It has been nearly a year since our last newsletter, as Accelerate25’s resources were reallocated to the COVID-19 economic response in our region, therefore putting Growing our Region in a period of hiatus. That time has also allowed us to review and refresh Accelerate25 to ensure the programme’s focus and goals are aligned with the Manawatū-Whanganui region’s economic priorities. As they say, out of crisis comes clarity and the past twelve months have certainly allowed that.
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 Regional Economic Recovery Taskforce is working with numerous community groups, business and agencies to aid recovery in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.
Last month saw the launch of the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Indicators website. This website will house information on work the Economic Recovery Taskforce is carrying out, including funding announcements, economic indicators and a dashboard of key statistics. These indicators and statistics will help us to ascertain the economic impact of COVID-19 on our region over a period of time.
Shovel Ready Projects
The global spread of COVID-19 will have a long lasting impact, which will continue to develop over the coming months and years. As they arise, it will be important to capture opportunities that will stimulate our region’s social, economic, built and natural environment, and cultural wellbeing, and strengthen our rural areas.
The Regional Freight Hub is identified as one of our region’s key transport initiatives to assist with Manawatū-Whanganui’s medium-term recovery from COVID-19. In 2018, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced a $40 million PGF investment to be used by KiwiRail to complete site master planning, concept designs and to secure land.
Earlier this month, central government announced a $45 million injection into the Manawatū-Whanganui Region with funding towards Foxton environment and visitor amenities, Te Puwaha – Whanganui Port revitalisation, the development of a new wing for the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Whanganui, and talent and skills initiatives to support the region’s labour market.
Accelerate25 will again be sponsoring the AgTech Hackathon - connecting tech talent to primary industry opportunities. During New Zealand AgriFood Week, teams work with primary sector representatives and mentors to solve set challenges over 28 hours. It's action packed and inspiring!
This year AgriFood Week is spreading its wings to districts outside of the Manawatū. One of the events of interest is Tararua District Council’s Land Diversification Forum on Monday 16 March, in Pahiatua.
Identified as a challenge to the land use optimisation opportunity in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan, succession planning is key to our regional economy. Whanganui & Partners will be hosting workshops on succession planning over the next few months.