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Action Plan for BOP economic development launched

Economic development for the wider Bay of Plenty has been given a significant boost with the launch of the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan by Ministers Steven Joyce and Te Ururoa Flavell in Rotorua today.

The Action Plan is the second phase in the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Programme (RGP), which was commissioned by the Ministries of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and Primary Industries (MPI) in partnership with the Bay of Connections.

The first stage involved the development of an independent Regional Growth Study report (RGS) which identified a range of short to mid-term (0-10 years) opportunities that could assist in increasing investment, employment and incomes across the wider region.

Since the launch of the independent report in May, local and central government, business, iwi and the wider community have been working collaboratively to develop the Action Plan to take key opportunities forward.

Bay of Connections chair Doug Leeder says the Action Plan is a significant example of the power of collaboration.

“The Action Plan forms the basis of a long-term partnership with government on regional economic development. An unbelievable amount of work has been done to put context and detail around the opportunities identified in the RGS and seek feedback from across the region. Five hui and a validation forum were held as part of this, attracting more than 350 people who provided their knowledge and insights.

“The Action Plan is the culmination of literally hundreds of hours’ work and is specifically designed to bring the original study to life – and turn its opportunities into tangible results. There is much synergy across many of the sectors, highlighting the strength of regional collaboration and ensuring sustainable growth.

“This has been a true collaborative effort from right across the region and working closely alongside multiple levels of government. The final result is the Action Plan that we are launching today.”

The Action Plan lays out nine priority sectors for development, harnessing the region’s abundant natural competitive advantages, including: agribusiness, aquaculture, education and skills, forestry and wood products, geothermal, horticulture, Maori land utilisation, visitor economy and water.

Each sector within the Action Plan sets out specific actions, who will lead and support implementation, and estimated timeframes.

“The final Action Plan reflects the commitment between government and the region to work collaboratively for the benefit of the Bay of Plenty, including resources committed from central government.

“Success will require true regional ownership and leadership, including the need to be agile as things progress and change. Stakeholder engagement during implementation will also be essential.”

Over the duration of the Action Plan (around 10 years) regional responsibility and leadership will continue through the Bay of Connections. Each of the nine priority sectors will have a regional lead, responsible for management and progress reporting. Oversight of all the action plans will take place at a Bay of Connections management and executive level, as already happens with the current Bay of Connections regional economic development portfolio.

Central government will continue to play a critical role, both in each of the action plans and at an overarching management and governance level.

For more information and to view the Action Plan, click here.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

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