Waikato District Council is to launch a unique web-based tool for investors aimed at supporting new business and new investment in the district.
Open Waikato (www.openwaikato.co.nz) is a council-led initiative to support economic growth in the district between Auckland and Hamilton. The multi-platform tool, including a YouTube channel, provides statistical data of the region’s economic profile along with key information sought by investors and business people here and internationally.
Council’s business development manager Clive Morgan said Open Waikato was flexible and relevant but most of all, useful.
“Those deciding where to invest need key information about where they’re going but until now, it’s been difficult to find and in some cases, was almost inaccessible. This tool puts it all in one place and will be hugely helpful for anyone looking to move their business here, locate here themselves or expand an existing operation.”
Waikato is the fourth-largest regional economy in New Zealand. Its location in the ‘golden triangle’ between Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga is building its growing reputation as the ‘go to place’ for investors, he said.
“Waikato district is adjacent to major transport links, both road and rail, and sits strategically between two major sea ports and New Zealand’s busiest international airport.
“We’re rich in natural resources, all vital infrastructure is in place and we offer a lifestyle second to none, including very competitive land prices. For a successful business proposition, it’s hard to go past the Waikato.”
In November 2010, as part of the Auckland amalgamation, the Waikato district expanded north to include part of the Franklin district including the townships of Pokeno, Tuakau and Port Waikato. In 2011 the council ramped up its approach to growth by actively encouraging economic development.
Recent growth includes the $200 million Yashili milk powder manufacturing plant at Pokeno, the Pokeno Village Estate residential development and the relocation of Waikato Milking Systems to the expanding Northgate Business Park in Horotiu.
The Open Waikato website, printed material and supporting YouTube channel provides constantly updated statistics about skill sets, major industries, GDP, tourism, business unit numbers, land availability, per-person productivity data and more. That information is compared to the national average and includes statistics from Wellington-based analysts, Infometrics.
A lifestyle section includes relocation information about infrastructure, health, housing and schools. A section on tourism has information about the district’s major attractions as well as information for potential tourism operators.
Alongside hard data, Open Waikato includes video case studies from business owners and managers about why they chose the Waikato district and their experiences working with the council. Case studies include Peplers Fine foods, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Aeronavics, Pokeno Village Estate and pre-cast concrete manufacturer Concretec.
Concretec established a second plant in Pokeno in 2013. The site will allow them to double production to meet growing demand in the construction sector. Spokesperson Stefan Young said Waikato District Council was very supportive of the move.
“They were incredibly helpful with the resource consent process for expansion, making sure all related business contractors were fully supported. There was a team of people making sure we’re all going forward together. They have the big picture in mind, which is growth in the region and the people we spoke to at the council were the ones actually making the decisions,” Young said.
The Open Waikato initiative is supported by a number of stakeholders, including local residents. It will be officially launched next Wednesday (October 29) at an economic development conference at Hampton Downs [see separate release]. Limited places are still available at the conference which is free to attend.
Mr Morgan said Open Waikato – www.openwaikato.co.nz – will continue to be developed and constantly updated.
Business Development Manager
Waikato District Council
Mobile: 027 217 9221
Waikato District Council
Mobile: 027 509 8907