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Special Edition - August 2016


Welcome to this ‘Special Edition’ of Growing our Region, one in which we celebrate a major milestone as we strive to improve social, cultural, economic and environmental prosperity in the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.

On August 12 Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, and Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell joined the Region’s leaders to launch the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan in Whanganui.

Approximately 300 business, iwi, community, local and central government leaders attended the event at the Whanganui War Memorial Centre to receive the first copies of the Action Plan and hear a raft of announcements from Ministers’ Joyce, Guy and Flavell.

Following the Economic Action Plan Launch, Ministers Joyce and Guy then attended various site visits throughout the Region including Whanganui, Ohakune, Cheltenham, Palmerston North and Levin. Meanwhile Minister Flavell stayed in Whanganui, where he met with iwi and Maori business leaders and landowners.

Manawatū-Whanganui has so much to offer, we are resource-rich, full of promise and our people are determined and hard working. The Action Plan will be about increasing job opportunities and quality of life in the Region by connecting people, business, iwi and our environment.

That said there is a lot of work still to be done. The Action Plan is the blueprint for our Region’s growing economy and it is only by working collaboratively can we achieve regional prosperity.

Therefore it is important for the Accelerate25 Lead Team to continue in their role and guide us through the implementation process. The Lead Team is a governance group consisting of a mixture of business and iwi leaders, two local government representatives and myself as a facilitator.

To find out more about some of the announcements made in Whanganui and throughout the Region earlier this month, please have a read of this newsletter or check out our website, Also have a look at our new promotional video – Telling our Regional Story – and view image and video highlights from the Action Plan launch. I encourage you to share our promotional video far and wide, it is an inspiring showcase of our Region which identifies how strong, prosperous and vibrant we really are.

On behalf of the Lead Team we look forward to continuing this journey with you.                                                                                                          

Michael McCartney                                                                                                            

Lead Team Facilitator - Accelerate25

Ministers' Steven Joyce, Nathan Guy and Te Ururoa Flavell with members of the Accelerate25 Lead Team

Telling our Regional Story

Accelerate25 is about increasing job opportunities and quality of life in the Manawatū-Whanganui region by connecting people, business, Iwi and our environment. 

Please view and share our promotional video, it is a true showcase of what our Region is all about. 


Revitalisation of Whanganui Port

Government will invest $500,000, in partnership with the Whanganui District Council, to develop a comprehensive plan to revitalise the Whanganui Port Precinct.

Whanganui District Council will develop the plan for the future of the Whanganui Port while working with iwi, business leaders, Horizons Regional Council, UCOL and non-governmental organisations. The plan will incorporate a new marine services centre, an expanded boat building industry, visitor services and recreational area. It is expected that the Port revamp will support more than 135 jobs in the boat building and marine services sectors.


Ministers' Te Ururoa Flavell, Steven Joyce and Nathan Guy announce joint funding partnership into Whanganui Port Precinct with Mayor Annette Main, in Whanganui.

Ruapehu Cycle trail extension

Tourism is seen as one of the key opportunities under the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan. The sector has received a real boost with Government setting aside $2 million to extend the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail from Turoa to Ohakune.

The proposed new trail will link with the existing Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail and will be up to 20km long. It is expected that the trail, which is truly unique due to its alpine setting, could boost the local economy by as much as $5.8 million in five years.

The extension is likely to cost $4-5 million so the community will need to contribute to the cost. The Government’s $2 million investment is also subject to National Cycleway fund application requirements being met.


Minister Joyce announces funding for the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail in Ohakune.

Nothing says thanks like a bag of carrots!

New agri-food research centre in Palmerston North

AgResearch and Massey University will jointly build New Zealand’s largest agri-food research centre, in the FoodHQ Precinct, at the Massey University campus in Palmerston North.

Construction on the Food Science Research Centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, with AgResearch and Massey University investing $39 million.

The development and leveraging of FoodHQ has been identified as one of the key opportunities in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan. Research at the Centre will focus on the agriculture sector from farm to consumer, and will support the training of under-graduate and post-graduate students.

Minister Steven Joyce announces new agri-research centre in the FoodHQ precinct, Massey University Campus, Palmerston North. 


Action Plan to help tangata whenua realise economic aspirations

A Regional Māori Economic Development Strategy, Te Pae Tawhiti, is in the process of development, and will run concurrently alongside implementation of the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan. The strategy will look to assess Māori aspirations for their own economic development and is supported by Te Puni Kokiri.

Minister Flavell also announced an initial investment into the Region of $193,500 from the Whenua Māori Fund to support two large groups of Māori landowners to investigate the best use of their land. The Region will also benefit from cross-regional investment through the Iwi Chairs Forum of $300,000 to address land-locked property issues.

Minister Flavell announces investment into Region's Māori at the Action Plan Launch.


Investment in primary sector initiatives

The Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan has identified land use optimisation as a priority for our Region.

Therefore government funding of $465,000, set aside for primary sector initiatives, will aid in achieving the best use of land while achieving good environmental outcomes for landowners. As part of this initiative Horizons Regional Council will be working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to pilot digital mapping projects to help land owners make decisions on land use.

Other initiatives include investigating the potential of a rural water supply scheme for irrigation and stock water in Tutaenui and an economic evaluation of stock water reticulation in the hill country, looking at 11 sheep and cattle farms. Four of these farms are from the Manawatū-Whanganui Region.

Minister Guy announces funding for primary sector initiatives near Cheltenham.


Aged Care Horowhenua

Government is to contribute $250,000 to help Levin and the wider Horowhenua District transform into a lifestyle centre specialising in living innovations for older people. Quality care and lifestyle for older people is seen as a key opportunity for this Region, as outlined in the Manawatū-Whanganui Economic Action Plan.

Horowhenua District Council will be undertaking a pilot project to address the growing aged population in our Region. The long-term intention is that Levin can become a lifestyle centre which is prototyped and rolled out to other parts of the Region and throughout New Zealand.

Minister Guy announces funding for lifestyle centre project in Levin.


Ring Road for Palmerston North

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will progress a strategic business case for a Palmerston North ring road which will see them working with local councils and businesses to assess the rural ring road’s viability for investment.

Palmerston North is a major freight and logistics hub and the road will connect the North East Industrial Zone to the Manawatū Gorge, Bulls and to the state highway network towards Wellington. It would also link to the Longburn Industrial Park.

Minister Joyce announces business case for Palmerston North ring road