Our solution addresses a key priority in the Economic Development Strategy

We have a huge problem that nobody seems to want to talk about: Limited Economic Diversity, Poor Wages, and Low Productivity.

Our district has an over-reliance on tourism and related businesses. More than 50% of the businesses in our district provide tourism-related services or rely directly on tourism for their existence.

As a result, our region has high employment rates but low wages; a recipe that’s magnified the affordable housing crisis we are seeing today. It is the crux of our economic productivity challenge.

The current QLDC Economic Development Strategy has defined the development of our knowledge and innovation business sectors as a key priority to address this risk.

The chart below, from the plan, summarizes the priorities and aspirations adopted by the council in 2015.


Our Solution

Startup Queenstown Lakes (SQL) proudly submitted on 13 April, 2018 to QLDC a focused, achievable plan to tackle this strategic priority. Our submission develops our economic infrastructure, spurred by a well supported and organized entrepreneurial ecosystem across our district.

You can download the submission to read it in its entirety.

Our plan comprises of an expanded CUBE presence providing an optimized series of new programming in both Wanaka and Queenstown to new and early-stage entrepreneurs; district-wide CLiCK Incubator services (in partnership with Creative HQ via Callaghan Innovation funding) to high growth-oriented startups; Startup Weekend serving the entire startup community; plus several new and exciting programmes that we will be executing to improve economic productivity and community vibrancy.

How can you help?

Quite simply, the best thing you can do is contact our Mayor, Jim Boult, members of QLDC staff, and the counselors themselves to advocate for our plan to be fully supported. Here’s a list of their bios and email addresses.

Let them know you believe it is critical that QLDC’s investment in economic infrastructure receive the same priority of investment as our physical infrastructure and that SQL’s submission is a step forward in that direction. Both have been under-resourced for far too long. Our future needs a productive and sustainable economy, and this has to be planned for and invested in, just as roads and water infrastructure are important.

Thank you for your support.