3 May 2012

Auckland 'needs ambition' to boost economy

6:57 am on 3 May 2012

New Zealand's biggest city is being told it needs to work on its ambition and ruthlessness if it's to succeed in lifting economic growth.

International consultant AECOM says Auckland's political leaders need to be ruthless in prioritising transformational projects, like the downtown rail tunnel.

AECOM's Global Cities Institute says the private sector needs to play a bigger role.

Institute head Joe Brown says Aucklanders don't seem to realise how profitable investment from the private sector can be both in terms of the quality of the facilities, as well as the return on investment that the private sector can make.

He says usually there are laws that need to be passed and regulations that need to be improved in order to facilitate economic development.

Mr Brown says it would be great to have a taskforce, or some kind of economic regulatory legislative review committee, to go through all the categories.

He believes many in the private sector are ready to do something.

"But they need permission, they need a sophisticated public sector leadership team to say 'ok guys, here's the ball, how are you going to run down the field?'"