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

Below are some of the current projects CEDA is working on, together with our stakeholders and partners.

Central New Zealand Distribution Hub (CNZDH)

Palmerston North and Manawatū is the natural and logical centre for distribution across central New Zealand with a unique multi-modal transport system of rail, road, air, and sea via port. This positioning future-proofs our regional and national transport network to support population growth, competition in the logistics market and the significant increase in freight volumes predicted in future decades.

On behalf of Palmerston North City Council (PNCC), CEDA has been working behind the scenes to make this happen through the development of the Central New Zealand Distribution Hub Strategy, which brings to life a long-held ambition that will see economic, social, and environmental benefits for our wider community reduce emissions through efficient freight movement and provide a key component of the national transport framework, complementing the Golden Triangle and the southern Christchurch node.

Already, the Strategy is gaining traction through the accelerated advocacy work with local and central government, industry, and key stakeholders.

More information on the CNZDH 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.

Destination Management Plan

Due to COVID-19 disruptions, the Destination Management Plan (MDMP) was not completed and became a tactical plan to serve the needs of the region rather than the intended strategic regional plan. This redirection did however provide important guidance to navigate the recovery of our region’s visitor sector and inform our priorities as we reset and regrow the sector.

With Manawatū’s resilience and strong recovery post COVID-19 lockdowns, we are now in the process of refreshing and re-engaging on the MDMP to create a clear, compelling, and most importantly, collective plan for our region to reflect our COVID-19 environment and bring partners and stakeholders on board.

Te Aho Tāmaka

Te Aho Tāmaka Manawatū Leaders programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Our programme celebrates the success of Manawatū’s great achievers and enhances their engagement with the local community through events, initiatives and providing leadership opportunities.

Our leaders are a diverse and accomplished group of individuals making a difference in New Zealand and globally, positively contributing to their communities and industries. Manawatū has shaped part of their journeys and they are proud of their Manawatū connection and proud to be ambassadors for the region.

More information on Te Aho Tāmaka

Talent Development and Attraction

Talent and skills are essential to the competitiveness, productivity, and wellbeing of our region. Businesses require access to skilled workers to operate, grow, be productive, and innovate, while individuals need skills and experience to secure jobs, progress their careers, and increase their incomes.

Key workstreams underway include our talent attraction marketing campaign focused on our sectors of strength, highlighting job opportunities along with the fantastic lifestyle on offer.

Other projects include leading the creation of a series of regional micro-credentials for people and workplaces including partnering with iwi to develop training tools on Te Tiriti o Waitangi and enabling, connecting and facilitating people and employers to Pathways to Employment and Career Development activities.

Employer and Workplace Hub

Manawatū Agritech Strategy

The Manawatū Agritech Strategy was launched in 2019 and was the first regional strategy of its kind in New Zealand. Developed in partnership with global agritech accelerator Sprout and regional stakeholders a vision was born to grow the agrifood sector for the benefit of New Zealand’s food industry.

The strategy sets Manawatū apart when it comes to attracting businesses, investment and talent, offering potential investors and strategic players an opportunity to be innovative, with the capability, knowledge and activity that they can access in one visit, or one engagement significantly increased.

CEDA’s role is to identify our comparative and competitive advantages as a region by setting the direction and secure buy-in from stakeholders and implement the strategy, driving the region towards achieving its goal of being recognised as one of the top three agrifood hubs in the world.

Initiatives already underway include:

  • Opening of Te Ohu Rangahau Kai Joint Food Science Facility between Massey and AgResearch
  • Roaming Networker report, a compilation and reporting (quarterly and annual) of activities that happen in the Agritech sector with the region.
  • New Zealand AgriFood Week
  • Massey International Hort Immersion Program
  • Establishment of Sprout specialised AgTech and FoodTech Accelerator & Incubator
View the Manawatū Agritech Strategy overview here

Regional Identity

CEDA has 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 that we do by reinforcing our strategic positioning, increasing recognition and pride, and taking charge of our narrative and image as a region.

Across CEDA’s projects and areas of work, we are marketing and profiling the region nationally and globally to investors, talent, business and visitors, all inextricably linked therefore the underpinning essence must remain strong and consistent across all that we do.

We know that to market a region – be it to talent, investors, visitors – that while they all have different needs, they are all interlinked. For example, you wouldn’t consider moving to somewhere that you wouldn’t spend a weekend in, and 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 and ownership across all our work 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 ManawatuNZ.co.nz and across CEDA’s key collateral and assets.

Business Attraction, Retention and Expansion Strategy

With an increase in competition for the domestic market for investment, talent, and business attraction due to border closures in 2020, and the rapid growth of our region, it was identified that in order to remain effective and competitive that we needed a strategic approach for the region. CEDA has developed a comprehensive Business Attraction, Retention and Expansion Strategy through extensive engagement, competitor analysis and research to future proof our region in a competitive environment and to better support the facilitation of barriers and opportunities to growing and attracting businesses in Manawatū 

More information on the BARE Strategy here

Regional Business Partner Programme

CEDA’s Regional Business Partner (RBP) Network is a central government initiative designed to support small and medium-sized businesses looking to grow and innovate. CEDA is the agency that supports the Manawatū-Whanganui regions businesses through RBP.

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 sustainably, invest in research and development, connect to the right experts, tools and information, and give access to 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.

Inward Investment

CEDA is at the forefront of attracting and developing investment into the region with $8 billion of investment planned and underway for the region over the next ten years.

Manawatū is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing regions, crucial for growing New Zealand’s national economy and is seeing a strong swell of private sector investment interest due to locational advantages and proven strengths in Agrifood, Science and Innovation, Distribution and Logistics, Manufacturing, Education and Healthcare.

Major development and construction projects have been announced for the region, with many already underway including the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway, Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway and the Central New Zealand Distribution Hub.

Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Working Group and Strategy

The Rangitāne o Manawatū Tourism Working Group (TWG) was established as part of the Manawatū Destination Management Plan Development. CEDA has partnered with the TWG in the development of 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. Intersecting these aho are the five key ways Iwi aspire to engage to ensure positive outcomes for mana whenua in the tourism space.

Implementation of the actions plans is now underway.

View the Strategy here