Community Wealth Building (keeping it local)

Chamber media release 18.4.19

In years gone by we tended to trade, buy or accept services from local businesses. As a result, employment, experience and the monies generated by this activity largely stayed within the local community, adding to its overall wealth.

In more recent times market liberalism, whereby purchases are made online or services are awarded to National or International entities, has eroded this factor and instead leads to the extraction of these values to other regions or even countries with very little connection to our community.

Local and Central Government has reacted to this by putting in place schemes and incentives designed to plug gaps in investment within these often-Provincial areas. This certainly provides some relief and does advance development in those regions, but all too often much of the funding leaks away to entities (businesses with HO’s in Auckland for example) with little real local connection to our region/community. Equally, procurement and commissioning policies of public entities such as local authorities, educational institutions, hospitals, law enforcement, airports, ports etc… often do not ‘score’ bids/pricing from local business with sufficient positivity and are forced to award contracts primarily on the basis of price.

Overseas experience has demonstrated the significant improvements to local economies where these factors have been re-evaluated and integrated into policy and procurement processes.


Steve Smith CE

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