Wellington City. Photo / Mark Mitchell
A new regional economic development plan that aims to create 100,000 “decent jobs” for Wellingtonians includes an engineering summer camp, and an adventure park in Porirua.
The plan, released by WellingtonNZ on Monday, details sectors which are likely to see growth over the next few years – namely visitor economy, STEM, creative and digital and fiber primary industries.
Chief executive John Allan told NZME the plan has been in development for about a year and aims to bring the regional community together to create sustainable jobs.
He says the term “decent” work is an international labor one, and means work which is well paid, offers job security, opportunities for development, and gives a safe place for people to express their opinions.
One example he says is already in the late planning stages is a new adventure park in Porirua. This would create work in the visitor economy sector.
“That’s an initiative that will introduce a range of mountain bike trails in Porirua and help support significant development of their tourism industry.”
Allen said that particular concept is already underway, with the council involved and plans drafted.
Also focused on improving visitor economy is the Wairarapa Dark Skies development which would see a program of activities to leverage the Dark Skies accreditation through existing tourism offerings, new iconic experiences and Māori tourism.
Allen said the report is action oriented – and a number of its ideas are already being pushed through.
“The summer of engineering close to kicking off, food and fiber high-tech sustainable foods initiative is very well advanced in Kapiti and a lot of work in that space in Wairarapa … this is a living document there will be new projects added as they emerge
The engineering camp is a work placement program for graduates, aiming to get more than 100 into jobs each year. It’s a follow-on from the hugely successful summer of tech programme.
On top of these projects, there are also larger ones focused on the resilience of the region for years to come. Allen said there are few estimates of cost for these, as the funding will come from central and local government, as well as private funds – and in some cases, a combination of all three.
Another section of the plan focuses on enabling a solid foundation for the region through four key sectors: Māori economic development, skills and education, water security and resilient infrastructure.
“Some are very large like the water resilience project or seismic strengthening for rail embankment so obviously those will require significant central government funding and development will take some time but those will create employment in themselves but by better sustaining rail and power will better support region to deliver economic growth.”