Public Forum and Innovate Whanganui 2021 Final to go ahead

Whanganui & Partners has rescheduled two upcoming events as the economic development agency looks beyond the current Alert Level 4 restrictions.

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

The agency’s Public Forum will now be held on September 28. This decision was made after careful consideration around the likelihood of restrictions lifting, Chief Executive Hannah Middleton said.

“We know our forums are an essential form of communication with the business community and public and now, especially, people are keen for some perspective on the economy,” Middleton said.

“We know that things can change very quickly when it comes to the country’s Covid-19 response, but we feel confident that we can react just as swiftly and assuredly as we lead by example as an agency focused on the best outcomes for our business community and the wider public.”

The Forum will be held online.

Guest speaker Cameron Bagrie had again been confirmed for the new date, Middleton said. Bagrie will discuss Whanganui’s economic position and its resilience in a wider economy adjusting the ongoing effects of Covid-19 restrictions and challenges.

Bagrie, who 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, describes his approach to economics as “non-ideological and pragmatic”.

“It’s been an interesting time for the country as a whole and Whanganui has been a place worth watching as the economy has undergone COVID-19 stressors, but also thrived on numerous levels,” 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.”

The Innovate Whanganui 2021 Final has also been postponed. This Dragon’s Den style event was set to take place at the NZ International Commercial Pilot Academy hanger, at Whanganui Airport, on September 2. The event has been rescheduled for October 7, with further details yet to be announced.

Tim Easton, Whanganui & Partners’ Strategic Lead – Business, said Top 7 Innovate finalists were continuing their accelerator course and meeting with mentors online.

“We’re in contact with all of the finalists and supporting them. They’re all progressing really well and it’s business as usual as far as establishing their business plans and preparing their final pitches goes,” Easton said.

“The great thing about working with people with an entrepreneurial mindset is that they realise the value in adaptability. They also have mentors who have faced, and overcome, numerous and varied challenges. Having a robust business model and having continuity measures in place is an important consideration for any start-up focused on long-term success.”

Middleton said despite the date changes, Whanganui & Partners was still looking forward to the events with enthusiasm. “We’ve been here before and Whanganui’s business community has proven its diversity and resilience. Now we have the opportunity, as an agency, to show how important it is to move ahead with confidence.”

Whanganui & Partners Public Forum will be held online at 5.00pm on September 28. RSVP now

The Innovate Whanganui 2021 Final will be held online October 7, with further details to be confirmed closer to the date.

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