EMA base shows confidence in city

21:41, Nov 12 2012
EMA building
NEW HOME: The Employer and Manufacturers Association has set up shop in a building on the corner of Collingwood and Tristram Streets.

The investment by the Employer and Manufacturers Association in a permanent new home for its Waikato operation is a signal of confidence in Hamilton, which is ideally placed to fill the gaps created by Auckland's growth difficulties, says association chief executive Kim Campbell.

The Waikato's rapid business expansion has spurred the association to set up shop in a building on the corner of Collingwood and Tristram Streets which will bring together the business group's scattered expert staff in the city for the first time.

The new offices open this afternoon. To mark the day the association is holding an open day with free 20 minute confidential employment law consultations, and games with the prize being $1000 worth of workplace training.

Campbell said Hamilton was no longer a provincial town. It was a major city and would continue to grow based on the strength of its world-leading agri-tech industries, he said.

"If Auckland is having problems maintaining itself with growth, Hamilton should fill the gap. It's almost the geographical centre of New Zealand, it is equidistant to both major ports, it has the river, and all the classic geographical reasons for (business) being there. Given the cost of land in Auckland, Hamilton is ideally placed (to be an alternative).

"This opening shows our confidence in the Waikato."

Businesses were invited to make the EMA's new home "their hub, go-to place for skills development, employment and health and safety advice, export networking and other business information," Campbell said.