• Marie-Claire

Fortnight in review: 3rd -14th June

*Knowledge Intensive Action Group: met and progressed 'The WaiPay Project' - an initiative they've established to provide locals and visitors with many ways to pay – the project will

>up skill local retailers with more future focused point of sale systems (that can cater to our incoming Chinese visitors but will also potentially save them money and future proof their businesses)

>put together a package of point of sale solutions that retailers can access more cheaply than their current ones, and help them transition 

>create a portal of information about retail tech

>run a series of workshops for retailers around the region on what's happening in the world in retail tech, how to get on board etc

>simultaneously run digital awareness campaigns for shoppers (QR codes around the streets etc) to get them more tech savvy and comfortable using their phones/alternative means of payment

*Tourism Action Group: working on tourism metrics for the region to confirm where our focus should be in the WEDS

*Food Action Group: progressing the Food Hub concept and PGF Application. A focus group for food businesses will be held on 25th June at 3Mile Coworking to help shape the approach. Details here. The purpose of this gathering is to test the feasibility of several project initiatives we have bubbling away including the idea to provide a fixed term, intensive environment for startups and businesses to create a “step change” uplift in capability, scale or value creation, which can ultimately be developed into an investable proposition or organic growth. We also know that some businesses in Wairarapa are looking for a place to sell their products, others for production premises, others for business related advice and services. We envisage a programme that incorporates all of these components and more, but will use this focus group to guide us on how to prioritise, sequence and design something that works for our businesses, individually and as a collective. ere. The purpose of this gathering is to test the feasibility of several project initiatives we have bubbling away including the idea to provide a fixed term, intensive environment for startups and businesses to create a “step change” uplift in capability, scale or value creation, which can ultimately be developed into an investable proposition or organic growth. We also know that some businesses in Wairarapa are looking for a place to sell their products, others for production premises, others for business related advice and services. We envisage a programme that incorporates all of these components and more, but will use this focus group to guide us on how to prioritise, sequence and design something that works for our businesses, individually and as a collective.


*Programme Team hosted Te Puritanga Jefferies (GWRC) and Cliff Fuller (MBIE) in the region to introduce them to the wonders of the Wairarapa! Meetings were held with key stakeholders and a tour of Carterton, Masterton and Martinborough took place (including a trip to the Star Field). More to come on subsequent visits. Cliff assists our PGF applications to progress through the process, and Te Puritanga is working on a Maori Economic Development Strategy for the region.

*Work is underway on a PGF application for an Aviation Centre at Hood Aerodrome. Details to be published in two weeks.

*Assisted a local entrepreneur with developing a venture in medical technology

*Presented an update on the WEDS to the Combined Council Forum

*Created an Angel Investment Information Evening - 20th June at 3Mile Coworking - we're hoping to launch an angel investment club later this year, and need to find our smart, connected people who might like to add another asset class to their investment portfolio. This event will feature presentations from angel investors, angel backed companies and an overview of the proposed Wairarapa Angel Network.

*Attended a Food Industry Enabling Technologies (FIET) colloquium at Massey University to make contacts in the food technology field. The FIET is funded by MBIE and its purpose is to support new process developments that have the potential to add significant value to our national economy. The current focus is on developing techniques for milk chilling and freezing, meat tenderisation and liquefaction, wood smoke flavouring, and sticky product drying and more. Most projects have two or more FIET partners and well-formed end user relationships with ingredient suppliers and food and equipment manufacturers, who may take the technology to market in New Zealand and abroad. All projects need more direct involvement of Māori enterprise but are struggling a little to make rich contacts in this vibrant, fluid sector. Most projects have room for another partner and attending the FIET colloquium has given rise to some opportunities for collaboration in the Wairarapa.

*Connecting with Getaflex, a NZ-grown job platform providing flexible work for professionals, to determine what flexible working means in the Wairarapa context and leverage the GetaFlex platform locally to support the movement. Part of this work involves promoting the benefits of flexible working across all employment sectors (not just professional), so that employees can advance their career, and balance work with other life priorities; and businesses can attract a unique pool of qualified and skilled talent, and improve employee engagement.






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