Public Forum promises a new take on economy

Surprising metrics and relatable insights have formed a theme for Whanganui & Partners’ Public Forums and the economic development agency is ready to deliver another event to help our community get to grips with what is driving the local economy.

PLEASE NOTE: Whanganui & Partners has chosen to deliver its upcoming Public Forum and Innovate Whanganui Final events online, rather than in-person, so that they can reach a larger audience than possible under Alert Level 2 restrictions. You can read more here

Economist Cameron Bagrie, who describes his approach to economics as “non-ideological and pragmatic,” will be guest speaker at the Public Forum on September 28 (rescheduled from August 31 due to Alert Level 4 restrictions).

Bagrie has been an economist for 20 years, with more than 11 years as Chief Economist at ANZ. He has also been an economist at the National Bank, Treasury and Statistics New Zealand.

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“It’s an interesting time for the country as a whole and Whanganui has been a place worth watching as the economy has undergone Covid stressors,” Bagrie said. “Local business people will have a good understanding of their personal positions, but context around the economy as a whole is essential for a realistic perspective.”

Chief Executive of Whanganui & Partners, Hannah Middleton, said the agency was compelled to provide the public with a broad range of views and facts, along with important discussion around the work being carried out by the agency.

“Whanganui & Partners’ work is varied and involves projects to boost the economy regularly along with long-term goals to carry on the prosperity generated, in a sustainable way,” Middleton said.

“We’re very proud of the mahi we do and the results of that work but we value the importance of accountability and we consider these forums to be an essential engagement with the public.”

Middleton invited people interested in the agency’s work to submit questions for Whanganui & Partners, either in advance of the forum or on the evening.

“Transparency is necessary and we need to challenge ourselves always. We are of the view that we need to be confident and collaborative in our approach, this means there is always room for feedback and improvement.”

Whanganui & Partners held an inaugural Sessions event in June, adopting a relaxed approach to present insight on its marketing activity and Film Whanganui work. Middleton said this Forum would touch on The Backhouse and Innovate, two relatively new projects to have captured the public’s interest.

“Cameron (Bagrie) will have fascinating insights into the broader economy, while the Whanganui & Partners team is enthusiastic about sharing some information around projects specific to us.”

Infometrics economist Brad Olsen delivered an impressive appraisal of Whanganui’s economic performance at Whanganui & Partners’ forum in November, while local business people formed a panel to discuss the impact, and recovery, on the ground at March’s event.

“We’re really thrilled with the variety we’ve been able to deliver at our Public Forums,” Middleton said. “Brad is a hugely popular speaker, who bolstered the strong confidence we have locally. Following that Forum up with a group of talented local business leaders gave us a huge sense of pride and confidence in Whanganui.”

“We know that Cameron will continue this tradition of providing facts and observations which actually resonate with the public, and give them a sense of confidence and aspiration.”

Whanganui & Partners Public Forum will be held online, at 5.00pm on September 28. RSVP to indicate your interest and email info@whanganuiandpartners.nz with any questions you have for the agency (subject line: Public Forum).

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