Business promotion a local affair

By Graham Skellern

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Some of the Western Bay's smartest products were on show and up to 100 local business people turned up for Bay on Display in downtown Tauranga yesterday.

MC Brian Kelly extolled the virtues of living and doing business in the Western Bay.

South African-born James Graham got up and explained why he established his high-tech electronics design company, Multifid Technology, in Tauranga.

Gordon Tietjens, successful New Zealand Sevens rugby coach and general manager of Bay Engineers Supplies, gave his motivational speech. The Te Ao Turoa kapa haka group from Te Puna provided a taste of Maori culture.

The innovative companies displaying their wares in the Crystal Palace were HOTmilk lingerie, Nanric Road fine foods, Mills Reef Winery, Heilala Vanilla, Comvita New Zealand, Zespri International, Boffo Sports producing kicking tees used by the All Blacks, blokart, internet service provider Enternet Online (EOL), VnC Cocktails, Bayleys and Grove Avocado Oil.

Alas, there were only a handful of international visitors who strolled in from The Strand.

The economic development agency joined the Rugby World Cup (RWC) Business Club and put on the promotion to attract the eye of the visitors.

Local business people were supposed to meet and talk with overseas counterparts, even develop long-term relationships. Only 12 people responded to the Bay on Display invitation featured on the RWC website and one turned up. A Priority One spokesperson put it down to the lack of a match in Tauranga and not enough interest being generated.

The agency was hoping to attract cruise ship passengers that stayed overnight, and one staff member visited the chartered vessel at the port yesterday morning and found out the rugby fans wanted to enjoy themselves onboard, or sleep off the night before.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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