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Bay of Plenty to develop business plan for region

28 May 2003 Media release

Bay of Plenty to develop ‘business plan’ for region

Economic, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton announced today that Industry New Zealand has provided $100,000 so that the Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty new regional development strategy and implementation plan can be completed. The plan will address the challenges and opportunities the region faces.

Key issues to be targeted will include: low average weekly incomes; high rates of unemployment; the number of students leaving school without adequate qualifications; insufficient affordable commercial land for development; and issues related to transport links to the Port of Tauranga.

“Western Bay of Plenty residents should be pleased that their regional leaders have committed to developing an economic development blueprint that will address growth as well as provide support for the region’s significant sectors,” said Jim Anderton.

“Much of the current growth is population driven. By planning for demographic changes as well as encouraging productivity increases in key sectors, the region will be better placed to ensure the economic growth is long term and sustainable,” Jim Anderton said.

The Regional Partnership group steering this work consists of local authorities, the regional council, iwi, the community and business interests. The lead agency is Priority One.

The strategy and implementation plan will build on the regional planning initiatives that have already been undertaken through Smart Growth, the region’s growth management strategy.

“One of the major benefits of the approach is that it will capture a lot of work being done now, bring this together in a cohesive way through established partnerships, and get on with the implementation,” said Priority One chief executive Ross Stanway.

These projects include the Strategic Roading Network, creation of large scale affordable business land, a number of industry/education and training provider initiatives, an industry Skill Gap Analysis, opportunities in the marine, research, and tertiary education sectors, and an events strategy.

ENDS

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