Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have welcomed a refresh of the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Action Plan which was launched at the Bay of Connections forum in Rotorua today.
The refreshed action plan reflects 46 completed or reassigned milestones and 38 new actions for the region. It follows the announcement of a new $8.42 million Regional Research Institute in Tauranga, centred on horticulture.
“It is fantastic to see the rapid progress that has been made in implementing the plan so far. Successes include savings and improved efficiencies in moving freight to the Port, the development of a Maori youth strategy and projects to increase jobs in the Kiwifruit industry,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Bay of Plenty is one of New Zealand’s strongest growing regions, with an increase of 7.7 per cent in GDP in the last year. A wide range of sectors contribute to the success of the region, including horticulture, forestry, agriculture and tourism.
“The addition of the Regional Research Institute will further leverage the Bay of Plenty’s strengths in horticulture, particularly kiwifruit,” Mr Bridges says.
“These are great achievements but there are still significant opportunities to increase incomes and employment in the region through attracting new investment and increasing productivity and export prices. The plan’s refresh aims to tackle these opportunities,” Mr Guy says.
Key new actions include the development of Plantech, a new Regional Research Institute in Tauranga, the implementation of regional tourism priorities to support growth of the visitor economy to $2.5 billion by 2030, improvement in Maori Land Utilisation plus more initiatives from the Tertiary Intentions Leadership Group.
“The Bay of Plenty has a very productive and diverse horticulture, forestry and agriculture sector. A lot has already been achieved over the past 18 months to support the continued growth of primary industries in the region. The new initiatives announced today will ensure that momentum is maintained in the sector to support the region’s economic growth,” Mr Guy says.
“The refreshed action plan highlights the importance of maximising infrastructure. Funding was announced today to enable the region to look at economic growth opportunities through the use of water which will benefit many of the key industries in the region. This work will provide invaluable information to help ensure the region’s water is responsibly managed for the benefit of everybody in the area.”