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Food Hawke’s Bay Major Regional Initiative

4 July 2002 Hon Jim Anderton
Speech Notes

Food Hawke’s Bay Major Regional Initiative

Thursday July 4, 2002
11.45 am
Church Road Winery

Hawke’s Bay has the potential to become a world-class force in food production, processing and exporting.

But although your region produces high quality food products the equivalent or better of anywhere else in New Zealand or the world to compete globally we must be prepared to invest time, money and energy.

I am therefore proud to announce $2 million in funding from Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme to help Hawke’s Bay fulfil its full potential.

Hawke’s Bay will be established as a food-processing “Centre of Excellence”.

Achievements like this don’t happen by accident. They happen because groups with different interests within a region of New Zealand decide to work together for a common goal.

To play to their combined strengths rather than compete with each other.

Food Hawke’s Bay is the result of a partnership that involves the local economic development agency (Vision 2020), the food industry, regional polytechnic, communities, iwi and local councils.

Further funding of $980,000 will be provided by local industry and the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT).

The Board of Food Hawke’s Bay includes leading business people and enjoys the strong support of all local bodies, Ngati Kahungunu and the Eastern Institute of Technology.

Hawke’s Bay has traditional strengths in agriculture and the manufacturing sector.

This initiative will help the region take advantage of the significant opportunities that exist to convert primary produce into higher value products and exports.

Instead of sending raw materials offshore, only to buy them back at inflated prices, Hawke’s Bay will reap the rewards of focusing on value-added processing.

Food Hawke’s Bay estimates that an additional $60.4 million in GDP, $93.1 million in exports, and 646 jobs can be generated in five years.

In ten years, Hawke’s Bay will be a top performer in global food production, processing and exporting.

This funding will be used to develop food industry clusters plus a Centre of Innovation based at EIT.

The clusters will

Focus on the transfer of production capacity from existing companies to local SMEs

Add value and grow export volumes in the food industry throughout the region

Stimulate new product development and improve food industry training and education.

The Food Hawke’s Bay Centre of Innovation will be established at EIT to spark innovation in product development. It will:

Be accessible to students and industry.

Provide sensory and testing services, small batch capability for food processing and wine making

Improved capability, training and employment will further enhance Maori economic development in the region.

New Zealand cannot have a strong national economy unless we have strong regional economies.

This Coalition Government is committed to developing the regions of New Zealand by working in partnership with them to build on their strengths.

Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme is about business and government working together for long-term, sustainable regional growth.

Co-operation between regional stakeholders, the local community and the government is the key. This project is a fine example of that.

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