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To achieve our vision of being New Zealand’s most progressive region, CEDA must work in partnership with our shareholders, central government, Māori, local iwi, industry, and other regional stakeholders – it cannot be achieved alone.

Below are some examples of the partnerships we hold, and how we work together to achieve success for the region:

Regional Partnerships

Feilding & District Promotion

CEDA and Feilding & District Promotion work together on activities that support the local business community, and profile Feilding and Manawatū district. Both organisations look to opportunities to engage with businesses to understand how we can support them, whether through talent and skills acquisition, workforce development or building successful businesses. We partner on marketing activities, profiling the region as a brilliant place to visit and explore. 

Manawatū Business Chamber

Our partnership with Manawatū Business Chamber enables both organisations to collectively build the capabilities of business across the region. This is achieved through economic development practices, business growth, and sustainability, and business retention.      

Network of Skilled Migrants Manawatū

CEDA became an official partner of Network of Skilled Migrants Manawatū in 2021. Our partnership is focused on working collaboratively to connect our skilled migrants with appropriate job opportunities.  

Palmerston North Airport

Palmerston North Airport are an important partner with CEDA and our positioning as the Central New Zealand Distribution Hub.  The airport sits inside Te Utanganui the unique multi modal distribution hub in the lower North Island of New Zealand, consisting of rail, road, air, and sea connections. The airport is also critical in our ambitions to grow our visitor sector as we implement the recently refreshed regional Destination Management Plan. 

Rangitāne o Manawatū

Rangitāne o Manawatū (Rangitāne), are the mana whenua of Palmerston North. CEDA and Rangitāne work together on matters of mutual interest regarding Economic Development, Talent and Skills Development and Destination Management Planning including the visitor sector, including the co-development of the Rangitāne o Manawatū Māori Tourism Strategy. 

Sprout Agritech

Sprout is focused on getting AgriTech and FoodTech businesses into the global marketplace. They are also instrumental in developing Manawatū’s AgriTech Strategy and driving the implementation of the same, on behalf of CEDA. CEDA is also the economic development agency partner for Sprout in the Accelerator programme, which is tailor-made for each selected company to deliver the three core areas of enabling connection, access to domain knowledge and capital raising preparation. 

Talent Central and Central Skills Hub

CEDA has formally partnered with Talent Central and Central Skills Hub. These two organisations form part of the talent and skills eco-system, providing support to get people work–ready. CEDA works with them to identify opportunities to support people at work and connecting businesses that could make use of Talent Central’s or Central Skills Hub’s services. 

Tertiary Education Supporters

Tertiary Education plays a vital role in the region, not only do Massey University, UCOL | Te Pūkenga and IPU New Zealand employ large workforces of academics and professional staff, they play host to 1000s of students every year. These students, whether domestic or international, contribute to the region’s economy while they are studying, but they are also developing their capabilities to becoming work ready graduates. This graduate talent pool forms part of the future workforce of the region. Through our partnerships with these key tertiary providers, we work together with sectors, industries and businesses to build a talent pipeline of graduates. 

The Factory

The Factory is a business development, training and innovation hub, offering a range of programmes to facilitate entrepreneurs, founders, startups and companies. They have a pathway for different stages, right from aspiring students to businesses looking to raise investments. Part of economic development work is to nurture an environment of entrepreneurship, which will result in economic growth and employment opportunities within the region. CEDA is proud to play its part in this space by partnering with The Factory. 

The Horowhenua Company

The Horowhenua Company (THC) is a trust that delivers the economic development function for the Horowhenua region. CEDA meets regularly with THC and Whanganui & Partners, often with Accelerate 25, to consider important projects that span the region and where working together can provide mutual benefits for the Horizons region and central New Zealand. THC are also partners to deliver the MBIE Regional Business Partners business support programme. 

Venture Taranaki

CEDA works with Venture Taranaki on joint initiatives to support the visitor sector and create stronger visitor flow along the west coast of the lower North Island. This work is often done with Whanganui and Partners too, with the three regions collaborating on key projects such as the Coastal Arts Trail which launched in 2022.

Welcoming Communities

Welcoming Communities recognises that communities are healthier, happier, and more productive when newcomers are welcomed and participate fully in society and in the local economy. Palmerston North City Council leads the Welcoming Communities programme within our city and region. CEDA provides guidance, leadership and connection to support the integration of newcomers to the region in relation to talent and skills and the value newcomers play in the development and progression of the region’s workforce needs.

Whanganui & Partners

We work closely with our neighbours in Whanganui on several projects, including most recently on the Coastal Arts Trail launch and development. CEDA and Whanganui and Partners also co-deliver the Regional Business Partner programme across the wider Manawatū-Wanganui, on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

National Partnerships

Business Mentors New Zealand

Business Mentors New Zealand is the only independent national business mentoring service provider to the small business sector in New Zealand. The service matches experienced businesspeople with small business owners. CEDA, as part of MBIE’s Regional Business Partners Program, delivers this service to local businesses that need mentors in various aspects of the business. 

Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is a catalyst for the commercialisation of science, engineering, technology and design. It serves complex needs of industry, government and research to benefit clients, partners, and our region’s economy and society. Callaghan Innovation has objectives to accelerate the growth, scale, intensity, and success of innovation in our region and to build the appetite among firms to invest in R&D and support export growth. CEDA’s specialist Business Growth Advisors work with businesses of all sizes to guide them through Callaghan Innovation’s grant programmes, including student grants, which are designed to provide additional R&D support and resources to businesses, while providing students with real life experience in a commercial environment. 


FoodHQ is a national collaboration, headquartered in Manawatū, that involves the majority of New Zealand’s publicly funded food science and innovation capability. CEDA partners with FoodHQ to achieve success and growth in a local, national and global market by leveraging opportunities and delivering results for the region and its community and to support its vision for Manawatū to be New Zealand’s most progressive region by 2025. 

Immigration New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand and CEDA work together to improve and lift the contribution of migrant attraction, retention and settlement within the Manawatū region. We achieve this through our formal partnership that gives focus on improving connections between the business community and access to migrant labour. 

Manfeild/National Driver Training Centre

When people or businesses need support in getting their drivers licenses, CEDA directs them to the National Driver Training Centre. The National Driver Training Centre is based at Manfeild in Feilding and offer driver training from a class one learner’s license right through to class five. Additionally, they offer a range of other courses that support people to be work ready including wheels, tracks and rollers and forklift licenses. As part of our formal partnership, we also provide trackside sponsorship at Manfeild. 

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

CEDA delivers the Regional Business Partner Programme on behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Callaghan Innovation, to businesses in the Manawatū-Whanganui region to grow and develop management capability. This is done by connecting businesses to the relevant expertise, resources and potential funding towards training and development opportunities. 

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

CEDA works with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to help local businesses start to export or current export businesses grow internationally. We also engage with NZTE on international investment opportunities for the region, by foreign direct investment. 

Regional Tourism New Zealand

As the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for Manawatū, CEDA is a member of Regional Tourism New Zealand. Joining 30 other regions from across New Zealand, this membership-based association gives us access to the latest trends and insights for the visitor sector and provides a platform for us to engage with tourism events and trade. As the RTO CEDA is responsible for driving and supporting the growth of our visitor sector, and ensuring relationships and opportunities are maximised, drive domestic visitation and deliver high value programmes and support. 

Tourism New Zealand

As the Regional Tourism Organisation for Palmerston North city and Manawatū district, CEDA holds the relationship with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) for the region, partnering with the TNZ team on media visits, trade events and famils. CEDA works to ensure our city and regions profile is grown across their key channels including and various marketing activity. Through our partnership, we are the go between for our region’s tourism businesses and work with TNZ to get our businesses ready to work in the media space and travel trade space. 

UCOL | Te Pūkenga

CEDA and UCOL | Te Pūkenga have a partnership that supports business and employers through talent development and addressing labour market needs. We share a desire to support a growing and sustainable economy that works for everyone, while ensuring we provide the tools and resources to future proof the region for years to come.

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