News

Northland Inc's The Orchard commended by EDANZ for strategic plan and collaboration

Posted on September 05, 2017

Northland Inc’s collaborative business and event hub The Orchard has received a best practise commendation for integrated strategic planning at the Economic Development Agencies of New Zealand (EDANZ) inaugural awards in Wellington.

Northland Inc's Joseph Stuart, Irene Durham (Northland Inc Board member), George Riley, Jude Thompson and Vaughan Cooper with John Doorbar at MBIE who presented the Award
Northland Inc's Joseph Stuart, Irene Durham (Northland Inc Board member), George Riley, Jude Thompson and Vaughan Cooper with John Doorbar at MBIE who presented the Award

Northland Inc led the implementation of the new initiative, which they funded along with the Northland Regional Council (NRC) and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and opened in November 2016.

The Orchard is the first collaborative working space in New Zealand to accommodate both economic development and business agencies with its colocation of Northland Inc, the NZ Chamber of Commerce Northland, start-ups, SMEs and business professionals. This framework supports innovation and entrepreneurship in a regional context outside of a major city, with business development support and programmes offered by Northland Inc in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Northland.

Northland Inc acting CEO Vaughan Cooper said the award was recognition that Northland Inc had created an effective business hub which was delivering real value to Northland’s business community, and it was gratifying to receive this national level recognition.

“Being awarded this commendation by our peers around the country who work in the regional economic development field is something special," says Vaughan.

"Joseph Stuart and the Business Innovation and Growth team here at Northland Inc have worked very hard to set-up and get The Orchard collaborative workspace humming at full pace. They have achieved something significant."

Vaughan said the businesses that work out of The Orchard were a big part of the success of the programme of work, and also deserved recognition for their willingness to try something new by operating out of a collaborative working space.

Since opening in November 2016 The Orchard has welcomed more than 3,000 visitors and near capacity bookings. It has also provided a focus for, and greater awareness of, business development services and economic development programmes in Northland with continual outreach to clients that Northland Inc and The Chamber might not normally reach.

Collaboration and sharing of knowledge, expertise and resources of residents at The Orchard is not uncommon. For example, in a recent domestic tourism campaign the Regional Promotions & Tourism team worked with Orchard resident, digital marketer Stephen Grant-Jones to develop the Facebook campaign and maximise digital reach.

Wherever possible we use our internal capabilities for digital marketing but The Orchard's philosophy of shared knowledge and collaboration with independent residents known as 'Orchardists' provided an exciting opportunity to work with Stephen on the development and integration of this campaign. A shared space where everyone learns from others opens up even more possibilities.

Sarah Yeates — Digital Channel Manager, Northland Inc
Kayla Tattley & Amy Barclay - the welcoming faces at The Orchard.
Kayla Tattley & Amy Barclay - the welcoming faces at The Orchard.

“A significant feature of the programme has been the exceptional work performed by new members of our team, Kayla Tattley and Amy Barclay, who have created the culture, curated the space and facilitated a multitude of business related meetings and events to make the Orchard hum,” says Joseph.

“The whole Northland Inc team bootstrapped development of the space with working bees and full project management. The collaborative working environment has also paid dividends to the working cultures and collaboration opportunities for Northland Inc.”

The Orchard is located at Level One, corner Cameron and Walton Sts, in central Whangārei. For more information about The Orchard, email Kayla Tattley.