A team of business leaders from the Moreton Bay Region has landed in New Zealand to investigate new investment leads for the region.
Mayor Peter Flannery is joined on the trade mission by Michael Kennedy from Kennedy’s Timbers, Keith Cairns from AusBuild, Mike Arieni from Solar Bollard Lighting and representing Moreton Bay’s official local tourism organisation (MBRIT) general manager of tourism and investment Oriana Wyrozebska.
On the itinerary are meetings with more than 70 business leaders, an investment lunch organised by Trade and Investment Queensland with key business leaders and financiers in New Zealand, and a presentation at the Auckland High Performance Building Centre to a range of leading New Zealand architects and designers to showcase Moreton Bay products and opportunities.
The talks have been enabled, in part, thanks to the Moreton Bay Region hosting the New Zealand Warriors’ NRL team in Redcliffe. That special relationship is now helping to forge new business alliances.
Mr Kennedy says New Zealand had always been the company’s biggest export market, but the current boom in demand made this a timely visit with international borders reopened.
“We’ve been sending product to New Zealand for 18 years now and that has ramped-up significantly over the last three years,” he says.
“We now send up to 10 containers a month and that’s principally to the south island, which is why it’s key for us to be in the north in Auckland because it represents the greatest potential increases for us.
“It’s so easy for them to do business with Moreton Bay and for us to maintain a really good relationship because we’re situated just 25 minutes from the airport and 40 minutes from the port, so we’ve got a strategic advantage for exporting compared to the rest of SEQ, and we can offer large blocks of land that are ideal for manufacturing.
“So not only are we exploring business leads, we’ll also be over there encouraging international investment back into Moreton Bay.”
Opportunity to learn
Mr Cairns says this is a unique moment in time for the local construction industry to learn from its New Zealand neighbours.
“It’s unusual in Queensland for projects to be delayed by ongoing wet weather, whereas developers in Auckland know exactly how to work around the conditions we’re currently experiencing,” he says.
“So, from a company perspective we’re hoping to see the things they’re doing and learn what we can do better to get those projects back on track.
“There’s bound to be tips and techniques they can share and then on Thursday we’ll be catching up with the Warriors, who we sponsored when they were based in Redcliffe, to continue that great relationship.
“And we’ll be sponsoring them to return here for the magic round back in Brisbane, because there are so many Kiwis in South East Queensland and especially Moreton Bay that we see that as an important and strategic partnership.”
Mr Arieni says architects and developers are now specifying Solar Bollard Lighting’s SBL2 Series product in their initial designs.
“The NZ market has exponential growth potential, so I’d encourage all Moreton Bay businesses to be looking into it and supporting our region is my main objective of the trip,” he says.
“I’m shipping them 80 SBL2 Series solar lights a month which is massive for a small country, so getting to meet those designers and architects is important so they meet the guy behind the innovation personally.
“Thanks to Mayor Flannery’s visit, I am delighted to get the opportunity to present to Auckland Council.
“It’s critical right now for us to meet with these people on the ground, since we’ve only been able to do business via the internet and phone in recent years.”
Ms Wyrozebska says MBRIT is taking this opportunity to connect with local outbound agents in Auckland to showcase Moreton Bay’s unique offering, while taking the opportunity to learn about the local Maori offering to help inform indigenous tourism product in Moreton Bay.
“The Moreton Bay Region is known for its amazing natural attractions and experiences including pristine waterways and beaches, stunning lookouts, abundant wildlife, and intriguing festivals and events,” she says.
“MBRIT looks forward to showcasing the region to New Zealanders and encouraging them to put Moreton Bay on their bucket list.”
Mayor Flannery says the trip will help deliver on the ambitions of Moreton Bay’s Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS).
“We want to be bigger, bolder and brighter by growing our economy and creating new jobs here in Moreton Bay so locals can work closer to home rather than travelling into the Brisbane CBD,” he says.
“This is where our polycentric city concept will distinguish Moreton Bay from the other centres of South East Queensland, with multiple centres for strategic investments rather than just one large CBD area like you see in other cities.
“It will make it easy for international investors to see the potential here and understand where in Moreton Bay they should commit their resources to be collocated with complementary businesses and supporting infrastructure, for maximum return.
“In the process, (this will) create local jobs closer to home for our residents and diversifying our local economy.”
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