Engaging with local businesses is a key part of my role in the chamber. What I am fast learning is that we as a district are not prepared to celebrate our own commercial and business successes.
Across much of our business sector there is some amazing work going down. Is it simply the tall poppy syndrome, that we don’t care, or just that we’re too busy?
From my perspective we need to tell these stories, not only to celebrate success locally but to be sure that the rest of New Zealand knows Gisborne has dynamic businesses well and truly punching above their weight.
Many professionals are now looking outside the big cities, prioritising and making more lifestyle choices — basic things such as having a very short commute to and from work.
Working in Gisborne, it is easy to get a swim, cycle or surf in before work or even in your lunchtime. Then after work you can repeat, or have time to enjoy with your family — rather than the Auckland stories of being gridlocked in traffic and getting home around 7.30pm.
The choice and price of family homes here is a major plus compared to the metropolitan regions.
We also have a great climate with plenty of space for expansion, either in business or the private sphere.
These lifestyle choices are serious factors to consider when looking for somewhere to live, work and play.
The fact we are branded as isolated by many may just be another special point of difference that could be promoted.
We have entrepreneurs, we have serious technology being developed here, we have employment opportunities across many sectors, including but not limited to management and skilled labour. We have companies looking to employ people, providing they are prepared to turn up each day and do the work.
With the growth of our primary industries, supported by the work of agencies such as Activate Tairawhiti, we are well positioned to grow.
I think communicating our success stories and our lifestyle is key to Tairawhiti moving forward.
Terry Sheldrake, Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive
Posted: Saturday 5 May 2018