After helping bring hundreds of new jobs to the nation's capital, Central Hawke's Bay-based businessman Gerard Quinn will head-up a regional action plan to boost the local economy here.

Mr Quinn, a former chief executive of Grow Wellington, is now the interim programme manager for Matariki - the Hawke's Bay Regional Economic Development Strategy (HBREDS) following the departure of Dr Alister King.

The Matariki programme incorporates an economic development strategy backed by an action plan across seven work areas and the co chairmen of Matariki's governance group, Shayne Walker and Wayne Jack, say Mr Quinn is a skilled executive leader with proven success in achieving growth, change management and driving value through industry partnerships.

"A literal high flyer in both commercial and community initiatives around New Zealand and abroad, Mr Quinn's extensive economic development experience provides a formidable foundation for a role which oversees implementation of Matariki's action plan.


"Mr Quinn, who holds a private pilot's licence and once worked in the aviation sector, has experience in high tech and service industries, health, education and local government. He also owned a large service company with over 100 staff.

"Many of Gerard's roles have focused on economic development. He was the chief executive of Grow Wellington, chief executive of Canterbury Development Corporation, the executive director of Connect Canterbury and a director with Whanganui & Partners, the economic development and tourism agency for Whanganui.

"We are privileged to have someone with such vast experience and expertise now living in Hawke's Bay and working with us to enhance our economic and social environment region-wide.

"As chief executive of Grow Wellington Mr Quinn enhanced Grow's reputation and secured financial commitments from multiple stakeholders, while establishing productive relationships with nine councils, Government, industry and academia.

"He also introduced organisational and team performance frameworks, developed the programme and negotiated the $2.1 million contract for business attraction to Wellington which resulted in 600 jobs and $40m value add to the economy each year. Part of Mr Quinn's role involved developing sector growth strategies, including for the primary sector in the Wairarapa and Kapiti regions."

During his time with Canterbury Development Corporation Mr Quinn published the Christchurch Economic Development Strategy, negotiated multimillion-dollar commercial service delivery contracts, was an establishment director of the South Island Food Innovation Centre and co-led destination marketing and business development missions to China, US, England and Scotland.

He also secured Regional Commercialisation Centre funding ($1m) to increase commercialisation of public and private sector R&D and led the region's China business engagement strategy.

In recent months Mr Quinn has worked on several projects for Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Mr Quinn said he was now enjoying the fresh challenge of project managing Matariki's implementation.

"So much has been achieved by so many in this region already - I've been impressed by the collective, collaborative approach to develop this strategy, implement the action plan and explore an holistic approach to regional well-being.

"Hawke's Bay is leading the country in developing a social inclusion strategy that will be fully integrated with our economic development initiatives, and I'm excited to be involved in a 'hands-on' role here."

The draft of Matariki - Hawke's Bay Regional Social Inclusion Strategy (HBRSIS) has now been finalised and the next stage is to combine it with Matariki - Hawke's Bay Regional Economic Strategy (HBREDS) in a new "refreshed" document with agreed actions, lead agencies and outcomes.

Mr Quinn's primary focus is to finalise the delivery arrangements for Matariki for 2018, thus ensuring the momentum of the past three years is maintained.

"So much has been achieved so far, and next year we will see even more activity that aims to enhance the lives of everyone from Mahia to Wairarapa."

The action plan was officially launched last year and was the result of collaboration between councils, iwi, business and government agencies.