Genuine collaboration wins national award

Genuine collaboration wins national award

Posted on Tuesday 26 November 2019

The Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA), in partnership with Datacom, on behalf of the Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood (NTIN) has won the Best Practice Award for Collaboration at the 2019 Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) conference held in Marlborough last week.

NTIN is a group of significant local organisations who came together last year in collaboration to tackle common business issues and identify common opportunities, to make Nelson Tasman “better together”.

NTIN is business-led and demonstrates how collaboration between business, education, and economic development agencies can greatly improve outcomes for individual businesses while also contributing to regional development for the greater good of the community and region.

NTIN is Chaired by Dave Thompson of Sealord, and is made up of representatives from: Datacom, New Zealand King Salmon, Wakatu Incorporation, Cawthron, NMIT, Intepeople, Pic’s Peanut Butter and has recently been joined by Nelmac. 

NRDA chief executive Mark Rawson says NTIN is a different style of collaboration than traditionally seen, and it is the first time it’s been applied in the Nelson Tasman region.

“There is genuine collaboration,” says Rawson. “Each member is committed to ‘doing’ – getting to relevant, purpose-led action, quickly, with evidenced results.”

Rawson says that from an NRDA perspective, this united voice has allowed a clear focus of strategy which can be advocated back to its many stakeholders.

“Conversations and the broader strategic approach have been aligned with the Nelson Tasman regional identity and what the region needs to prosper.

“In effect, NTIN has aligned a common vision and strategy not just for their own neighbourhood but for the region. Through this process they have gone straight to the heart of addressing one of the biggest issues for our businesses and our community – talent attraction and retention – and have proven that through collaboration results can be delivered quickly. To date this has included a range of research, marketing, intern and graduate programmes over the year.

“We are only at the beginning and it is humbling to be recognised by our peers in New Zealand in the form of this award.”

An awards judging panel of four economic development leaders has recognised organisations and individuals for their best practice initiatives and projects which have had a positive impact on the wellbeing and prosperity of our communities and regions.

EDNZ chair and awards judge Pam Ford says the awards panel has seen a number of collaborative projects since the introduction of the EDNZ Awards three years ago.

“The Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood was an example of how partnerships based on the high levels of trust, a long term commitment, and the ‘better together’ principle can achieve remarkable things.”

The awards panel considered how well the application fitted with the category, the impact or potential impact of the initiative, the leverage and scale of the initiative, how innovative and original the initiative was, and how significant the legacy of the initiative was likely to be.

“The initiative scored highly on every count and was a clear favourite with the Panel,” Ford says.

More than 30 entries were received with award winners developing and implementing campaigns which are at the forefront of inclusive growth, innovation, collaboration and research. The EDNZ 2019 Best Practice Awards were announced as part of the annual conference which was themed ‘Delivering Inclusive Growth’. The conference covered a broad range of issues impacting on New Zealand’s wellbeing and quality of life. The NRDA’s Destination Identity Manager Hannah Norton presented at the conference on the work they have been doing with NTIN.