The Taranaki region is taking charge of its future with the launch of the Tapuae Roa Action Plan today (FRIDAY, 6 APRIL).
Today, Minister Shane Jones announced Central Government funding of:
- $13.34 million for the Taranaki Crossing Experience.
- $5m for the Taranaki Cathedral restoration and upgrades.
- $100,000 towards a business case for a New Energy Development Centre in Taranaki.
- $100,000 to undertake a stock-take of Māori enterprise and education in Taranaki, with a focus on STEAMID (the broad areas of science, technology, engineering, arts/design, mathematics, innovation, and digital).
- $100,000 towards an initial feasibility study to establish innovation precincts across Taranaki.
- $50,000 towards the establishment of ‘H2 Taranaki’.
- $50,000 towards a business case for developing a Taranaki Future Foods Accelerator.
- $250,000 for the development of a business guide to tree planting on Taranaki hill country farms.
- $400,000 for a SH43 business case.
- $175,000 towards future food – major regional food opportunities.
Speaking on behalf of the Taranaki Mayoral Forum, New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom says the Action Plan is a bold, ambitious roadmap for building economic strength in Taranaki.
“These announcements are just the first steps towards projects that are game-changers for Taranaki and New Zealand,” says Mayor Holdom.
“We live in a fast-changing world and with the projects identified in Make Way for Taranaki, we’ll take charge of our future rather than react to changes as they happen,” he says.
“Taranaki’s future will be cleaner and greener as we invest in promoting the high-quality foods our farming sector produces, invest in tree planting in our back country, work to nurture the Māori economy which will play a pivotal part in the future of our region, invest in emerging clean energy technologies and invest in facilities to attract high-value tourists to Mt Taranaki.”
A key success of the Tapuae Roa action plan is that it has been a group effort – developed in partnership between the region’s four councils, nga iwi o Taranaki, business leaders, Venture Taranaki and central government. “That across-the-board partnership gives Tapuae Roa real strength and resilience,” says Mayor Holdom.
Tapuae Roa: Make Way for Taranaki is a Taranaki-wide strategy with the goal of making the region successful. The project takes a whole-of-region approach and focuses on unlocking the best opportunities for regional economic growth.
Besides providing a new direction for economic development, Tapuae Roa will feed into the long-term-plans of all the councils in the region, influence private sector investment decision-making and contribute to the future activities and investment decisions of the iwi of Taranaki.
Tapuae Roa was launched in August 2017. The Action Plan will be launched on 6 April 2018.
Tapuae Roa has two parts: the Four Futures and the Four Foundations.
- Energy Futures: energy options designed for the emerging low-carbon future, building on the knowledge and expertise of the existing energy industry. This has the potential to be the basis of a strong economic future to the region, similar to the role energy has played in the past.
- Food Futures: food products and processes that build on the existing strength of the primary and processing industries that are already a large part of the regional economy. As with Energy Futures, this project seeks to future-proof a key regional industry.
- Māori Economy Futures: ensuring a new generation of Māori leadership have the required technical and technological skills to participate in the modern economy.
- Visitor Sector Futures: extending an already significant labour-intensive industry which has the potential to grow in the region.
These are fundamental enablers that make the economy move more effectively:
- Talent, enterprise and innovation: the most important and ambitious of the Four Foundations with a focus on training for a modern economy to grow innovation capability. The required skills are identified by STEAMID (science, technology, engineering, arts/design, mathematics, innovation and digital).
- Accessibility and connectivity: enhancing the port, roads, rail, the airport and digital connectivity to overcome the region’s geographical isolation.
- Vibrancy and liveability: these are key attractors for both bringing people into the region and retaining skilled residents.
- Investment: arguably the single greatest enabler, to regional development. Funding options in this strategy include regional royalties, angel investment, a Taranaki Growth Fund, iwi investment, foreign direct investment and philanthropic contributions.