Future Focus for this Strategy
Market forces and circumstances (predictable and unforeseen) influence the economic
wellbeing of Waitakere and the drivers of economic wellbeing are broad and interlinking. This
is particularly important to acknowledge, given the changes that may occur within the regional
governance and national government policy context within the current cycle of this Strategy.
Future strategic partnering between Council and its key stakeholders will play an important role
in responding to these circumstances while enabling economic development to occur.
Therefore closer working relationships between Council, its partners, government agencies,
industry sectors and community economic development organisations in future is likely to
provide a more responsive environment to adjust to these circumstances. This environment is
promoted by this Economic Wellbeing Strategy.
A future Strategy could include and align all of the multi-agency roles, objectives and actions, or
influence changes to the extent of involvement. A more collaborative strategy may see multi-
agency functions, skill sets and implementation approaches which are suited to the separate
roles that are currently played, adjust to suit a more collaborative approach.
The national policy framework may in future allow a bigger range of funding tools than currently
constrains service delivery by territorial authorities and may in future provide much more
flexibility and validity for public-private partnering to solve big issues.
Partnering protocols with Iwi authorities warrants important consideration in the light of ongoing
Treaty settlements and the future role of Mana Whenua and Iwi as holders of land, intellectual
property rights and economic assets.
With increased attention in 2008 on regional economic futures, Waitakere’s sector development
needs to be informed by robust research and set within the regional and national context in
order to determine what strategic support is required.
MEASURES - Waitakere’s economy
Levels of employment and economic growth, along with personal and household expenditure,
are closely linked with people’s ability to secure a good quality of life for themselves and their
families. This includes the ability to purchase adequate housing, health care and education27.
A good quality of life includes the capacity to participate in leisure activities and contribute to
community life, as well as enhancing the ability to be resilient to major changes in the economy
More detailed information, such as Waitakere’s increase in the number of filled jobs (includes
part-time workers and self employed who have a taxable wage), associated with existing
(somewhat broad) measures of productivity increases, will give an indication of the health of the
local economy. These are proposed as the key employment measures for this Strategy’s
An increasing rate of productivity is associated with sustainable economic development,
international competitiveness, better employment opportunities and increased wellbeing for
current and future generations and more efficient use of natural resources28.
The following measures should provide a picture of innovation, growth, sustainability and
sector development in Waitakere.
Quality of Life metrics:
Economic Standard of Living Economic development
• Income • Economic growth (GDP)
• Work/life balance • Employment (total filled jobs, filled jobs by industry,
• Cost of living employment status, unemployment rate)
• Social deprivation • Research and development (job numbers)
• Net worth • Local businesses (number)
• Retail sales ($)
• Non-residential building consents (number &
• Tourism (guest nights)
• Skilled migrants (number approved migrants)
Population metrics Sector metrics
• Population growth – • Largest sector by GDP
• Qualifications of population • Largest sector by employment
• Age of population • Tertiary and secondary education growth
• Ethnic composition of • Tourism- guest nights, employment + business
• Identification of significant clusters
Quality of Life ’07 in Twelve of New Zealand’s Cities, p. 174
Waitakere Community Outcomes
The outcome priorities form part of the Core Strategy but other information is set out as follows:
Community Outcomes 2006 -16
• Our local economy is sustainably prosperous with abundant good local jobs, strong businesses,
high quality education and training opportunities and contributes to a sustainable regional
• Waitakere City is an attractive place to work and do business where people have choices.
• People have a good work life balance, quality of life and participate in family and community life.
Community Outcomes Report 2008
Areas where we are achieving Areas for improvement
• Most residents satisfied with quality of life • Town centres are not seen as safe at night
• People are getting more involved in their • Family violence continues to be a significant
• Most people think Waitakere is a safe place to • Continued decrease in number of GPs and
live reported difficulties in seeing a doctor
• Fewer students leaving school with low • Physical activity rates are low
qualifications • Home ownership continues to decline
• Managing population growth while protecting • Large numbers travel out of the city to work
green spaces • 75 percent of City’s waste still going to landfill
• Significant work and investment in public • Water use per person higher than targeted
Waitakere’s ten most important industries (2007)
Analysis of Waitakere’s ten most important industries (those with over 50 FTEs and producing
over $7 million in GDP/year, at 2007) gives an important oversight of economic performance to
date. From this analysis, the following conclusions are:
• The business services industry29 is the largest employer in the City, accounting for
4,470 FTEs, or 9.1 percent of total employment. This is closely followed by construction
trade services, with 8.8 percent of all employment. Education, personal and household
good retailing, and food retailing round out the top five. Together, the top five industries
provide 18,510 FTEs, or 37.6 percent, of all employment in Waitakere City.
• Other major employers in the City are health services; general construction; machinery
and equipment manufacturing; motor vehicle retailing and services; and petroleum,
coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing, which together provide a further
• Two industries – construction trade services and education - were in the top 10 both in
terms of FTE size and FTE growth in 2007. They therefore contributed the largest
absolute increases in employment, with 254 and 542 FTEs respectively. “Other
services”30 was the only other industry to grow by more than 200 FTEs (205) in the
• Seven of the industries with the highest numbers of FTEs were also on the list of
industries with the largest contributions to GDP. Property services, with 14 percent of
total GDP in the City’s economy, added $554 million in value during 2007, although this
number is inflated somewhat by the inclusion of ownership of owner-occupied
dwellings.31 Business services32, with $278 million, contributed 7.0 percent of the city’s
• Rounding out the top five contributors to GDP were construction trade services ($203
million), education ($179 million) and finance ($169 million). Together, the top five
industries accounted for 34.7 percent of the city’s GDP.
• Positions 6 to 10 were held by petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product
manufacturing; personal and household goods retailing; health services; food, beverage
and tobacco; and personal and household goods wholesaling. Together, these five
industries added a further $771 million, or 19.4 percent of GDP.
29 Not to be confused with the wider Business Services sector
30 Other services includes religious organisations, professional business and labour associations, interest groups, police, corrective centres, fire brigades and
waste disposal services. Sport and recreation includes sports grounds, racing, sports and services to sports; and gambling services.
31 The Business Services sector includes the Property Services industry, which in turn includes the sub industry Ownership of Owner-Occupied Dwellings. By
definition, this sub-industry is included in the GDP figures to reflect the rental value of owner-occupied property - but it does not employ people. This then
biases labour productivity, especially in the Property Services industry and Business Services sector. To remove the bias, Ownership of Owner-Occupied
Dwellings has been excluded from all calculations of labour productivity. However, for overall consistency purposes, we need to include Ownership of Owner-
Occupied Dwellings in our GDP analysis.
To provide context when considering the impact of the Property Services industry, at a national level the sector contributes around 11 percent of total GDP.
Ownership of Owner-Occupied Dwellings contributes around 6 percent of total GDP or makes up around 55 percent of the Property Services industry.
32 Again, not to be confused with the wider Business Services sector
Waitakere Strategies & Policies
Some new thinking has gone into how Waitakere’s community outcomes could be interpreted
by Waitakere City Council. This is intended to come through its Strategic Framework, made up
of the seven strategies (some which are in draft stages) – of which the specific areas relevant
to this Strategy are shown below.
Waitakere Draft Growth Management Strategy (WDGMS)
The targets of the WDGMS relevant to the Economic Wellbeing Strategy are:
• 60% internal employment by 2021 – 70 000 jobs within the city by 2021 means an increase of
approximately 20 000 within 13 years.
• City and Town Centre Concept plans completed by 2010 – Includes Henderson, New Lynn,
Westgate, Glen Eden, Te Atatu Peninsula
The most strategic issue from the WDGMS for economic wellbeing is whether it is possible or
desirable to influence the type and sequencing of new businesses and jobs, based on
Waitakere’s vision for the environment and its people and current and projected market
Environment Strategy (draft)
Addressing the strategic issues in the Environment Strategy requires Council to consider how
the potential for increased economic wellbeing can help achieve the Air, Water and Waste
targets, such as reducing carbon emissions and decreasing per capita demand for mains
Social Strategy (draft)
Key issues for economic wellbeing in the Social Strategy are the extent to which effective
collaboration between the various agencies involved in education and skills programmes can
improve skills related to economic independence and higher productivity, and establishing
community hubs that facilitate learning programmes and teleworking.
Waitakere City Transport Strategy 2006 – 16
The Transport Strategy recognises the effects on economic growth of transport initiatives such
as connection with State Highways and rail, appropriate freight routes, new road connections,
cleaner fuels, and improvements to parts of the road network, passenger transport, footpaths
and cycleways. Improvements are required in the roading network as well as provision for
people walking, cycling and using passenger transport. The current focus of transport
investment is in the town centres and growth corridors and the future focus is expected to be on
prioritising use of the road network to encourage increased economic activity.
Regional Framework and Strategies
This Economic Wellbeing Strategy does not sit in isolation from the regional and national
strategies and policies, because many of the drivers of economic wellbeing are influenced and
measured only at national or regional level. Alignment at regional and local level has increased
markedly in the past three years, following the Government’s declaration of the national
importance of the Auckland economy and regional processes such as Strengthening Auckland.
The development of One Plan - which coordinates objectives and resources of central and local
government to transform Auckland - is critical for Waitakere.
Auckland Sustainability Framework
The Auckland Sustainability Framework (ASF) has a 100-year vision and long-term goals and
shifts33 - some which could take a generation to achieve and other shifts that could be achieved
within a decade. The main focus is on developing a resilient region that can adapt to change
by building strong communities and robust ecological systems, and designing flexibility in to
regional Auckland economy, infrastructure and buildings.
The eight shifts have been incorporated in this Strategy’s fundamental thinking and many of the
Indicative Strategic Responses from the ASF are mirrored in this Strategy.
Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy (AREDS)
The 2002 AREDS vision for Auckland’s economic future is:
“Auckland is an internationally competitive, inclusive and dynamic economy, a great
place to live and conduct business; and a place buzzing with innovation, where skilled
people work in world-class enterprises”.
Metro Project Action Plan
In 2006 the Metro Project Action Plan was developed to give life and effect to the AREDS
vision for Auckland’s economic future by integrating existing and new regional activities into a
single transformational economic delivery plan to reflect best practice around 5 key action plan
objectives (and to align its 5 objectives with governments Economic Transformation agenda)34.
1. Take effective and efficient action to transform Auckland’s economy
2. Develop world class infrastructure and world class urban centres
3. Transform Auckland in to a world class destination
4. Develop a skilled and responsive labour force
5. Increase Auckland’s business innovation and export strengths
Of particular interest to economic wellbeing are the Regional Growth Strategy, Regional Policy
Statement, Regional Climate Change and Regional Energy Strategies (in development).
Shifts are significant or fundamental movements that must occur in our social values and expectations, and systems and
processes in order for the changes to occur.
The Auckland Regional Council is responsible for facilitating objectives 1 and 2 and AucklandPlus is responsible for facilitating
the delivery of objectives 3, 4 and 5.
The idea of preparing One Plan was promoted in the Metro Project and was further developed
through the Strengthening Regional Governance process. It involves all the councils in the
region and central government agencies. One Plan (version one) has identified seven
programmes of action:
• Improving public transport (significant initiative: rail electrification)
• Completing the network (completion of the Western ring Route)
• Digital Auckland (broadband)
• Destination Auckland (Rugby World Cup 2011)
• CBD and waterfront
• Building communities (Tamaki Transformation programme)
• Growth through skills (upskilling workers – language, literacy, numeracy, communication
It is envisaged that subsequent versions of One Plan will include other action areas, following
greater alignment at national, regional and local levels. Processes to identify Waitakere’s
economic issues in a regional context, and to agree on regionally-significant actions to address
those issues is an important part of the work of Council and Waitakere’s key economic actors.
Economic and Business Futures for the Auckland Region
The Economic Futures Project (report due in December 2008)35: aims to define the likely
trajectories that the economy of the Auckland region will take over the next 25 years. The
purpose of defining scenarios is to have a tool to predict likely impacts of these scenarios on
the economy and the environment. The new data sets and information developed through this
project need to feed into the Waitakere growth management and economic development
planning as well as regional policy and strategy development. This project sits alongside work
on the ARC Growth Targets and current review of the Regional Land Transport Strategy. In
time, the Economic Futures will inform a refresh of AREDS and other regional initiatives.
35 Economic Futures for the Auckland Region: Scenarios for Economic Development, December 2008 draft, ARC
National Strategies & Policies
Since November 2005, one of Government’s priorities for New Zealand is Economic
Transformation (ET)36. ET is about government working to transform New Zealand’s economy
into a thriving and internationally competitive market economy that is both innovative and
creative, with a highly skilled workforce and which provides a unique quality of life to all New
In November 2007 the Government announced a sharpened ET agenda by identifying six
priority areas, supported with actions to advance the five (above) sub-themes, namely:
1. Improving access to quality, fast reliable broadband services to ensure strong global
2. Positioning New Zealand as a world-leading exponent of smart and innovative
responses to environmental issues
3. Developing workplace skills, focusing on basic literacy and numeracy
4. Supporting business internationalisation and extracting the best value from global value
5. Focusing government investment in areas that reflect and extend New Zealand’s
6. Making Auckland a world-class hub of innovation and internationalisation.
The following national strategies and policies provide important context and direction to this
Strategy and are reflected in the interventions chosen.
• Government innovation investment
• Digital Strategy 2.0 (2008)
• NZ Transport Strategy (2008)
• NZ Energy Strategy (2007)
• NZ Skills Strategy (Action Plan 2008)
• Social Report 2008
• NZ Tourism Strategy (2007)
Other national strategies of relevance
• NZ Urban Design Protocol
• NZ Waste Strategy
• Biosecurity Strategy for NZ
36 The other national priorities above (Families – Young and Old and National Identity) are also important to this Economic Wellbeing Strategy but are not
directly referenced here.
Review of 2004 Strategy
Vision and concepts
The 2004 Economic Development Strategy was developed with an understanding of the
context and issues and developed the following organising concept:
The ultimate aim for Waitakere eco city is to improve the quality of life for all residents and
ratepayers– both now and in the future. One way of improving quality of life is by improving
This underlying approach is still relevant but requires a fresh look at the enablers and issues
involved in economic wellbeing to see what interventions should be made in future.
The vision of the 2004 Strategy was:
Waitakere is home to innovative and sustainable economic activities which provide a range of
quality local employment options for its people, enabling a growing proportion of them to work
closer to home. All people of Waitakere have the opportunity to participate in, or benefit from
this dynamic local economy.
Results of particular significance were:
• Continued economic growth, including 3,500 more jobs and 2,300 more businesses in
the City since 2004.
• Council’s plan changes to create more available business land - 200 hectares in
Hobsonville and Massey North by 2012
• Advocacy for early completion of Western Ring Route – completion timed for 2011, the
primary Auckland project for national transport funding, including $255 million for the
SH18 Hobsonville deviation
• Obtaining $140 million funding for the New Lynn Transit Oriented Design project (TOD)
from central Government
• Strong focus on implementing the Business Investment Marketing Plan from 2008 –
including the establishment of business attraction and client management services and
establishing targets for business and job growth from these services,
• Attracting the Unitec campus to Henderson with 1060 equivalent full-time students in
2007 and 18 programmes being delivered
• Developing an Education and Learning Plan to identify education initiatives.
• Continuing support for cluster initiatives, such as investing $6 million in the Henderson
Valley Film Studios and buying land at Hobsonville for a marine cluster
• Completion of a Maori Economic Development Plan and Pacific Economic
Transformation Plan, with accompanying governance and delivery processes in place
• Establishment of economic gardening initiatives such as the “ Target Your Market “
service that provides statistical and psychographic market information to small
• Establishment of international economic relations framework including trade promotion
visits for Waitakere businesses
• Progress towards establishing sustainable products and services purchasing protocols
However, the following key actions have had limited progress and need re-focused effort:
• Development of a cluster strategy and innovation strategy - partly because changes
in how businesses cluster or innovate have been driven by factors well outside the
influence of Council, such as availability of Government funding or market conditions;
and partly because lack of business land has meant constrained growth opportunities
for emergent clusters;
• Promotion of the opportunities of Clean (sustainable) Technology industries, mainly
because these businesses are highly diverse as well as unique and there are different
perspectives about their clustering capability;
• Undertaking “future proofing” of Waitakere for ICT was, until mid- 2008, partly
constrained by Government and provider debates at national level, as well as regional
considerations through One Plan discussions.
The actions on which limited progress has been made should be retained in the refreshed
Strategy, as they continue to have merit.
The main methods for implementation of the 2004 Strategy have been interaction between
Council, Waitakere Enterprise and business and education representatives; political decisions
based on the six objectives; project implementation; and regional and national advocacy at
officer and political level. These methods continue to work well and are retained and
Factors outside this Strategy’s control
Some of the critical factors that must inform this Strategy are described at international, national
and regional level:
Globalisation affects economic development because of the increasing, and unpredictable
extent of connections between countries. While New Zealand has always been challenged by
its distance from large markets, the Government’s commitment to freeing up trade regulations
and increasing the number of international free trade agreements to allow more globalisation to
reach into the Auckland region and Waitakere economies requires a close eye be kept on
emerging opportunities and constraints.
A key message in this challenge is the likelihood that not all sectors currently enjoying high
returns or growth will benefit from increasing globalisation. Economic development therefore is
becoming more complex, more challenging and in some ways more risky 37.
Possible responses to globalisation include ‘glocalisation’ where local communities deal with
globalisation by re-discovering local connectedness and culture or by increased attention to
managing important relationships and a combination of risk, resources and assets to get the
best for local and neighbouring communities38. We need to know more about the community
and have a firm mandate to address this challenge.
Another challenge is the increasing public awareness of and political reaction to the climate
change debate. In effect, climate change provides an ecological brake to unmitigated
economic growth. New Zealand’s ‘tyranny of distance’ for international trade and the
geographical constraint nationally, has produced a dependence on transport which has for
many years been ‘assumed away’ rather than taken into account by economic policies.
Businesses producing greenhouse gases face a range of constraints and opportunities from the
implementation (and possible revision) of New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
The responses to challenge of climate change include corporate accounting for greenhouse gas
emissions and supporting public awareness of the local impacts of climate change on both
environment and the economy.
Continuing immigration is another key challenge – in that it will be increasingly bundled in with
both globalisation and climate change impacts, with potential changes in’ immigration policy.
The current balance is heavily weighted in favour of “pulling” targeted immigrant – New Zealand
decides which immigrants it wants (primarily based on skills demand), but in future may be more
externally ‘pushed’ such as in ‘climate change refugees’.
In response to immigration and settlement challenges, policies need to ensure that where
immigrants’ skills are grown locally, that continued contribution to the local or regional economy
In addition, we need to assume some combination of the following contextual challenges will
affect economic growth:
• Ongoing technological change affecting economic and social activities;
Bressi (2003) The impact of globaization: Opportunities and challenges for glocal development in Europe, Latin
America and the Caribbean, Paper prepared for the seminar “Global and local: Confronting the challenges of
regional development in Latin America and the Caribbean”, Milan, Italy, March 22, 2003.
38 Wilson, Neill, and Lambert (April 2008) Governance for Economic Development in Auckland; paper prepared for Auckland Regional Economic Development
• Societal change and potential social disruption or dysfunction;
• Unavailability of venture capital locally forcing moves offshore;
• Climate change with environmental, economic and social impacts;
• Energy security and cost – developing management approaches;
• Transport options and changing attitudes to connections and accessibility.
Specifically, we need to assume that the current focus on improving the economic
performance of Auckland will continue in order for it to become a world-class city. The
response to this focus is to influence funding and governance decisions about the Auckland
region, in ways that help Waitakere (as a community) provide for its economic wellbeing in
There are ongoing challenges for economic growth relating to:
• Government direction
• Macroeconomic settings
• Public sector reform
The Regional Economic Futures report (December 2008) describes the challenges and risk
factors for the region, in a national and international context. Sufficient, coordinated resources
for analysis and appropriate timing of research and scenario development are a key response to
this external challenge.
Economic Growth Drivers/Enablers
- what’s needed to enable greater economic wellbeing
1. Capable residents and workers who are enthusiastic participants in the local economy –
as workers, consumers, employers, entrepreneurs, facilitators, enablers. Labour
participation and productivity needs to be high for strong economic growth.
2. Education participation and attainment that is comparable to other cities and businesses
that are resourced with skilled management and staff. Good skill development
opportunities and good understanding of population needs is essential for the long term.
3. Availability of business land which is:
a. Placed on/near good roads and rail
b. Located amongst other business services or cluster members
c. Supports other environmental objectives for the City
d. Easy to develop – local regulatory, finance & infrastructure process aligned
4. Efficient infrastructure, especially transport that supports business development and
resilience and the creation of diverse economic activities.
5. A growing and sustainable market – locally, regionally, nationally, internationally –
supported by market development activities and a strong web of economic and social
infrastructure to act as hubs for global firms.
6. Minimal barriers to technological progress – an integrated approach that supports
innovation, ideas & entrepreneurship.
7. Accessible, accurate information about the economic and social resources available.
8. Availability of capital and appropriate financial assistance, including supportive taxation
policies that support early commercialisation of good ideas.
Profile and Marketing
9. Good profile – address perceptions of low quality urban environments, educational
attainment, limited tourism opportunities and other “profile” impacts on economic growth
in Waitakere. Active intervention in business investment decisions.
10. Effective governance and management of organisations involved in economic
development including networks and partnerships – working on common goals.
11. A policy framework which supports business growth and transformational economic
activity and factors in a contingency approach to sector development and job creation.