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Auckland strategy workable if resources are available

Media statement Friday, September 14, 2012
Embargoed till 12noon, September 14

Auckland strategy workable if resources are available

Auckland Council's strategy for economic development launched today is commendable and seems achievable - as long as the resources are made available to carry out the planned actions, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) chief executive Kim Campbell.

"Growth projections are modest and achievable - to raise exports by 6% above current levels, real Gross Domestic Product ( the annual value of the region's goods and services) by 5% and productivity by 2% annually over the next 10 years," he says.

"The Innovation Hub is a really good idea. In fact all the features of a world-class city that we want to see are included in this plan.

"But there is too much in there; it's highly aspirational - so the question is: where is the funding to carry out these five main goals?

1. Grow a business-friendly and well-functioning city;

2. Develop an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific rim;

3. Become internationally connected and export-driven;

4. Enhance investment in people to grow skills and a local workforce; and

5. Develop a creative, vibrant international city.

"We hope the Council has the economists available to cost these developments properly and allocate real resources.

"Unfortunately councilors are up against ratepayers' concerns about their rates going up every time they talk about putting resources aside," Mr Campbell says.

"Auckland is lucky to have this strategy detail because having no plan is a plan to fail. But more than that, it is a workable plan, with clear actions associated with each priority.

"And it's focused on the issues Auckland sorely needs to develop.

"We will continue to work with the Council to help put this plan into action."


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