Tauranga’s Basestation hosts Future NZ focus groups

“Looking after s**t for the long term”.  One of the more colourful phrases used during last week’s focus groups at Basestation. Sponsored by the UnitedFuture party and run by TaurangaTech founder Ben Rickard, the focus groups invited local people to give their views on a range of topics, including the future of work, education and skills, the impact of technology, concepts of volunteering, community and sustainability.

Jo Allum, co-founder of Venture Centre and a participant at Wednesday’s session, believes that “New Zealand’s future will be one of diverse cultures.  That’s a good thing, because as a country we need to understand and embrace people from other cultures if we want to be successful on the global stage.”

Much of the lively discussion centered around who the groups considered to be “Middle New Zealand”, and what their future would look like.  Many were concerned about the future of education, work and the economy, wanting their kids to be able to choose from a range of well paid careers and industries. The groups felt that New Zealand would do well to focus on our core competencies, such as food production and expertise, environmental research and primary production. In particular it was felt that New Zealand should leverage the associated and value added technologies and intellectual property from these sectors.

Participants were rewarded with cold drinks and hot pizza, with the sessions taking place under the evening sun of Basestation’s courtyard.  The feedback from the Tauranga groups will be anonymised and aggregated with the results from other focus groups around the country, and will inform the UnitedFuture party’s ambitious rejuvenation plan.

If you would like to take part in a future focus group please contact info@taurangatech.co.nz.