Archive | Innovation & science

Hamilton council seeks buyer to take innovation park to next stage

Hamilton City Council has hired Deloitte to look for an investor to take over its Waikato Innovation Park Ltd subsidiary, 17 months after getting a masterplan done for its expansion.

The innovation park has 46 tenants working in 4 buildings on 17ha leased from Waikato-Tainui commercial arm Tainui Group Holdings Ltd at Ruakura, and the masterplan Beca Ltd produced for the council in November 2015 projected growth from the present $25 million value to another 12 buildings & $180 million value in 20 years.

The park has a workforce of 560, and the masterplan showed how that number could rise to 2500. Gross turnover of businesses at the park rose 42% last year, from $300 million to $427 million, and the park’s operations are self-sufficient, but chief executive Stuart Gordon said the council couldn’t divert from its other infrastructure priorities the investment needed for the park to grow.

The council opened the park in 2004 with the aim of clustering businesses to help drive economic growth by researching & developing technology in the environment, food & beverage, ICT & agritechnology sectors. The council provided $4.4 million in equity, Government grants totalled $9.95 million and the WEL Energy Trust provided $2 million at an early stage. The park company is 100% owned by the council, and it owns 70% of NZ Food Innovation (Waikato) Ltd. Callaghan Innovation owns the other 30% of that venture.

The council provides its innovation park as providing “a dynamic business campus where collaboration between business & research organisations drives commercial growth for our resident companies”.

The park’s immediate neighbours in the Ruakura innovation precinct are AgResearch and the NZ Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd, and near-neighbours include Waikato University, Dairy NZ & NIWA (the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research).

Council special projects executive director Blair Bowcott said the council had fulfilled its role of establishing the park and getting it to critical mass, “but now it’s time for us to step out and for someone else to come in.

“We believe the park probably needs a minimum of $10-15 million of equity injection now to grow. Whilst the city could afford that, the city has demands which are of a higher priority.”

The Government has approved selling, and the return will be spread across the council’s core business. Protections have been put in place to prevent the buyer from veering from the masterplan.

“Investors will be buying the park’s assets at the latest independent valuation. They’ll be expected to invest a total of about $70 million over the next 20 years to achieve the park’s growth goals. We’ve contracted Deloitte, who have already been conducting best-fit analysis as part of a robust process to find the right investor.

“We’re looking for investors who can truly visualise the masterplan for the park and will retain the makeup of our tenants who are technology-based, driven by innovation and export-focused.”

Waikato Innovation Park
Masterplan, November 2015

Earlier story:
22 December 2014: Tetra Pak signs up for new Innovation Park HQ

Attribution: Council releases, masterplan.

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Why aim high when we’re just fine on low?

Why would a city that’s proven incapable of explaining its scientific ingenuity want to join an international organisation which demands innovation as an entry card?

New Zealand has a minister of economic development, science & innovation among other things, Steven Joyce, who is determinedly pushing for New Zealanders to rise above being a nation of commodity traders. And Auckland Council’s founding planning statement, the Auckland Plan, is filled with aspirations to treat the environment better.

Whether it be from climate change or other scientifically mappable causes, large chunks of Auckland’s coastline are being scoured out. As a centre of bubbling property values, it would be handy for Auckland to have some idea about how much of this increasingly expensive land will remain above the tide in 10 or a hundred years.

All these are reasons for Auckland to be a centre of inquiry into climate, sea & atmospheric change.

And, if that’s the case, Auckland Council’s membership of the international C40 Cities climate leadership group should be a given. But it’s not.

The proposal for membership was put to the council’s Auckland development committee in March, but a decision was deferred when it looked as though a majority was going to reject the invitation. Cllr Christine Fletcher said on that occasion the report supporting membership of C40 was silent on the costs: “I think the business case hasn’t been well put. I would certainly like a lot more business information and it hasn’t been put forward today.”

Chief sustainability officer John Mauro returns this Thursday with another shot at membership, but with little more to convince doubters of its value.

C40 membership is free and direct costs are low, but to rise from observer to innovation status after the first year Auckland would need to produce some innovative research.

In his background report for Thursday’s meeting, Mr Mauro has pointed to likely accelerated implementation of the low carbon Auckland action plan as a benefit.

This was likely to mean easier identification of future emissions reductions, and associated cost savings, he said. “For instance, over the past 4 years, Auckland Council has saved or avoided at least $1.5-$2 million/year from reduced energy, waste & water use. While the council will be continuously seeking savings & emissions reductions, they will become more challenging to identify & implement in the future.”

Over the 7 years to 2018, he saw council savings of $12.7 million from sustainability measures. From there, Mr Mauro moved on to the potentially big positive: “Sharing best practice & innovation ideas with C40 cities will assist in identifying & achieving such savings which, consequently, have corresponding emissions reductions benefits.

“Strategically aligned international partnerships like C40 can be useful tools to drive implementation of the Auckland Plan & low carbon Auckland.”

Among specific benefits he saw for Auckland: “Access & collaborate with a global network of technical advisors with expertise to design & implement climate programmes & high-impact projects. Access a vast array of research with potential for peer-to-peer exchanges……

“Membership is meant to unlock ideas, innovation & best practice that lead to emissions reductions & cost savings to the council.”

Unlock ideas? That should have been top priority for the super-city council when it was formed in 2010, but to do so requires advanced thinking on things like providing infrastructure more imaginatively & efficiently across old boundaries. There is some evidence of advanced thinking, but it hasn’t been paramount.

The legacy Auckland City Council had a fine example of this 10 years ago, when boffin & one-term councillor Richard Simpson tried to explain some of the benefits of bringing the Digital Earth summit to Auckland – not just as a one-off, but if Auckland seized the opportunity and made itself a centre of expertise & foresight.

Mr Simpson co-founded New Zealand’s first 3D computer graphics firm, Cadabra, and expanded the business internationally. In 2012, he co-authored the world’s first manifesto of the digital earth, virtual nations, data cities movement to apply post-Google Earth (environmental simulation) technologies to the challenges of planning & managing the Earth’s resources to accelerate climate change solutions.

But 2½ years ago he left Auckland to become chief executive of SIBA (the Spatial Industries Business Association) in Queensland.

He says of that organisation: “Our members are significant producers, managers, innovators, users & adopters of spatial information & technologies. They are pioneers, providing inventive, value-added services to governments, business & industry and they range in size from large local & international companies & organisations to small- to medium-sized enterprises, many with 10 employees or less.”

In a presentation in 2005, he said the challenge for New Zealand was “to be a benchmark for sustainable practices”. From the 2006 Digital Earth summit, alone, he said some of the world’s top thinkers would go to speak at Auckland’s tertiary institutions, while the add-ons of future summits plus an international centre would brand the city as a place of foresight: “It could be a Club of Rome or a Davos (both economic summits) and brand Auckland. This is the extreme of technology, a mega-project.”

Auckland opted for the one-off.

Earlier stories:
16 March 2015: Council holds off joining international climate group C40
6 July 2005: Simpson the boffin councillor sets path for Auckland to become high-flying technology conference site, with a benchmarking brand

Attribution: Council agenda.

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Propbd on Q F18Sep15 – More bikes, land status clarified, Precinct settles, innovation push

Grafton Gully bike numbers up
Bill to clarify land status passed
Precinct settles Terrace sale
$33 million push for innovation

Grafton Gully bike numbers up

An Auckland Transport survey indicates the number of people biking to work & education along the Symonds St/Grafton Gully inner-city corridor has risen by more than 50% in a year. The survey report also showed it was attracting people new to cycling.

The final stage of the Beach Rd cycleway opened this morning, connecting the Grafton Gully cycleway with Quay St at Britomart Place.

For the report, cycle counts were taken at 14 locations on Symonds St & the Grafton Gully cycleway. The data was compared with the 2014 survey, which was conducted at a similar time of year, weather conditions & time of day. The number of people that said they were ‘new to cycling’ was 29% and the perceived safety of Grafton Gully was 8.7/10.

Bill to clarify land status passed

The Reserves & Other Land Disposal Bill has passed its third reading in Parliament, correcting & clarifying the status of 16 sites around the country which are Crown land, reserves or held for public or private purposes.

Land Information Minister Louise Upston said: “In essence, this legislation works to tidying up small issues that do not warrant their own legislation.”

Precinct settles Terrace sale

Precinct Properties NZ Ltd settled its $65 million sale of 125 The Terrace in Wellington on Wednesday. The NZX-listed company sold 2 other Wellington properties in July – 171 Featherston St for $76 million and 80 The Terrace for $36.1 million.

$33 million push for innovation

Science & Innovation Minister Steven Joyce confirmed initial funding of $32.92 million for the science for technological innovation national challenge when he launched it on Wednesday.

It’s the seventh of the 11 national science challenges and is aimed at developing new & innovative technologies to create commercially successful breakthrough products.

Hosted by Callaghan Innovation, it will involve 3 Crown research institutes & 8 universities, all collaborating with businesses.

“The challenge will spearhead cutting-edge technological research for the benefit of New Zealand industries. It will aim to enhance New Zealand’s capacity to use physical & engineering sciences for economic growth with an emphasis on new materials, new manufacturing processes, robotics, automation & analytics.”

Link: National science challenges

Attribution: Company, council & ministerial releases.

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Science research funding decided

Science & Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced funding yesterday for 48 new science research programmes, for a total investment of $96.5 million over the next 4 years.

The funding has been allocated through the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s 2015 science investment round.

Mr Joyce said: “Research-led science is a key driver of economic growth. The Government’s science investment aims to produce excellent science that has the greatest capacity to benefit New Zealand.”

He said the successful research proposals covered a diverse range – medical implants, insecticides, 3D printing, dairy goat infant formula, dental diagnostics, sensors, self-cleaning ceramic coatings, waterproof roads, family violence prevention & aquifer management.

$49.8 million has been awarded for environmental & biological research and $46.6 million for areas of high-value manufacturing, energy & minerals, hazards & infrastructure and health & society.

$17.5 million is for idea-driven research through the ‘smart ideas’ investment mechanism, and $79 million in purpose-driven research through the ‘targeted research’ mechanism.

Smart Ideas supports research into new & promising ideas and has 2 phases. The first allows researchers to develop an innovative idea, while the second is aimed at commercialising the work.

The new research contracts will start on 1 October and run for periods of 2, 3 & 4 years.

Link: Successful proposals

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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Boven 5 years ago: Think innovation

Rick Boven.

Rick Boven.

Dr Rick Boven, appointed by Auckland Council to head its future port study, has a broad background on consultancy on management, all with the aim of creating the strategies to advance and to innovate.

In one of his papers while he was director of the NZ Institute thinktank he proposed a national innovation council. Since then, it’s happened, and the Government regularly issues information on scientific & innovative progress, particularly on taking research into the business sphere.

That paper:

Getting better at innovation is so vital to New Zealand’s economic success that the Government should create an innovation council, and it should be chaired by the prime minister.

Economic performance in advanced economies like New Zealand is strongly influenced by success at innovation. Trade growth is much stronger for the high value products & services that rely on innovation. Productivity is higher and pay rates are also high. Innovation increases the value and reduces the costs of established business activities.

New Zealand’s innovation disadvantage is one important reason why the economy underperforms relative to Australia. Innovation depends on inventiveness, and New Zealanders are very inventive. The quality of research institutions is adequate, with pockets of excellence. Current efforts to lift productivity and improve the governance of research organisations, and to focus their efforts more on areas where New Zealand has economic strength, will lift inventiveness further.

Unfortunately, inventiveness by itself is not sufficient for innovation success. New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem does not yet have sufficient talent & capital, developing businesses are not getting market input soon enough, and cultural characteristics that impede international business success are not yet addressed. New Zealand’s efforts to improve innovation ecosystem performance are weak relative to efforts in other countries.

The deficiencies of our innovation ecosystem are well understood. What is missing is action, and the prime reason for that is because we lack an institution to manage the innovation ecosystem as a whole. If a responsible institution had existed, the talent & capital gaps, for example, would have already been recognised & resolved.

The recent (2010) Crown Research Institute Taskforce recommendation to “align the funding, ownership & policy functions for CRIs into a single entity” is a useful step, but it won’t be enough. What is required is an entity that can ensure alignment across the whole innovation ecosystem.

New Zealand’s approach, past & present, falls well short of what is being done in countries that are serious about innovation. For example, Australia has a science, engineering & innovation council, chaired by the prime minister, which is the Government’s principal source of advice on issues in science, engineering & innovation, and relevant aspects of education & training. Finland has a research & innovation council, chaired by the prime minister, which is responsible for the strategic development & co-ordination of science & technology policy, and of the national innovation system as a whole.

An innovation council chaired by the prime minister would ensure that any policy, business & education impediments would be addressed alongside the inventiveness improvements already commenced. Having ministers for science, education, economic development & finance on the council, along with their chief executives & some business leaders, would create the conversations that are needed to agree opportunities & priorities, and to reallocate resources.

If Government is serious about increasing economic prosperity then it must take bold steps to lift the productivity of New Zealand’s businesses. Innovation is the most important driver of productivity improvement and we know New Zealand is underperforming. Other small developed countries such as Finland, Denmark, Australia, Korea & Singapore have established institutions to manage their innovation ecosystem development and are making rapid progress. New Zealand should do the same, or risk falling further behind.

It happened

What Dr Boven wanted, happened: Callaghan Innovation, a standalone Crown entity, was established on 1 February 2013. Its website proclaims: “Our role hasn’t previously existed in New Zealand.”

It was named after Sir Paul Callaghan, who died in 2012. The website describes him as “New Zealand’s most beloved contemporary scientist, who believed that science was not only about great ideas, but about getting value from those ideas through innovation & commercialisation”.

Links: Callaghan Innovation
Powerhouse Ventures
WNT Ventures

Related stories: Boven to head port study
First 7 innovative startups get grants

Attribution: NZ Institute paper.

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First 7 innovative startups get grants

The new technology incubators funded through Callaghan Innovation have made their first repayable grants to 7 innovative startups.

Each has received up to $450,000 over 2 years administered by the 3 technology incubators – Powerhouse Ventures Ltd, Astrolab Ltd & WNT Ventures LP – to commercialise new intellectual property.

The 7 startups confirmed to receive repayable grants are:

  • CropLogic Ltd, integrating aerial image analysis technology developed by Canterbury University to help growers optimise their crop yields
  • Avalia Immunotherapies Ltd, commercialising technology jointed developed by Victoria University of Wellington’s Ferrier Research Institute & the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research aimed at improving the efficacy of immunotherapies & vaccines for a range of health indications
  • Tiro Lifesciences Ltd, an early-stage medical diagnostic company focusing initially on the development of technology for the detection of breast cancer in dense tissue
  • Koti Technologies Ltd, developing ceramic coatings to produce hard-wearing, bacteria-killing products for high-touch surfaces, for example in hospitals
  • Certusbio Ltd, based on a range of new biosensor technologies for industrial & environmental monitoring
  • Fluent Scientific Ltd, based on technology combining facial & voice analysis to increase the accuracy of emotion detection
  • Invert Robotics Ltd, based on robotic ultrasonic technology for detecting & characterising surface cracks in stainless steel tanks & silos.

Science & Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said this week: “It’s great to see these kinds of companies beginning to emerge from the new technology incubators, which are clearly fulfilling their promise to produce the smart startups we need to grow our economy and provide New Zealand with a competitive edge across a range of sectors.

“Growing many more new companies in our hi-tech sector is crucial to maintaining a strong economy.”

“22 pre-incubation grants, each worth $35,000, have also been allocated for the technology incubators to explore promising startups commercialising intellectual property in areas such as nanotechnology, food & beverages and advanced telecommunications, prior to applying for repayable grants.”

Technology-focused incubators are privately owned businesses that concentrate on commercialising complex intellectual property sourced primarily from publicly funded research organisations such as universities & Crown research institutes. They are modelled on the successful Israeli incubator system.

Cabinet agreed in Budget 2013 to allocate $31.3 million in new funding over 4 years for the repayable grants.

The Government will contribute up to $450,000 over 2 years to successful applicants, and this funding is matched 1:3 by incubator owners contributing up to $150,000. The grants will be repayable out of each company’s revenue.

Links: 28 May 2015: $1 million to connect Kiwis with science
21 May 2015: $25m funding for regional research institutes
19 May 2015: $5m new funding for forestry research partnership
Callaghan Innovation
Powerhouse Ventures
WNT Ventures

Related story: Boven 5 years ago: Think innovation

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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NZ Inc scores an F-minus for innovative thinking on science

That science thing, do it. I remember Bob Tizard, when he was science minister in the 1980s Labour government, telling Rotarians in Auckland the young government was going to invest more in science. It was hard to see much evidence of that or any subsequent government following up his enthusiasm over the next quarter century.

Now the National government’s science & innovation minister, Steven Joyce, is pushing a better spend.

But what is it, this science thing?

Mr Joyce launched the draft national statement of science investment in May with 7 remarkable objectives, which gave the lie of the land for submitters: Nonsense out, nonsense in.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment released submissions today, and the final statement is scheduled for release in the first half of 2015. The objectives, followed by my assessment of them:

  • producing excellent science of the highest quality
  • ensuring value by focusing on relevant science with the highest potential for impact for the benefit of New Zealand
  • committing to continue increasing investment over time
  • increasing focus on sectors of future need or growth
  • increasing the scale of industry-led research
  • continue to implement Vision Matauranga, and
  • strengthening & building international relationships to strengthen the capacity of our science system to benefit New Zealanders.

My Assessment: aiming high, focusing on national economic gain, spending more, unlocking Maori potential, networking.

The obvious conflict has always been between economic targets & pure research, with agriculture as the base. That conflict remains, but plenty of New Zealanders have made their marks in technology, effectively outside the old narrow vision for NZ Inc. Perhaps New Zealand can grow a science sector not at all reliant on grass culture.

You won’t see that sort of aim in the summary of submissions on the national statement, which makes the whole exercise a depressing read. Starting with ‘producing the highest quality excellence’ as an objective ranks with ‘world class’ as a national target. Aspiring to be world class means your target is a level others have set, and which others will surely surpass: your aspiration is to be a marker on the road to tomorrow.

Mr Joyce issued a media release today which I found notable for avoiding the subject it was ostensibly about, which I thought might have been a truly aspirational, clear-sighted focus on how to make scientific research a prized career, and how to make such research highly valued & valuable.

There was a good reason Mr Joyce avoided the subject as I expected it to be: the submissions summary was about submission numbers and a smattering of broad aims from opposing perspectives.

According to the summary, “There was little consensus on whether New Zealand has the right balance between investigator-, mission- or industry-led research or institutional & contestable funding.

“Despite the general diversity of views, some common themes did emerge around the need for more international collaboration, improved opportunities for early-career researchers & the need to both grow & simplify the science system.”

The submissions, by this score, are about mechanisms for driving when they should be about the road to take. NZ Inc scores an F-minus for Christmas – what chance a real policy in the New Year?

Links: Summary of submissions
National statement of science investment

Attribution: Ministerial release, national statement, submissions summary.

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Bionic Joint signals NZ-German collaboration to commercialise research

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a memorandum of understanding between the Auckland University Bio-engineering Institute and the Fraunhofer IPA research institute of Stuttgart during her visit to Auckland on Friday.

i Institute for Manufacturing Engineering & Automation) have agreed to collaborate on a commercially focused medical robotics research project, known as the Bionic Joint.

The institute’s website says the goal of the Bionic Joint project is to enable the first generation of highly integrated sensing & actuation technology for human exoskeletons. It will integrate the latest wearable sensor technology from Auckland University, with high torque actuation & monitoring technology provided by Fraunhofer IPA researchers

The first application of this technology will be an exoskeleton device that will sense & assist movements of the arm to reduce workplace injury and assist patients who have suffered a stroke.

Professor Peter Hunter, of the Auckland institute, will manage the project and Associate Professors Iain Anderson & Thor Besier will lead the scientific investigation. 2 wearable sensor companies, Stretchsense Ltd & IMeasureU Ltd – both spin-outs from the institute, and both winners at the NZ innovators awards – will also be involved in the project.

The sensing framework for the bionic joint will integrate the underlying technology of these 2 companies with institute musculo-skeletal modelling to produce a unique wearable sensing device to measure & monitor arm motion.

Auckland University vice-chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said: “The aim is for the technology to be licensed, and there is already considerable industry interest from industrial equipment medical device & sports industries.”

The institute expects the Bionic Joint project will strengthen the local medical technology ecosystem and provide contacts & opportunities for local researchers & companies to engage with leading German counterparts.

Science & Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said science was the jewel in the crown of the bilateral relationship between the 2 countries: “Research co-operation between New Zealand & Germany is underpinned by the Science & Technology Co-operation Agreement, which was signed back in 1977.”

The Government confirmed, in principle, co-funding of up to $750,000 over 3 years to help New Zealand companies leverage commercial opportunities, matched by Auckland University & Fraunhofer.

“Science and innovation are at the heart of achieving a brighter future for New Zealand. They are fundamental to our growing economy & improving living standards for all New Zealanders.

“To compete in a global landscape, we need to support new ideas & new ways of thinking, and work collaboratively across a range of disciplines to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

Link: Auckland University Bio-engineering Institute


Attribution: Ministerial release, ABI website.

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Brownlee announces f&b development network – which arose from regional economic plans, and is further example of overriding regional needs

Published 11 March 2010

Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee said today the Government would spend up to $21 million to establish a national network of open-access food development facilities.


"New Zealand’s export base is reliant on our food & beverage industries. The Government wants to encourage them to create more value from their products to help raise our economic growth rate," Mr Brownlee said.


"Small & medium-sized companies need access to facilities that allow them to develop, test & prove new products, but it is uneconomic for these companies to individually build such facilities and purchase all the required equipment.


“This new initiative, called Food Innovation Network NZ, will be a collaboration between the Government, industry, research & education providers and local government.  It will have 4 regional hubs in Manukau, Waikato, Palmerston North & Canterbury and an overarching network organisation. 


“By providing the infrastructure that firms need to develop new food & beverage ingredients & consumer products, this investment by the Government will enable a high-value food export industry to develop more rapidly.”


It’s the second “new” scheme in a week that the Government has created – the other one was the infrastructure plan, already well under way with billions of dollars of work committed when it suddenly became a plan.


What Mr Brownlee didn’t mention this time is that the structure has arisen from the work of local businesses & regional organisations to enhance regional economic performance. The Manukau hub has worked its way through the Regional Economic Development Forum – in concert with Trade & Enterprise NZ, which had finance available, but the drive came from those regional organisations seeking to overcome structural constraints.


Ironically, the Government is introducing new constraints for the Auckland region. Having got an economic forum into forward gear despite the preference of controlling political body the Auckland Regional Council for environmental protection & economic slowdown, the region will now suffer while another new economic agency is set up and works out what it’s to do.


Where the old organisation faced a severe philosophical handicap, the new one has been created by a Government bent on economic advancement ahead of the present regional council’s protective measures. The ARC’s protective position slots into a small box down the bottom of the chart showing the new form of Auckland governance.


But, and this is a mighty big but, the Government – like past governments – has created a multi-headed beast sure to mismanage the primary task of integrated advancement.


I took a photo of a recent cruise ship in port to demonstrate the divides: the ship is obviously in waterfront agency space, but it’s also an economic performer & a tourism business, putting it into the realm of another agency. When its passengers cross a busy arterial road, which will be under the control of the transport agency, they enter the central business district, part of a new ward which will include islands of the gulf. If those passengers step into Britomart and catch a train, well, which part of the region’s multiple business functions will they have become part of?


All these new agencies the Government has decided to create will be as transparent as most of their immediate predecessors: either not, or hardly. Given that certainty, they’re not going to share information well and their level of collaboration is likely to be poor – until we have a local government shakeup.


One of the extreme oddities – demonstrating both a lack of understanding of how an economy could function sensibly, along with a failure to understand that what this region lacked most was integration – is the dysfunction between land use & transport. The region’s politicians had been struggling gradually toward a better understanding of this vital factor over the past 5-8 years, and now the Government has stepped in to set them back.


So Mr Brownlee’s announcement of integration between hubs of the f&b sector is worthy, but would be so much better if the managers of regional economies were given more say over their own affairs. Regional integration takes money – planning for well structure advancement takes money – and what regions need most, along with the integration of governance arms – is a supply of money which should be carved out of the Government tax take.


Mr Brownlee said New Zealand’s exports of processed foods had experienced 18%/year compound growth over the last decade and now accounted for $2.1 billion of exports.  Road agencies will spend far more than that building a bigger piece of motorway, and maybe even a tunnel, in the wrong place on the Auckland waterfront, for traffic that mostly wants to go from north to west & south but not into the cbd.


Integrated thinking would resolve that issue; the silo conflicts, which will persevere, will extend poor performance.


Want to comment? Go to the forum.


Attribution: Ministerial release, comment arising from years of watching regional economic planning, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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NZ Institute sets out pathway to international economic growth

Published 18 July 2006

The New Zealand Institute released the third report in its series on creating a global New Zealand economy on Monday.

The latest report,The flight of the Kiwi: Going global from the end of the world, by institute chief executive David Skilling & research associate Danielle Boven, “identifies a series of actions that business & Government can take to generate a substantial & sustained improvement in the level of New Zealand’s international economic engagement.”

Dr Skilling said this report also provided the basis for a series of 4 more reports that would contain more detailed analysis & specific recommendations on these solutions areas. The first of these reports will be released on 7 August.

The report says increasing the number of New Zealand companies aiming to grow into international markets requires addressing issues around incentives, capacity, ownership & aspiration. The authors suggest, among a range of Government & business actions that might be taken:

changing the tax regime
introducing an ambitious personal savings policy
encouraging state-owned enterprises to expand offshore, and
improving corporate strategy around international expansion.

“New Zealand needs to update the way in which it works to enhance market access for New Zealand firms, with a much greater focus on in-market activity rather than a primary focus on trade negotiations. This will involve strengthened provision of in-market services, such as access to networks, advice & infrastructure for high-potential firms, and substantial investments in developing New Zealand’s presence in a few key markets rather than being thinly spread across a large number of markets.”

To grow substantial new areas of the economy, the authors suggest this will involve:

competing aggressively for both companies & talented people to locate in New Zealand
significantly increasing funding of research & science in areas of existing potential, and
developing new business models that play to New Zealand’s strengths.

Website: NZ Institute paper, The flight of the kiwi


Want to comment? Click on The new BD Central Forum or email [email protected].


Attribution: NZ Institute release, documents, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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