The WaiPay Project team held a third workshop on 7th November at Ten O’Clock Cookie Bakery Café in Masterton. (The project also ran two successful workshops for retailers around the region in Carterton and Martinborough on the 14 October.) The workshop provided an opportunity for retailers to hear what the future holds in the Wairarapa - with new visitors, new rates, new ways to pay. The WEDS Knowledge Intensive Action Group had previously launched the WaiPay Project on 14 October, including the announcement of exclusive rates for card-free transactions from ASB. The workshops have been augmented by support, information, downloads and documents to demystify what's going on out in the world - and on our doorstep - which can be found here https://www.growwairarapa.nz/resources. Watch this space for a new Wai Pay dedicated website coming your way.
The WEDS Food Action Group is developing a Communications Strategy for the Wairarapa Food and Beverage Hub to ensure a cohesive approach to business planning across all elements. The vision of the Wairarapa Food & Beverage Hub is "a place to inspire and support emerging Wairarapa food start-ups and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), stimulate the value-added food sector, create additional markets and channels for local produce and encourage additional visitors to the region". Business Planning is taking shape across proposed components including the physical Food Precinct, with a Showcase and space for food businesses to work and learn; a Business Incubator and Accelerator programme; a Skills Centre - a virtual offer of smart human interventions to improve the viability of food businesses; and a Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy for Wairarapa Food and Beverage.
The Wairarapa Food and Beverage Trust continues to provide context for the Provincial Development Unit as the hub application to the Provincial Growth Fund progresses through various assessment stages. A decision on the Wairarapa Food and Beverage Hub application is expected later this year.
The WEDS Programme Team have been briefing new mayors and council members on the goals and progress of the Wairarapa Economic Development and Action Plan as part of their induction. The enthusiasm for championing and supporting the WEDS has been heartening and positive and we are looking forward to leveraging our combined strengths for continued momentum in 2020. As we transition into the second year of the WEDS, we are starting to take stock of achievements across each sector and think about next steps.