The Ōpōtiki District, whilst often viewed as "deprived" in terms of population, built environment and local economy, is a jewel in the Bay of Plenty and New Zealand. Nearly two thirds of the land mass is in native forest and vegetation, and the coastline and ocean surrounding the District is relatively pristine. The coastal waters are deemed as highly favourable for marine aquaculture. Local iwi, Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngai Tai and Whakatōhea all have strong traditions of hunting, fishing and trading.
Ōpōtiki people, including iwi, are keen for economic development, which creates prosperity for local people, without compromising the environment or lifestyle which they treasure. Already, along with others, joint ventures in the kiwifruit industry are demonstrating innovative ways of creating wealth. Environmental and cultural tourism are other emerging industries, with local people sharing the history, culture and natural environment with visitors.
The potential for a thriving aquaculture industry centred around Ōpōtiki township is exciting. Careful planning is needed to ensure that land use, infrastructure, services, and people are all prepared for the growth which aquaculture will bring. The key element, and the aspiration of local people, Ōpōtiki District Council, and Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, is that the benefits are felt locally.
Ōpōtiki welcomes others to come alongside them and "work outside the square" to realise these visions.
How the Harbour Development will help Ōpōtiki realise social and economic development opportunities A Social and Economic Impact Evaluation report commissioned by the Ōpōtiki District Council in 2004-5 indicated that the proposed Ōpōtiki Harbour Development, in conjunction with the Eastern Sea Farms marine farm and processing plant, plus the other economic activity they would stimulate, would transform the Ōpōtiki community.
Expected benefits at that time included:
Read the full URS Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Social and Economic Benefit Evaluation - Final Report Subsequent changes mean the Offshore Farm is now consented to grow other higher value species. Other developments over the past five years also point to the need for an updated comprehensive Impact Study, so that partners and the community can forward plan on the basis of quality and up to date information.
About the Project | Background | Our Key Partners | Community Benefits | Technical Data