Tauranga's two key young professionals groups have agreed to merge in order to rationalise their memberships and share resources more effectively.
Rocket, which operates under the umbrella of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, and Priority One's Young Professionals, have agreed to pool their memberships and resources, said Ben Eagleson, (pictured), the current Rocket chairman.
Mr Eagleson will assume the same role in the merged group, to be called Rocket Young Professionals.
"It will enable us to have one entity that can do both networking and advocacy on behalf of young professionals in the Bay of Plenty," said Mr Eagleson, a solicitor with Holland Becket Lawyers.
Rocket has a membership of about 600 and with the chamber runs the annual Young Read Woudberg Rocket Awards and ball. Rocket has been focused on networking and professional development.
The Priority One group has about 300 members and a more political focus on getting younger people engaged with local politicians on issues relevant to helping the city and the region develop, said Greg Simmonds, Priority One's strategic projects manager.
"It helps get young professionals together with elected members and participate in workshops so they can have a say and put their ideas forward," Mr Simmonds said.
"Essentially, it makes sense to merge so there's one young professionals group for people to network in and advocate for things that are important to young people in the city."
Both groups believe there has been some duplication of membership and cross-over between the groups, which will be clarified once the membership lists are consolidated.
Rocket is largely supported by sponsorship from local businesses to provide venues for social events and presentations and charges on an event-by-event basis, with some being free. Mr Eagleson said the new entity would be able to draw on appropriate resourcing from both former organisations. "At the moment we have two different organisations essentially doing the same thing, but with different angles on it," he said.