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CEO Column - Scaling up Mighty Local

Launching the Mighty Local campaign back in April was all about rallying the community to support its own and boost businesses affected by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Te Waka is proud to have partnered with Hamilton/Waikato Tourism on the project, which has been supported by our region’s local councils.

It’s heartening to see Waikato people making a conscious effort to shop, buy, and eat local. But it’s not just small businesses trying to survive and navigate their way through the uncertainty of a post-lockdown world.

Big business is hurting too. Surviving means finding creative solutions and new ways of working. A group of local construction companies is doing just that.

Together they have formed a Waikato infrastructure collective to jointly bid for infrastructure projects in the region and minimise the risk of losing contracts to off-shore competition.

It’s essentially an extension of the Mighty Local concept, just on a much bigger scale and with greater economic impact.

As we await a decision from Government on funding for big-ticket projects, work is underway to fire up a range of smaller-scale projects. This is vital in order to keep jobs in the region and keep civil contractors and construction firms working.  

A list Te Waka has complied based on information from all our councils shows about $631 million worth of projects in the pipeline – but we know there are also a number of significantly larger projects on the radar.

Employing local contractors to do the work would keep profits at home and create employment, training and career pathway development opportunities for our people.

Te Waka supports the concept behind a Waikato infrastructure collective and is working with councils and the Waikato Local Authority Shared Services (WLASS) to encourage a ‘go local’ procurement approach where possible.

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Competing companies are joining forces in an effort to minimise the impact of the economic downturn on their businesses, their staff and our communities.

It is another example of our region’s collective spirit, and how innovation and partnerships can help create a new future for the Waikato. 

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The Waikato is full of people and businesses doing great things. Their stories help build our understanding of the strength of the Waikato and the benefits of living, studying, visiting or doing business here.