There are hopes for more investment, jobs and prosperity following this morning's launch of Matariki - Hawke's Bay Regional Development Strategy and Action Plan.

Ministers Steven Joyce, Nathan Guy, Craig Foss and Te Ururoa Flavell were expected to make announcements at the launch, held at Napier's MTG this morning.

While he could not provide any specifics on the launch, Tukituki MP Mr Foss said it had involved the major stakeholders of governance identifying the region's strengths.

The strategy - a collaborative effort from local authorities, the private sector, iwi and central government agencies - had recognised the region's strengths as being "of the land", Mr Foss said, including farming, viticulture and crops.


Challenges to realising the region's potential had also been identified, he said. The strategy looked at what local and central government could do to "remove any barriers or blockages" and work together for better outcomes.

Regional leaders, including representatives of the region's councils, would also be in attendance.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he thought the strategy would be great for the region, as there had never been a co-ordinated economic development strategy in Hawke's Bay.

"I think it's an incredibly exciting time," he said. "It'll be great for bringing greater prosperity to the Bay, it'll be great for bringing jobs to Hawke's Bay and it's going to be done in a co-ordinated way."

Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said he hoped the strategy would help the iwi's aim of full employment and he believed it would provide opportunities in the seasonal sector.

Earlier this year, the iwi had made "suggestions" because it felt some of the original strategy focused too much around infrastructure and not enough on whanau.

Hawke's Bay Today understands there will also be an announcement at Napier Port.

When asked if he could elaborate, Mr Foss remained tight-lipped.

"I'm quite sure everyone will be very pleased with what's announced," he said, "which, again, is a product of a whole lot of organisations working together ... to deliver and to remove some of the barriers to our success in the Bay."

Unconfirmed reports suggested the announcement could involve the possible re-opening of the Napier-Gisborne rail link.

When Napier MP Stuart Nash was asked if he hoped the announcement would be about the proposed rail link, he said "very much so".

"For me it's never been about road or rail, it's about an integrated transport network," he said, adding that without such a network, Hawke's Bay could risk putting certain industries at a disadvantage.

Although he was not aware what the strategy entailed, Mr Nash said he hoped it would be aspirational and harness the "enormous potential Hawke's Bay has to grow significantly".

The strategy is part of the Regional Growth Programme commissioned jointly by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry for Primary Industries.