Released in 2016, the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan is the region’s strategy for increasing job opportunities and quality of life – by connecting people, business and our environment.

Developed by business leaders, iwi, communities, hapū, and councils, in partnership with central government, the plan is about realising a short and long-term vision now and through to 2025.

In 2020, Accelerate25 underwent a review to set a refreshed Action Plan for our region’s economy. That review resulted in a series of refresh recommendations which were adopted by the Accelerate25 Lead Team in early 2021. To achieve these recommendations, the Accelerate25 work programme and accompanying A3 visual presentation has been created.

The work programme describes the focus for the Accelerate25 Lead Team for the coming two years and beyond. It will serve as a platform that will retain agility, adapt to changing circumstances and recognise new initiatives.

Pillars and Bearers

The refresh has identified four “Pillars” and six “Bearers” as the transformative priority areas to drive economic growth within the Manawatū-Whanganui Region, and build a modern, contemporary economy. The Pillars are the wealth creation drivers of the economy that create regional comparative advantage. They collectively comprise the key elements of the growth centre. The Bearers are the essential foundations and enablers upon which the pillars rest and depend on.

4 Pillars

4 pillars food

Sustainable food and fibre

Including Food Technology products and Agri-tech capability

4 pillars technology

Specialised services

Technology, high value specialised manufacturing and tertiary services

4 pillars Maori

Māori economy

Realising the value lying in the Maori economy

4 Pillars tourism


Shaped with a long-term view

6 Bearers

6 Bearers Transport

Effective transport networks

Throughout the region and with other regions, scaled for growth

6 Bearers High Performance

High performing workforce

Through education, learning and skills

6 Bearers Internet

High speed internet connectivity

To support enhanced business technologies

6 Bearers Community Infrastructure

Community infrastructure

To support quality of life and attract population

6 Bearers Energy


Renewable and available

6 Bearers Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability

Because this is a bottom line for a modern economy

A glimpse of a Manawatū-Whanganui future could reveal a national growth centre based on sustainable food and fibre, enhanced into Food-Tech and Agri-Tech, supported by specialised services, the Māori Economy and Tourism (the four pillars).

The bearers to support and transform these pillars are effective transport networks, a high performing workforce, high speed internet connectivity, community infrastructure, energy and environmental sustainability.

Within the Pillars and Bearers there are a number of projects, some of which are part of COVID-19 recovery, while others have a longer term direction for the region – which have been identified to drive economic growth, leading to overall prosperity.