Action plan to help grow Northland

Published: Thu 4 Feb 2016 11:19 AM
Action plan to help grow Northland
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have today announced a detailed action plan to invigorate Northland’s economy.
The Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan is part of the Government’s Regional Growth Programme, which is increasing jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand.
Mr Joyce says the plan identifies 58 tangible actions that will contribute millions of dollars to the Northland economy.
“Nothing generates sustainable, high-paying jobs and boosts the standard of living better than business confidence and business investment, and this plan for Northland will build confidence among potential investors, from which more jobs and higher incomes will flow.
“New Zealand will not be able to realise its full economic potential until all our regions are thriving. Northland has shown good progress in recent quarters, with its unemployment rate dropping from around 8.1% before we commenced this programme in April 2014 to 6.2% in the latest labour force survey released yesterday. However there is a lot of work to do if we are to truly realise the potential of this resource-laden region of New Zealand.
”The most important part of this plan is that Northland’s key leaders are behind it and we are all pulling in the same direction. There has never been a better time to get Northland going.”
Mr Guy says the plan sets the stage for business growth by prioritising infrastructure improvements relating to transport, digital infrastructure, skills and capability, and water.
“With those improvements under way, Northland can focus on turning its natural riches into economic gains. Manuka trees, honey, forestry and wood processing, aquaculture, horticulture and farming collectives are all headliners, along with a big push to increase both international and domestic visitor numbers.
“One example is in Te Hiku where the Ministry for Primary Industries is working with Maori trusts and incorporations to explore forming a Te Hiku sheep and beef farming collective. The findings so far show the collective could have the potential to double their meat production within three to five years of operation.”
The drafting of the plan was overseen by an advisory group, supported by Northland Inc with input from business and local iwi, along with local and central government agencies.
A large number of the projects in the Action Plan involve iwi/Māori and support the outcomes of He Tangata, He Whenua, He Oranga - the Māori Economic Development Strategy for Northland published by the Te Tai Tokerau Iwi Chief Executive’s Consortium in February 2015.
The Northland regional action plan complements the wider work of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda.
“Key trade agreements like the Korean FTA and TPP, plus the Government’s resource management reforms and water reforms, are all an essential part of the growth story for Northland,” Mr Joyce says. “It is the combination of our national-level reform programme and the locally-focused regional action plan that will really lift the region’s economic performance.”
More information on the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan and the Regional Growth Programme can be found: HERE

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