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Building lasting relationships for growth in BOP

Bay of Connections has solidified its regional and national influence throughout 2015, after a year of significant economic action and achievement, culminating in the launch of its Yearly Report in Tauranga today.

Bay of Connections is the economic development strategy for the wider Bay of Plenty region, aimed at growing investment, incomes and jobs through developing sustainable sectors.

Of particular significance for the Bay of Connections this year has been its partnership with central government in the development and launch of the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study (RGS) and Economic Action Plan.

The RGS identifies short to mid-term opportunities (0-10 years) that can increase job opportunities, attract investment and lift incomes in the region. The Action Plan involves establishing how key opportunities could be realised, who is responsible and by when.

Bay of Connections chair Doug Leeder says the Action Plan will play a critical role in the region’s future.

“This will be a key factor in developing our region and I cannot over-emphasise its importance. The attendance and engagement throughout development of the RGS and the Action Plan by community leaders, iwi, local and central government, Mayors and industry is testament to that fact.

“This work has seen our core values of collaboration and connectedness develop to another level, with partnerships created through Bay of Connections over the last eight years acting as a catalyst for many of our projects during 2015.”

Mr Leeder says it is this connectivity that places the Bay of Plenty in a strong position for growth.

Bay of Connections portfolio manager Cheryl Lewis says the six business-as-usual Bay of Connections strategies have also progressed positively throughout the year, including energy, forestry and wood processing, freight logistics, aquaculture, Māori economic development, and sport and recreation (particularly rugby sevens).

“All sector strategies are industry-led, with action groups established for each. Through lobbying, submissions and working in close partnership with central and local government, these action groups have also led activity which have a positive impact for our region.

“This includes submissions on Long Term Plans, Land Transport Plans, Coastal Plans, the Climate Change Target and National Environmental Standards, supporting education and associated projects, and appointing new energy experts for the Energy Strategy,” she says.

Mr Leeder says the Bay of Plenty has many comparative advantages and natural resources in which to stimulate further growth.

“The relationships that have been formed both within and into the region will ensure success both for industry and for our communities.

“There is much passion in this region and Bay of Connections enables a framework for everyone to work together towards a common goal. I look forward to another year of action and results in 2016.”

Bay of Connections has also launched a new-look website, in recognition of its ongoing development and regional influence.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

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