MP says growth study shows Bay of Plenty potential

Press releases
Friday, May 15, 2015

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says the region must seize the opportunities identified in a major growth study of the region.

The Bay of Plenty MP joined Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges for the release today of the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Growth Study.

“This comprehensive report clearly lays out the investment opportunities available in our region, the significant employment opportunities, and the crucial role that Māori, iwi, and hapū can play in its growth,” Mr Muller says.

“A wide range of sectors contribute to the current success of our region, including horticulture, forestry, agriculture, and tourism.

“However, there is significant scope to increase incomes and jobs through sensible investment, raised productivity, and increasing the prices we receive for our exports.

“Key factors in stimulating the Bay of Plenty’s economic development include protecting and enhancing water quality and availability, increasing the utilisation of geothermal resources, better capturing Māori freehold land productivity, and increasing skill levels and the contribution of education.

“Good examples of potential for growth are the kiwifruit and avocado industries.

“The Bay of Plenty accounts for 80 per cent of kiwifruit production and employs about 6000 people. The industry is experiencing a strong recovery on the back of the successful development of the G3 (gold) variety after the Psa crisis.

“And there is huge potential to increase land for kiwifruit over time, particularly on suitable Māori-owned land. A 1 per cent increase in orchard land a year would lift regional GDP by about $2.6 million annually.

“Our region already accounts for 60 per cent of New Zealand’s avocado production with the Bay of Plenty also providing 81 per cent of avocado exports.

“We need to open new export markets and enhance productivity. For example, the Go Global primary growth partnership is focusing on improvements along the avocado supply chain to lift productivity.

“Niche manufacturing that services the primary, marine, and construction sectors is another area with a strong platform for growth. We already have a very supportive environment for research and development and innovation for these sectors, with an array of private, local, and central government and research and tertiary organisation initiatives underway.”

For a copy of the Bay of Plenty study visit: http://www.med.govt.nz/sectors-industries/regions-cities/research/regional-growth-studies/toi-moana-bay-of-plenty-regional-growth-study-opportunities-report

Background: The Bay of Plenty report is the second of three independent reports commissioned over the past year by MBIE and the Ministry for Primary Industries, in conjunction with three regions to identify the sectors of greatest strength and opportunity and the barriers to realising growth from them.

The reports will enable the regions and the government to evaluate opportunities to further increase investment, employment, and incomes. The Northland report was issued in February, Bay of Plenty today, and Manawatu-Whanganui is expected to be released mid-year.