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NZ’s smaller regions represent huge opportunity

New Zealand's smaller regions have the opportunity to become more developed hotbeds of activity, according to a new report from PwC.

The report ‘New Zealand’s regions of opportunity’, says while New Zealand cities and towns are not global mega cities there is opportunity for these to become ‘regions of opportunity’.

The report was launched at the Society of Local Government Managers' conference in Palmerston North and highlights various key concepts in regards to this.

David Walker, PwC local government director, says size and scale are not the only determinants of success for a city and successful cities are strong across a range of indicators - there’s no single factor that drives success more than others.

“A recent report from the New Zealand Initiative discusses the idea of using special regional economic zones in regions to boost foreign investment and assist new enterprises to start up. This cannot happen without the directive from central government.

“Developing into regions of opportunity will take a collaborative effort by councils, central government and businesses,” he says

The publication offers three key steps of advice for councils hoping to advance the prosperity of their region, which include:

  1. Be ready - know what you offer. The best place to start is the status quo. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and develop policies to improve from there.
  2. Have a people strategy to promote liveability and attract talent. Consider how to attract and retain skilled workers. Also consider how to grow talent from within the region, and ensure that workers are well placed to respond and grow the region together.
  3. Recognise that solutions may be collaborative. Collaboration can be in many different forms and with different entities. Collaborative approaches should ensure that each entity is invested in achieving shared outcomes.