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Growth Study to Identify Constraints to Economic Potential

Growth Study Aims to Identify Constraints to Ruapehu’s Economic Potential

Independent consultants the NZ Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) are about to start an evaluation of the constraints that are limiting Ruapehu’s economic potential.

The evaluation is part of a larger Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Growth Study Programme being facilitated by Horizons Regional Council with a mandate from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Primary Industries.

The Regional Growth Study aims to identify and prioritise the big economic opportunities open to the various business sectors in the region with the goal of increasing investment, employment and incomes.

Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said that the Manawatu-Whanganui regional study is one of three currently underway around NZ the others being in Northland and the Bay of Plenty.

“Through to the end of November NZIER consultants will be meeting with Ruapehu stakeholders including council, iwi, sector groups such as farming, forestry and tourism, economic development agencies and other key informants,” he said.

“These discussions are a critically invaluable input into the process as these informants will bring the local expertise and insights required to gain an understanding of each sectors priorities, constraints and other issues.”

“The input of local stakeholders will assist ensure that the report’s findings are grounded in reality.”

Mayor Cameron said that after discussions with local stakeholders NZIER will prepare a draft report for review by December with the final report due in February/March next year (2015).

“The outputs of the Regional Growth Study will provide key input and direction for the Central NZ Agribusiness Strategy that aims to double agribusiness exports from the Manawatu-Whanganui Region from $1.9 billion to $3.8 billion by 2025.”

“The Agribusiness Strategy has two distinct phases that run through until July 2015,” he said.

“Phase one will develop a draft that will be tested and validated against the Regional Growth Study along with a Communications Plan aimed at keeping key stakeholders informed and motivated.”

“The second phase will focus on adoption of the Strategy.”

Mayor Cameron noted Council’s next Long Term Plan 2015/25 will need to encapsulate and reflect both the Regional Growth Study and the Agribusiness Strategy.

“These are very important, exciting and ambitious pieces of work that will define the future of Ruapehu and the Manawatu-Whanganui Region for a generation or more to come.”

“Ruapehu District Council will be doing all within our power to ensure that we are able to capitalise on the opportunities presented by these initiatives,” he said.



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