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.
Attribution: Ministerial release, ministry websites.