31 Jan 2014

New group to boost Auckland business

9:52 am on 31 January 2014

A high-powered group of business and public-sector leaders has been formed to boost Auckland's economy and make it more export-oriented.

Auckland's waterfront.

Auckland's waterfront. Photo: RNZ

Called the Business Leadership Group, it will focus on getting more young people into jobs and seeking foreign investment and talent.

Business leaders and council and government officials have been looking at ways of accelerating the city's 18-month-old Economic Development Strategy.

International development specialist Greg Clark said the city had good ideas and good leadership but needed either more government funding or new ways of raising cash to lift skills and job creation and to attract investment.

"Auckland has a sophisticated economic development proposition about becoming a world leading city by using livability as an engine to drive an innovation economy, but it doesn't have the set of fiscal and financial tools that would normally be available to help it do that. "

However, the Government has already rejected the suggestion. Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has disagreed that the Government needed to give the city greater control over funding in order to lift its economy.