Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bill Findlater Guest Speaker

Bill Findlater

Bill joined the Nelson Regional EDA as its first Chief Executive in June 2004 after a 34-year career in the pipfruit industry.
Bill was the Nelson- Marlborough Regional Manager for the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board (ENZA) from 1985 and became National Supply Manager in 1997.
For three years prior to joining the EDA Bill was Procurement Director for a joint venture UK Category Management company, Worldwide Fruit, supplying produce to seven of the eight major UK supermarket chains. Bill is past Chairman of the company operating the successful Nelson Giants Basketball franchise, a Trustee of the Annesbrook Community Trust and executive member of the Nelson Cancer Society.
Each region needs a plan before the Govt will give out any money. Whilst the big banks do forecasts and reports on the economy it does not cover our local area.
Our region has the biggest dependence on the primary industry than any other region.
In the future primary produce will be a highly sought after commodity.
GDP in our region is 3 billion.
5 key drivers, horticulture, forestry, seafood, pastoral, tourism. Most of these have been badly affected by the exchange rate. The govt should be able to do something about the exchange rate.
Things for the future like aquaculture hold a good future. Shellfish are good but wet fish holds far more promise.
Natural products hold great promise also.
A major problem is the large number of small companies. Our research industries are world leaders. Aviation and tourism could do better.
Our aviation cluster has never worked together in the past but they could.
HNZ leaving the town is a risk.
Our family incomes have not grown as well as the rest of the country but the sunshine wages are a myth.
House prices are holding up but not many are selling either, Nelson is doing a lot better than many other parts of the country and NZ is doing better than many other countries.
Our new young mayor is good because he is prepared to try and do something even if he makes some mistakes.
The RWC investment by the NCC will be a good investment return publicity.
Bill is optimistic about our region. Did the other members notice that he avoided the amalgamation issue and completely skipped over the question about the foreign fishing debate? Bill is clearly a clever skilled person in a key role. One can but admire him and be thankful for having him pushing our case.

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