thriving future and the Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan. Together, these will form the economic development strategy going forward. All are fully aligned with other Council strategies and the Climate and Biodiversity Plan 2022-2025 to deliver good outcomes economically, environmentally, socially and culturally.

To provide more insight into the draft plan, emphasise why diversification is important and how people can share their views, QLDC is hosting a lunchtime webinar at 12.30pm on Tuesday 21 November. Peter Harris will be joined by Benje Patterson, a local economist specialising in regional economies, QLDC General Manager Strategy and Policy Michelle Morss, and Patrick McVeigh, People and Places Lead at consultants MartinJenkins.

Public feedback on New pathways to a thriving future closes on 8 December with the final plan expected to be presented to Councillors in early 2024. ­­­

Full details including a webinar registration link can be found at

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