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3 economic development projects funded by NZTE

26 Jul 2010

3 economic development projects funded by NZTE

3 projects identified in the Regional Economic Development Plan have secured $323,600 from New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. Tairāwhiti Development Partnership (TDP) applied to the Regional Strategy Fund, (RSF) for funding for 4 projects, 3 of which were successful. The Tairāwhiti Navigational Project, Gisborne Winegrowers initiatives and the development of an Entrepreneurial Forum were the successful projects. The funding will be used for project development and assessment assistance. The total cost of all three projects is $404,500.

A Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) was completed in 2009 after extensive consultation with stakeholders from this region. The action plan was prepared by BDO consultants and the 3 projects were endorsed by the TDP in February 2010. They were seen as having the potential to contribute the greatest benefit to the economic development of the region - both in the short and the medium term.

The Tairāwhiti Navigational Project will coordinate the development of walkways, bridges and signage with the telling of our regions unique stories. A prefeasibility study has been completed which indicates that there will be positive economic benefits for the region by focusing our navigational and voyaging history into a unique tourist initiative. Initially a business concept and infrastructure design for the Gisborne inner harbour precinct and Wairoa’s Pilots Hill will be developed. This is expected to cost $197,000 and the NZTE grant will cover $157,600. The balance will be met by Eastland Infrastructure, Eastland Community Trust and the Gisborne District Council.

The need to market the local wine industry more effectively has long been recognised. This is seen as an industry with great potential for growth. Gisborne is New Zealand’s third largest grower of grapes and has been a supplier to major wine producers for many years. However the development of the region’s wine industry doesn’t match the level of grape production and is yet to capitalise on New Zealand’s significant wine tourism market.

Investing in how the local wine industry brands and markets itself is seen as critical. A number of initiatives are proposed to lift the profile of viticulture and wine production businesses. The Gisborne wine industry will undergo a full redevelopment of its branding and communication and in coordination with this will be establishing a Regional Wine Visitor Centre to facilitate and promote wine tourism. The aim is a sustainable and vibrant wine industry within the region. The cost of this is expected to be $195,000. NZTE will fund $156,000 with the shortfall being picked up by Gisborne Winegrowers Inc.

Tairāwhiti has many successful and innovative businesses that have grown from the development of an idea by locally based entrepreneurs. Many of these successful entrepreneurs recognise that funding and mentoring play a critical role in turning an idea into a viable business. Currently no organisation locally is capable of doing this. Ten thousand dollars of NZTE funding will be used to investigate, design and provide an operating plan to set up an Entrepreneurs Forum. The forum will help create and grow commercially sustainable businesses within the region. A fourth project to develop a region-wide brand was rejected by NZTE. Tourism Eastland is currently considering how to progress this work.

Steven Nayda, David Butt, Simon Gardiner

Steven Nayda (BDO consultants) David Butt (Tairawhiti Museum) Simon Gardiner (Wine Gisborne)