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In Review: 15 July - 2 August

*The team supported the Martinborough Dark Sky Society with connections to assist their economic plan for the region. Meetings were subsequently held with two of our region's astronomy focused products to work with the Society to understand the potential impact of the Dark Sky Reserve.

*Advised three entrepreneurs with early stage business plans - two in value added food/beverage and one in professional services

*A PGF for a Food Hub for the region is being progressed. If successful, the hub will consists of a physical Food Precinct, which includes a Food Store/Showcase and space for food businesses to work, and learn.  The Hub will deliver an Accelerator programme, each year, which will be housed within the Precinct, and sometimes at 3Mile.  The Hub also consists of a Skills Centre - a virtual offer of smart human interventions to improve the viability of food businesses.  The Hub is also delivering branding/communications initiatives to the region via creation of a food labelling process, a database, a website and a magazine in collaboration with key regional partners.

*The Knowledge Intensive Action group is progressing the WaiPay Strategy by putting together a discounted rates package to drive participation, and by developing multiple channels (e.g. website Infographics, QR code competitions, presentations and access to champions) to communicate incentives and benefits for both consumers and retailers. An event to launch is planned for October.

*A sub group of the Tourism Action Group is working on the development of a region wide Paua & Seafood Festival, which will have a flagship consumer event in Masterton at the Events Centre at the end of April 2020 to fit with the close of the fishing season.  The Knowledge Intensive Action group is supporting events leading up to the festival. Like all prototype events there will be opportunities to evolve in the future, e.g. the wild food element.

* WEDS has developed an active Vocational Skills Leadership Group in Wairarapa to work alongside Government on implementation of the Reforms of Vocational Education. The group is made up of iwi, education providers, Federated Farmers and WEDS leaders and their first focus in on addressing our region’s primary sector skills needs. As a result, they’ve led the establishment of a Primary Sector Skills group made up of cross-sector Wairarapa farmers. These farmers are employers who are committed to attracting more learners into the sector and supporting them to excel. They’re currently designing a vocational hub as the local response to the implementation challenge and with the goal of getting some training in place for 2020. A PGF is underway to support delivery.

*Programme Manager presented to the 'Tea with a Slice of Life' community in Martinborough, the Masterton Rotary Club and the Carterton Council Economic Development Advisory Group.

*The WEDS Steering Committee met to review progress of the actions in the WEDSAP and agreed to focus on creating a Wairarapa Housing Report, with the first step a complete stocktake of housing in each territory.

*The WEDS Governance Group met to review progress and discuss ways to remove barriers to sustainable regional growth. Infrastructural challenges around water and transport and electricity are impacting on business expansion and growth and work on resolving these will begin.

*The Water Resilience Strategy committee met to review the proposed PGF to fund the creation of an action plan for our region. This Wairarapa Water Resilience Plan will address the wide range of impacts of impending climate change and matching regulatory constraints, and seek to identify how an augmented supply of water will moderate those impacts from economic, cultural, wellbeing and environmental points of view and how a water management regime in the Ruamahanga Catchment will be implemented. The plan will complement, but not overlap, the funds granted by the PGF for prefeasibility work on the Black Creek Water Storage Project, and the feasibility & consent work to follow.

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