Man, there’s just so much ammo in the Herald about the councils this morning! This article describes the Auckland Mayor’s desire to boost the cities’ economy. Right, now a) Is it the council’s job to create businesses or get out of the way and let the public get on with it? and b) What businesses has Len Brown and his staff run? After all, if they’re going to show us how to develop businesses, surely they’d have a string of business successes they can point to by way of examples?
Or is this just more dreaming? At our cost?
Well read this and see what you think:
The draft strategy sets out to make Auckland more business friendly, an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific region, internationally connected and export driven, investing in skills and a vibrant, creative world city.
Based on these principles, Mr Brown wants to create a sustainable eco economy, a Maori economic powerhouse, boost the rural and maritime economy and support a diverse ethnic economy.
The strategy says Auckland has significant advantages, such as its natural environment and diverse cultures, but there is scope to promote and build on its sports, creative and cultural experiences – and create a distinctive city brand.
The frayed-A logo used to promote Auckland is being dumped and replaced with a new brand.
Well, man that sounds like a concrete business plan doesn’t it? Look it’s got all the important words in there: creative, vibrant, export driven, internationally connected, world city, eco economy, Maori, diverse ethnic, cultural experiences.
And if that doesn’t work, they’ll change the city’s logo. With all that, how can we possibly fail?
Someone who might have actually run a business has this to say:
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett is encouraged by the draft strategy, particularly the mantra of making the council more business friendly.
A council that was easy to do business with was exactly what everyone in business was looking for, he said.
Mr Barnett said that included reducing red tape and adopting a “can do” attitude towards business customers.
“If Auckland Inc is to achieve the ambitious targets set out in the draft, council and business organisations will need to work closely together,” he said.
However, Mr Barnett was concerned at the suggestion of an interventionist approach by the council’s Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development to invest in education and skills training.
“Auckland needs to develop a skilled and responsive labour force that is capable of helping Auckland businesses and firms achieve global success and the Auckland strategy targets.”
But, he warned, this wouldn’t happen if the agency set up programmes that competed against existing services.
So this is quite a different mind set. One that basically says, “Reduce red tape and we’ll do it thanks.”