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March news update

Kia ora,

Thank you to everyone who contributed to and supported Bay of Connections last year.

We capped off 2016 with the launch of the Yearly Report, and a visit from Minister Nathan Guy, which was a great opportunity to share the latest updates in this area. Minister Guy is the Minister for Primary Industries, and a key Minister for the Government’s Regional Growth Programme.



Government's commitment to the region

Earlier this year, the Prime Minster outlined the Government’s commitment to support the work underway in the Bay of Plenty and its Action Plan. He also referenced the Ōpōtiki harbour development in his recent statement to parliament, which outlines Government’s priorities for 2017.

“The Business Growth Agenda (BGA) is the Government’s programme of work to build a more productive and competitive economy that will deliver more jobs, higher incomes and higher living standards for New Zealanders. The Government will continue to support, update and implement the BGA this year. This includes the Regional Growth programme, working with local communities to develop and implement economic growth Action Plans in Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui, Canterbury, Southland, Gisborne and the West Coast.

“The Government will continue to support regional projects to enable aquaculture growth, including progressing the Ōpōtiki offshore farm and harbour feasibility study, and will partner with industry in new innovation programmes through the $720 million Primary Growth Partnership. Work will be progressed to support the development of irrigation and water storage projects.”

Manuka Action Group

The recently formed Manuka Action Group (MAG), is led by Agribusiness Action Plan lead, Warwick Murray. Warwick was recently interviewed by the Bay of Plenty Times, about the potential of Manuka honey and you can check out the full story here: Bay of Plenty honey industry takes action to boost Manuka.

MAG’s work programme is now in action, and includes supporting MPI with the upcoming Manuka definition consultations. This is an MPI project to support Manuka honey authenticity and maintain its high-value export status.

ME Programme

An innovative pilot programme to support the region’s growth by connecting businesses and secondary schools was officially launched this month.

Led by New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers (NZKGI) and Katikati College, the pilot is an exciting development for both the Education and Skills, and Horticulture Action Plans, and if successful, could see other industries and schools support the concept.

Read more here.

Upcoming central government funding opportunities

Afforestation Grant Scheme

Goal: To have 15,000 hectares of new forest planted by 2020
Who can apply: Any person or organisation that owns land in New Zealand and can commit between 5-300 hectares of land to planting in new forest.
Key dates: applications open 13 March and close 28 April

Freshwater Improvement Fund

Goal: The Freshwater Improvement Fund provides $100 million over the next 10 years to improve the management of New Zealand’s freshwater bodies, as part of the Clean Water Package
Who can apply: Those that meet all the eligibility criteria listed here
Key dates: applications are now open and close 13 April

Sustainable Farming Fund

Goal: The SFF funds 'communities of interest' to do applied research and extension projects that tackle a shared problem or develop a new opportunity.
Key dates: applications open 1 July

Bay of Connections has also put together a directory of available grants, which you can access here.

Upcoming events and meetings

21 March - Forestry and Wood Action Group meeting – Rotorua

21 March - New Zealand Forest Owners Association NZIER Report Launch, co-hosted by the Bay of Connections Forestry and Wood Action Group – Rotorua

7 June - Bay of Connections and Regional Growth Study annual forum – Rotorua. More details will be sent out soon with invitation. In the meantime, put 7 June in your calendar.

Current work

Bay of Connections has had a number of meetings this year which have set the scene for a productive year ahead, including the Governance Group, Management Group, Action Leads, Regional Aquaculture Organisation and Freight Logistics Action Group.

Here’s to another magnificent year, and please get in touch if you have comments or questions.

Get more information

The Bay of Connections values your input and welcomes all questions and enquiries.

Please contact

Bay of Connections portfolio manager, Cheryl Lewis.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

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