NRDA wins Economic Development New Zealand Award for establishing Moananui

NRDA wins Economic Development New Zealand Award for establishing Moananui

Written by Jason Petterson

Posted on Friday 27 October 2023

The Nelson Regional Development Agency was awarded the “Best Practice, Sector and Cluster Development Award” at the Economic Development New Zealand Best Practices Awards last night for establishing Moananui. 

Moananui is New Zealand's blue economy cluster, supporting sustainable economic development of the oceans and is based in Nelson. It was established by nine founding partners with NRDA leading the process.

The judges stated that Moananui is a "strong example of best practice initiation of a cluster initiative, with commercial partners from the start, leveraging a regional strength while also taking a national perspective, and with strong potential to grow and continue to be in place over the long term".

Fiona Wilson, NRDA CE says "to be recognised nationally for the work in establishing Moananui demonstrates how our region has come together to highlight how important the oceans are to our regional economy".

"We have worked hard as a region to showcase our strengths in the blue economy. Moananui brings together all parts of this sector.

"NRDA has been fortunate to lead this work, with strong support from Councils, Iwi Māori, the private sector and community groups to make this vision a reality. This wouldn't be possible without this full collaboration - in particular our founding partners, Cawthron Institute, Kernohan Engineering, Maclab, Pharmalink Extracts Ltd, Plant and Food Research, Port Nelson, Sealord, and Wakatū Inc." Wilson says. 

Jodie Kuntzsch, Moananui Chief Executive, added, "We are thrilled by the award and see it as a testament to the collective effort and shared vision of our partners in promoting the blue economy. Moananui is a symbol of what can be achieved when diverse stakeholders come together with a commitment to sustainable development."

Nelson Tasman is a natural choice to headquarter the Blue Economy Cluster. Te Tauihu, the Top of the South, is the source for 70% of New Zealand’s aquaculture, with major industry players like Talleys and Sealord operating out of Port Nelson. We are home to nearly 400 ocean related enterprises, reflected in the growing strength of our blue economy cluster - Moananui. Our region proudly houses world-leading institutions such as the Cawthron Institute and Plant and Food Research, dedicated to pioneering advancements in the blue economy.

Nelson Tasman is an increasingly fertile centre for innovators who are revolutionizing our industries through science, innovation, and astute marketing. Our blue economy enterprises are at the forefront of creating pioneering products, ranging from mouth -watering microalgae to fish skin beauty products.

With state-of-the-art blue economy facilities and capabilities, Nelson Tasman is a global leader in scientific research. Our region boasts the highest concentration of scientists per capita of any New Zealand city. Notable institutions like the Cawthron Institute, Plant & Food Aquaculture Centre, and Cawthron Aquaculture Park drive innovation, while advanced manufacturing from the likes of Snap Group and Kernohan Engineering contribute to our technological excellence. Sitting alongside this is R&D capability from national organisations like NIWA. The blue economy sector holds immense potential for further growth in research, development, innovation, and technology deployment, enhancing productivity across the region.

The Moananui Pledge.
We commit to fostering collaboration. To harmonise economic prosperity with environmental stewardship. To embrace innovative solutions and turn ideas into reality. To harness the power of technology, research, and entrepreneurship.
To regenerate and tread lightly on the land and sea. To care for coastal communities, respecting their diverse cultural heritage and traditional knowledge. To create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, equitable partnerships, and inclusive development. To do what we say and be accountable for our actions.
To be good ancestors.

Moananui is shaping the future of the blue economy. Together, we're navigating uncharted waters and leaving a legacy of positive impact.

You can download a pdf copy of the Nelson Tasman’s Blue Economy Regional Investment Prospectus here.

You can visit the Moananui website directly here