Northland Economic Advisory Group (NEAG)
How did the Group come about?
Two Whole of Northland Economic Summits were held 6 June and 10 July 2012 at Waitangi and Whangarei respectively, convened by the Member of Parliament for Northland, Mike Sabin. The aim of the summits was to provide a platform for regional wide growth across the Northland economy by developing a cohesive, overarching strategy to better enable the region to achieve its true economic potential.
The core focus of the first summit was to ask the various sector groups to identify:
- What they saw as the medium to long term vision and potential for their sector?
- What are the factors that would most assist their sector to achieve that potential?
- What are the major impediments standing in the way of achieving that growth and potential?
The second summit focused on a cross-sector approach bringing these factors into an overarching picture from which a clear action plan could be developed, focussing on delivering outcomes aimed at maximising gains and minimising obstacles.
The key outcomes sought from the summits were: a) to identify the highest priority enablers and constrainers across the main economic sectors; and b) to develop an action plan to respond to these enablers and constrainers.
The rationale for this approach was that when these factors are responded to they will have maximum benefit to the greatest number of sectors – removing common barriers and acting on common enablers.
The second summit also saw the fourteen sector groups select representatives onto the Northland Economic Advisory Group (NEAG).
What has happened since the two summits?
As a consequence of the meetings held to date the following Terms of Reference for NEAG have been drafted and have been adopted:
- To establish effective communication channels with identified sectors to provide validated independent advice and guidance to Northland Inc that will assist in growing a strong and thriving Northland economy.
- ‘Taitokerau, he whenua rangatira’ - ‘Northland, a region of prosperity and wellbeing’.
- To assist in the development and implementation of a cohesive and overarching economic strategy that will enable Northland to achieve its true economic potential.
Key outputs (tangible and can be measured objectively)
To within 10 years:
- Create 10,000 new sustainable jobs;
- Lift the GDP of Northland by $2.0b; and
- Lift the Northland median weekly household income to at least the New Zealand average.
Key outcomes (typically measured subjectively by approximation)
- To produce an outcome focused economic strategy that has sector and industry relevance by providing advice and guidance to Northland Inc.
- To work closely with Northland Inc to ensure that the strategy is utilised as a working platform in which to seek resources, infrastructure and policy that will assist in the achievement of Northland’s economic potential and as a basis to maximise efficiencies whilst working to achieve commonly shared goals.
- To build on the work done to date by providing collaborative leadership and advocacy for Northland’s economic development moving forward.
- To advise Northland Inc on how to provide a delivery mechanism that will successfully address the identified core themes.
- To develop further the responses to the core themes as a priority.
- To develop a communication strategy that enables information to be conveyed to the sector peers and fed back to the NEAG table.
- To build sector structure and provide leadership including cross sector interaction.
- To continually monitor and evaluate the overarching economic strategy.
Appointment of NEAG Sector Representatives
- There will be one representative per sector with the initial representatives selected at the second Whole of Northland Economic Summit held July 2012.
- Alternates will be permitted if the appointed sector representative cannot attend.
- Where a sector representative changes then the replacement representative will be nominated by the sector group that they will represent. In selecting representatives sector groups are encouraged to utilise individuals that already represent sectors through other Northland working groups and or forums, e.g. Northland Energy Forum, Northland Aquaculture Development Group etc.
- In addition, a sector representative will be able to bring support staff where they have specific expertise or knowledge that will add to the discussion in a particular meeting.
- To ensure that there are no conflicts of interest there needs to be a separation between sector representatives, local government and delivery organisations. Sector representatives should truly reflect the industry sectors; specifically this will exclude staff and directors of local economic development agencies, regional and district council officers and officials. These individuals may be invited to attend meetings as sector support staff; they may not however represent a sector.
- Sector representatives are required to attend meetings. Failure to attend three consecutive meetings will require the appointment of a new sector representative.
The current membership at November 2012 being:
- Agriculture (Land) - James Parsons (proxy: Rawson Wright)
- Aquaculture - Michael Bruce (proxy: Keir Volkering)
- Building & Construction (Infrastructure) - Barry Trass
- Education - Paul Binney (proxy: Andy Britton)
- Energy (Infrastructure) - Vaughan Wykes
- Forestry (Land) - Pita Tipene
- Health - Chris Read (proxy: Peter Oldham)
- Horticulture (Land) - David Kelly (proxy: Lindsay Wells)
- Information Technology (Infrastructure) - John Roy (proxy: Darren Mason)
- Manufacturing - Paul Hebberd
- Maori Development - Stephen Allen (proxy: Waimarie Reihana)
- Marine (Manufacturing) – To be re-appointed (Dennis Maconaghie resigning November 2012)
- Mining & Minerals (Land) - Wayne Brown (proxy: Bronwyn Hunt)
- Tourism - Shane Lloydd
Shane Lloydd, the Tourism sector representative was appointed Chairperson on 8 November 2012 for a twelve month term.
NEAG is supported by Northland Inc personnel: Colin Mitten; David Caselli; Wayne Hutchinson; Brian Roberts.
- A Chairperson will be chosen annually from the members of the NEAG to ensure that meetings are facilitated, focused and effective.
- A secretariat will be provided by Northland Inc to take minutes etc.
- Meetings will be held on an as needed basis but no less than quarterly.
- The Chairperson via the secretariat will coordinate meeting agendas and communicate key issues.
- The respective chairs of the NEAG and Northland Inc will provide the initial interface between the groups.
- There will be no set quorum.
- An annual summit will be convened to report on progress.
Ideally decisions made by NEAG will be by consensus. However, where consensus does not exist then the decision will be put to a vote with each sector represented having one vote. The decision will then be based on a straight majority.
There should be one spokesperson for NEAG, the Chairperson. Any questions from media should be directed to the Chairperson. Sector representatives however are able to speak for their respective sectors.