A draft Economic Development Strategy for Dunedin will be presented to the Dunedin City Council on 14 May.
The document advocates a range of new projects to spark job and income growth and has been developed collaboratively by the Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Southland Employers’ Association, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and the Dunedin City Council. It analyses Dunedin’s economy and its strengths and challenges, and then goes on to propose five themes for future efforts.
Chair of the strategy steering group, Chris Staynes, says that, if the Council agrees the draft Strategy is acceptable for consultation, there will be a concerted effort to get public feedback.
“How we can help create job opportunities and increase residents’ incomes is a crucial issue”, he said. “We have looked deeply at how our economy has evolved and many ideas have been gathered but, to refine the Strategy further, we want to hear where people think the city as a whole should put its efforts in future.”
Stephen Knuckey, an experienced economist, has been working on the draft Strategy and has been impressed by both the economic data and consultation that Dunedin has already undertaken. Significant research and community input has been gathered with direct or indirect input from more than 5,000 people. International city development consultant, Greg Clark, has also contributed to the strategy.
A website, Twitter feeds, LinkedIn groups and other tools have been developed to help engage with the public, along with the more traditional means like access to the document at Libraries and DCC Customer Services Centres. The steering group have also offered to present the Strategy to interested organisations. The commencement of formal public consultation will be confirmed at the Council’s meeting on 14 May.