Hawke’s Bay Plan for Regional Prosperity Gains Momentum
Matariki, Hawke’s Bay’s progressive plan for regional prosperity, is gaining momentum.
Launched a year ago this week (on 27 July 2016) Matariki – Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy (HBREDS) was the result of collaborative efforts by businesses, Iwi, Councils and government agencies to produce a plan aimed at diversifying and growing the region’s economy by increasing jobs and household incomes.
The Strategy is supported by an Action Plan that outlines seven Pillars – like the seven stars of the Matariki constellation – each with up to 10 Actions being completed under the guidance of dedicated lead agencies.
One year on, implementation is well underway says Wayne Jack, Napier City Council Chief Executive and Co-Chair of the HBREDS Governance Group.
“From Wairoa to Waipukurau work is being done for the economic enhancement of the region. Over 257 new jobs have been created as part of Project 1000 (Action 2.1), an initiative led by the Ministry of Social Development to create 1000 jobs over a three-year period. Significant progress is being made on roading improvements as part of a $25 million Government investment to improve access to the Port of Napier and make modifications to State Highway 50 Bay View passing lanes (Actions 4.1 and 4.2).”
Matariki Programme Manager Dr Alister King says there is activity across all Matariki’s seven Work Areas, across the region and across diverse industry sectors.
“Some specific examples include a well advanced feasibility study looking at the option of a Wellington and regional joint-funded expanded national aquarium (Action 5.3) and a discovery phase project is in progress, assessing the viability, interest and concept for a Food Innovation Park (Action 2.10).
“In addition to this, collaboration with the Wairoa District Council has seen rapid progress on aiding the development of a number of business cases surrounding tourism and infrastructure projects leveraging off the relationship with Rocket Lab (Action 6.1).”
“A diverse stakeholder group has also been working toward improving accessibility to driver licenses for our regional youth, with the recognition that people who hold a current driver license are seven times more likely to gain successful employment. This stakeholder group includes participants from the New Zealand Police Association, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, Ministry of Social Development and a number of public and private schools. In addition, Māori partners have supported 200 rangatahi to attain licenses.”
Dr King also says a ‘delivery model’ is being developed – the structure necessary for the implementation of Matariki HBREDS long term – and the Strategy itself is currently being revisited as part of an agreed annual ‘robust review’. In the coming months it will be updated with information on progress to date, new stakeholders and new initiatives.
“During the review process there is the potential for new Actions to be added. Matariki is a ‘living document’ so it may adapt and grow to meet the evolving needs of our region, or to align with agreed priorities. A good example of this is the recent announcement of additional $50 million Government funding to help at-risk young people into employment or training across four regions including Hawke’s Bay. This investment in our region will amplify existing initiatives like Project 1000 and create new programmes to help those not in employment, education or training (NEETs).”
Shayne Walker, Co-Chair of the HBREDS Governance Group and General Manager of Maungaharuru-Tangitū Trust says after six wananga across the region there has been multiple engagement to support the development of Māori businesses, youth employment and driver license attainment. The establishment of the Hawke’s Bay Māori Tourism Trust and Māori leadership development are other initial success indicators.
“Matariki HBREDS is an application of the national He kai kei aku ringa strategy where Iwi and private sector leadership is enabled by the Crown, and economics in a true sense includes our environment and our people.”
“As the only integrated collaborative strategy across the country, the challenge and goodwill occurring to work cohesively cannot be understated. Together we will achieve more for our region.”
To view the full Strategy and Action Plan visit www.hbreds.nz/about-matariki/strategy/