Manawatū-Whanganui growth study announced

  • Nathan Guy
  • Steven Joyce
Primary Industries Economic Development

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today announced a new growth study to help increase investment opportunities, employment and incomes in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

The Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Growth Study will bring together knowledge held by central and local government, local business people, Māori, and other stakeholders, as well as official economic data and independent economic analysis.

“Through its Business Growth Agenda the Government is committed to helping all of our regions attract investment and create more and higher-paying jobs,” Mr Joyce says. "This Growth Study will help Manawatū-Whanganui obtain more investment and more job opportunities.

“Actions such as the recently-announced new Whirokino bridge north of Foxton, the rollout of ultra-fast and rural broadband, and the four-laning of the Wellington Northern Corridor will all benefit the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

“The region is already identified as an innovation hub, with its agricultural strengths driving strong research and development specialities in areas such as biotechnology, agricultural technology, animal health and food technology. This study will look at how the region can build on these strengths and identify further opportunities to promote economic growth.”

The study will detail for local stakeholders and government where the region’s most significant future economic opportunities lie, and identify what actions would encourage further economic development and increase incomes and jobs in the region. It will also identify constraints to growth and recommendations on how these can be addressed.

Mr Guy says a number of MPI’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programmes are actively involved in the region and have the potential to make a substantial contribution to regional economic growth.

These include programmes to increase productivity and value-add products in the red meat sector, to grow the value of New Zealand’s Manuka honey industry, to transform the dairy value chain through creating new products, increasing on-farm sustainable productivity, and improving agricultural education.

“There are some great things happening in the region, ranging from Māori-agribusiness to successful market garden businesses in Horowhenua, which is the vegetable bowl of the Wellington region,” Mr Guy says.

“The region has significant sheep, beef and dairying sectors and real potential for increased tourism. Major new roads like Transmission Gully and the Kapiti expressway will also greatly improve connection to Wellington and help get goods to market more quickly.”

The Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Growth Study, commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Primary Industries follows on from the recently completed study on the East Coast region, a study currently underway on the Northland region, and one recently announced in the Bay of Plenty region. Its findings will also inform work by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise to attract investment into the region.

The request for proposal for the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Growth Study can be viewed at: http://www.gets.govt.nz.