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July news update

Kia ora,

It has been a busy six months for Bay of Connections. Since the announcement of the Provincial Growth Fund earlier this year, we’ve been working hard to ensure the wider Bay of Plenty is in the best possible position to benefit from opportunities provided by the fund.

Planning is also underway for the Bay of Connections Yearly Forum, to be held in Rotorua on 3 August, while work has also commenced on the review of the Bay of Connections strategy.

I’d also like to take this public opportunity to thank Fiona McTavish, who has stepped down from her role as the Bay of Connections Management Group Chair, following her appointment as Chief Executive, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana. Fiona made an immense contribution to Bay of Connections and she is set to do the same in her new role. Jacky James has agreed to take on an acting role as Management Group Chair for the next few months, and is already doing an outstanding job.

Bay of Connections Portfolio Review

Strategy and planning expert Anne Pattillo has been appointed to facilitate a review of the Bay of Connections strategy, which includes the Regional Growth Programme and supporting Action Plan.

The project is led by Bay of Connections, in partnership with MBIE, as Central Government has a growing role in the region through the Provincial Growth Fund and across the BOC portfolio.

After some significant changes and developments over the past 12 months we can now look to the next 3-5 years with more clarity, potentially streamlining some of the action areas, and refine our focus on the sectors that will add real value to the region.

The review will look at both the strategic and delivery aspects of Bay of Connections.

Workshops with key stakeholders will commence in July – this will be primarily via the various sector groups’ pre-planned meetings – to ensure we are gaining feedback from those actively involved in Bay of Connections. The Yearly Forum on 3 August is another opportunity for us to gain views and insights from across the region, and to engage with those who may be new to Bay of Connections. The review will be finalised by November and released with the Bay of Connections Yearly Report at year end.

We welcome your input through one of our forums. If you would like to provide specific feedback directly to Anne, please get in touch by emailing

Bay of Connections Annual Forum

By now you will have received your invitation to the 2018 annual Bay of Connections and Regional Growth Programme Forum, to be held in Rotorua on Friday, August 3.

The yearly forum provides an important opportunity for the Bay of Connections to engage with key stakeholders from across the region, share the latest developments and new opportunities, and provide the mechanism through which we can all work together to share our vision.

We are delighted to confirm that Regional Economic Development Minister, Hon. Shane Jones and Minister for Māori Development and Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, will be attending the forum

The forum will highlight and discuss the progress and actions achieved, engaging with action leads and others during round-table discussions.

The event begins at 10am and is being held at the Holiday Inn. More details are available here.

John Galbraith reappointed to lead FLAG

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John Galbraith has been confirmed as the lead for the Freight Logistics Group following a recent tender process.

Mr Galbraith has been involved with the group since its inception, and has led a number of successful initiatives during that time. We are extremely pleased to have John re-affirmed in the role and thank him for his continued leadership.

RLC provide support to Visitor Economy Strategy

Following the finalisation and release of the regional Visitor Economy Strategy, Rotorua Lakes Council’s Michael Hancock has been appointed as the Action Lead for this strategy.

Michael is the Senior Lead Advisor for Economic Development at the Council, as has been actively involved in Rotorua’s Big Moves projects – two of the sub-regional priorities that were identified in the strategy.

Of Te Arawa descent, Michael is well connected across the Bay of Plenty and is looking forward to working with tourism partners and councils across the region to progress the strategy.

PGF announcement

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Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau recently announced $811,625 from the Provincial Growth Fund for two of Rotorua Lakes Council’s Rotorua ‘Big Moves’ Projects.

“There are four Big Moves projects in total with money from the PGF going towards final business cases for developing and enhancing Rotorua’s Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest,” Mr Tabuteau said.

These projects were identified in the Visitor Economy Strategy and Mr Tabuteau also acknowledged the Bay of Connections Group who released its Visitor Economy Strategy today alongside the PGF announcement.

“We now have an overarching visitor economic strategy for the wider region which provides a context for the lakeside and forest projects. “


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Bay of Connections is proud to be supporting the Groundswell Innovation Festival. From 27 August - 2 September, locations across the city will come alive with a range of events that showcase how our organisations and people are leading the way through innovation. Engage with international leaders and industry experts from the likes of Tesla, Google, ANZ and Air New Zealand right here in Tauranga. From arts and culture, to science and technology, there's something for everyone.

Get tickets and event info at:

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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