Bay of Plenty Regional Council has endorsed a refreshed regional development framework.
Coined Bay of Connections 2.0, the new framework is designed to support local development opportunities, address cross-cutting regional challenges, and ultimately help the region advance.
The focus follows a review of the regional economic development strategy last year, and engagement with mayors, EDA’s and councils earlier this year.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chief Executive Fiona McTavish says it was pleasing to see the region’s support for a refreshed regional development framework.
“There is agreement and acknowledgment that a regional economic development effort is required, both to ensure a regional overview of cross-cutting opportunities and challenges, and to support local efforts where relevant,” says Fiona.
Bay of Connections – the growth strategy for the wider Bay of Plenty, including Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Taupō and Western Bay of Plenty – was established in 2007 with a vision of creating a prosperous region with sustainable sectors led by local industries and supported by regional agencies, local and central government.
Following a review in 2018, the refreshed Bay of Connections framework takes a bottom up approach in helping councils, EDAs and industry to achieve tangible economic results that benefit all of our region and includes a focus on key areas that impact the whole region, including the Māori Economy, infrastructure and a low carbon economy.
“In resetting Bay of Connections, we will be able to ensure it provides the right support that local areas need, to help advance both local priorities and regional opportunities, so that our whole region can prosper,” says Fiona.
“The revitalised framework takes a bottom up approach in helping councils, EDAs and industry to achieve tangible economic results that benefit all of our region.
“It also includes a focus on a few key areas which impact us all, like the Māori economy, infrastructure and a low carbon economy, and an on-going role for Bay of Connections to connect the region and help engage with government.”
Regional Council endorsed the establishment of a new skills-based leadership group, led by an independent chair, to provide insights and direction to the regional development team.
The group will help to identify priorities and guide where Bay of Connections can best add value to the work being done by stakeholders in the region.
The immediate task for Bay of Connections will be to engage with councils, EDAs and central government agencies on immediate areas of support for regional economic development.
Expressions of interest are now open for leadership group members. Information can be found on www.bayofconnections.com
Approval of the independent chair and group members will be sought at the next Regional Council meeting on June 27. Once the chair is appointed, a business plan will be developed with input from stakeholders.