New year, new goals for the district's economic development agency and it's apparent councillors are anxious to see tangible results.

Whanganui and Partners' new statement of intent was approved by Whanganui District Council this week and scraps numerical targets in favour of more general economic improvements.

Gone are the 2017 targets, including gross domestic product growth for the district of 2.5 per cent by 2020, a population increase of 4500 by 2025 and a 5 per cent increase in employment.

Since then Whanganui and Partners has been through a significant personal change including the appointment of new general manager Philippa Ivory.

Advertisement

The 2018 targets simply charge Whanganui and Partners with an increase in available jobs, businesses established and ensuring tourism numbers and spending track in line with national trends.

In education its goal is to increase enrolments in tertiary training and numbers coming to the district for study.

Councillor Kate Joblin worried missed targets could be blamed on other factors.

"Are you really happy with these performance measures because next year when you come back I'm going to ask you how you went against these measures. "

But Ivory said they were achievable despite Joblin's concern and councillor David Bennett's that goals were too broad and the focus needed to be narrowed.

"If all the pieces of the puzzle come together, or when they come together, I think it's going to offer fantastic pathways and I think Whanganui could set a trend as to how it can be done," Ivory said.

"We actually have some really exciting projects under way. They will challenge Whanganui because some of them are quite different."

Councillor Rob Vinsen said with more than $2 million a year given to Whanganui and Partners council needed to be assured it was being well spent.

Advertisement

"We are constantly being asked by the public where does Whanganui and Partners spend its money... and I want to be able to answer that question."