Bay of Connections is a regional growth strategy. It is simple and aspirational. It’s about having a prosperous region driven by sustainable sectors. The aim is to establish and implement sector-based strategies that generate more job growth. It’s also about growing a strong and vibrant community, encouraging collaboration between business and industry, improving well-being and encouraging innovation and leadership. And it’s about identifying and capturing areas of growth and opportunity.
Bay of Connections region covers the wider Bay of Plenty, including Taupō, Rotorua, Western Bay of Plenty and Eastern Bay of Plenty. It covers 34,000 square kilometres of land and sea. Bay of Connections also has strong links into Waikato.
The population in the region is 303,412 (Central 99,401, Western 155,256, Eastern 48,755). It generates 6.1 percent of New Zealand’s GDP, or $11.5 billion. The region employs 118,000 and there are around 38,700 businesses in the Bay of Connections region.
In November 2013 MartinJenkins developed an employment scenario based on the successful implementation of the Bay of Connections strategy. The employment scenario was an aggregation of the successful delivery of individual sector strategies, and their indirect impacts on other sectors of the Bay of Connections economy.
A successful Bay of Connections strategy will deliver an additional 5,000 jobs by 2025. These jobs will be over and above business as usual outcomes.
Aquaculture is a key focus area within the Innovative and Productive Industry Sectors theme in the Bay of Connections Regional Economic Development Strategy.
The Bay of Plenty region is already an important link in New Zealand’s national and international supply chain.
Energy is a key focus area within the World Class Infrastructure theme, to explore growth from new and existing energy opportunities, as well as ensuring surety of supply for business, industry and communities.
Production forests occupy 20 per cent of the land in the Bay of Plenty region. There is significant capital invested in processing facilities, and a large number of people are employed in the forests or the processing facilities.