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New Zealand Trade and Enterprise touches base with Gisborne

The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) team was in Gisborne last week meeting with a number of businesses and organisations in the region.

One of those businesses was the medicinal cannabis company Rua Bioscience.

NZTE board members went for a tour of the Gisborne city facilities to learn first-hand how the pharmaceutical grade cannabis product is created.

Peter Chrisp, the chief executive of NZTE who is himself from Gisborne, said being in Turanganui-a-kiwa was a great opportunity for NZTE's board to meet businesspeople and learn more about their operations.

“We are here in Gisborne because as an organisation we are responsible for growing companies for the good of New Zealand and the good of the people,” Mr Chrisp said.

NZTE's board holds its regular meetings in different locations around New Zealand because they want to meet a range of people and learn what they are doing, he said.

“You don't listen and learn from being in another city. You need to get out there to learn for yourself first-hand.”

Mr Chrisp said he also met with Ngati Porou Holdings Company and Trust Tairawhiti.

“It was a really interesting visit with Ngati Porou Holdings,” he said.

The visitors had enjoyed a presentation from Trust Tairawhiti on how coherent the economic and social development story is for Tairawhiti.

“That has really evolved since I last saw it — multiple iwi coming together, the different economic development agencies and the council have come together,” Mr Chrisp said.

“I take my hat off to the work they have done. We are coming away from this trip with a lot of enthusiasm.”

Mr Chrisp said he was impressed with the sophistication of the Rua facility and the science behind its operations.

“They are pioneers in what they are doing here. It's Turanganui-a-kiwa ingenuity and innovation.

“We want to make sure we are always backing their strategies,” he said.

Rua Bioscience chief executive Rob Mitchell said it had been great having the Rua and NZTE board together in the same space to share what Rua had been doing over the past few years.

Mr Mitchell said: “The NZTE board have been heavily involved with us.

“They provide support in a number of ways including financial grants such as access to the International Growth Fund (IGF) and ongoing consulting expertise.

“In particular, support on accessing international markets has been particularly important as we look to understand the international market dynamics,” he said.

IN THE LAB: Rua Bioscience chief executive Rob Mitchell (left) with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise chief executive Peter Chrisp at the Rua Bioscience facility. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell