Accelerate25 Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan Great News for Ruapehu
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron has said that today’s announcements made by the Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce on the launch of the Accelerate25 Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan are great news for the district.
"The Action Plan has identified tourism and visitor services as offering immediate opportunities as well as a range of agri-based development opportunities,” Mayor Cameron said.
“In the tourism sector alone an economic impact study has shown that successful implementation of the Action Plan could increase the Region’s GDP by $66 million by 2025.”
“Due to Ruapehu’s comparative advantages in tourism and visitor services Ruapehu District Council (RDC) have been acting as a lead agency in helping to identify regional tourism opportunities as part of the Accelerate25 programme. This leadership has been recognized as an important factor in the development of the Action Plan tourism and visitor services opportunity to this point.”
Government has set aside $2 million to extend the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail from Turoa to Ohakune plus $100,000 to help prepare a ‘Destination, Marketing and Value Proposition’ for the Region that extends the market assessment work already undertaken by Visit Ruapehu.
“This investment is a clear vote of confidence in RDC and our ratepayers who have overwhelmingly supported Council directing money into the economic development activity to take advantage of co-investment opportunities with Government,” Mayor Cameron said.
Mayor Cameron noted that Council had high aspirations for the Ruapehu visitor industry and firmly believed that investing in its sustainable development and growth would provide concrete benefits to all sectors of Ruapehu’s economy.
“While Ruapehu has provided leadership in identifying Regional tourism opportunities the Action Plan also has eight other specific areas of focus many of which are directly relevant to Ruapehu including; Manuka honey, land use optimization, fresh vegetables and Realising Maori potential.”
“It is important that people note that today’s announcements are just the starting point and that there are many other projects that we are actively working on or that are in the planning stage that we will be seeking funding for.”
“These include; a feasibility study to develop a multi-use recreational park in the Tongariro Forest behind Owhango, a feasibility study on developing and promoting SH4 as the Adventure Highway, Taumarunui River Walkway project with longer term plans to extend and upgrade into a cycleway, implementing free broadband in along the main street of Taumarunui, Ohakune and Raetihi and township revitalisation projects.”
“The Action Plan provides a cluster of opportunities and clearly defined concrete steps that will help boost our prosperity and that of the region,” he said.
“We now have a foundation for the Region to work more closely with central government that provides a practical ‘road map’ to accelerate social and economic growth both Regionally and for the benefit of all Ruapehu communities.”
Mayor Cameron said Ruapehu is committed to being part of the strong, aligned leadership involving central, regional and local government, Maori and business that will be required within each opportunity and across the whole programme to deliver on the opportunities.
“Success will require connection and engagement from all stakeholders, and so I invite and encourage everyone to get on board with the Accelerate25 Action Plan, to take the Manawatū-Whanganui region forward into a new and exciting phase of growth and opportunities for all.”