Economic action plan welcomed by regional council

9 Feb 2016

The Northland Regional Council has added its voice to those welcoming the newly-released Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan.

The Action Plan was jointly launched yesterday in Kerikeri by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and Northland Inc CEO David Wilson.

Regional council chairman Bill Shepherd says the action plan outlines how best the region can go about realising its potential and provides a foundation, not only to grow and strengthen the local economy, but to also contribute to the national economy.

The Action Plan is based on the opportunities outlined in the Tai Tokerau Northland Growth Study released a year ago and has a 10-year horizon with a number of projects already under way and more to come.

Councillor Shepherd says from a regional council perspective, he's pleased to see the level of central government support for the plan and its goals and the commitment from everyone involved, both in Northland and Wellington, to working together to achieving regional economic development.

"Particularly welcome is its commitment in principle to continuing to improve the roading network from Auckland to Whangarei and support for the proposed Mangakahia inland freight route, which is a vital part of our regional transport network."

"I'm already on record last year as saying I believe four-laning the entire distance between Whangarei and Auckland is needed to ensure the easy passage of freight, including export goods, but also help ensure a more resilient route to and from Northland."

Cr Shepherd says he's pleased to see government reaffirm its previous commitment to upgrade 10 one-lane bridges in Northland.

"Many of these desperately need replacing for safety reasons."

I’m also pleased the government has indicated it will contribute $4M towards the Hundertwasser museum and Wairau Māori Arts Centre.

Councillor Shepherd says while the project has been a controversial one for the Whangarei District Council, he agrees with Northland Inc CEO David Wilson that the government’s announcement will inspire confidence in the project.

“As David said yesterday, this decision not only sends a clear signal of support for the Hundertwasser Centre project but also for regional tourism.”

“I can’t stress strongly enough how essential initiatives like those outlined in this new action plan are to growing our future regional prosperity and commend those who contributed to the plan’s development.”

Councillor Shepherd says information on the Action Plan and supporting documents are available from the Northland Inc website via:  www.northlandnz.com/business/TTNEAP