A Strong Economy

The role of leadership is to ensure that we get the investment balance correct in terms of delivering things that matter to the whole community. Naturally we must pursue opportunities for growth, but that can’t be at the expense of protecting what already makes Nelson an outstanding place to live, work and visit. 

Nelson’s growth has been strong over the last 3 years with our region increasingly being identified as a place that is ‘doing business in the world’ and is recognised by the world as ‘a place to do business’. 

Establishing a clear regional identity to underpin our economy is a key part of the work being undertaken by the Nelson Regional Development Agency – the new identity that brings together both the Nelson City Council-owned Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA) and Nelson Tasman Tourism (NTT).  

John Palmer – former Chairman of Air New Zealand, agreed to head the Nelson Regional Development Agency for me and together we have established a forward-looking Board that can build on our regional strengths and identify ways to innovate in a changing business environment.

The value and success of our tourism sector allows us to market our region as a destination not just for visitors but also for business relocation and establishment, domestic and international migration, brand identity for exports, and as a key education centre for international students.

As Mayor I’ve taken a hands-on role in this area and have worked consistently to be a strong advocate for our region. The result is that over the last three years I have maintained and grown support for: 

  • Investment in key regional assets – Port Nelson and Nelson Airport.
  • Investment in cultural assets, events and venues that support our lifestyle and economy – The Suter, Nelson School of Music, Theatre Royal, Trafalgar Centre, Light Nelson, Nelson Arts Festival, Arts Expo, Marchfest and more.
  • Sporting Events that bring people to our region to share what’s great about our place with others – Cricket World Cup, Black Caps and International Cricket, Super 15 Rugby, Warriors, Silver Ferns, Masters Games, and much more.
  • Planning for critical infrastructure including support for the Nelson Southern Link Investigation.
  • A digital future for our region.
  • Key regional Institutions NMIT and Cawthron Institute.
  • Innovation opportunities and support for new business hubs.
  • Our relationship with China through our Sister City links and business development.
  • Nelson being an international host – the Royal Visit, an International Conference Destination and Heads of Mission delegations.
  • Attracting new airlines and growing the local aviation engineering sector.
  • Ensuring the Ministry of Business and Innovation sees Nelson as a key part of New Zealand’s economic future and delivers investment to our region.
  • World class Cycling Tourism – including the Great Taste Trail, Dun Mountain, Gold Rated Mountain Biking and a Gondola opportunity.
  • And a whole lot more…

In the next term of Council my work to advance our regional economy will continue as confidence builds in our ability to be a major player in New Zealand’s economic future.