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Entrepreneur Ian Taylor Addresses Priority One AGM

Entrepreneur Ian Taylor Addresses Priority One AGM

Around 150 business and civic leaders attended Priority One’s Annual General Meeting last night to receive an update on activities underway to stimulate the economy and hear from guest speaker Ian Taylor, inventor, entrepreneur and CEO of Dunedin-based Animation Research Ltd.

In his opening speech, Priority One Chair, Murray Denyer of Cooney Lees Morgan, said “Our core focus over the last two years has been to package, via a business retention and attraction campaign, the sub-region’s competitive advantages. As a region, we compete nationally and internationally for talent and businesses – and so we have to work to retain the businesses we have here now, as well as communicating our competitive strengths so that we attract those businesses that are considering expansion or even relocation to secure their growth and prosperity.”

Through the retention and attraction focus, Priority One is working with an increasing number of businesses at various stages in their consideration of whether to expand or relocate their businesses here. This is in addition to a number of businesses that have located to the region over the last six or so years, which have been facilitated through Priority One.

There was a high level of interest from Priority One members in putting themselves forward for board positions, with 13 people standing for four vacancies. The successful candidates were Sara Lunam from Port of Tauranga, Bill Holland from Holland Beckett, Steve Saunders of Plus Group Horticulture and Glenn Keaney of KPMG. The electoral turnout also drew strong interest, with 82 per cent of registered members taking part in the vote.

Mr Denyer said “I’m pleased to say that there has been a very strong turnout of members putting themselves forward for nomination and election to the Board. The high calibre of candidates is to me a very positive indicator of the health of our organisation, and of the strong community spirit within our membership.” He also thanked retiring board member Hemi Rolleston of Te Awanui Huka Pak for his contribution over the last three years.

The other members currently on Priority One’s board are Simon Limmer, ZESPRI International, Garry Poole, Tauranga City Council, Alister Jones, University of Waikato, Glenn Snelgrove, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Fraser Lellman, BDO Tauranga, Antoine Coffin representing Tauranga Moana iwi, Simon Clarke, TrustPower and Mary Anne Macleod, Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Guest speaker Ian Taylor gave a stimulating presentation on his journey from the small town of Kaeo, north of Kerikeri, to being the CEO of an internationally renowned computer animation company. Animation Research Ltd is best known for its work in television and sports graphics, enhancing our understanding of sports such as cricket, golf and Formula One racing and making them infinitely more interesting to watch. His technology is also used for ball-tracking in cricket, where it assists umpires with their decision making and informs TV commentators and viewers.

Animation Research was front and centre of activities during the recent America’s Cup challenge by Team New Zealand, which had most Kiwis on the edge of their seats. The company designed the graphics that accompanied the racing, grabbing our attention and significantly increasing our understanding of the sport. Animation Research first developed graphics for America’s Cup in the 1990s and has continued to lead the world with its technology ever since. Ian is passionate about promoting New Zealand’s leading-edge technology, emphasising the importance of showcasing our expertise in boat design and construction, as well as other technologies.


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