Members of the newly formed Independent Economic Development Kotahitanga Board, which will oversee the delivery of the district's economic development strategy, have been formally welcomed to their roles.
The Kāpiti Coast Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan 2020-23 was developed in partnership with iwi partners, key stakeholders and the wider public, and adopted by council in July.
The establishment of the board delivers on the first key priority of the strategy.
The newly appointed members of the board include:
· Chris Claridge — chief executive of Potatoes NZ.
· Hillmarè Schulze — chief economist at BERL (Business and Economic Research Ltd).
· Kim Tahiwi, Ngāti Raukawa — chartered accountant and Kaiarahi contracted to Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki.
· Rawiri Faulkner, Ngāti Toa Rangatira — consultant at Tū Taiao Ltd specialising in planning, policy, strategy and projects.
· Russell Spratt, Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai — principal consultant with Jackson Stone and partners.
· Scott Houston — tech entrepreneur and futurist.
Board chairman Neil MacKay said the new governance board was made up of a highly skilled and diverse group of professionals which reflects partnership / kotahitanga.
"Our independent board members bring the diversity, skills, experience and passion that we need to really drive the economic growth and development of the district."
The development of the plan has been a true community collaboration and council acknowledges the work of the Drafting Group and their ongoing support.
"We've worked together to refresh the economic direction for Kāpiti, ensuring the strategy reflects a wide range of local views and economic insights," said Monique Leith, co-chair of the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce.
This view is echoed by Kāpiti Economic Development Agency chairman Stuart Ayres.
"One of the key pillars of our strategy is Kotahitanga — strengthening partnerships and leadership.
"Collaborating to both shape the economic roadmap and now implement it will mean the best economic outcomes for Kāpiti."
Districtwide councillor and business and jobs portfolio holder Angela Buswell said the next steps are to implement the strategy's key priority actions.
"Now we have the board in place [which was one of the strategy's key deliverables for 2020-21] the focus is on developing and delivering a Kāpiti Coast Destination story and plan, providing a co-ordinated approach to the facilitation of key opportunities, and developing a Kāpiti Coast workforce plan including a youth initiative.
"It continues to be an uncertain and challenging economic environment, but we're optimistic the strategy and governance structure will maximise opportunities to grow our district for the wellbeing of our communities."
To read more about the strategy and governance framework visit www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/our-district/economic-development/strategy-for-supporting-economic-development/