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Regional Growth Study to catalyse region’s opportunities

Regional Growth Study to catalyse region’s opportunities


The Government’s announcement of a Regional Growth Study for the wider Bay of Plenty will further contribute to growth and development in the region, building on the strong relationship between the region and central Government and enabling the two to work even closer to catalyse key opportunities, says Doug Leeder, the Chair of the Bay of Connections Governance Group. Mr Leeder is also the Chair of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study is being commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, together with the Ministry for Primary Industries. The study will evaluate opportunities for increasing investment, employment and incomes in the wider Bay of Plenty.

The study will build on and dovetail into work already underway in the region including the Bay of Connections Strategy, the development of the Invest Bay of Plenty spatial plan, the Regional Economic Activity Report’s regional profile, and investment through the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership.

Mr Leeder says the study will bring another lens to the region to reinforce and validate existing work, strategies and action plans.

“The Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study will catalogue the region’s strengths and opportunities – some of which have already been identified – and in particular, will help determine the initiatives, mechanisms and investment needed in order to advance those opportunities and make them a reality.”

The Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study will bring together knowledge held by local business people, iwi/Maori, stakeholders and economic development agencies, and combine that knowledge with official data and independent economic analysis.

The study will be supported by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), working alongside MBIE and MPI, consisting of the Bay of Connections Management Group with six extra members representing additional industry sectors, including tourism, manufacturing and innovation, horticulture, R&D, health and agriculture. The study will also be grounded with insights from the Bay of Connections Governance Group.

“The Bay of Connections is based on the concept of collaboration in order to create scale and maximize growth development and investment opportunities. This study – essentially a partnership between the region and Central Government – is another example of this collaboration at work.

“The Bay of Connections provides a conduit to the region, and brings together industry, science, tertiary, central Government and others. The focus is not just about building connections within the wider Bay of Plenty, but just as importantly, to build connections into the region as well.

“The announcement today is the culmination of months of work behind the scenes involving MBIE, the Bay of Connections and the region’s economic development agencies. However, the hard work has only just begun and will involve many more individuals and organisations over the coming months – all with a common purpose to achieve growth and employment for our region.”

The Bay of Connections is the regional growth strategy for the wider Bay of Plenty region, including covering Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupo. The strategy is supported by key sector strategies and action plans for Aquaculture, Forestry, Freight Logistics, Energy, Māori Economic Development and Sport and Recreation.

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