Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today announced Government funding of $50,000 for the Bay of Plenty to look at economic growth opportunities through the use of water across the region.
The announcement was made at the Bay of Connections Forum today in Rotorua where a refreshed Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan was launched.
“The Bay of Plenty region is blessed with the natural resource of water from its coastal and lake environments. It underpins economic growth opportunities across most of the key industries in the region – horticulture, forestry, agriculture and tourism,” Mr Bridges says.
The funding comes from the Ministry for Primary Industries Irrigation Acceleration Fund and has been matched by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. It will enable the council to undertake a strategic water management study that could feed into a Water Management Plan for the region.
“This study will provide invaluable information to help ensure the region’s water is responsibly managed for the benefit of everybody in the area. It will help determine the need for water infrastructure, where it’s most needed and for what purpose,” Mr Guy says.
“Good water storage schemes are a foundation for responsible water management and communities become more resilient as a reliable water supply provides economic, environmental, cultural, recreational and social benefits.
“The study will help underpin the future direction of sustainable economic growth in the region. Without this work being done the opportunities for the best capture and use of fresh water in the region may not be fully recognised,” Mr Guy says.
The refreshed action plan reflects 46 completed or reassigned milestones and 38 new actions for the region. The region’s original action plan was launched in October 2015.
The action plan is regionally led and is supported by central government and represents a collaboration between local and central government, business and iwi.
The implementation of the plan is overseen by the Bay of Connections with the support from central government’s Regional Growth Programme. The programme aims to increase jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand. More information can be found at: www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/regions-cities/regional-growth-programme/bop