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Our core objectives, programmes and activities are aligned to the three strategic pillars of economic development; Business, People, and Place (underpinned by our partnerships) and are designed to create the environment, stimulus, outcomes, and impact that will power our economic prosperity and achieve our vision for our region.

Key Projects

Our Other Areas of Work

Te Utanganui | Central New Zealand Distribution Hub

In response to unprecedented levels of growth fuelled by significant public and private investment, Te Utanganui is expected to support the $8 billion of transport and infrastructure investment planned and under way in the next 10 years.

Te Utanganui draws upon the regions distribution and logistics sector of strength and is a collaborative pillar project for the region. Te Utanganui connects to the regions inward investment strategy to enable us to attract business and investment into the region.

View our microsite for Te Utanganui here

Manawatū Regional Food Strategy

Articulating the strength of Manawatū’s food and agriculture sector, the strategy gives life to our strategic goal of positioning the region as a world leading agrifood hub. It aims to define the regions opportunities in the national and global supply chain enabling Manawatū to attract, private and public sector investment and partnerships.

The outcome will be a pipeline of inward investment that increases economic development, creates jobs, while retaining the necessary skills and talent, to highlight the regions strength in food science innovation.

Find out more here

Manawatū Destination Management Plan

Being more than two years into a pandemic that has systematically changed our tourism ecosystem, impacted businesses, highlighted talent shortages, and generally changed our way of life, CEDA has focused on refreshing the regions Destination Management Plan to create a strategic road map of where we want the visitor sector to go, and how to sustainably grow visitor activity and value for the benefit of our community.

The resulting Plan provides clear focus areas for CEDA and our partners and will enable us to leverage and target investment into the region through central government and commercial investors.

Find out more here

Inward Investment

Business development and expansion in the region, and attracting business and investment to the region, is at the core of economic development and at the forefront of CEDA’s objectives for Manawatū to be a leading distribution hub, be recognised as one of the top agrifood hubs in the world, and a magnet for investment, business, talent, and visitors. We have a strong competitive edge to achieve these outcomes with our central location, comparatively affordable land and development costs, and a growing culture of innovation of innovation and entrepreneurship.

CEDA works to support and facilitate the attraction of inward investment opportunities into the region, working with regional partners to nurture a pipeline of opportunities, expansions and targeted investment into catalyst projects such as Te Utanganui and key sectors of strength.

Learn more about investment in the Manawatū Region here

Regional Website Manawatū

Targeted to visitors, locals, potential new residents, business and investors, this regional platform is the ‘shop window’ to the city and district. From event listings, to inspirational content, stories on our people and businesses, through to an innovative trip planner – the website provides a comprehensive marketing tool for our region that anyone can use and leverage.


We know that if you create a region where people want to visit, you will create a place where people want to live. If you have created a place where people want to live and work, then you have created a region where businesses will want to invest. And if you have created a region where businesses want to invest, then you have a place that people will want to visit. This is why profiling the region to highlight our strengths, our people and our places on is key. Through a shared regional identity, targeted storytelling and partnerships, we ensure Palmerston North city and Manawatū district is renowned for its exceptional lifestyle, competitive advantages and is a magnet for talent and investment.

View ManawatūNZ here

Regional Tourism Organisation

CEDA is the Regional Tourism Organisation for Manawatū, responsible for driving and supporting the growth of our visitor sector by working closely with national organisations including Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and tourism businesses in the region. With a fast-growing visitor sector in Manawatū, our role is to ensure relationships and opportunities are maximised, drive domestic visitation and deliver high value programmes and support.

Specific programmes of our current work in this area include the Manawatū Destination Management product development such as The Country Road and Coastal Arts Trail, capability development to support our visitor sector businesses to upskill and increase digital enablement, facilitation of the Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Working Group, and domestic marketing to sustainably drive visitation from our core markets.

Learn more about your Regional Tourism Organisation here

Regional Identity

CEDA, in partnership with our shareholders, developed a regional identity to strategically position the region in a compelling and consistent way to ensure we get the best return on investment across all we do.

The Regional Identity was developed through extensive research, focus groups and insights to ensure that we positioned the region in a way that is reflective of what your get when you are in our region, so it is authentic, while still pertaining to our ambitions and growth.

We know that to market a region – be it talent, investors, visitors – that while they all have different needs, they are all interlinked. For example, you wouldn’t consider investing or setting up a business somewhere if you couldn’t attract good talent, but you can’t attract talent without compelling things to do and so on. Therefore, having consistency across the way we market and showcase the region makes sense, it ties everything back to something real and compelling and gets cut through in a crowded market.

Keep an eye out for the regional identity on and across CEDA’s key collateral and assets.

Talent and Skills Attraction and Retention

Through our data and research, we know that the biggest barrier to business growth in the region is the ability to attract the right people for the job. The development of a talent pipeline for the region that includes the attraction of those with the skills and experience our businesses need, the training and development of the people they already have, the recruitment of students to the region is key.

This along with an understanding of the future of our sectors and businesses will support the region being able to grow and prosper by 2030, being recognised for our exceptional lifestyle and competitive advantages.

Employer and Workplace Hub

Regional Business Partner Programme

The Regional Business Partner Network is a central government initiative designed to support small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow and innovate. Working across the Manawatū-Whanganui region in collaboration with local authorities and economic development partners, CEDA brings support to businesses to help them grow and develop sustainability, invest capability development via shared funding with key service providers. CEDA also provides general business advice and support; from those looking to start up a business, develop an action plan, networking opportunities and connections to a Business Mentor through to more established businesses across all sectors of our economy including opportunities for Māori business.

Learn more about the RBP Network here

Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Strategy

The Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Working Group was established as part of the Manawatū Destination Management Plan development. CEDA partnered with the working group to develop a Three-Year Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Strategy, with clear action plans set for the period July 2021 – July 2024. The strategy is made up of Ngā whenu, strands that intertwine. The strands represent the values of the strategy. Intersection these aho are five key ways Iwi aspire to engage to ensure positive outcomes for mana whenua in the tourism space.

Implementation of the action plan is now underway.

He Ara Kotahi, Hei Ara Kōrero – Partnering with iwi to share stories of the Awa

CEDA joined forces with Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Working Group to secure project funding through the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Urungi Innovation Fund for an innovative, new project for the Manawatū Awa (river).

This project will see the development of a digital platform that will share the mātauranga, or knowledge of, Rangitāne o Manawatū of the Awa through an interactive map and virtual guide, creating a platform for the Awa and other partners into the future. Behind this project, a private and secure repository will be built by iwi for iwi to preserve and digitize their stories, and to upskill rangatahi (youth) to capture this digitally. This project aims to inspire and connect whānau (family), nga kura (schools) and hapori (community).

Business Attraction, Retention and Expansion Strategy

CEDA’s Business Attraction, Retention, and Expansion Strategy aims to attract and keep businesses and jobs within the local economy, while supporting companies to expand, grow and become more productive. The strategy focuses on understanding business needs looking to establish in the region; supporting existing businesses to grow, while attracting new ones and addressing barriers such as housing and transport that detract from a healthy business climate in which local businesses can prosper.

More information on this Strategy here

Ō Mātou Kaihāpai | Our Supporters

We’re a well connected team and couldn’t make such great things happen without our supporters.