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Venture Taranaki Launches Taranaki Story

This week marked the launch of the Taranaki Story, as Venture Taranaki made available over 400 assets and resources to support Taranaki enterprises.

"We are extremely pleased to be launching the Taranaki Story today, making a suite of promotional tools available to the Taranaki community," says Venture Taranaki CE Justine Gilliland.

The Taranaki Story will support our regional profile across Aotearoa, and the world.

"The story comprises a narrative, tools and resources that our region’s enterprises and the Taranaki community can use to stand strong in our sense of self," said Justine.

Akin to the widely known New Zealand Story that launched in November 2013 and has been utilised by thousands of New Zealand organisations ever since, the Taranaki Story was initially spurred by misperceptions of the region since the Government’s offshore drilling announcement in 2018.

"Following that announcement, a perception proliferated that Taranaki is a ‘sunset’ region; nothing could be further from the truth," said Justine.

"The Taranaki Story helps to show the true breadth and diversity of our strengths, initiatives, and innovations," she adds.

The project was delivered in two stages, the first being community consultation and engagement, which saw the delivery of over 13 workshops.

"These workshops brought together business and community thought leaders to share their insights and experiences as to what makes Taranaki a great place to live, work, learn, play, create, and invest," explains Justine.

The second stage saw Venture Taranaki working with local creative agency Strategy Collective, bringing to life the stories that were captured as part of community consultation.

"The creative development process saw us filming at over 100 locations, and engaging with more than 300 people," said Justine.

The project has brought together business, iwi, community, government, and local government, with over 500 stakeholders engaged throughout the various project stages, from community workshops to the individuals who gave their time to participate in the filming and photography.

"In the creation of the case studies alone, we have had over 40 enterprises, schools, individuals, and events profiled as filmed or written case studies," said Justine.

Enterprises and community kaupapa will be able to utilise the story’s comprehensive toolkit, having free access to imagery, videography, a sound library, presentations, guides, case studies, infographics, and animated giphys.

The themes that have been launched under the wider Taranaki Story narrative are: Environment; Business, Innovation and Export; Iwi; Visit; Energy; Live and Work; and Food and Hospitality.

"The seven pou, or seven themes that we have launched with today were identified as part of our initial community workshops, and are a direct reflection of what our community sees as unique and of importance to Taranaki today and in the future," said Justine.

The Taranaki Story, like the New Zealand Story, is set to continue to develop, with additional assets and themes being added over time.

"The beauty with this project, is that although we launch with these today, our story isn’t static, its living, and it certainly doesn’t have an end. We will continue to evolve the story as our community and enterprises grow and develop," explains Justine.

"We will continue to care for this asset and moving forward we will look for new ways to expand on the richness of our existing kōrero, and resources, using community feedback and input," expands Justine.

You can access the Taranaki Story via the Venture Taranaki website, with all the resources and tools in one easy to access and search location. This can be accessed at, with the assets freely available to Taranaki organisations for download upon registration.

A pre-screening of the Taranaki story was shared with those who contributed to the project on Tuesday evening 25 May, and was well attended by a diverse range of stakeholders.

Speakers included Venture Taranaki and Tourism New Zealand Chairperson Jamie Tuuta, Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Chairperson and Taranaki Story advisory member Liana Poutu, NPDC Mayor Neil Holdom, and Venture Taranaki CE Justine Gilliland.

Guests were afforded the first look at the video stories and encouraged to champion and share the story to support the success of the project, and the region.

"We have endured a global pandemic, engaged with more than 500 people, and filmed at over 100 locations across our entire region. We have gone as far as the district boarders will allow, and as deep as the depths of the Patea bar courtesy of our partners at Project Reef Life, and now we ask you to do the rest" said Justine as she addressed the crowd at the pre-launch screening.

The Taranaki Story assets are available online and will be playing at local museums and galleries over the next month, including, Aotea Utanganui - Museum of South Taranaki, local i-sites, and Visitors Centres.

"There truly hasn’t been a better time to do business here, invest, visit, live, work, play and create," ends Justine.

Background information:

The Taranaki Story is a PGF funded project, which began in June 2019. The project was put on hold during lockdown due to the large amount of community input required to reach delivery.

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