CEDA works across three strategic pillars of economic development – people, place and business, and our success is underpinned and enabled by the strength of our relationships with regional and national partners.

Our core objectives, programmes and activities are all aligned to these pillars, and are designed to create the environment, stimulus, outcomes and impact that will power our economic prosperity and achieve our vision for Palmerston North city and Manawatū district. These key objectives guide the development of the short and medium-term programmes of work for CEDA as articulated through our Statement of Intent.

People: Attract, retain and develop talent in the region

We know that the biggest barrier to business growth is access to the right talent and skills; to retain and develop those that we have, as well as attracting more. We also know that we’re in a global competition for talent, so the importance of having a strategic and targeted approach has never been more important. CEDA works to develop the talent pipeline to grow a skilled workforce and better utilise the existing labour market through addressing our regional skills gaps, understanding the future of work and preparing our region for change. CEDA also works with our tertiary partners and secondary schools to increase the value of international students in the region as well as enhancing their experience and time here and increasing the employability of international and domestic students.

Business: Attract, retain and develop business and investment in the region

Attracting and retaining business and investment in the region is at the core of economic development. Our city and district have a strong competitive edge: our central location, comparatively affordable land and development costs, a diverse labour pool, and a growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Manawatū is well positioned to begin to actively promote itself as an attractive, investment ready destination both in New Zealand and offshore. CEDA’s work includes supporting our sectors of strength to grow through targeted business development actions, retention initiatives and activities, and investment attraction programme along with profiling the region through a national and international lens. Key focus areas include the visitor sector, agri sector and implementing the region’s inward investment strategy to enable us to attract business and investment into the region. CEDA focuses on the development and growth of businesses through the Regional Business Partner Programme, and targets and attracts key conference and business events to the city and region.

Place: Profile the region to attract people, business and investment

Raising the profile of the region to highlight our strengths, our people and our places through targeted storytelling and partnerships will ensure Palmerston North city and Manawatū district are known for their distinctive and compelling proposition and benefits. CEDA will lead the narrative of the city and district through the Regional Identity, which will underpin our work across people, place and business and will enable us to target key audiences under one consistent rhetoric – dialed up or down to meet the needs of each target audience whether that be talent, business, investment or visitors.

Through the development of Manawatū’s stories to showcase the region for talent, business, investment and visitation, CEDA profiles Palmerston North city and Manawatū district locally, nationally and globally. As the Regional Tourism Organisation for Manawatū, CEDA works to support and grow the visitor sector, leading the development and implementations of Manawatū’s first Destination Management Plan.

Relationships: Lead inclusive and sustainable economic development for the Region

Underpinning everything that we do is relationships and partnerships, with key regional and national stakeholders, central and local government, Maori and local iwi. We take the lead on ensuring a cohesive approach across Palmerston North and Manawatū harnessing our collective capabilities to achieve the vision and goals of the region. This includes the development of strategic partner relationships, collectively leveraging opportunities for growth, as well as ensuring our stakeholders and business community have access to data and insights to help them identify opportunities and understand our regions place in a national and global context.

Our Partners