Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s economic and cultural agency, was awarded Highly Commended Best Practice for Sector and Cluster Development at the annual Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Awards announced last night.

The winners of the awards were confirmed at a gala dinner ceremony in Hamilton at this year’s EDNZ Conference. The awards are a celebration of economic development best practice and demonstrate the positive impact regional economic development agencies have on the regions they serve.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited received the commendation for Tech Tāmaki Makaurau, a three-year strategy of work to grow Auckland’s technology industry, create jobs and attract talent and investment to the region.

Chief Executive of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Nick Hill says: “Tech Tāmaki Makaurau aims to propel economic prosperity for the region’s communities. The programme was launched in 2022 and has recently celebrated its first year of delivering successful outcomes that support growth of the tech industry – not just for Auckland, but for the benefit of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

“We are immensely proud to receive this recognition from EDNZ. Receiving this accolade not only acknowledges the hard work and achievements of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited but also the many organisations, government agencies and wide range of partners who we have worked so closely with.”

In addition, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited was a finalist for the Best Practice for Primary Research award for Te Au Hungarau: The Wave of Technology research.

The research was commissioned by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and Spark Foundation, in association with Te Matarau (Māori Tech Association), and undertaken by Pūhoro STEM Academy. 

Head of Tech and Innovation at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Marissa Brindley says: “Te Au Hungarau explored the participation gap of Māori in the Tāmaki Makaurau tech sector looking at why Māori are disproportionally underrepresented in the tech industry – why the gap exists, and what we can do. The project investigated the factors and actions which can influence participation and success of Māori in the technology industry, and the findings are invaluable for tech industry change makers.

“Te Au Hungarau was an outcome of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau programme. We are thrilled with what has been achieved to date and it is exciting to have this work recognised in this year’s EDNZ awards.”

The criteria considered for the Best Practice Sector and Cluster Development and Best Practice for Primary Research award categories included achieved outcomes, innovativeness, robustness and replicability.