One of the most exciting initiatives to come from the Otaki Village Promotions Group (OVPG) is its series of business network meetings.
These meetings are held every two months at various businesses and organisations throughout Otaki. They help to promote a vibrant business community and are open to all local business people.
Speakers have included Mayor Ross Church, local police chief Slade Sturmey, Te Wananga o Raukawa tumuaki Mereana Selby, Maoriland Film Festival director Libby Hakarai, business adviser Neville Forman and insurance adviser Rex Duckett.
The evening meetings provide an opportunity for local business people to network with others and discuss issues that are affecting their business.
Many retailers, for example, are concerned about the effects of the pending expressway; other businesses are excited about the prospect of better access to Wellington and the employment opportunities expressway construction will bring.
We talk about innovations at the CleanTech Centre, about new businesses on the scene and what kind of Otaki we hope to see in the future.
It’s going to be more important than ever that we have a united and clear vision for Otaki for the next few years. The expressway and any amalgamation of local authorities will have huge effects on our region. There are both opportunities and risks, so we need to maximise the former and minimise the latter.
By talking to each other and networking at these meetings, we have a good chance of finding common ground that brings positive results for Otaki.
Meantime, the OVPG has set a date for next year’s Otaki Kite Festival – Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1.
The festival has fast become one of the top events on the New Zealand kite flyers’ calendar, and is attracting interest from overseas flyers.Next meeting is at Otaki golf club from 5pm Thursday September 25.
Look out also for the Community Expo in the Memorial Hall on Saturday October 18, and a Christmas party in Main Street on Friday night, November 28.