The future of the Waikato region is increasingly dependent on our ability to respond to the major trend of the world becoming more and more socially and economically connected. The social and cultural wellbeing of local communities is inextricably linked to the regional and national economy which, in turn, is linked to the global economy.
The Waikato is already strong and an important contributor to the wellbeing of New Zealand, but there are opportunities for the community’s and country’s wellbeing to grow. The region is home to significant environmental resources and a source of prosperity through export earnings. The Waikato is also a centre of culture and heritage and a community where all members are valued.
The Waikato region needs to focus on those opportunities that match its strengths, such as supplying the rapidly increasing global demand for food. However, because of our distance from markets and small size, this means focusing on exporting premium quality products (including tourism).
Critical success factors to achieve this vision are a high quality environment, innovation (including skilled labour), efficient supply chains (including transport systems and compliance) and collaborative leadership.
Find out more about some of the projects we support or are collaborating with to help achieve this vision:
Waikato Regional Council published the Waikato regional economic profile in 2012 so that everyone can have a shared understanding of the economic issues and opportunities facing the Waikato region and can take steps collaboratively to address these.
In doing so, the council recognised that there were a number of knowledge gaps, particularly centred on the experiences of firms in regionally important sectors (food processing and manufacturing, high value manufacturing, forestry and wood product manufacturing, and high value services).
The council therefore commissioned an exploratory study, with funding support from Thames Coromandel District Council, to address some of those knowledge gaps by undertaking 35 semi-structure interviews with businesses in some of these sectors. The interviews investigated the key issues, opportunities and threats to growth that businesses in the region faced in relation to innovation and internationalisation, and the role of local and regional government in contributing to these.
You can read the report below:
These interviews and the council’s Waikato regional economic profile(external link) informed the development of Waikato Means Business. That’s the name given to a 20 year Waikato economic development strategy created with input from regional business leaders.
This strategy sets out the issues, challenges and opportunities that face the Waikato region, and identifies strategic priorities and areas of focus to transform the region. The strategy aims to guide regional economic development policy, investment and activities.
Waikato Regional Council has been closely involved with the development of Waikato Means Business. Visit the Waikato Means Business (external link)website(external link) to read more about its vision, priorities, projects, and the steering group members leading its implementation.