Archive | Northland

Plenty of exhortation in Northland economic action plan

The Tai Tokerau Northland economic action plan, launched yesterday, appears to be mainly exhortation for the locals, along with major infrastructure development by government agencies.

A project list starts on page 12 of what is the fourth document you’d open if you were following a course through a media release, a visit to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s related website and a second ministry page on the plan.

Some of the projects are already underway. Others are listed without the method of attaining them – or the intended beneficiaries – being identified. Lead agencies & key partners are identified, which makes it look like a top-down exercise. The links to involve the ordinary people of Northland – as participants, not just recipients – are not identified, except perhaps where iwi are to be involved.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced what they called a detailed action plan to invigorate Northland’s economy, as part of the Government’s regional growth programme, aimed at increasing jobs, income & investment in regional New Zealand.

Mr Joyce said the plan identified 58 tangible actions.

Mr Guy said the plan set the stage for business growth by prioritising infrastructure improvements relating to transport, digital infrastructure, skills & capability and water.

“With those improvements under way, Northland can focus on turning its natural riches into economic gains. Manuka trees, honey, forestry & wood processing, aquaculture, horticulture & farming collectives are all headliners, along with a big push to increase both international & domestic visitor numbers.

“One example is in Te Hiku, where the Ministry for Primary Industries is working with Maori trusts & incorporations to explore forming a Te Hiku sheep & beef farming collective. The findings so far show the collective could have the potential to double their meat production within 3-5 years of operation.”

The ministers said drafting of the plan was overseen by an advisory group, supported by Northland Inc with input from business & local iwi and local & central government agencies.

They also said many of the projects in the action plan involved iwi/Maori and supported the outcomes of He Tangata, He Whenua, He Oranga – the Maori economic development strategy for Northland published by the Te Tai Tokerau iwi chief executives consortium in February 2015.

Mr Joyce said yesterday the Government would contribute $4 million to the construction of the Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery in Whangarei – contingent on the Whangarei Museum Trust obtaining the $8.2 million of additional funding required to build the Centre.

  • Hundertwasser Art Centre image provided by Prosper Northland Trust.

Links: Northland regional growth programme
Te Tai Tokerau Northland economic action plan
Action plan document

Attribution: Ministerial release, ministry websites.

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Central Northland economic message lost in pomp

2 Northland economic studies were released yesterday – one from the Government, the Te Tokerau Northland regional growth study, and the other from Tai Tokerau, He tangata, He whenua, He oranga.

The second paper – the Tai Tokerau iwi chairs’ & chief executives’ economic growth strategy for the Tai Tokerau Maori economy – was welcomed by one of the 3 ministers whose names are on the Government one, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.

But, other than that, I could find no pointer to its contents. As for the other, the Government releases skipped the central message – workers & innovation needed – in favour of general economic waffle & pomp.

The Government study, released by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, is an independent report by Martin Jenkins & Associates Ltd, commissioned by the 2 ministries.

Martin Jenkins summed up its paper thus: “Northland has significant untapped economic potential. The region’s people & industries are currently not making the most of existing advantages, limiting economic growth. However, there is no ‘silver bullet’ initiative or industry that will transform the Northland economy. Growing the Northland economy will require a co-ordinated effort across a range of industry & cross-cutting opportunities.”

The report said that, given the right stimulus, a number of resource-based industries could grow substantially – but a major challenge would be to find enough workers.

For all sectors – tourism, forestry, dairy, aquaculture, marine manufacturing & horticulture – Martin Jenkins said research, development & innovation would be needed to add value.

“The next step is for Northland Inc, in consultation with industry representatives, Maori/iwi/hapu, local & central government agencies, to develop a full action plan.”

Link: Tai Tokerau Northland Regional Growth Study opportunities report

Attribution: Ministerial releases, opportunities report.

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Northland clean-up projects get Government support

Published 5 September 2011

Environment Minister Nick Smith announced 2 clean-up projects on Friday which, he said, would create jobs in Northland & boost the local economy.

An inference from the $2.3 million of Government money for waste minimisation projects is that businesses don’t have to clean up their own mess: Enterprise Northland will get $2.1 million from the waste minimisation fund towards the cost of processing more than 6200 tonnes of waste oyster shells & 300 tonnes of waste timber at Opua, in the Bay of Islands.

Dr Smith said: “The Northland oyster industry is poised to expand. Oyster farmers need the space in their farms that’s currently clogged with waste shells & timber to support this expansion.

“It’s estimated that a fully operational aquaculture industry could inject more than $200 million/year into the Northland economy. This project is expected to create 10 new fulltime positions & 4 part-time roles.

“The new machinery being funded will process the oyster shells into an ingredient for cement & other calcium-based products. At the same time, the waste timber will be turned into mulch for the Far North District Council’s civic gardens. This is exactly the sort of innovative project the waste minimisation fund was set up to assist.”

A second, $190,000 grant from the fund wil help establish the Whangarei resource recovery park, which it’s estimated will stop 10,500 tonnes/year of waste being dumped at landfills. The park will have a composting facility and will sort demolition & construction waste for recovery, reuse or recycling.

Dr Smit said the Environs Holdings Trust would receive $35,000 from the Government’s community environment fund for a series of community workshops to develop a collaborative approach to support restoration of the Kaipara Harbour.

“Support for all these projects demonstrates the Government’s bluegreen approach of backing practical initiatives that grow the economy while ensuring we make a real difference to improving the environment.”

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Attribution: Ministerial release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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