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Taking stock of water project

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kate de Lautour


If the green light is given for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Project, the region’s agri-business sector must be well prepared says Business Hawke’s Bay business development manager Michaela Vodanovich.

It’s likely that projects will be initiated by Business Hawke’s Bay to ensure industry shortfalls around education, training and business planning are remedied, while gaps in business and support services would also be identified.

Ms Vodanovich said a recent visit to Ashburton had helped to highlight the requirements.

“Looking at South Canterbury and following discussions with specialists at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, we know that we have opportunities in sectors including irrigation, farm advisory and research.

 “We will be planning to take the lead on stock- taking what business and support services we do have in the region and making recommendations on what is required.”

“We would expect to offer support and guidance to start-up businesses and guide the companies considering research and development projects.”

She said education and training courses would be one of the first projects to be actioned.

“We need to recognise the skills that will be needed sooner rather than later, and start work on the best practice initiatives, in conjunction with education providers and social development agencies.

Above all, we will seek to set a framework,  that will include the councils, to take best regional economic advantage of the ‘off dam’ opportunities. ”