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About Us

Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) is a national not for profit membership organisation, that empowers and enables individuals and organisations either practicing, or associated with, economic development across Aotearoa New Zealand.


We support our members through building capability, collaboration, advocacy and thought leadership that is trusted and valued.

Our key focus areas are:

- Influence – through strong advocacy (focus on local and central government) and input into relevant policy development;

- Connection – through being a navigator and providing networking events, including the annual conference; and

- Development – (practitioners) through Continuous Professional Development Programmes (CPD) and other learning opportunities.

EDNZ is currently made up of a volunteer Board and three part time contractors.


Membership of EDNZ is the hallmark of Professional Expertise and Integrity within the economic development profession and is open to any individual or organisation working in or associated with Economic Development.

EDNZ supports its members through a number of services including:

  • Qualifications in Economic Development (Levels 101, 201 & 301)

  • Online Members Forum

  • Monthly online networking event

  • Annual Conference

  • Policy and Research

  • A Best Practice resource

  • Tools and Tips

  • Fortnightly e.newsletter on hot topics in ED

  • Best Practice Annual Awards, celebrating excellence

  • A code of ethics which sets members apart

Our Constitution 
Our Regulations

Our Board Manual

Our most recent Annual Report 

EDNZ Members team Photo
Vaughan Cooper
Vaughan Cooper

Chair and General Manager at Northland Inc

Patrick McVeigh

Deputy Chair and Lead Consultant

Nigel Davenport EDNZ
Nigel Davenport

Chair of Audit and Risk and CEO of Venture Timaru

justine Gilliland
Justine Gilliland 

 Board Member & Member of Conference Committee

Fiona Wilson

Board member & CEO of Nelson Regional Development Agency

Paul Swallow

Board member and Director Investment, MBIE

Benje Patterson

Founder and Director of Benje Patterson Limited 

Dorien Vermaas
Dorien Vermaas

Board Member & Economic Development Portfolio Manager -

Marlborough District Council

Kelvin Wright
Kelvin Wright

Board Member and CEO of Venture Taranaki

Debi Roder

EDNZ Executive Director

Gary Holmes
Gary Holmes

EDNZ Executive Officer

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