Wynyard Gets Innovation centre


A “world-class facility” in Wynyard Quarter that will house business incubators, research and development institutions, and business development providers, was announced this afternoon at a joint news conference byScience and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp and Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

The final business case for the Precinct is expected by March 2012.

Lysgart building at 120 Halsey St is the initial site to be developed.

Proposed innovation centre

“The Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct will connect entrepreneurs and businesses to international investors and partners,” said Dr Mapp. “It will also be a landing pad for overseas investors looking to connect with New Zealand knowledge-intensive companies.”

“It ties in with other high-tech industry support, such as the IT Entrepreneurial scheme, our commercialisation initiatives, and the range of business grants such as Tech NZ,” Dr Mapp said.

“The Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct will help New Zealand to grow world-class innovative companies. This is creating the wealth and jobs that we need for our future,” Dr Mapp said.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said that to grow, Auckland needs to export.

“Auckland has stunning examples of innovation that our high growth markets are willing to pay a premium for,” said the Mayor.

“The Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct will bring together, in one place, innovators, research and development providers, as well as organisations specialising in bringing new products to market.”
The Mayor has asked Council entities Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd and Waterfront Auckland to work with the Ministry of Science and Innovation and other Government agencies over the next few months to develop the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct.

Len Brown says the benefits of the precinct will be felt well beyond central Auckland.
“Technology is one of our fastest growing sectors and as it grows it will upskill our population through demand for university and training institute courses. The Precinct will naturally focus on adding value to the high-tech sector, notably ICT, digital content creation and marine technology.
“As these sectors grow, Auckland’s reputation will grow. This means retaining talented Aucklanders while attracting talented people from overseas who want Auckland’s internationally recognised quality of life,” Mr Brown said.




  1. James B says:

    Why did they lift the sign for Tyler St Garage for the render? The render is good but they need more active edges.

  2. Ingolfson says:

    The render looks good (though it makes me curious whether they still want car access through there or not - not quite clear).

    But I am sceptical of “innovation centres” and similar. Those clusters create themselves - at best, a Council can support those that have already started, but I think creating new ones in random locations is a hard stretch. People have this pesky tendency not to do what planners want, and how do you incentivise an area for “innovation” anyway? I think they will end up having a lot of high-paying tenants in nice office-scapes. But that is not the same as innovation - much of that occurs in low-rent tenancies, because the most innovative companies are normally not the ones with cash to burn.

  3. penfold says:

    @Ingolfson - I guess that they want to keep access for emergency vehicles.

  4. Geoff Houtman says:

    Just looking at Draft Waterfront Plan map. No “Innovation Centre” there.

    Is it considered dodgy to add new things to a plan during the submission period when some people may have already sent their submissions in?

    6 storeys on one side, 7 on the other? Oh- and ATEED is going to help. Save us!

  5. Mark says:

    so we’re not going to get real businesses down there?! but some contrived govt/council use.

    What about all the work/money in the Tamaki innovation/science precinct? all wasted now.

    Boy, feels like they’re all making this up on the fly

  6. Ian says:

    What a load of bollocks. At the end of the day the owners of these buildings are looking for tenants, people to pay rent. More chance you’ll see a knocking shop than someone inventing the gizmo that will kick the iPad into touch.

  7. Ingolfson says:

    Mark - now you are getting pretty harsh? Who told you there’d govt/council use? And why is spending money in more than one location suddenly making the Tamaki project “wasted” - you are quick to judge, mate. All I did is suspect that the outcome may be different than what they want. That’s not the same as wasted.

    “Boy, feels like they’re all making this up on the fly”

    What? Years and years of planning are too quick for you? Again, you are being way too harsh - just because every now and then, they add (or further develop) some ideas. Are they supposed to just stop and do nothing?

  8. Mark says:

    Ingolfson - maybe harsh :) - but if you can find anything in the years of Wynyard planning about it being an “innovation precinct”, good luck.

    What you’ll find is mixed use, with emphasis on retaining marine uses.

    then in other econ dev stuff you’ll find millions of ratepayers money (land swaps / roading works) on innovation around Tamaki with University.

    All business is personal - I suspect know Wynyard looks like the premium area, govt employees/agencies would prefer to be involved with projects sown there.

    And it’s just normal govt/council drivel
    “The Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct will connect entrepreneurs and businesses to international investors and partners,” said Dr Mapp. “It will also be a landing pad for overseas investors looking to connect with New Zealand knowledge-intensive companies.”

    real business just gets on and does it……
    Tax and ratepayers are paying for this nonesense

  9. Ingolfson says:

    Actually, the reporting says exactly what I said - it’s not going to attract start-ups, but high rent payers. Sure it’s fluff, that’s what I said. But at the end of the day, I am much less worried about this kind of stuff than many other projects. Creating a high-rent office space environment is going to miss the “inventors” and “start up” markets, but it is still likely to work well on the market as such. So while I could be cynical, I am just noncomittal - compared to actual money holes, this seems pretty small AND financially not too much of a minefield.


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