Leaders help revive campaign

By Victoria White

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Hastings District Council marketing advisor for Great Things Grow Here, Sam Jackman, spoke of the possibilites the brand could open up for the region. Photo / Warren Buckland
Hastings District Council marketing advisor for Great Things Grow Here, Sam Jackman, spoke of the possibilites the brand could open up for the region. Photo / Warren Buckland

"Great Things Grow Here." This is the economic development platform Hawke's Bay councils have united behind to market the region's produce to the world.

Held at Black Barn Bistro in Havelock North, the relaunch of the Great Things Grow Here website was attended by supporters of the brand from regional businesses, to local authorities.

The rejuvenation of the brand, initially developed in 2014, has been spearheaded by marketing adviser Sam Jackman.

The economic development platform for Hawke's Bay can be used by businesses and organisations to promote the region as the best place to do business, work, and live.

Its website, now live, will "tell the good stories" about what can be achieved in Hawke's Bay through collaboration, and markets the region to the world.

While enjoying drinks and nibbles, those in attendance were told how to promote both their own businesses or organisations and the region by becoming registered "brand champions", and using shared resources, videos, and even merchandise.

In each of their speeches, the region's four mayors spoke of the brand's potential to benefit each of their areas and the region as a whole, putting early criticism of the brand to bed.

Hastings District mayor and MC for the evening Lawrence Yule said the brand championed the very best of what the region did, and he thanked those with the courage to back its vision.

"It's something inspirational for the region, which we can all get behind and be proud of," he said.

While there had been tensions between local authorities over the past few years, Mr Yule said last night was the start of something wonderful for the region.

"We all want the same outcome, we want the same opportunities for the people that live here, and that we represent," he said.

When the brand was initially launched by Hastings District Council it faced criticism. Now its rejuvenation and the recent addition of the words "Hawke's Bay" to the end of the tagline has seemingly made it more appealing to the different local authorities.

In his speech last night, Napier City Mayor Bill Dalton said the brand was strong and powerful, and Napier would be happy to be a part of, and help develop, it.

"Rest assured, we will be using it," he said.

Later, he said when the brand was initially launched it had been "Hastings-centric", but he applauded what the council had done with the brand since.

"I congratulate them, they turned what was a lame duck proposal into something quite exciting for Hawke's Bay," he said.

In his speech, Wairoa District mayor Craig Little said the brand had "brought the region together and that's what we want". Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Peter Butler also sang the brand's praises, saying he had been behind Great Things Grow Here since first hearing of it.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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