Growing Auckland’s economy – opportunities and challenges

Auckland Economic Insights and Symposium

Patrick McVeigh

From a global perspective, Auckland is well known as both a destination and as a quality of life city.  In both these areas Auckland has performed well against competitors. However, when it comes to Auckland’s visibility as a business location, a centre of investment or a magnet for talent, there is still work to be done.

The perception of Auckland is changing and there is growing recognition that Auckland is a ‘new world city’ with an innovation-driven economy.

While recent economic growth has been strong, there is no room for complacency as we will continue to compete everyday with cities across the world for export revenue, talent and investment – and the competition is tough.

If Auckland is to be successful – with the prize being sustained economic growth and prosperity – we must continue to build on our region’s reputation as an emerging global business destination.  In addition, there is also a need to understand the future barriers to and enablers of economic growth.

In general terms, the growth of Auckland’s economy will be determined by a wide range of factors, most of which are outside of the direct control of either central or local government.  Over the longer term, improving the economic performance of our city and its businesses will depend on improving productivity through a focus on skills, innovation, investment and trade.

In seeking to understand how best to deliver future economic growth for Auckland, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) has partnered with the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to identify which segments of Auckland’s economy offer the greatest potential.

Based on the findings of this work, ATEED is releasing an ‘Auckland Economic Insights Series’, comprising four reports designed to stimulate wide ranging discussion.

The first report, Advanced Industries: Auckland’s Opportunity, will look at Auckland’s advanced industries, a diverse group of industries which play an increasingly important role in Auckland’s economic performance. The report will summarise the role and importance of these industries and detail opportunities for ATEED, our partners and other key stakeholders to support their growth.

The second report, Auckland: An Emerging Knowledge Capital of the Asia Pacific, focuses on Auckland’s status as a ‘knowledge capital’, which are the world’s leading knowledge creation centres.  

Two other publications in this series will seek to explore in more depth various opportunities within the advanced industry segment:

Convergence and Disruption Auckland’s Tech Opportunity (April 2017)
Engaging Globally Auckland’s Trading Linkages (May 2017)

These publications provide insights to the role of investment, technology and trade in realising these growth opportunities, leading to a more competitive Auckland economy.

Maximising the strong growth prospects of our advanced industries was debated at an Auckland Economic Symposium on 28 March.

At this symposium, city, government and industry leaders met to debate how Auckland could best capitalise on its ‘new world city’ status, so that we can advance these unique and dynamic sectors of our economy which are such powerful drivers for Auckland’s prosperity.

Patrick McVeigh
General Manager, Business Innovation and Skills
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED)