REGIONAL FOCUS : Doing business in… Hawke’s Bay

Why do business here?
Best known for the twin cities of Napier and Hastings, Hawke’s Bay is bustling region with strong emphasis on pastoral farming and horticultural activities, complemented by an export-oriented primary food-processing and viticulture industry.
Other sizeable manufacturing sectors include forestry and wood processing, chemicals, and significant and typically entrepreneurial engineering and technology industries.
There are many reasons why Hawke’s Bay is becoming location where new businesses are emerging and local businesses are growing, says Vicky Roebuck of Venture Hawke’s Bay.
“Hawke’s Bay has the major concentration of industry on the East Coast of the North Island with the major transportation routes into and out of the region, including port, rail and the airport.
“Hastings has great land availability and plenty of infrastructure capacity to deal with growth, and the region offers cost-competitive business environment.
“With the installation of high-speed broadband in the region, business can be done from anywhere. Why not live, work and play in one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand?”
UnisonFibre sales and marketing manager Wayne Baird says when Unison Networks decided to deploy smart grid across its electricity network it needed fibre communications backbone. natural extension, which made sound commercial sense, was to become an open access provider. The benefit of open access is that any service provider can connect its customers to the network for ultra-fast fibre broadband.
Unison is rolling out 130km of fibre cable across its three network regions in Hawke’s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua and is now starting to connect businesses, schools and local authorities.
“The fibre is ready to connect to whoever we go past. It certainly makes it more viable for any business to operate out of the Hawke’s Bay,” Baird says.
Companies already benefiting include ABC Software, which supplies software for pack-houses, as well as the Eastern Institute of Technology and Napier City Council.
“Broadband is key enabler of economic growth and our purpose is to help make sure that businesses here get well ahead and to help grow the wealth of the region,” says Baird.
Hawke’s Bay has been hit by the economic downturn, says Rachel Cornwall, director of recruitment service Red Consulting, but business remains buoyant. “It’s been tough but businesses are pushing through it.”
She says many people with exceptional skills are moving to the Bay for lifestyle reasons, particularly from middle-management roles in cities like Auckland, but there still skills shortages – for structural engineers, for example.
She says it is primary economy, which is where the main work opportunities are found, rather than the corporate, telecommunciations or banking industries. To attract business, there are several options available in funding and support for research and development projects.
Through TechNZ, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology’s business investment programme, up to $50 million annually is available to businesses to develop new technologies.
Venture Hawke’s Bay and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Development Agency are part of the regional partner network which provides fast, accessible research and development advice and funding to local businesses undertaking early-stage or small R&D projects up to $60,000.
For more details, contact Venture Hawkes Bay on 06 834 1918.

Five great places to stay
1. Te Pania Scenic Circle Hotel: The 109-room property offers 4-star accommodation of an international standard. Guests have access to the pools and gym across the road. 45 Marine Parade, Napier, Ph 06 833 7733, [email protected].
2. The Crown Hotel: Offers 5-star self-contained and serviced luxury accommodation at the small fishing port area of Ahuriri. Cnr Bridge Street & Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, Napier, Ph 06 833 8300,
3. Cape Kidnappers: The Farm is set high on sheep and cattle station, resembling cluster of traditional rural farm buildings. It is corporate retreat offering spa and golf course facilities. 446 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Ph 06 875 1900,
4. The County Hotel has 18 luxury rooms with food from la carte, to finger food working lunches. Across the road is the New Zealand Wine Centre with two purpose-built theatres. 12 Browning Street, Napier, Ph 06 835 7800,
5. The Dome is Napier’s ultimate art deco accommodation and conference space, situated on top of the iconic T&G building. Marine Parade, Napier, Ph 06 835 0707,

Five great conference venues
Charlotte Williams of Venture Hawke’s Bay says in the Bay there is diverse range of great destinations for small to medium-sized conferences, up to 350 to 400 people:
1. The Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings is one of the region’s larger conference centres. five-star convention centre, it boasts newly renovated venue spaces – ballrooms, business centres, display and event areas. Ph 06 871 5289,
2. The War Memorial Conference Centre, Napier, sits in curve on the pebbly beach at Marine Parade, and has ballroom that seats up to 350 theatre-style, or 280 banquet-style, gallery, exhibition hall, two breakout rooms and boardroom. 48 Marine Parade, Napier, Ph 06 835 9001,
3. The Crown Hotel, Napier, is combination of historic hotel and newly constructed four-storey building. It has conference facilities for up to 70 people. Cnr Bridge Street & Hardinge Road, Ahuriri, Napier, Ph 06 833 8300,
4. Black Barn is small vineyard on the outskirts of Havelock North village. The ‘River room’ is stunning conference room which opens up onto sunny private patio. Black Barn Road, Havelock North, Ph 06 877 7985,
5. The Mission Estate winery is surrounded by farmland and vineyards. It is ideal for one-day conferences and has options for functions and conferences. 198 Church Road, Taradale,

Five great things to do
When your day’s work is done, enjoy the activities of this beautiful region:
1. Cape Kidnappers gannet safari: Cape Kidnappers Safari Experience takes you to Hawke’s Bay Cape Kidnappers’ gannet colony, the world’s largest, most accessible gannet nesting place. Ph 06 875 0888,
2. Cycle the wine trail: On Yer Bike Winery Tours offers unique, one-day, cycling experience giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy tasting some of Hawkes Bay’s finest foods and wines.
Ph 06 879 8735,
3. Art Deco walks: The Art Deco Trust’s daily walks at 10am last an hour and take you past buildings built after the 1931 earthquake. Meet your guide at the Napier i-Site Visitors’ Centre, Marine Parade,
4. Take the kids to Splash Planet and get wet and wild in this water theme park. Grove Road, Hastings, Ph 06 873 8033.
5. Mountain Valley Wilderness Adventures offers

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