Lockdown now seems such a long time ago, "life" has moved us on from where we were just a few months ago.
Change brings stress and perhaps the most stressful thing affecting many of us is the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Unless we take the initiative, plan, and execute, we will just be along for the ride, one that may take us in directions and to places that we do not want to go.
With the almost inevitable recession somewhere ahead of us, there will be a need for our communities to become more flexible and perhaps more opportunistic.
Many businesses (nationwide and globally), will need to consider the economics of their geographic location, and especially access to infrastructure and a skilled workforce.
Observation of other nations shows us that two outcomes come into play post-economic stress, one where the workforce moves closer to industrial and commercial centres and another where industry relocates to gain better access to its needs and reduce costs.
So, which would we prefer and what are we prepared to do about it?
"We are determined that we seize the opportunities ahead, which we believe will lead to momentum and growth for Northlanders," said Tim Robinson, NorthChamber president.
NorthChamber is working with other key stakeholders to prepare for a more aggressive approach to the attraction of individuals, businesses and organisations that would thrive and in turn drive sustainability here in the North.
With continued government commitment to infrastructure investment, supported by a local government with courage and a strong vision, we have the basis of a campaign designed to increase the scale and scope of business endeavours in our region and grow both financial and community wealth.
Felix Richter chief executive of Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd (MMHL), said "Northland has the space, the people and the cost-base to deliver real competitive advantage, and to help trigger decisions to shift commercial and industrial operations to the region.
"There's a real sense that opportunity is stirring here in the North and we're pushing ahead with development and local infrastructure that will make the decisions to move here even easier."
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You may not have much interest in politics, but we do share a resolve to advance the well-being of Northlanders and future Northlanders.
NorthChamber now calls on you to join us in ensuring Northland gets the support and resources necessary for success, not just from government, but also from the "engine room" of any community, its business operators, and businesses that will benefit from a move to our region.
If we sit back, we will get exactly what fate decides. Add your voice to ours and help ensure the rest of New Zealand is in no doubt where we stand.
Contact us at www.northchamber.co.nz .
• Stephen Smith is the Northland Chamber of Commerce's chief executive.