Create More Opportunities
By Wayne Bradshaw, Hastings District Councillor
Currently the Hawke’s Bay population receives some of the nation’s lowest average wages and this helps reinforce some of the social issues that need to change.
To improve this we need to market the region in a more coordinated manner that will create more jobs and opportunity. Here are the necessary steps:
1. Identify three major areas of “Economic Priority” that have substantial growth potential – e.g. food processing, tourism, technology — and nurture these so that sufficient scale is reached to achieve economic benefit.
2. Ensure that sufficient industrial land and infrastructure is available to assist in this.
3. Councils must remember that private capital and innovation are the drivers for long-term economic growth and benefits. It is Council’s role is to put in place regulations and rules that protect the environment and foster Community Plans and aspirations, while balancing the need for economic growth to sustain the community itself. This balance is one of the things that needs to be got right.
4. With climate, economic and market changes, the potential crops to be produced on the Heretaunga Plains will change. What are the new crops of the future? There needs to be a “New Crop Centre” approach to identify these, working with the technology providers, landowners, processors and marketers.
The key is to market Hawke’s Bay as a forward thinking region that adopts realistic and collaborative ways for doing Business. But first we must ensure that we are indeed just that.