Regional economic development

The Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy 2017-2019 has seven priority work programmes including:

Infrastructure, regulation and investment:

  • the integration of regional transport planning and infrastructure investment
  • digital connectivity: extension and uptake of fast broadband in rural areas
  • freshwater management and irrigation infrastructure

Human and social capital:

  • education and training for a skilled workforce
  • newcomer and migrant settlement: skilled workers, cohesive communities

Working with industry:

  • value-added production
  • regional visitor strategy.

The Kaikōura District Council also initiated an Economic Development Forum and the development of a three year action plan.

The NZ Transport Agency's $231 million package of improvements to SH1 (passing lanes, shoulders, on-road and off-road cycleways, walkways and lookout points) including a significant amount of funding to attract visitors and enhance their experience between Marlborough and Kaikōura. SHI is forecast to be fully finished around April/ May 2019. There is an opportunity for North Canterbury to leverage off the SH1 improvements with related business opportunities.

There are opportunities post-earthquake to join NZTA/NCTIR/KiwiRail in leaving a legacy in the regions. There is significant support, for example, for project management for the development of cycleways (including from the councils, Lotteries and local funds). NZTA, NCTIR and KiwiRail have key roles in helping next steps to unfold for both the Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride (Kaikōura South) and the proposed Kaikōura North trail.

MBIE is considering using some of its unallocated Business Recovery Grants Programme funding for the Chamber of Commerce to lead a series of workshops open to all businesses from the three affected districts (Kaikōura, Marlborough, Hurunui) on financial, business planning, the cycle of boom and bust, and business insurance matters .

MPI’s $5 million earthquake recovery funding package provides advice and enables projects to help farmers, growers and fishers to re-focus their businesses following the adverse impacts of the earthquake on their land/sea use.

The Crown funded the remediation of the Kaikōura harbour ($5.72 million), and the tourism operators Whale Watch and Dolphin Encounter jointly funded (with an additional $0.9 million) improvements to the berths so bigger boats can dock. The intention is also to be able to accommodate cruisers anchored off-shore.