Summit planned to give Motueka direction

Motueka's economy is "drifting" and needs a strategy and innovation, say local leaders who are organising an economic summit for the town.

Vision Motueka chairman David Armstrong and community board member David Ogilvie are running the half-day summit meeting which will feature eight speakers ranging from business owners to political leaders.

The free seminar is being called "Toward 2030: A Better Future for Motueka" and will be held on Wednesday, August 27 from 9am to 1pm at the Motueka Top 10 Holiday Park conference centre.

Armstrong said the need arose from hearing a "number of people saying the town is drifting. There is an apathetic sense of ‘something has to be done by someone else'.

"Some businesses are doing quite well within their own market, but we all know that many are really struggling and vulnerable.

"We need to do more than just keeping our fingers crossed and looking after number one", he said.

"All our businesses should be looking at the broader picture, beyond just their own silo.

"We need to work together to develop economic opportunities that in the long term will benefit us all.

"And this doesn't mean just getting more people to shop here. Our retail sector really just reflects the success or otherwise of our broader key industries."

The two men said that in the past, groups such as the Junior Chamber of Commerce were powerful and active. Although the town has a retailers' advocacy group, Our Town Motueka, Armstrong said retail was more a reflection of the broader ward's economy than a key driver.

They hope the summit will help identify "strategic and innovative" ways to find economic growth opportunities, energise a new generation of leadership and create a dynamic future for the town.

Armstrong said he and Ogilvie had attended the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency economic summit in June and were inspired by Kono NZ chief executive Don Everitt's presentation on how Kono was innovating and collaborating to add value to products.

Speakers at the Motueka summit will be: Bill Findlater of Nelson EDA, MP Damien O'Connor, Darryl Wilson of Wilsons Abel Tasman, Doug Saunders-Loder of Talley's, David Easton of Easton Apples, Debbie Smith of Bay Apparelmaster, Ru Collin of Kono Horticulture, and Tasman district councillor Judene Edgar.

The summit is aimed at Motueka business owners and others with an interest in the town's economic development.

Registrations are required and can be made by email or ph 528 4046.

The Nelson Mail