21 Feb 2012

BOP economic development chair wants concrete results

7:32 am on 21 February 2012

The chairman of Bay of Plenty's economic development organisation wants to see concrete results in two to three years from a strategy which aims to develop Maori assets in the region.

Bay of Connections is a partnership between the regional council and various economic development agencies. It has received $70,000 in funding from Te Puni Kokiri to develop the strategy.

John Cronin chairs the governance group which oversees the Bay of Connections regional strategy.

Mr Cronin says the idea came from a Te Puni Kokiri report in 2010 which found there were Maori business success stories in Bay of Plenty, but many assets were underused and costs were being duplicated.

He says with Treaty settlements coming through to iwi and the economic strength of tangata whenua it makes sense for Maori and Bay of Connections to combine forces to plan for the future.

Mr Cronin says the aim is to grow Maori businesses, increase job opportunities and reduce unemployment.