A new presence at Hastings District Council will be attracting people and businesses to a place where great things grow.

With more than 20 years advertising experience under his belt, the new marketing adviser for Great Things Grow Here, Sam Jackman, has been charged with making the region look the best it can.

Since January 5, Mr Jackman has been sorting out the "building blocks" of the new brand innovations in preparation for a re-launch in mid-April.

"It's a big job", he said, "there are many parts to it and we do other things as well ... so it's pretty full on.


"The whole point of this is to grow. This is about helping businesses grow, attracting the right people to live here and fill the jobs we're advertising."

The former marketer and current president of the Havelock North Business Association was offered the position after writing a strategy paper "off my own bat".

"I thought there was a huge opportunity for Great Things as a brand concept and, because my background is all advertising, I was really keen to see something happen. At 9am the next morning, he [economic development manager Craig Cameron] had something on his desk and we went from there."

After gauging the reaction, Mr Cameron said he thought the pilot project had "huge legs".

"We realised what we were really lacking was collateral to build bigger picture and proposals and marketing. That was what lead to the evolution of the Great Things Grow Here platform through our marketing unit in 2014," Mr Cameron said.

"We've got confidence, in the feedback we've had to date, that it's a really 'add value' platform.

"We essentially brought him [Mr Jackman] on board to have him run it at its full potential."

As part of Mr Jackman's new take on the brand, he had introduced multiple innovations. These included a QR code which will lead to the brand's website, as well as other places, merchandise, and case studies to attract people and business opportunities to the region.

Although operated by the council, these initiatives could be used by other organisations to promote the region.

Mr Cameron said: "We decided to focus on economic development and we needed this capacity, but at same time it is an investment to council and we want to make it accessible for other organisations to use."

Mr Jackman said they were giving others, whether infrastructure, businesses, or organisations, the opportunity to use the platform they'd developed. "It's quite a different animal from what it was before, but that's what I was charged to do, to go out and develop it and execute it and make sure I get it right."

The region was competing for residents and business opportunities with other regions like Taupo, Southland, and Bay of Plenty. "There's the New Zealand inc incentive to attract opportunities from overseas, and then there's the Hastings, Hawke's Bay incentive to make sure we get our fair share of New Zealand's success in attracting both people, and business opportunities", Mr Cameron said.

"It's really about communicating the region's advantages, because we've got a great story to tell."