To develop a storyline that expresses who the Waikato is, and the region’s rich contribution to New Zealand’s global competitiveness and appeal. Creating and sustaining a positive image is central to the success of the Waikato economic development strategy. The story needs to encourage local and global interest to invest, partner, study, and buy from The Waikato.
The way people think about a place has a direct affect on its economy. We know locals have a positive perception of the Waikato Region. That’s a view we want to be shared nationally and internationally so that we can encourage more visitors, more families, more students and more business investment.
To arrive at the Waikato Story, Principals needed to ensure from day one that it was authentic, aspirational, and aligned to the New Zealand Story. Principals facilitated a series of workshops that involved approximately 600 people from a wide range of backgrounds – farmers and philanthropists, industry leaders and government representatives to develop a set of story values, a set of personality traits and a short story for the Waikato. The story was tested for relevance and credibility with Waikato residents and New Zealanders. The story is forming the backbone of a set of assets to be developed for exporters, and New Zealanders who wish to share the story of the Waikato as part of their story to the world.