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Economic development action plan: tell us what you think

04 November 2013

To make the Coromandel the most desirable place in New Zealand to live, work and visit, we've been working on an action-packed economic development plan and we want to know what you think about it.

"We have avoided the temptation to develop a generic ‘strategy’ full of jargon, endless words and unachievable targets" said Mayor Glenn Leach

We have assessed our district’s vital economic statistics; we understand our district’s strengths and weaknesses and have developed a common-sense and pragmatic action plan that we know will deliver tangible and meaningful outcomes for the people of the Coromandel".

The Council is inviting feedback on the draft plan until the end of November.

"At the highest level, our job seems so obvious; we need to create a more diverse and vibrant economy that attracts new investment, more businesses and more people living and visiting here more often. However, a non-negotiable for us is making sure we don’t compromise the very things that make the Coromandel so special in the first place in our quest for economic growth" said Mayor Leach

Strategic directives

The Draft Economic Development Action Plan is based on achieving six major strategic directives:

  • DestinationCoromandel - Enhancing our tourism proposition - We will make the Coromandel the preferred visitor destination in New Zealand. 
  • ExportCoromandel - Pathway to a prosperous future - We will focus on facilitating growth in our district’s core-export industries as a primary means to grow jobs and incomes in the Coromandel.
  • InnovationCoromandel - Building innovation. We will pursue innovation in our district to diversify our economy and to help grow new innovation & cloud-based industries.
  • BusinessCoromandel - Doing our business better. We will be known as an enabling Council for businesses to work with.
  • TeamCoromandel - Working together. We will develop strong partnerships the private sector, Iwi, communities and government agencies.
  • StrongerCoromandel - Improving access to the Coromandel. We will build and maintain infrastructure that is identified as critical to unlock the economic prosperity of the district and which connects us locally, nationally and globally.

The full action plan can be viewed here, but what is being proposed is:

  • Reviewing the 2020 Tourism Strategy with a view to enhancing the value of our tourism exports
  • Delivering and implementing a Coromandel Harbour Strategy and the Coromandel Great Walks projects
  • Facilitating the development of a Coromandel aquaculture strategy
  • Establishing an IT Hub in Thames, Whitianga and Whangamata
  • Developing an MOU and joint-work programme with ATEED/Auckland Council
  • Developing a joint-economic development work programme with the Hauraki Collective’s post-treaty commercial entity
  • Constructing  the Hauraki Rail Trail extension to Kaiaua
  • Investigating the feasibility of a regular, scheduled, air-service between Whitianga and Auckland
  • Reviewing broadband infrastructure deficits in a “post-RBI” world
  • Developing a "new building" incentive package

Other initiatives in the five-year plan also include:

  • Supporting  the delivery and uptake of the RBI programme on the Coromandel
  • Updating the Aquaculture and Seafood Trail and develop a new marketing plan.
  • Developing and implementing a business plan for key I-SITES transition to RTO ownership and give effect to national I-SITE strategy
  • Expanding the Summertime's programme to attract non-permanent population back to the Coromandel and better utilization of baches & conversion to permanent population.
  • Expanding the Destination Coromandel marketing programme to support more event marketing and Hauraki Rail Trail marketing for Free and Independent Travellers (FIT)
  • Continuing to develop and enhance our events strategy and outcomes to develop shoulder season economic activity
  • Supporting the expansion of the film industry on the Coromandel and as a location for TV and film productions.
  • Investigating feasibility of hosting more cruise ships in Mercury Bay.
  • Creating an online "Permits, Consents, Concessions and Licence Enquirer Tool" to give business owners a clear pathway through Council processes.
  • Creating training curriculum to ensure Senior Staff, CDOs and Customer Services staff are more enabled to manage business and event enquiry
  • Reviewing Economic Development (E.D.) rates structures in the 2015 to ensure equity in E.D. funding across the district.
  • Establishing a quarterly business forum with key business accounts with a focus on large employers, exporters and manufacturers.
  • Supporting greater utilization of the district's holiday home stock.
  • Supporting initiatives that attract greater utilization of consented property developments and council's waste water capacity on the Eastern Seaboard.
  • Developing a new Coromandel Road Strategy with an objective to reduce travel times to and from Auckland
  • Developing a tourism precinct for the Thames Placemakers site in partnership with owners and industry.

What happens next?

We're asking for feedback from the business sector, government agencies and our communities on the Draft Economic Development Action Plan in November.

This feedback will help refine the Action Plan and allow staff to produce budgets associated with the proposed work programme.

Council will then review and adopt a revised Economic Development Action Plan at the December  Council meeting