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Development Agency supported for strategic resrch

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development
Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health

Progressive Leader

13 October 2005 Media release

Economic Development Agency gets support for strategic research

The Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) has been awarded $98,500 for strategic research work, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton, announced today.

EDANZ promotes economic development, business growth and export opportunities, and is the umbrella body for 70 local and regional economic development agencies.

"EDANZ is becoming a hub of knowledge sharing for economic development practitioners and government agencies involved in economic development policy making.” said the Progressive leader.

"The funding will allow EDANZ to employ an experienced research analyst for specific projects aimed at:

- Improving the capability and practice of regional economic development agencies (EDAs) and their staff; and

- Ensuring that EDANZ is able to have more strategic input into policy development and economic development work in the regions.

"EDANZ currently works with government agencies, especially the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), and provides practical insight on specific regional economic development issues. This project funding will better enable EDANZ to collect information from its members and to turn this practical knowledge into a format useful for policy makers.

"All New Zealand regions stand to benefit if we strengthen EDANZ’s ability to participate more strategically. The organisation's strength lies in its nation-wide network of regional and local economic development agencies. Their combined experience in working on the ground provides an important counter-weight to centralised policy development," Jim Anderton said.

EDANZ Chief Executive Bevan Graham has welcomed the extra resourcing made available through the Ministry of Economic Development’s Regional Initiatives Fund.

"A huge amount of knowledge and capability exists within the network of economic development agencies. This extra resource will enable EDANZ to better harness that information. We believe it will aid the flow of knowledge amongst economic development practitioners, and between practitioners and policy makers. This will help develop best practice and inform sound policy," said Mr Graham.

EDANZ will contribute management time, office equipment, space and support to the project, estimated at a value of around $20,000.

ENDS

Editor’s Note:

The Regional Initiatives Fund (RIF) is a discretionary fund administered by the Ministry of Economic Development. Each application is sent to the Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development for approval.

On average 20 projects are funded through the RIF each year. RIF grants range in value between $28,000 to $200,000, with most between $50,000 and $70,000. The majority of RIF grants are paid to territorial local authorities. In some cases, the council holds the money on behalf of groups that are not a legal entity.

Each application is based on partial funding that is determined on a case-by-case basis. A ‘local contribution’ is an essential part of any RIF application.

The RIF provides catalyst funding for regional projects that fall outside the criteria of existing government assistance programmes, but have the potential to leverage economic growth as well as meet government objectives for economic, social and environmental development.

A region is defined as a geographical concentration of communities with similar economic, social and environmental characteristics and objectives.

Funding is only paid out on the completion of agreed milestones, and is monitored by the Ministry of Economic Development.

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