Ruapehu Excited by Economic Development Study
Ruapehu Excited by Regional Agribusiness Economic Development Study
Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Mayor, Don Cameron, accompanied by Chief Executive, Peter Till, and Economic Development Manager, Warren Furner, attended the launch of government’s Manawatu-Whanganui Growth Study project yesterday.
The Manawatu-Whanganui Growth Study (the Study) project is an initiative of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of government’s wider strategy of lifting NZ’s exports to 40% of GDP by 2025.
Undertaken by consultants working with central government and local stakeholders including iwi from August 2014 to February 2015 the Study project is aiming to increase investment opportunities, employment and incomes in the Manawatu-Whanganui region of which Ruapehu is part.
Mayor Cameron said that he was very excited about the opportunities that the Study project promises for the Ruapehu district.
“The Study project is particularly exciting because of its depth and scale,” he said.
“It will not only examine economic development potential across the region but also seek to connect people and organisations across the value chain from research to farming to markets.”
“The Study is evidence based research with very real, practical applications.”
Mayor Cameron said that Ruapehu producers will play an active role in the Study and be at the forefront of benefiting from the outcomes which will detail what aspects of our economy have the most potential to sustainably grow incomes and jobs in the future.
“This is a huge opportunity for Ruapehu to grow our economy, understand our markets further and develop our agribusiness sector,” he said.
“Current research shows that NZ is currently producing enough food to feed 40 million people but that we have the potential to feed 400 million.”
“With food security becoming an increasing issue for the world NZ and Ruapehu are well placed to benefit from this opportunity.”
“The Manawatu-Whanganui region currently has agribusiness exports worth $1.9 billion with plans to build this to $3.8 billion by 2025.”
“RDC is working to ensure that Ruapehu producers are in a position to contribute to, and benefit, from this growth in a sustainable way that doesn’t detract from our most important asset, our environment.”
Mayor Cameron noted that the government is an enabler of significant investment funding that may be released through the outcomes of the Study.
“For Ruapehu to fully participate in this growth we will need investment in the district.”
“Some of this may come from our iwi and Treaty of Waitangi Settlements; however, we will need additional outside investors.”
“The Study will help identify where the best investment opportunities are,” he said.