Ministers in town to launch economic plan

By Zaryd Wilson -
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Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce will be in town on Friday the region economic growth action plan, Accelerate 25.
Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce will be in town on Friday the region economic growth action plan, Accelerate 25.

The long-awaited plan for achieving economic growth in Whanganui and the wider region will be unveiled this morning.

Minister for Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell will be in Whanganui to launch Accelerate25; the Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Development Strategy Action Plan.

Accelerate25 comes out of the Manawatu-Whanganui Growth Study which was published last year and identified eight industries with the potential to grow jobs and incomes in the region by 2025.

"I'm really looking forward to launching the economic development Action Plan in Whanganui on Friday. A lot of hard work has been done across the region and it will be great to get the programme underway," Mr Joyce said.

At last year's study launch it was noted Manawatu-Whanganui's economic statistics were the second worst of the country's 15 regions.

The region's economy grew 1.3 per cent over the past decade, well behind the national rate of 2.1 per cent while regional gross domestic product per capita was 23 per cent below the national average.

The industries identified in the study as having the potential for growth in the wider region were tourism, sheep and beef farming and processing, land-use intensification, manuka honey, fresh vegetables, poultry and grain, affordable aged-care and business process outsourcing.

Accelerate25 is the plan for how that growth will be achieved.

While in Whanganui Mr Joyce will be making an announcement at the Whanganui port.
Whanganui mayor Annette Main said she was looking forward to seeing the results of planning phase.

She said council had been working with various groups around opportunities for the port and there would also be tourism opportunities for the city in collaboration with Ruapehu.

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