*The WEDS team hosted MPI and the Provincial Development Unit to discuss the Wairarapa Food & Beverage Hub application, in particular the initiative's connection to others like it around the country. A decision is expected on this application later in 2019.
*Dame Margaret Bazley and the WEDS programme team presented to the Combined Council meeting on 11 September with an update on projects and developing priorities. The councillors were updated on the work underway to ensure primary sector skill training is delivered in the region in early 2020.
*WEDS team spent time with entrepreneurs in the sheep milk production space to discuss ways to support their export initiatives.
*WaiPay project team progressed negotiations with payment providers for special rates for Wairarapa retailers for contactless payments - to be announced at the launch event on 14 October.
*The WEDS team and Trustees from the Wairarapa Food & Beverage Trust discussed the Food Hub and a potential Wairarapa Market with local market leaders, to better understand the current landscape. While the market under consideration is still very much on the drawing board, the following was scoped in the PGF application (which is still under review and subject to change): The Wairarapa Market will likely be
> operated by contractors employed by the Trust and their offices will be housed in the Precinct, giving them access to the food community directly.
> be scalable, in a permanent, high-traffic established location close to the Food Hub, with all-weather options
> will showcase the region’s food and beverage and artisan capabilities
> provide a commercial complement to regular community focused markets
> provide a gateway to Wellington customers, wholesalers and retailers
> continue as a commercially viable enterprise, after initial financial assistance to establish the market using PGF funds
> be managed on behalf of the Wairarapa Food and Beverage Trust by local employees
> require the employment of an administrator, ideally from the area, who can attend on the day,
> get underway late 2020 at the earliest
*The region hosted the PGF advisory panel to the region, who met with regional leaders and businesses to discuss the three PGF applications currently under discussion relating to Water. This group provides advice to Regional Economic Development Ministers on significant applications.
*The Wairarapa Water Resilience group progressed the scope of a region wide ('mountains to the sea') resilience strategy and action plan, to be undertaken as soon as confirmation of PGF funding is received.
*The Primary Sector skills team continued discussions regarding potential models of education and training courses for delivery in Wairarapa in early 2020.
*The Wairarapa Food & Beverage Trust (the team driving the creation of the Food Hub, along with the WEDS Food Action Group) are looking for additional trustees: APPLY HERE