Auckland economic strategy signed off

TREVOR QUINN
Last updated 15:27 26/07/2012

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An economic blueprint which aims to deliver a thriving economy and quality of life for the next generation of Aucklanders was given final sign off by the Auckland Council today.

The final draft of the Economic Development Strategy was unanimously adopted by councillors at a Governing Body meeting in Takapuna.
 
The strategy has five priorities; to grow a business friendly city, develop an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific rim, become internationally connected and export driven, enhance investment in people, and develop a creative and vibrant international city.

Specifically it will see the council pushing to accelerate the prospects of Auckland's youth, committing to environmental action and green growth and transforming public transport in the city.

Transport projects include the implementation of an integrated transport system with a strong emphasis on projects such as City Rail Link, Auckland Manukau Eastern transport Initiative (AMETI), East-West link and an additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing.

The council will also hold regular workshops with the business community to implement regulatory improvements and a "fostering of a business-friendly culture across the organisation."

Councillors were generally in favour of the strategy at the meeting.

Councillor Wayne Walker said it allowed Auckland to "move forward" and rival other large cities in Oceania.

"I'm particularly encouraged by the emphasis on green-growth as this is the largest sector on the planet with significant economic growth potential," he said.

Councillor George Wood said he was delighted with the plan.

"This will benefit a range of sectors such as the rural sector, the retail sector and Auckland International Airport. They have all been very positive when working with the council and I have no doubt this will improve the social and economic well-being of Auckland.

Councillor Dick Quax congratulated the committee and everyone involved with the strategy and said it was a positive step; however, he said he had one real reservation in relation to the issue of land.

"I have only one real concern about this. That is that we are making sure we have adequate supplies of business land with 1400 hectares. I believe we will need a lot more than 1400 hectares over the next 40 years if our economy is to grow."

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