Mihi and Co-chair foreword


Mai i Ngā Kurī a Whārei ki Tihirau
Mai i Maketū ki Tongariro
Ko te rohe tēnei o te rōpū hautū pūkenga ā- rohe mo Te Waiariki.

From Bowentown to the East Cape.
From Maketū to Tongariro.
This is the area covered by the Regional Skills Leadership Group for the Bay of Plenty

Aerial view of the Okakei Korako or Hidden Valley trail in Taupō

Okakei Korako © Love Taupo

Co-chair foreword

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā pari karangaranga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

Kua whakarongo atu te rōpū hautū pūkenga ā-rohe ki ōna piringa hapori.

We have been looking at the aspirations for our region and present to you this first plan, a plan that will bring us together in conversation that leads this region on the path to prosperity.

The Bay of Plenty is a region characterised by its beauty and its diversity, both in terms of the region’s environment and in terms of its people. This is evident in the many communities and industries spread throughout its geography and its four sub-regions (Western Bay of Plenty, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and Taupō).

The numbers demonstrate the diversity of the region with twenty-eight iwi, five Economic Development Agencies and nine Territorial Authorities (seven District and City Councils, and two Regional Councils), four hospitals and two District Health Boards. The region also has one of the highest national rates of industry diversity leading to higher overall resilience in the face of disruption.

It is because the Bay is home to so many waka that we have valued the importance of relationship-building as a key component of our mahi. We are stronger when we move together, but together takes time and we have felt the impact of COVID-19 on our progress and ability to sustain our relationship-building efforts. Nevertheless, we recognise the tremendous effort shown by the many stakeholders we have consulted with as we have worked to understand the workforce needs of the Bay. Our stakeholders have shown great passion for their communities by engaging in the workshops and conversations that contribute to this plan and for that we thank them sincerely.

We recognise that the most important relationship woven throughout this mahi is with Māori as the Te Tiriti partner. To adhere to our commitment to ensure iwi / Māori can exercise their tino rangatiratanga and maintain their mana motuhake over their own affairs, our plan’s foundation is ‘Mā te Māori, Mō te Māori’.

We also acknowledge that while the region has much to be thankful for in the face of COVID-19, this does not mean that prosperity and resilience are equally spread through our part of Aotearoa New Zealand. We are always mindful that the appearance of prosperity should not mask places where it is not shared equitably. It is for this reason that our aspirations are designed to call forward equity in our workforce. There is no point in moving forward in pieces. We cannot leave anyone behind.

Finally, we thank you, the reader, for engaging in this kaupapa. Nothing we do will matter if we cannot find a way to speak to the people who drive this region and its prosperity. We hope that this first plan begins the right conversation with our region so we can all move forward together.

Photos of Turi Ngatai and Chris Tooley

Bay of Plenty RSLG Co-chairs Turi Ngatai and Dr Chris Tooley