|Andrew von Dadelszen
Former Regional Councillor
On Tuesday I attended the Priority One ‘Shaping Our Future’ Business Summit at the new TECT Arena.
What a great venue, and another huge asset for our city. I offer a bouquet to Priority One for continuing to advocate for our city and our region. Priority One is a ‘big picture’ strategist, and an essential ingredient if we are to prosper as a city.
Facilitated by Rod Oram, the summit profiled seven innovative growth businesses, and looked at Tauranga’s competitive advantages versus constraints for locating here. The interesting thing is all require smart tech-savy employees, and the game-breaker for keeping these companies here seems to be ensuring we have a source of smart young people coming forward to fill their highly paid jobs (all good for moving our city away from the ‘$10 Tauranga’ paradigm).
For me, the game-breaker is establishing a bricks and mortar university here. While this is looking more and more likely, it is by no means a certainty any time soon, and our city leaders (and all residents in fact) need to up the advocacy and pressure to ensure that it happens, and next year – not in 10 or 15 years time. Waikato University needs to commit to a study programme that will complement the likes of these innovative businesses that were profiled at the summit; and the councils (especially Tauranga City and Bay of Plenty Regional Council) need to step up and facilitate the process to ensure it happens now.
This really is a game-breaker for regional development, but it just won’t happen without overwhelming community support, and the will of our tertiary institutions.
If you have a view on these or any other local government issues, I invite you to email me at email@example.com