The Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) has elected a new chair, David Wilson, CEO of Northland Inc at its recent AGM.
This comes as the association kicks off a new approach to develop best practice for regional economic development, building on the renewal work of the outgoing independent Chair Michael Bassett-Foss of Hawke's Bay.
Mr Bassett-Foss says it has been a privilege to chair EDANZ during a testing time of change and renewal for regional economic development agencies.
“Our role across New Zealand is an important one. There is now widespread attention being paid to the role of local and central government in regional economic development, on disparities between regional New Zealand and urban centres, and about how to attract high quality investment and skills into regions. It is timely to re-evaluate how economic development efforts are best delivered in the regions.”
Mr Wilson brings a strong background of on-the-ground delivery of economic initiatives in Northland combined with previous experience as Director of the Institute of Public Policy at AUT where he designed and led strategy development, research and teaching programmes for economic development professionals.
Michael had been a committed and influential leader, he says: “Michael’s steered us through a time of transition and helped us immensely to adjust to changing circumstances; we really owe him a debt of gratitude.
“Under his guidance we have entered into a partnership with professional services firm MartinJenkins to support us in providing stronger leadership for regional economic development.
“We have also begun to talk with a range of agencies about establishing a forum to identify and realise opportunities for improving regional economic development policy, programmes and outcomes.
“We want regional economic development efforts to be better integrated with national growth and investment initiatives. This will only be achieved by the combined effort of central government, local government, the business community and iwi.”
Gerard Quinn of Grow Wellington was re-elected as Deputy Chair.