Coun­cil con­venes think tank

Seek­ing ex­pert ad­vice on business

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By STEVE ED­WARDS

Business brains are be­ing called on to pool re­sources by Mata­mataPi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil.

An eco­nomic think- tank is sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary 25 at Wal­lace Gallery in Mor­rinsville.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Adele Preston said about 40 peo­ple will be in­vited for the two- hour ses­sion, run as a work­shop with group dis­cus­sions.

This will in­volve

peo­ple

from small to medium-size busi­nesses from ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas, across the three wards.

Preston said ‘‘phase two’’ of the ini­tia­tive, for ma­jor em­ploy­ers in Mata­mata-Pi­ako, will be in midMarch.

The in­ten­tion of the think-tank is ‘‘ to bring business lead­ers to­gether to pro­vide feed­back on what we need as a com­mu­nity to de­velop our econ­omy’’, said a staff re­port tabled at a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing.

The coun­cil is look­ing at tak­ing a more di­rect role in eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of em­ploy­ing a per­son specif­i­cally for this pur­pose.

An eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer’s po­si­tion was ac­tu­ally dis­es­tab­lished by the coun­cil sev­eral years ago.

After a num­ber of work­shops ear­lier this year, a coun­cil work­ing party was formed to look at is­sues in more de­tail.

The think- tank con­cept was rec­om­mended as the work­ing party con­sid­ers it needs more in­for­ma­tion from the com­mu­nity, be­fore putting for­ward a spe­cific rec­om­men­da­tion to coun­cil.

The in­ten­tion is to ‘‘shoul­der­tap’’ suit­able business lead­ers to at­tend, said the staff re­port. There will be no gen­eral pub­lic invitation.

As well as bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion with busi­nesses, the coun­cil wants to find out about eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the dis­trict, ac­tions needed to ad­dress this and iden­tify pri­or­i­ties for ac­tion.

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