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Green light for sustainable economic development

MEDIA RELEASE


Green light for sustainable economic development

For immediate release: Wednesday 26 November 2008

Businesses and organisations from across the Bay of Plenty celebrated the launch of the region's Sustainable Economic Development Strategy yesterday.

Representatives from business, economic development agencies, Central and Local Government, iwi, science and education gathered in Tauranga for the launch.

A key theme for the strategy is the use of the region's natural advantages and resources for the economic benefit of the region.

The strategy, called Bay of Connections, was developed by the Regional Governance Group, which is made up of representatives from business, the economic development agencies and local councils.

Regional Governance Group Chairman John Cronin said the success of the strategy was now down to the willingness of businesses across the Bay of Plenty to work collaboratively.

"This will not be a strategy that just gathers dust on a shelf. We must now make sure we continue to work together as a region and to build on the momentum that has been created. With continued commitment and passion we will achieve great things," Chairman Cronin said.

Last month the strategy gained a boost thanks to a $360,000 Central Government grant.

The food sector will use the grant to develop its ability in the Bay of Plenty to produce and process food, as well as develop new value-added products and high value exports.

The grant will also be used to develop the region's aquaculture industry. This includes developing a strategy to look at topics including the best species to grow in the region, the best technology to use and working successfully with iwi. An aquaculture forum was held in Tauranga yesterday.

Meanwhile the marine industry will use its share of the grant to examine whether it is feasible to develop a dedicated marine business park, called the Harbour Central Marine Precinct, on a site beside Tauranga's harbour bridge. If the results are positive work could start as early as February next year. An economic study on the Harbour Central Marine Precinct has forecast that it will create 520 jobs and inject more than $100 million into the local economy.

Aquaculture, food and beverage and the Harbour Marine Precinct are three of the key focus areas for the Bay of Plenty's Regional Economic Development Strategy.

Copies of the Sustainable Economic Development Strategy are available from Environment Bay of Plenty offices or by calling 0800 ENV BOP (0800 368 267) or visit www.envbop.govt.nz.


Ends

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