Auckland gains global recognition for economic development projects

Publish Date : 03 Oct 2018

Auckland’s reputation as a leading innovator in the global economic development community has once again been recognised by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Auckland received five Excellence in Economic Development Awards – which recognise the world’s best economic development programmes, partnerships, marketing materials and leaders – for initiatives designed by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland’s economic growth agency.

The awards were announced at the IEDC’s annual awards in Atlanta, USA last night, with Auckland projects winning a gold and four bronze accolades. The Auckland projects recognised were:

BuildAKL campaign (gold award): A highly successful youth recruitment campaign which focused around using social media to attract young Aucklanders (16-24 years) into the booming construction and infrastructure sector.

BuildAKL worked to attract 4500 young people into employment, education or training. Fifteen hundred young Aucklanders were employed in the sector and a further 3000 enrolled in industry training courses or made career subject choices.

The Auckland Growth Monitor & Auckland Index (bronze award): Together these tools form a “platform for data and insights on Auckland’s economy and increase the city’s profile and standing as a business destination. The Auckland Growth Monitor is a downloadable report produced annually, providing key information about Auckland’s economic performance and place in the world.

The Auckland Index is an interactive, data-driven look into what makes our economy tick and is updated quarterly. The index can be viewed at

Tripartite Economic Alliance, Guangzhou (bronze award): The Tripartite Business Programme for the summit in Guangzhou in November 2017, developed by ATEED alongside Auckland Council, aimed to achieve trade results in the Chinese and American markets.

Nearly 100 delegates from 70 businesses took part in Auckland’s delegation to the summit, and a post-summit survey showed six business leads per delegate were made, resulting in delegate companies expecting an average revenue growth of $4.37 million and an increase of five staff in their business with China the next three years.

Kumeu Film Studios (bronze award): Kumeu Film Studios is a successful public-private partnership between ATEED, NZ Film Commission, Warner Bros./Gravity Pictures, and the Kumeu landowner. They combined to establish a world-class screen production complex and put Auckland on the global stage as an outstanding location for filming, including the box office-topping The Meg.

DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge (bronze award): This nationwide competition called on entrants to submit a digital business idea that has the potential to go global. The competition was designed to attract more Māori into the technology sector, create jobs and improve economic well-being. ATEED is the lead organiser of DIGMYIDEA, which has been held three times and attracts more than 200 entrants.

Award-winning projects on a international level

ATEED Chief Executive Nick Hill says receiving these prestigious international accolades shows that Auckland’s economic development initiatives are cutting-edge in the global market. “Auckland is competing with many other cities to attract investment, entrepreneurs and talented migrants, so it’s great to have our campaigns benchmarked and recognised as being world-leading.

“These award-winning projects seek to create career pathways for young people, provide businesses with essential data-driven economic intelligence, assist companies with export growth, and generate business attraction and investment for Auckland.

“Projects like these all play a different part in helping achieve our goal of creating ‘quality jobs for all Aucklanders’,” Nick Hill says.

Craig Richard, 2018 IEDC Board Chair, congratulated Auckland on its awards, "This year our judges reviewed some extraordinary projects that advanced both communities and businesses. We congratulate all the award winners, and thank everyone who nominated their projects for sharing their success with fellow IEDC members.”

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