Hub to lift region’s potential

Having a unique, New Zealand-first “one-stop-shop” for business development agencies – the Hawke’s Bay Business Hub – takes the region’s potential to a new level, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

Mr Joyce opened the hub yesterday at an event attended by about 150 business people, politicians and other guests.

The hub, in Ahuriri, is the first facility of its type in the country where local, regional and central government development agencies have been housed together under the one roof.

Organisations based at the Bridge St centre include Business Hawke’s Bay, Food Hawke’s Bay, Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and The Icehouse.

“That ability for organisations to co-locate in one place will greatly improve the co-ordination of activities, and the understanding of what can be achieved and supported,” Mr Joyce said at the opening.

“Here in Hawke’s Bay there are some wonderful companies which are doing brilliant things on the world stage,” he said

“I want to congratulate you for you efforts in creating this facility. You identified the problem. You saw it as it could be, you developed a solution and you’ve done it. The rest of the country will be along shortly.”

Business Hawke’s Bay chairman Stuart McLauchlan said his organisation worked hard to establish the hub in order to make the agencies involved more visible and to make it easier for businesses to access the support they needed through a one-stop-shop approach.

The hub would make it easier for agencies to work together, co-ordinate their efforts, learn off each other and avoid duplicating the work they did, Mr McLauchlan said.

“But overall the key thing it to make sure we provide a better service to support businesses in Hawke’s Bay to make them grow. If we can do that then they will employ more staff, they will increase productivity and they will export more out of this region. If we can do that, it will help lift economic performance of the region.”

He said with the agencies having been in the building for a few weeks ahead of yesterday’s official launch event, stories were already being shared about the value of the networking that had occurred already in the hub, even over that short time.

Tukituki MP Craig Foss, who is also Small Business Minister, said having all the agencies under one roof was “absolutely what we need to do to grow jobs and exports in the Bay”.

“I don’t think there’s one person in this room who doesn’t believe we have so much more potential in the Bay and it’s the industry, business leadership, the entrepreneurs in this place with the assistance of the agencies that can help make that happen,” he said.

Hawkes Bay Today