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In Review 11 - 29 November

The WEDS Team attended Ruruku: Whakaoriori, an interactive workshop to shape the vision and development of a Māori strategy for Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui, at Mākoura College Library in Masterton. Greater Wellington Regional Council, in partnership with iwi and local Councils, are working on a strategy for the Māori economy in Te Upoko o Te Ika a Māui - and the workshop provided an opportunity to hear whakaaro on what is important to people, and how we better collaborate, support and enable greater self-determination for Māori in realising outcomes. Ruruku is about binding, bringing and bundling people together; making connections and joining parts to make a secure bond. Through a process of whanaungatanga GWRC aim to deliver a strategy and action plan in 2020, which will focus on outcomes that embrace the interconnected themes of economic, social, environmental and cultural development as the basis for improving Māori and iwi well-being. For more information about Ruruku, see –

The WEDS Tourism Action Group met and obtained an overview of the Five Towns Trail Network Project from Jo Gillanders from the Wairarapa Trails Action Group (WTAG). In September 2019 the WEDS Steering Group agreed to formally endorse the Request for Quote (RFQ) for Preparation of a Master Plan and implementation Guide for the Five Town Trail Network. The purpose of the master plan is to help Wairarapa obtain funding to build the trails and to provide a framework for public consultation, which is planned for mid to late 2020 once the overall concept plan has been drafted. WEDS are excited about the prospect of realising the potential of the trails network in Wairarapa and leveraging the collective strength of established trails in Hawke's Bay, Nelson and Marlborough.

The WEDS Tourism Action Group also discussed the progress of the Wairarapa Dark Sky Project. The Economic Plan that describes the steps to obtain certification and understand impacts, capability and infrastructural challenges will be delivered soon, following stakeholder consultation across Wairarapa. The WEDS Tourism Action group agreed to repurpose and transition its role under the WEDS to complement the work of the Dark Sky Society and provide locally based support to achieve certification and provide the wider governance required. The group will identify how its membership and ToR should be positioned to support the Wairarapa Dark Sky Project as a success on its own merits and as part of the broader Wairarapa picture. The Wairarapa Dark Sky Economic Plan is expected to provide crucial direction here.

The Wairarapa Food and Beverage Hub application to the Provincial Growth Fund will be submitted to the Independent Advisory Panel at their next meeting on 12 December 2019. While guiding the application through to this stage, the Wairarapa Food and Beverage Trust and the Food Action Group have also been working a business plan and marketing strategy to progress a unified vision for the Hub. The business plan identifies the current position and the business objectives, while the strategy creates a path to achieve them. Elements of both are being presented to the next Food Action Group for discussion to ensure the hub both complements and strengthens the existing Wairarapa Food Story. While it is anticipated the business plan and marketing strategy will evolve over time, they will provide a ready-reference tool and keep key goals front of mind for everyone involved.

The Wairarapa Vocational Skills Committee discussed the formation of Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) with representatives from MBIE and the Ministry of Education. The objectives of these groups are to facilitate better regional labour market planning and enable decision makers to better reflect local labour market needs. The groups will be specifically tasked with developing Regional Workforce Plans​ to identify future workforce and skills needs in their region and advise on how to achieve these. The group discussed how this group should be composed to represent Wairarapa interests , which structures are needed to minimise duplication and ensure that RSLGs work with existing arrangements, and the resourcing needed to support RSLGs in the labour market planning function. Wairarapa is in a strong position given the Wairarapa Vocational Skills Committee is well established and discussion regarding how arrangements will work in the Wairarapa are ongoing.

Support was provided to two local entrepreneurs to prepare them for their investment pitches at the upcoming Angel Investment evening on 5th December (RSVP here for investment evening).

The Water Resilience Committee met and continued the discussion to confirm the scope of the Wairarapa Water Resilience Strategy and Action Plan, work on which is due to begin soon.

Two additional WaiPay Project events were held - one in Martinborough as guests of the Martinborough Business Association was a discussion with 20 local retailers about removing the 'no paywave' sticker at their point of sales and the other was in Greytown where the focus was on making Greytown a destination for Chinese visitors who want to pay using AliPay. More information on the WaiPay website here.

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