“Since the launch of the Action Plan in February a number of projects have made significant progress” says Action Plan Working Group Chair and Northland Inc CEO David Wilson.
“It is good to see a wide range of stakeholders working together on projects that will benefit the region’s economy and improve prosperity. A focus on getting things done has been extremely helpful, as has having a region-wide view of the economic development projects in play and the agencies involved.
“This enabled the Working Group to collaborate and avoid duplication, and has identified some gaps in strategy and action for the region. What this means is that strong new projects are in the pipeline.”
Highlights of progress so far include: construction of the Hawaiki international submarine cable connecting Northland and New Zealand to Australia and the United States via Hawaii, with completion due mid-2018; announcement of $4 million in central government funding for the Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Maori Art Gallery in Whangarei; ongoing work on the Twin Coast Discovery revitalisation project including highway and byway development and completion of the first stage of the high-level strategic study of the region’s irrigation potential with the second stage, an in-depth investigation into selected areas, currently under development.
Work is also progressing in the Land and Water work stream: the Te Tai Tokerau Maori Forestry strategy highlighted the progress that has been made with developing the collective and its connection to the Northland economic strategy; the Te Hiku Sheep and Beef farming collective’s red meat strategy is nearing implementation; and tenders are currently being received to further the Kingfish Production project at Bream Bay.
On the skills front the GROW Kaikohe programme saw the first cohort of graduates being matched with employers and employment opportunities in April; the Communities of Learning project established in over 20 schools covering over 4300 students; Work and Income clients began work on developing the Northland College mānuka plantation site; and the QRC Tai Tokerau Resort College opened in Paihia with their first intake of students in April.