14 November 2017
Three Whanganui organisations driving economic development have co-located in a central city space, The Innovation Quarter (IQ), with the aim of maximising partnerships and opportunities.
Whanganui District Council’s economic development agency, Whanganui & Partners, the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce and the Whanganui Māori business network, Te Manu Atatū have joined as partners and co-founders and will share the IQ workspace in St Hill Street.
Whanganui & Partners Board Chair, Myles Fothergill says, “Each organisation has its own important role in building resilience in the Whanganui economy, providing important business-related services and supporting prosperity and opportunities. We see co-locating here as a real opportunity to support and take full advantage of each other’s strengths.”
He says, “IQ provides both a physical space and a virtual platform for people to share knowledge and collaborate.”
Mr Fothergill says the Innovation Quarter will be open to anyone who wants to discuss a business idea, receive guidance and resources or access statistics and databases. Advice and support will be available for start-ups or to work through Council requirements for new or expanding businesses.
Carol Hayward, Chair of the Maori Business Network, Te Manu Atatū, says, “Our shared vision is Te Hoe Ngatahi, or ‘rowing together and actively engaged in achieving the same goals’. We are excited by the possibilities presented by the establishment of the Innovation Quarter, which includes a new Māori Business Hub and we are privileged to be a part of this opportunity for the betterment of all.”
“As well as helping to grow existing businesses, IQ will support the next generation of entrepreneurs where dreams and ideas become business realities.”
Raewyn Overton-Stuart, President of the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, says, “The Innovation Quarter presents an ideal environment to develop local solutions to global challenges. We are looking forward to it being a place where people can be inspired and where innovation is encouraged.”
The Innovation Quarter (IQ) was officially opened on Monday, November 13, with a blessing and launch event at its premises at 179 St Hill Street.
Raewyn Overton-Stuart, President of the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, Myles Fothergill, Whanganui & Partners Board Chair, Kym Fell, Whanganui District Council Chief Executive, Mayor Hamish McDouall and Carol Hayward, Chair of Te Manu Atatu