Fostering development in Whanganui

Fostering development in Whanganui
The Mill Road development has opened up 12ha of industrial land, supporting the growth and attraction of high-value manufacturing businesses.

Economic development agency Whanganui & Partners works with local iwi, business groups, community leaders, and the proactive Whanganui District Council to facilitate growth in Whanganui.
Whanganui & Partners spokesperson Rhonda Morris says Whanganui has seen strong economic growth recently, resulting in an increase in businesses and people coming to the city. “That has left us needing to expand,” she says.
“We’re now working with the council to identify areas we can grow into.“There is currently a housing shortage, and we have a proactive strategy in place which has identified the levels of housing that are required. “We’re interested in the facilitation of first home buyers and the next step up buyers, and we are opening up new residential lots.”
There is a strategy in place for infill housing through subdivision, with Whanganui & Partners brokering the conversations between developers and the council, streamlining the planning process, and ensuring the compliance and consenting process is satisfied with as little red tape as possible.Rhonda is also working with the council to ensure there’s enough land for business.
A recent project, the Mill Road development, has opened up 12ha of industrial land, supporting the growth and attraction of high-value manufacturing businesses. “Manufacturing makes up about 12% of our GDP. Nationally, that figure is less than 10%.
There are a number of reasons we punch above our weight in this sector, including our strategic location, affordability, staffing base, and ease of doing business,” says Rhonda. “This means our businesses can grow into global exporters without having to relocate.”
She points to the example of Whanganui-based aluminium joinery company Wight Aluminium, which has moved to Mill Road and is building an expanded premises to accommodate additional staff and facilities.
“By remaining in Whanganui, Wight Aluminium is able to invest in affordable land, find quality staff and keep overheads low as it continues to expand,” she says.
Fostering development in Whanganui
“They fulfill orders from all over New Zealand, but they keep their base here because it’s strategically advantageous.”Mill Road has seen the relocation of other expanding Whanganui businesses and is now on the market at a national level. The prices at Mill Road are a major selling point.
Rhonda says big commercial areas like Auckland and Wellington are landlocked for industrial land, and Auckland’s Golden Mile is selling for $750 per square metre. She says Mill Road, at $120 per square metre, compares favourably. Road and rail access and a central North Island location adds to the appeal.
“We’re a logistics hub,” Rhonda says. “It’s easy and affordable for our manufacturing and agribusinesses to get their products all over the country and the world. Meanwhile, redevelopments at Whanganui Port are set to increase the capacity of Coastal Bulk Shipping by ten times.”
Rhonda says Whanganui has a Council that is willing to grow and is proactive when it comes to the consenting process. “We’ve had extremely positive feedback on the ease of the process from people who have relocated to Mill Road. It’s something we pride ourselves on.”
Environmentally, Whanganui & Partners is working alongside several different agencies on a range of projects, taking Council, Government, and community guidance about what feasible, sustainable enviro-business looks like.
“We want to make sure we’re not just paying lip service, but that the ideas and choices put in place are going to make a viable infrastructure.” Rhonda says Whanganui is open for business with a city-wide fast fibre network, plentiful and affordable land and buildings, and a logistics hub carrying exports by rail for shipping to global markets.
The proactive Whanganui District Council and specialist economic development agency Whanganui & Partners are keen to explain what’s available for established companies and start up entrepreneurs looking to relocate, expand, or get new ventures off the ground.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts