In 2018, an independent review of the Bay of Connections found that a high level regional development lens was still required, but that it was time for a refresh of its form and function.
Since then, a small working group has led an engagement process with councils, economic development agencies (EDAs), business and iwi representatives to gain their perspectives and insights about the regional development support required.
As a result of these discussions, the working group developed a set of recommendations regarding the potential form, function and focus of Bay of Connections 2.0.
These recommendations have now been agreed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
These include ensuring Bay of Connections 2.0 provides the right support that local areas need, to help advance both local priorities and regional opportunities, so that our whole region can prosper.
It is very much about taking a bottom up approach in helping councils, EDAs and industry to achieve tangible economic results that benefit us all.
It also includes a focus on a few key areas which cross the whole region, like the Māori economy, infrastructure and a low carbon economy, and a continued role connecting the region and helping engage with government.
Ultimately, Bay of Connections 2.0 will still be striving to deliver real benefit to the region, its communities, and people.
You can check out the latest developments here.