f

CEO's Column

Opportunities are strong and real

This month’s news that Hamilton will become the headquarters for the NZ Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) is a huge boost for our city and the Waikato region. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The win reinforces the benefits our region has to offer when it comes to attracting new business, investment and talent – even when the chips are down.

Despite tough times, our NZIST success gives me confidence that the Waikato is well-placed to ride out the economic recession. Our region has solid foundations that run deep and we know how to rally together when it counts.

The fact that more than 40 business and community leaders lent significant support to the NZIST bid process is testament to our region’s commitment to working together to get the job done.

Everyone involved wholeheartedly believed in the final vision – better training to help get our people back to work. This vision united Waikato’s industry leaders, iwi, our education sector, local government and business agencies.

As a team, we convinced the Government that Hamilton was the best location for the NZIST headquarters. And our efforts paid off. 

It is this strong collaborative spirit that will help our region recover from the economic downturn and help our communities thrive again.

Waikato has a great heart and we can be proud of our many successes. We have robust sectors in agriculture, technology, and manufacturing, coupled with strong leadership and the motivation to work together to achieve great things.   

Covid-19 will make that happen even faster. Now, more than ever, it is time for united leadership if we are to capitalise on the number of opportunities in the pipeline. The wheels are already in motion.

Te Waka has teamed up with Hamilton Waikato Tourism to help organisations and community groups around the region align their own programmes with the Mighty Local campaign.

Leads from businesses interested in relocating to the Waikato are starting to pick up again, which is particularly good news for those looking for employment opportunities.

Tourism operators and agencies are working hard to develop domestic tourism schedules and marketing programmes to get the sector back on track.

As SMEs started coming out of level 4 hibernation, Te Waka’s front-line business advisory team has seen them reaching out for support to go digital as they adapt to the new business world.

With crisis comes change. Innovation, leadership and partnerships are needed to create a new future for the Waikato. Our opportunities are strong and they are real.