Project Kōkiri Releases Nelson Tasman Economic Response & Regeneration Action Plan

Project Kōkiri Releases Nelson Tasman Economic Response & Regeneration Action Plan

Posted on Friday 19 June 2020

Project Kōkiri, the region’s economic response collaboration to the COVID-19 pandemic, has just released the “Nelson Tasman Economic Response & Regeneration Action Plan” which outlines the region’s economic strategy and priorities for the next twelve months.

Project Kōkiri was formed during the lockdown to deal with the economic fallout from COVID-19 in a coordinated and aligned way across the region. It was initiated and led by Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Nelson Regional Development Agency, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, Iwi and the government’s regionally based agencies.

Over the past ten weeks, Project Kōkiri has already:

  • Submitted 27 infrastructure projects for the region to the Government’s Crown Infrastructure Fund, as part of the “shovel ready” project designed to stimulate economic activity. Fourteen of the 27 projects were identified as priority projects, with a total cost of $721.5m and $155.4m requested from the Government. Collectively they represented direct employment of 2,434.
  • Received approximately 150 economic project submissions from across the region which are currently being assessed, prioritised and worked on with the aim of unlocking government support.
  • Supported over 950 SME’s through a one to one business continuity service.
  • Coordinated a range of labour redeployment and iwi project proposals to government. 
  • Collated and shared a range of COVID-19 related insights with key stakeholders across the region and Government to inform decision making.
  • Provided up-to-date information and access to assistance and support for over 3,000 local business on a weekly basis.

In addition to this, both councils have been focused on economic assistance and stimulation by paying supplier bills earlier to keep cash circulating, undertaking welfare calls to the most vulnerable in the community, providing rent relief to commercial tenants and assistance to ratepayers who are struggling to pay their bills. Councils combined capital works programmes for the 2020/2021 year represents over $117M in investment, nearly $25M higher than originally planned, which in addition to stimulating the local economy will also create more jobs in the region.

Collaboration is the key ingredient in this plan, said Tasman Mayor Tim King. “While our diverse economy provides us with some advantages, to make the most of them we need to work together. We will not succeed without a combined effort from the community, central and local government and the private sector”.

The Nelson Tasman Economic Response and Regeneration Plan launched today outlines a range of activities over the next twelve months to further stimulate economic activity in Nelson Tasman. The aim is to initiate a response and regeneration that will stimulate the economy, protect and create new jobs and accelerate investment into the region by leveraging our advantages around the primary sector, strong liveability proposition and tourism.

“The purpose of this action plan was to give a sense of direction on the economic response and regeneration for the region, alongside a very targeted and deliberate set of actionable priorities that will assist the region with the challenges we are facing.” said Mark Rawson, CE of the Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA).

“The significance of the challenges ahead will require us to be more aligned in our thinking, planning, decision-making and actions. It will demand unprecedented collaboration and cooperation from across the region.”

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says Project Kōkiri recognises that unemployment is significantly impacting our under-30s, many of whom were employed in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.

“Young people must be at the centre of our recovery, the situation they face is uncertain, and there is an immediate need for us to help create new employment opportunities in our region. In the longer term, we need to emerge from this crisis with the sort of resilient economy that provides higher value jobs, enabling young people to stay and thrive here.”

“There is an incredible opportunity for Nelson Tasman to build back better. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to come together as a region, to rebuild and regenerate our economy in new, innovative and sustainable ways that will serve us well into the future. It is our responsibility to get this right for future generations.” Says Meg Matthews, Chair of NRDA.

The full plan is available to view and provide feedback at