Over the last few weeks, a series of decisions, announcements and achievements gave added meaning to our Long Term Plan vision, Nelson - A Smart Little City - He Tāone Tōrire a Whakatū.

The Long Term Plan decision-making concluded with strong support for this vision and priorities to support the vision.  You will see some of these decisions highlighted in this edition of Our Nelson.

Tech Week in Nelson kicked off with Intelligent Guardians - a live virtual event where we heard from some of Nelson Tasman’s most inspiring and innovative businesses and people who are leading the charge when it comes to applying research, science and technology to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time.  

If you missed it, you can watch it on the Nelson Regional Development Agency (NRDA) Nelson Tasman NZ Facebook page.

Our decision to support the Science and Technology Precinct aligns with Cawthron Institute’s centenary of delivering world-class science and innovation.

Last week, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern acknowledged the significant scientific contribution of the Cawthron Institute, when she opened the first stage of the new National Algae Research Centre at Glenduan. The second stage will be part of the new Science and Technology Precinct at Port Nelson.

To enjoy more centenary celebrations, take a visit to the Nelson Provincial Museum to explore an underwater world of life-sized mammals, a kelp forest and much more in the Our Science, Our Future – 100 years of Cawthron exhibition.

The NRDA achieved recognition, winning the Best Practice Award for Collaboration for Project Kōkiri at the 2021 Economic Development New Zealand conference held in Palmerston North last week.

Project Kōkiri is the collaboration set up to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19, led by NRDA in partnership with Māna Whenua, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, and regionally based government agencies.

 NRDA Chairperson Meg Matthews said, “Project Kōkiri was formed to develop a well organised, agile and economic response across Nelson Tasman.”

“Kōkiri means to move forward together. The whole recovery has been driven by a focus on collaboration and despite the noise, uncertainty and challenges that 2020 delivered, this focus was unwavering.”

More unwavering commitment was recognised on Thursday night at our regional Industry Training Organisation Graduation held at the Trafalgar Centre. 

It was a privilege to award certificates to dedicated graduates who are employed across a diverse range of industries.  During the financially uncertain times that Covid-19 presented, your dedication to upskilling is truly awesome and I handed out those certificates with absolute respect to you all.

Finally, on Saturday night, the region paid tribute to the outstanding achievement of Pāora Te Poa Karoro Morgan (Paul Morgan), inducted as Laureate to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.

Paul is widely respected at home and globally as a Māori leader, lobbyist and entrepreneur who has been at the centre of economic development and political advocacy for Māori for over 30 years. 

You can learn more about Paul in a video on the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame website, where he was formally introduced at the awards by his son, Rore.

It has been a privilege to work with Paul over many years and I acknowledge his leadership and championing of our region through the development of the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy with its vision of Tūpuna Pono: To Be Good Ancestors.

There’s plenty of smart thinking and innovation to celebrate in our Smart Little City and plenty more to do.