Brekonomics event – 2021

Venture Taranaki recently hosted Brad Olsen, Infometrics Senior Economist, at a regional economic breakfast. He described Taranaki’s economic outlook and discussed with Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive, how the region plans to ‘return to better’ following the disruption of COVID-19 in 2020.

Click here to see the slideshow of supporting statistics that was used at the event.

‘Return to better’ plan

Since the economy was impacted by COVID-19, Venture Taranaki have worked in partnership with others in the community to develop and implement a ‘return to better’ plan. This is focused on key areas in the short term, including thus far supporting 816 Taranaki businesses to secure $4.6 million of COVID-related funding.

Key pillars of the 'return to better' plan include:

  • Ramp-up phase
  • Boost vibrancy
  • Create smart connected communities and enterprises
  • Food and fibre value acceleration
  • Advance energy transition
  • Better tomorrow
Click here to enlarge or download the return to better plan.

Ramp-up phase

Go Local

The Go Local campaign is all about supporting our region's enterprises and products as we look beyond the impacts of COVID-19. Go Local sees Venture Taranaki partnering with the region’s three district councils, regional council, business groups around the Maunga, and regional media channels to develop a collective approach to championing our region’s makers and merchants. 

Brylee Flutey
Communications and Marketing Manager – Venture Taranaki

Procure Taranaki

Initiated by engineering groups EIG and ETC and working alongside Venture Taranaki, Procure Taranaki encourages Taranaki enterprises to have conversations with local organisations about their procurement decisions before looking outside of the region. Not only will this help keep money circulating in the local economy and maintain strong employment, it will also contribute to social, environmental and cultural benefits for the Taranaki region.

Boost vibrancy

STAPP – reshaping tourism

MBIE have invested in the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) to support the regional tourism industry to manage the impacts of COVID-19. This programme is aiming to ensure long-term resilience in Taranaki’s tourism sector.

Taranaki is adopting a design thinking process that is centred on consideration of what we have now, future trends and what the visitors of tomorrow are wanting to experience. This will challenge our thinking and will underpin the next stage of developing new visitor experiences. Other initiatives already underway within the STAPP Taranaki workstream include the development of new drive journeys as well as sustainability and digital capability workshops.

Alyson Tapply
Project Manager – Tourism

Events, festivals and campaigns

Events throughout the region over the summer season, including the Taranaki Garden Festival, Festival of the Lights, AmeriCARna, and various concerts at the Bowl of Brooklands have been critical to encourage out of town visitation. These arts and culture offerings resulted in a boost in regional vibrancy and confidence about the future of the tourism sector. 
Further domestic campaigns, such as 'Taranaki - Just around the corner' have been designed and promoted to attract visitation to the region. 'Taranaki - Just around the corner' targeted the 50-plus age group from key flight and rive markets, such as Auckland, Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Manawatu-Whanganui.

Create smart connected communities & enterprises

Business Confidence Survey

The results of Venture Taranaki’s latest Business Survey indicate that COVID-19 translated into a sharp deterioration in economic confidence during the June 2020 survey, but in the most recent survey undertaken in November 2020 the outlook showed an improvement for the next 12 months. 22.6% (down from 51.2% in June 2020) of participants indicated they think the national economy will deteriorate, and 38.3% (up from 29.3% in June 2020) indicated they anticipate Taranaki’s economic outlook will improve

Regional Skills Leadership Group

The Taranaki Regional Skills Leadership Group has been established to identify and support better ways of meeting future skills and workforce needs in the region. The group is one of 15 Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) throughout New Zealand, set up by the Government to advise the government on future skills and workforce needs. The groups provide independent advice, which employers and government agencies will act on to help re-employ, redeploy or retrain workers and entrepreneurs who have lost their jobs or closed their businesses.
Venture Taranaki has been assisting the Regional Skills Leadership Group above and also focusing on specific challenges such as skill and workforce requirements to address peaks and troughs in construction and major infrastructure programmes.

Kirsty Jamieson
Advisor – Taranaki and Manawatū – Whanganui

Rachael Berndt
Talent Advisor


PowerUp is all about growing, connecting, and supporting ideas and capability, and harnessing the expertise and passion required to develop Taranaki’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Enterprises, ideas, and individuals will be supported and enabled as PowerUp connects them with a range of new and existing services and opportunities, helping to grow their capability, and broaden their understanding of what they thought possible.

Shaan Davis
Enterprise Adviser – Venture Taranaki

Food & fibre value acceleration

Branching Out

Branching Out is a two-year initiative that will investigate, explore, package, and potentially pilot new commercial opportunities which could add wealth for Taranaki’s economy and help the region’s food and fibre sector become more resilient, innovative and in-demand.

The programme will see Taranaki landowners, farmers, food manufacturers, marketers and investors partner with Venture Taranaki, Massey University, Crown Research Institutes and other experts to identify, explore and progress up to a dozen ventures with high innovation, growth and market potential. Areas or projects with significant potential will be developed into ‘new venture blueprints’ which will help kick-start new complementary farm-based activities and associated value chain enterprises.

Kevin O’Reilly
Project Manager, Branching Out – Venture Taranaki

Sustainable Land Use project

The newly formed Taranaki Catchment Communities (TCC) group has recently been working with Venture Taranaki and have received grant funding from the Ministry of Primary Industries to complete a Sustainable Land Use Assessment.

This funding will allow the group to gather information and develop pathways that ensure the financial, environmental, and social sustainability of the Taranaki rural sector. TCC is farmer-led and aims to encourage those most impacted by the proposed actions to take ownership to make change.

Trish Rankin
Project Coordinator – Sustainable Land Use project

Advance energy transition

Climate Change Commission Draft Advice

The Climate Change Commission are an independent crown entity that deliver evidence-based advice to guide climate change action for Aotearoa. The commission’s first piece of draft advice has been published. This advice outlines proposed emissions budgets until 2035, and includes aspirational, yet achievable actions to meet these budgets. The Climate Change Commission are currently taking public submissions on their draft advice, should anyone want to share their ideas.

Ara Ake

Ara Ake will accelerate New Zealand’s transition to a low-emissions energy future through advancing the development of low-emissions energy innovation. Ara Ake’s area of impact is the demonstration and commercialisation stage of the energy innovation lifecycle. Through their network of local and global connections, they identify opportunities and technology with change-making potential and collaborate with the right expertise, infrastructure and capital to develop, test and commercialise low-emissions energy solutions.

Energy & Industrial Group

The Energy and Industrial Group (EIG) is a multi-disciplined group of New Zealand companies who provide a range of technical specialist and support services to the energy and industrial sectors, facilitated by the regional development agency, Venture Taranaki. They collaborate on a range of initiatives, including the promotion of their skills and capabilities to the energy industry well as the transferability of those skills sets to new areas of specialism and opportunity.

Better tomorrow

Taranaki 2050

Taranaki is an awesome place to live, work, play and create. As our economy and businesses shift towards a low-emissions future, we need to make sure we keep all that’s great about Taranaki while planning for that to be shared by everyone who lives here. The Taranaki 2050 Roadmap has been co-designed by the region, for the region. It considers not just how our economy will change, but all aspects of our lives, and provides the opportunity to plan for inclusive growth.

Charlotte Littlewood
Programme Manager – Venture Taranaki

Tapuae Roa

Tapuae Roa - Make Way for Taranaki - is the regional development strategy and action plan that aims to grow the talent, entrepreneurial mindsets, skills and capabilities of the wider Taranaki community as the foundation of a truly modern economy. The Tapuae Roa Strategy was launched in August 2017 and looks at the challenges facing Taranaki and opportunities for regional growth. It recognised that two of Taranaki’s current strengths – energy and food production – will be challenged by the transition to a low emissions economy. At the same time there is great opportunity for new energy and food production systems to be implemented as well as diversification into new sectors.

Charlotte Littlewood
Programme Manager – Venture Taranaki