By: Zaryd Wilson

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall opened the Innovation Quarter by saying Whanganui will grow in time.

A shifting of three economic development agencies into one premises will not on its own achieve economic growth, Hamish McDouall says.

“Its job is to facilitate innovation and ideas and energy among the entrepreneurs out there.”

The Whanganui mayor was speaking at the official opening of the Innovation Quarter on Monday.

The Innovation Quarter will house Whanganui District Council’s economic development agency Whanganui & Partners, the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce and the Whanganui Māori business network, Te Manu Atatuū at the same St Hill St location.

“I believe that by having the three entities here sharing their experiences, sparking off each other… that we will achieve that,” Mr McDouall said.

“We will grow Whanganui. But it’ll take time.”

The Innovation Quarter was open to anyone who wanted to discuss a business idea, receive guidance and resources or access statistics and databases, Whanganui & Partners board chairman Myles Fothergill said.

“Each organisation has its own important role in building resilience in the Whanganui economy, providing important business-related services and supporting prosperity and opportunities,” he said.

“We see co-locating here as a real opportunity to support and take full advantage of each other’s strengths.”

Advice and support will be available for start-ups or to work through council requirements for new or expanding businesses.

“We are excited by the possibilities presented by the establishment of the Innovation Quarter, which includes a new Māori Business Hub and we are privileged to be a part of this opportunity for the betterment of all,” Te Manu Atatū chairwoman Carol Hayward said.

“As well as helping to grow existing businesses, IQ will support the next generation of entrepreneurs where dreams and ideas become business realities.”

Source: Wanganui Chronicle


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