A second major initiative to strengthen the Waikato's voice and crank up its productivity is on the way with new business-led think tank Agenda Waikato about to publish research it expects to lead to better policy-making and decisions by commerce and government.
As the region prepares to launch its first economic development agency, Agenda Waikato will on Monday release research that ranks the Waikato against Treasury's four capital classifications and OECD's wellbeing criteria.
The four classifications are the human, social, natural and financial/physical capitals which together represent New Zealand's economic capital.
Chairman Graham Dwyer said the Agenda Waikato-commissioned research by Waikato University provides a critical benchmark for the sub-region of communities and sectors within a 45 minute drive of Hamilton city.
It was the first time the sub-region had been compared to OECD measures and the results showed the area punched above its weight on social measures, but had plenty of room for improvement on how it stacked up on productivity and earnings, Dwyer said.
The reason and steps needed to improve were still unknown but the research provided a benchmark from which to work.
Identifying strengths and weaknesses was important and useful as the Waikato moved to a more collaborative and engaged approach to make better decisions for its communities, he said.
The research used more than 100 indicators with 87 of them contained in the report.
"There is more work to do, there are more indicators to identify. However as a start we are proud to bring research to the policy-making table."
Agenda Waikato's purpose is to support and drive initiatives that strengthen the voice of the region.