News, Events and Culture

New Tourism and Economic Development Agency A Step Closer

Monday August 31 2015

PNCC Square

The Palmerston North City and Manawatu District Councils have today voted in favour of a constitution and shareholders agreement for the new economic development agency, which will aim to "drive and facilitate the creation and growth of economic wealth for Manawatu and beyond."

Each Council will have a 50 per cent stake in the new Agency and will now begin the process of establishing a board consisting of a chairperson and up to six other directors.

The Councils will each appoint three members to an electoral college which will then recommend suitable candidates for these roles on the board.

The board will then be responsible for setting up the company including selecting the Chief Executive and other key staff.

The Mayors of both Councils say today's vote is a milestone in the future development of the region.

"The Manawatu District and Palmerston North City have a huge resource that must be grown for the benefit of our residents.  We have an expanding agribusiness sector, we have an expanding tourism sector, what we are doing is creating a vehicle that will cohesively take these industries to the next level," says Manawatu District Mayor Margaret Kouvelis.

"These core activities have the potential for value-add through agritech and innovative niche services that will enable growth in our beef, dairy and sheep sectors.  There is growth potential in our natural environment for tourism. The agency's role will be to identify and capitalise these resources and those of the city."

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says "the new agency will build on the excellent work already achieved in establishing the region's logistical hubs, Food HQ, new air and other transport links and the growing health and call centre industries."

"We're open for business and open to visitors but we need more growth.  We need to attract more investment. The new Agency will be able to co-ordinate this work for the benefit of everyone from our young people looking for work opportunities to retailers and hotel/motel owners wanting to attract more custom."     

Both Councils have agreed to provide the Agency with enough working capital to get up and running and have committed to negotiating contracts with the new Agency to provide services.

The latest development follows decisions made by both Councils in June to create a single agency responsible for tourism and economic development.