The launch of a new toolkit to help drive economic growth in the Waikato builds on the excellent work already being done by many businesses in the region, writes Company-X director David Hallett.

I want to tell you a story.

It’s the story of my place, the Waikato. A region that literally has everything going for it for work, rest and play.

If you’ve got the skills, there’s plenty of work in just about any sector you can imagine, including IT, health, manufacturing, construction and the services industry.

When it’s time to rest there are the paradise beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula in the northeast and the relative quiet of the exquisite Hamilton Gardens. Shakespeare, anyone?

If you want to play the Waikato River winds through the length of the region, the rugged surf beaches of Raglan on the west coast are perfect for surfing, the pristine rain forests of the interior are cool in the heat of the summer day, and the majestic mountains of the volcanic Central Plateau to the south beg to be explored and skied.

The Waikato’s story intertwines with my own. I grew up here, I studied computer science at the University of Waikato and I chose to do business here. I couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else, I turned down an overseas opportunity with a multinational tech giant because I’m fiercely loyal to my place. I love it, that many others think like me too.

The Waikato, according to a new video produced as part of The Waikato Story initiative, is a place of new opportunities and powerful possibilities, and I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve seen those opportunities and possibilities realized in the Waikato through the three IT businesses I am involved in: software specialist Company-X, graphic design and web development company E9 and home and business IT support company Need A Nerd. We’ve never underestimated the importance of the Waikato’s story at any of those business, always knowing that if we could not articulate that story we could not attract the diverse clients we work with, or the staff to service them. Where you do business, in many cases, is as important as how you do business.

For years we’ve been telling our story to our clients in other regions across New Zealand and overseas, taking the biggest on a personal tour of some of the Waikato’s gems. I’ve fond memories of sharing our region with foreign clients.

They’ve enjoyed Maori culture, the rugged beauty of the west coast, as well as the award winning Hobbiton Movie Set on the Alexander family farm, near Matamata, while hosted by Company-X. These experiences showed off our region to our customers and still provide great talking points.

People, from all over the world, want to join our businesses in the Waikato. As well as New Zealand, at Company-X alone we employ people from England, Iran, Namibia, the Netherlands, Romania, Pakistan, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, all who have chosen to make the Waikato their home.

So well done to everyone involved in making the Waikato’s story what it is. If you’re not telling that story in your business, now’s your chance. Visit, to get the lowdown on a toolkit of resources designed to help drive economic growth through building a strong, consistent profile of the mighty Waikato.