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Action plan draft to be released next week

8 April 2016, Andrew Ashton, The Gisborne Herald.

Local business stakeholders working together to make most of the opportunity.

A DRAFT version of an action plan intended to boost economic development in Gisborne is being reviewed and is expected to be released to the public early next week.

The action plan has been put together by a governance group as part of the Government’s Regional Growth Programme (RGP). Central and local organisations and agencies are reviewing the draft action plan over coming weeks and will identify which actions they will support and the nature of that support.

“From this, leads for individual actions within the plan and support agencies will be identified, along with priorities, costs and timelines,” said Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

“As with other regional action plans recently published in the Government’s Regional Growth Programme (Bay of Plenty and Northland), some actions might be at a very early concept stage and will require validation or further work on a business case. Where these are needed, agency lead and support for this work will be identified in the review of the draft plan.

“Once the economic action plan is finalised, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and I will work with the region to launch the action plan and celebrate this milestone. It is anticipated this will be in the middle of this year.”

Mr Joyce said the governance group developing the action plan was made up of Gisborne District Council, Activate Tairawhiti, Eastland Community Trust, Eastland Group, iwi, Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) and business representatives.

“The role of the governance group members is to engage with local stakeholders and industry to identify opportunities for growth in the Gisborne region, and prioritise actions from their relevant perspectives. The plan is about attracting more investment and growing jobs.”

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said the region’s economic development agency was leading the process with the support of, and in consultation with, GDC, iwi, business leaders, stakeholders and government.

“It has been really encouraging and positive to have our key local business-oriented stakeholders work together to capitalise on this potentially transformative opportunity.”

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