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Addressing the challenges of positive growth

4 March 2005

Addressing the challenges of positive growth in the Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty is grappling with the positive challenge of economic and population growth, but is successfully planning ahead, in partnership with the government, according to Regional Development Minister, Jim Anderton, who spoke to business and community leaders in the region today.

"I'm told the region is so popular that every week 100 people arrive from somewhere else, but only 52 people leave; 54 more vehicles go on the road and 45 new jobs are created.

"That's good news because your increasing population could help lift the economy and while growth can create problems it certainly beats grappling with the problems of decline," the Minister of Regional Development, Jim Anderton said.

The Bay of Plenty region's population is projected to increase from 142,800 up to 198,000 in the year 2021 and 284,000 in 2051 (Statistics New Zealand estimates). Year on year economic growth stands at 4.6 per cent to December 2004 (National Bank Regional Trends survey).

"I congratulate regional and local agencies for addressing many of these challenges through the SmartGrowth programme. They have done an excellent job planning for the region’s social, environmental and economic growth.

"One of the issues raised with me on my visit was that of roading infrastructure. I understand the need to improve roading both to grow the region and to maintain existing levels of growth. The recently announced fuel excise increase will deliver an additional $134 million in funding over the following ten years to the Bay of Plenty. That should help the region begin to address this challenge," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS


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