In 2002, a number of businesses in Rosebank decided there was a need for better security in the area. A clear feeling emerged that if there was a collective effort the area would be safer for both people and property. Thus, out of collegial activity, the Rosebank Business Association was mooted. At the first meeting, which had an excellent response, a decision was made to form an executive representing a broad base across many of the industries in the area. Regular “Hosting” meetings began in October 2002, the first courtesy of Mark Darrah of Reliance Transport.
Here, in a convivial environment, members could come together, bring a guest if they wished, and discuss what was happening in the area. Host companies had the opportunity to talk about their business over a drink and a bite to eat. The average number attending these regular meetings was 70 people and many strong alliances were formed. With the momentum of activity gathering pace, it became apparent that there was a need to move to a structured base for the association, rather than one largely reliant on voluntary contributions, hence the Rosebank Business Association was incorporated in 2003.
In consultation with the Auckland City Council, the Mainstreet model of urban activity was explored, and in 2005, Rosebank became the first non-retail area in New Zealand to adopt this model. It proved to be beneficial to all concerned and enabled the RBA to have a much closer “ear to the ground” with all the local authorities and to be able to represent rate payers in a better informed manner.
The RBA became a Business Improvement District (BID) in July 2005. Local businesses chose, by voting system, whether to collectively establish a BID. Following support for this approach, the council collects an annual targeted levy and works with the businesses to implement improvements and enhancement of the local business environment.
Despite the BID structure, voluntary membership subscriptions to the RBA continue that allow us to drill down and expand upon regular BID activities. As such, the RBA is considered by Council to be one of the more successful commercial/industrial BIDs in Auckland. Today the RBA represents more than 520 businesses and 8,000 on our small Rosebank Peninsula.