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Planning for prosperity

A brand new plan to build prosperity in Hawke's Bay has been launched; one that makes the most of the region's abundance of natural resources.

Matariki - Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2016 was launched yesterday (July 27) at a function in Napier.

Representatives of all the parties involved in putting the strategy together were at the launch in the MTG, including local and central government, iwi and business.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said all five councils in Hawke’s Bay, iwi and business had committed resources to putting the project over more than two years – a sign of commitment to making the strategy a success.

“The finished strategy and resulting projects reflect realistic aims that have the potential to make a material difference to our residents’ employment prospects, and the wages they can expect for that work.”

The strategy came with measurable action plans, each with a lead agency that would be charged with making sure the envisaged outcome was achieved.

Examples include: investigating starting up an agriculture training hub; setting up systems that ensure major public infrastructure project management focuses on hiring local labour; setting up a facility that advises and mentors people wanting to start up new small businesses; and looking into running an annual investors’ seminar to attract investment to the region.

Infrastructure projects across the region include expanding the National Aquarium of New Zealand into a marine research facility and major national tourist attraction, with deep dive tanks and laboratories for research scientists.

“The point is that we all live in the same region which, when you look at it, is not that large. We have people who live in Central Hawke’s Bay and Napier who work in Hastings; we have people who live in Wairoa who do business in Napier – whatever increase in fortunes we can make in one area (or even better, every area) will have a flow on affect to the well-being of us all.”

The aim is for Hawke’s Bay to be “New Zealand’s most innovative region, the leading exporter of premium primary produce, and a hub for business growth”. That will lead to the fulfilment of the overarching vision: “Every household and every whanau is actively engaged in, contributing to and benefiting from, a thriving Hawke’s Bay economy.”

The aim will have been achieved once three goals had been reached: Hawke’s Bay’s median household income is above the national average; 5000 net new jobs have been created (given a deadline of five years); Hawke’s Bay’s economic performance is in the top quarter of New Zealand’s regions and sustained long term.

Next steps include the parties putting together a process for delivering the project’s aims.

For the overview and to read the whole strategy and action plan see:

4 October 2017

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