The brand new Regional Economic Development Plan 2022-2032 (REDP) delivers a blueprint for transforming Te Upoko o Te Ika.
It’s the first time a collective economic plan of this magnitude has been seen in the region, representing over 12 months of conversations and mahi across our region with 10 councils, iwi, business groups, Te Matarau a Māui (the regional Māori economic group), sector groups, central Government and many others.
The vision for this REDP is “to build a future-focused, creative, sustainable and thriving region for all to be proud of”.
The plan, managed by WellingtonNZ, is a key project in the work programme of the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee (WRLC).
WRLC Chair Hon. Tracey Martin says, “This is a significant example of the power of collaboration”.
“The plan forms the basis of a long-term partnership, which results in improved coordination, access to networks and connections across the region, and mobilising the economy.”
The REDP addresses current challenges – such as improving the quality of life for Māori and Pasifika in the region, while trying to mitigate future ones. Modelling suggests an additional 200,000 people will live in the area within the next 30 years, which means approximately 100,000 decent jobs need to be created supporting that growth.
“A large amount of work has been done to put context and detail around the issues, opportunities and initiatives and with input from across the region,” Martin says.
There are four broad sectors identified in the REDP as fundamental for sustainable growth: screen, STEM (science technology, engineering and manufacturing), the visitor economy, and food and fibre.
To support this strategy, 33 initiatives were selected to help propel the economy into the future, and are being supported to implementation.
These include an adventure park in Porirua, a technology start-up hub, and piloting the ‘Summer of Engineering programme’- an intern programme which sees some of the brightest soon-to-be engineers upskilling during their university holidays.
“These initiatives are only the start of what we see as a living pipeline of innovative ideas, galvanising growth in the region,” says WellingtonNZ CEO John Allen.
“This signals to central Government where we believe they are best placed to help fund us, and gives everyone in the region a united direction.”
As WRLC Chair Tracey Martin says, “Successful implementation will be a job for us all – working together to make these opportunities a reality.”