Dunedin's job growth strategy close to target

The Beautiful Awards, run by Keep New Zeland Beautiful, aim to celebrate environmental excellence...
Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Dunedin's economy continues to surge ahead, but the results of a review of the Dunedin City Council's in-house economic development agency remain under wraps for now.

The review of Enterprise Dunedin - the council's in-house economic development, marketing and tourism agency - was launched last year.

It came months after Larnach Castle director Norcombe Barker blasted the performance of the agency as an "unmitigated disaster" that had cost the city "tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars" in lost revenue.

External consultant Martin Jenkins was hired to conduct the review and report back to the council's economic development committee by last September.

The report was still yet to be made public, despite being discussed behind during the non-public section of a full council meeting on Tuesday.

Council chief executive Sue Bidrose could only say yesterday the report was now due to be released in about 10 days.

Mayor Dave Cull declined to comment, as did deputy mayor Chris Staynes, the chairman of the council's economic development committee.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie referred questions to other council staff, prompting a brief written statement by a council spokesman late yesterday.

In it, the spokesman would only say further discussions with staff and stakeholders were needed before the findings could be released.

"We expect the report to be released in mid-February once those discussions are held."

The delay releasing the report came as the latest Infometrics data underlined the sustained period of growth in Dunedin.

The report showed 1646 new jobs had been created in the year to March 2018, a 2.7% increase, Cr Staynes said in a statement.

That meant the city was "just shy" of the 5000 jobs it aimed to create in the first half of the 10-year Dunedin economic development strategy, he said.

The strategy was launched in 2013, with the aim of creating 10,000 extra jobs, and an average of $10,000 extra income per person, across Dunedin by 2023.

There had been 4721 new jobs created since then, meaning the city was "well on track" to achieve its goals, he said.

"Dunedin is enjoying a sustained period of growth and with the numerous developments planned for the city in the years ahead, this shows no sign of slowing down any time soon."

Mayor Dave Cull said the latest statistics reaffirmed Dunedin's "strong resurgence".

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan said the sustained period of job creation was "great to see", and growth in the capacity of the construction sector also boded well for upcoming developments.

The Infometrics report also showed a 2.6% increase in GDP for the year to March 2018 and a 1.1% GDP increase per capita over the same period.


I'm guessing the delay will because the DDC are trying to take credit for the small economic growth that infrometrics have reported and the reveiw will show that the growth has happened despite of the DDC's poor performing Enterprise Dunedin.
Can we please see the details of the infrometric report and maybe a comparison with Queenstown?