The Accelerate25 refresh recommendations were adopted by the Accelerate25 Lead Team in early 2021, and are currently being presented to councils within the region. They have also been presented to Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash.
The refresh has renewed the focus of the Lead Team, identifying four “Pillars” and six “Bearers” as the transformative priority areas to drive economic growth within the 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.
A glimpse of a Manawatū-Whanganui future could reveal a national growth centre based on the foundation of sustainable food and fibre, enhanced into Food-Tech and Agri-Tech, supported by specialised services, the Maori 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.
Where to from here
Our overriding vision is to establish the Central North Island as a growth centre for the New Zealand economy. To achieve this, the Accelerate25 Lead Team will focus on a work plan for the next 18 months to continue to provide regional coordination and support to strategic opportunities across the region. We will also continue to work closely with central government as it develops its new priorities for regional economic development.
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