Economic development in Waimakariri focus for discussions, MP says

Waimakariri news
Monday, August 24, 2015

“Robust discussions” were a key part of a Small Business Conversation Café held last week between business owners and economic development stakeholders, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.

At the event, held on Monday 17 August in Kaiapoi, representatives from Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC), the Elite 6 business networking group, Rangiora Promotions, Kaiapoi Promotion Association, Waimakariri District Council and local business owners and operators met with Minister for Small Business Craig Foss.

Doocey said the conversation café would be the first in a series.

 “ENC’s latest infometrics show our local GDP is higher at 4.1% than the national average at 3.2%. Sales are up this year compared to Christchurch. Key issues facing us as we move forward are broadband connectivity and business attraction, with  47 per cent of Waimakariri residents commuting to Christchurch for work,” Doocey said.

Guest nights were also slowing in North Canterbury as more beds were becoming available in Christchurch following earthquake recovery.

“There was a 6.7 percent increase for the year ending June 2015 in international tourist arrivals into Christchurch, with an estimated $837 million spend. We need to think collegially on how to direct more of that traffic into North Canterbury,” Doocey said.

Doocey and Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith recently hosted Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean in North Canterbury to talk to local tourist operators.

Photo: Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey speaks at the Small Business Conversation Café held on 17 August with Minister for Small Business Craig Foss.