Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Project wins big at Economic Development NZ Awards

Published: 27 October, 2023

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  • Bay of Plenty

The Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Project, a transformative project aimed at revitalising the Ōpōtiki community, garnered 2 awards at the Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Awards held last night: the Inclusive Well Being Award and the Overall Supreme Award.

4 people standing on stage, smiling and holding up a certificate and the Inclusive Well Being Award

Members of Kānoa and other stakeholders pictured accepting the Inclusive Development and Well-Being Award

The annual EDNZ awards serve as a platform for celebrating best practices in economic development and demonstrate the positive impact regional economic development agencies have on the regions they serve.

For 2 decades, The Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Project has been a longstanding vision of Te Whakatōhea, with an additional 10-year championing by the Ōpōtiki District Council, and 5 years of dedication from Kānoa and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (also making a $20 million contribution).

This project has culminated in the construction of 2 harbour walls designed to support the workforce of 200 individuals employed by the new mussel processing plant in Ōpōtiki. It also paves way for a commercial marina’s development and has supported the establishment of 3 new rock quarries, along with a substantial expansion of the local cement contractor. The overarching goal is to unlock the region's potential and stimulate local economic recovery.

These investments have been forged through partnerships involving iwi, regional and local councils, and the Crown, with $115.3 million in government funding administered through Kānoa – marking Kānoa and Crown Regional Holdings Limited's most substantial project to date. All parties involved have shown unwavering teamwork and determination, overcoming the hurdles posed by COVID-19, financial constraints, and adverse weather events to bring the project to its current state.

The broader harbour, processing factory and marina project have given rise to over 600 full-time positions and the training of more than 100 local residents, thereby significantly benefitting the region already.

The Ōpōtiki Harbour Development Project stands as a substantial investment in the future of the Ōpōtiki community. It is expected to create hundreds of new jobs, boost the local economy, and enhance the overall quality of life for all residents. The 2 awards received at the EDNZ Awards are a testament to the significance and the transformative impact it has already made on the community.


 7 people standing on stage, smiling and holding up a certificate and the Overall Supreme Award

Members of Kānoa and other stakeholders pictured accepting the Supreme Award

An arial shot of Ōpōtiki Harbour

Ōpōtiki Harbour from above