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AUCKLAND CENTRAL – A FUTURE SILICON VALLEY OF DIGITAL MEDIA? If you have any doubts that New Zealanders aren’t innovative and inventive, then seeing the range of new products on display at the Food Awards recently would quickly dispel that. Last month I presented the Food Awards, representing the Minister of Economic Development and was blown away by the range of food products on display – and by the entrepreneurial spirit of the people behind the companies that sold those products. I happened to be seated with the ladies behind hand-made pudding producers Dollop Puddings, and I was hugely impressed with their enthusiasm and creative flair. Research and innovation is high on our Government’s agenda. We are investing heavily across many sectors and some, like the $144 million in Primary Growth Partnerships, involve traditional areas such as primary production. These two partnerships support research, development involving companies such as Dairy New Zealand / Fonterra, Silver Fern Farms, PGG Wrightson and the Landcorp farming programme and ultimately products, jobs and growth. This is one of the six areas of economic growth as the dairy and red meat industries are pivotal to the success of our economy. You could argue that we spend too much on innovation and research across too many sectors, though. You could argue that as a country we need to focus more on where that money is spent so that we get targeted results for our ingenuity and creativity, exactly as we do for the Olympic Games. But like the food industry, other exciting sectors are also emerging. Take digital media. I attended the launch of Omnilab Media and Oktobor, which recently opened its award winning visual effects, animation and digital computergenerated animation studio, Oktobor Animation. This has been created and launched in conjunction with Backyard Animated Pictures, a US-based company and will create 40 extra jobs next month in Freeman’s Bay.

Local National MP NIKKI KAYE is pictured here with US Secretary of State HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. A reception was held on 4 November at the Banquet Hall in Parliament in Hillary’s honour.

The project presents an enormous opportunity for this area. I know Freeman’s Bay, Ponsonby and Grey Lynn contain a large number of people involved in digital media and the creative industries. These people represent some of our best and brightest creative brains in the country today. We already have the raw talent, I want to help to harness it and create a digital media hub in Auckland Central. Over the coming months I will be bringing the Minister together with key players to see how we can accelerate growth in this sector. As your local MP I always welcome feedback on issues of local or national significance. If you wish to contact me then please email me at (NIKKI KAYE) PN

12 PONSONBY NEWS+ December 2010


DECEMBER/JANUARY '10/ '11 Ponsonby News  

Christmas issue - covering December and January - news/views and all that is happening in and around Ponsonby