The Auckland Prosperity Index
While Auckland has benefited from economic growth, these benefits are not being shared equally across the region. There is a need to focus on areas of lower prosperity, notably in southern and western Auckland.
Inequality is a global issue, and across the developed world there is increasing recognition that growth following the Global Financial Crisis has not delivered benefits for all communities.
The Auckland Prosperity Index enables us to better understand the challenges by looking at the different factors which impact on prosperity and what may be causing these factors by examining data at a local board level across the region.
Issues raised in the Prosperity Index are already a key priority for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland Council and local boards. Auckland’s prosperity challenges are well known, with one of the key outcomes of the revised Auckland Plan to deliver prosperity, and a better standard of living for everyone. Work to address Auckland’s prosperity challenge is ongoing, and the Prosperity Index now provides the ability to focus activity on those issues which are likely to have the greatest impact.
Significant investments in transport that are underway, such as the City Rail Link (CRL), and new expenditure recently announced including funding for light rail will considerably enhance connectivity across the region, opening up new job opportunities for Aucklanders.
From a skills and employment perspective, Auckland Council, ATEED and local boards work with employers across the region to connect young people into education, employment, or training (NEET). A key part of this is the Youth Connections programme, which is supported by the Tindall Foundation, and initiatives such as the Youth Employer Pledge, JobFest, YouthFul and local board initiatives.
ATEED also works with industry partners and government agencies to connect people with employment opportunities arising from the city’s significant investment in infrastructure projects. Skills and Jobs Hubs in Wynyard Quarter, at Auckland Airport and elsewhere across the city play an important part in connecting people into jobs and training opportunities. More than 4500 young Aucklanders have been placed into jobs, training, or education in the construction and infrastructure sector following the social media campaign, #BuildAKL, with Māori and Pacific youth, and girls and women well represented.
ATEED supports business growth, through the delivery of the government-funded Regional Business Partner (RBP) programme. In the 2016/17 financial year, businesses supported through this programme had a total turnover of $2.1bn and export revenue of $350m. ATEED connected these businesses to over $5m worth of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) capability grants and $8m of Callaghan Innovation research and development (R&D) vouchers. Through this and other activities, ATEED assists more than 4000 Auckland business each year, and in the last three years almost 350 businesses have engaged in city to city trade activity via the Tripartite Economic Alliance; an alliance between Auckland, Guangzhou (China) and Los Angeles (USA) which focuses on trade and investment.
ATEED’s focus on the development of new screen facilities at Kumeu is supporting the growth of a $1bn industry for Auckland and bringing quality jobs to western Auckland, supporting more than 6800 jobs across more than 1700 businesses – mostly in the west including world class animation, post-production, special effects and props manufacturer companies.
The Auckland Prosperity Index will help shape ATEED’s programme of work at a regional level for the next three years. We will continue to examine issues and opportunities within the Auckland economy, and using a strong evidence base, work with local boards and our partners to create a more prosperous Auckland.