The economic development of a city is a long game, but a
partnership approach is already making a difference to
Dunedin's economy, the city's deputy mayor says.
Cr Chris Staynes told about 150 members of Dunedin's business
community gathered recently for an update on the city's
year-old economic development strategy that a partnership of
the city council, Ngai Tahu, Otago Polytechnic, University of
Otago, Otago Chamber of Commerce and Otago Southland
Employers Association was already making inroads on an agreed
target of creating 10,000 extra jobs in Dunedin and
increasing average per capita income by $10,000 in 10 years.
The partnership had developed a strategy and started
implementing it by selecting priority projects to focus on.
They included the council's ''red carpet not red tape''
project, which had developed a mechanism to support new
businesses through regulatory processes, and developed a city
investment prospectus, Cr Staynes said.
An energy plan, identifying energy opportunities for
businesses, was under development by the council.
A review of procurement practices had been completed. One
issue identified had been addressed by introducing a free
online tendering process, expected to result in more local
tenders being accepted. A new city marketing agency for
business, tourism and education marketing, among other areas,
was well under way.
''I am confident the city-led activities are starting to make
Alistair Regan, from Otago Polytechnic, said the polytech-led
education uplift project, which aimed to double Dunedin's
income from international students and education exports, was
The brand ''Study Dunedin'' had already been developed to
make Dunedin education more visible internationally.
John Ripley, from the Otago Southland Employers Association,
said it believed the new partnership approach was working
It had given the association access to the skills of people
in other partner organisations and they had been able to do a
lot of work on their project to support and increase export
Among other things, they had reviewed export capacity and
commitment of Dunedin businesses, researched local companies'
were focusing on mentoring and assisting medium to small
companies to improve their exports.
John Christie, from the Otago Chamber of Commerce, said it
had been a busy 12 months for Project Shanghai.
Dunedin had hosted tertiary and secondary students and
municipal staff from that city and was looking at increasing
the number of sister schools between the cities from five to
seven and creating a permanent Dunedin presence in Shanghai.
It had helped 11 companies introduce products to China, some
research collaborations had been started with Chinese
universities and Dunedin had a co-operation agreement with
Qingdao, where there were some exciting research agreement
prospects, including in marine research.
David Thomson, from the University of Otago, said the
partnership approach was also good for the institution as the
Government called for universities to make clearer
contributions to their communities.
Among other work, the university-led project to develop a
central place where early stage businesses and entrepreneurs
could work, that would help them start their businesses for a
minimum cost, was well under way.
A space had been purchased near the student area and central
city and was about to be opened.
Several businesses, including Harraways, Tuapeka Print and
Education Perfect then shared how the projects had assisted
their growth over the past year.
Cr Staynes called for any other organisations that could help
deliver projects to come forward and said the intention was
to provide similar yearly updates as the strategy developed.