Successful Results From Manukau Trade Promotion Visits To Pacific
A trade delegation of business people from Manukau has recently visited Samoa and the Cook Islands and achieved very
positive results. The delegation was led by Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis and the aim was to increase bilateral trade
and deepen connections between Manukau and the two Pacific nations.
There were 20 businesses represented.
As a result of the visit to Samoa, one company signed a $6 million a year food supply contract and is to establish a
joint venture manufacturing operation to export juice and other foodstuffs from the Pacific nation; a Manukau trailer
maker has been swamped with orders from the Cook Islands; Ullrich aluminium has increased export orders; a local
entrepreneur took steps to initiate a tourism joint venture, and there were sales of golf equipment and fuel supplies.
Sir Barry says he is delighted at the outcome. “But this is just stage one. We have laid the ground for new ventures,
new markets and forged new relationships.
“I knew there would be many opportunities to mutual benefit and that has proven to be the case. It’s going to mean more
business for Manukau companies as well as spin off benefits for the city, such as jobs.
“And I am certain there will be repeat orders as well. Also I am hoping the long term outcome will be setting up new
industries and joint ventures to help build the islands’ economies and boost their exports. Both these two island states
are in need of new products and services as well as infrastructure and business development”
The visit also had a number of associated aims, including building up education connections, with representatives from
the Manukau Institute of Technology taking part to expand their links with local education providers.
Another aim was to deepen relationships between the Council and the two island states, which both have large population
bases in Manukau. Over 40,000 people of Samoan background and 18,000 with Cook Island roots live in Manukau.
Sir Barry met with the Prime Ministers of both nations, as well as other Ministers, and signed a Memorandum of
Co-operation between Samoa and Manukau to formalise the new relationship. -2-
He says the trade delegation visits are just one strand of the Council’s economic development policy. “We are also now
pro-actively promoting business, trade and other links between Manukau and other cities and regions overseas and indeed
with small nation states with whom we have natural synchronicity.
“To do that we have be outward-looking and sell our city, its strengths and its businesses. We are also actively
promoting Manukau as an ideal place for overseas companies to invest in.”
Trade delegations have already visited the Australian cities of Newcastle and Port Macquarie and others will be
undertaken in the future.
“Nowadays it is cities and regions that are the powerhouses of the world economy, rather than nations as a whole, so it
is important for Manukau to develop links with those drivers of growth.
“Manukau is facing complex challenges and problems stemming from its rapid growth and there is much to learn from what
similar cities and regions are doing in dealing with the pressures of growth and environmental issues.”