Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand is actively working toward extending its mandate to promote Pacific Island products in New Zealand beyond the country’s commercial capital Auckland into other regions of the country.
While Auckland is the biggest single market in the country, a market for products of Pacific Island exists around the country and PTI NZ is looking to grow its footprint in New Zealand to more actively include regional markets.
“We have challenged ourselves to develop relationships with New Zealand’s Regional Chambers of Commerce and Regional Economic Development Agencies,” says Michael Greenslade, PTI NZ Trade & Investment Commissioner & CEO. “The challenge that we have as PTI NZ is to own the commercial relationship with the New Zealand private sector.”
PTI NZ has developed strong relationships in Auckland and over the past couple of years is actively working on building equally strong relationships in Hamilton and Tauranga, the other large commercial centres of the North Island and in the South Island’s Christchurch and Dunedin markets.
“During a recent visit to Dunedin to review client research undertaken by Otago University. I took the opportunity to meet with John Christie, CEO of Enterprise Dunedin, the economic development organisation for the city of Dunedin and Business Relationship Manager Des Adamson as well as Damian O’Neil, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) International Trade Development Manager for Otago and Southland,” Mr Greenslade said. “Belatedly, though, the Otago Chamber of Commerce (OCC) was unable to attend.”
“We discussed Pacific engagement in a commercial sense in the southern part of the South Island and saw the opportunity on a pan-agency basis to run regular events for both New Zealand exporters seeking to engage with the Pacific Islands region and Pacific exporters seeking to connect with regional buyers.
“It was agreed that one or two commercial events will be held yearly, with the cooperation of the four agencies – PTI NZ, NZTE, OCC and Enterprise Dunedin,” Mr Greenslade added.
A relationship was established with the University of Canterbury’s Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship last year, as part of which PTI NZ co-sponsored the University of Canterbury 21 Day Pacific Challenge competition.
The competition involved students developing a sustainable business project solving a problem for an international community. As part of the challenge, they helped the Niue Island community to conserve, protect and manage its food supply with a view to becoming self-sufficient.