Nelson Regional Development Agency outlines plan to boost regional development

A long-term plan could involve the establishment of unique tourism programs for Nelson through the Nelson Regional Development Agency.

The newly established Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) gave its quarterly update and "statement of intent" at Nelson City Council's Thursday's Governance Committee meeting outlining focus areas such as investment into attractions with its "tight" $2.65 million budget for the next year.

The organisation, which is the result of a merger between the Nelson Tasman Tourism and the Economic Development Agency, started work in July.

NRDA chief executive Mark Rawson said as a result of the merger the NRDA had been working to find a way to best manage the region's tourism and economic development as a three year plan which he seemed confident could be done on a smaller budget than the previous financial year.

He said already businesses were searching for ways to deliver on unique tourism opportunities for the area such as volunteer programs that would help care for native bush.

Rawson said if additional projects undertaken in the organisation's first year outside its intentions would require extra funding.

He said since he was appointed on July 11 from Destination Rotorua, he had taken the opportunity to establish the organisation's priorities so they could work toward an action plan and be "fit for purpose".

Rawson said the first priority was to create a team-working environment and to help "build the capability of the businesses and business people" in the region.

NRDA's statement of intent showed its strategy would focus on better management of Nelson resources and the city as a destination to offer experiences.

The intention was to position the city as "a place to live and work, a place to study and then a place to invest," he said.

Rawson said a hunger for better connection with the region's goals was the most common feedback he had received in his talks with businesses so far.

Rawson said the organisation intented to apply for the tourism growth partnership government grant, which has opened a funding pool of $12 million over 12 years.

 - Stuff


Last updated 11:19, August 26 2016