Taranaki was well represented in the 2019 EDNZ Awards, picking up two prizes

Two Venture Taranaki projects won accolades at the Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) Best Practise Awards, at the organisation’s annual conference and Awards in Blenheim on 1 November 2019.
Venture Taranaki received two of the ten awards handed out to New Zealand’s leading practitioners of regional and economic development, with a Best Practice Award for Primary Research for the Export Taranaki project and a Commendation for Integrated Planning for the H2 Taranaki Roadmap.
Export Taranaki is a Venture Taranaki initiative aimed at better understanding our region’s export landscape and using this information to better assist exporting enterprises. The project came about when a search for existing accurate local data proved fruitless. Venture Taranaki took up the challenge and conducted a comprehensive survey of local exporters and presented a range of both focused and generalised insights to businesses to help them assess and leverage export opportunities.
On the back of this data, a network has been developed with training, knowledge sharing, and events provided to help the region’s exporters grow their international markets and volumes.
“The Awards panel saw great value and timeliness in the original research undertaken by Venture Taranaki in its efforts to better understand its region's export landscape,” said EDNZ Chair Pam Ford.
“In awarding Venture Taranaki the Best Practise Award for Primary Research, the panel was keen to showcase it as an initiative worthy of duplication across New Zealand”
Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Justine Gilliland has welcomed the award, saying the project’s outcome will help Taranaki exporters, and the regional economy, grow.
“There was a significant gap in usable and accurate data about our exporters and export activity. As we look to grow the value of our exports, Venture Taranaki conceived and undertook a significant project over the last year to fill this gap,” Justine says.
“The research we have undertaken has provided us, and our exporters, with detailed data on regional export activity. The information is collected, collated and analysed, and presented in a graphic format to ensure it is easily utilised.”
“On the back of that insight we’ve established a range of programmes to work with our existing and new exporting enterprises to upskill, collaborate and elevate their export activity,” Justine said.
Venture Taranaki’s development of the H2 Taranaki Roadmap – the plan for hydrogen to play a key role in the region’s new energy future – also picked up a commendation in the Integrated Planning category.
"The H2 Taranaki Roadmap is an exemplar of a proactive work by the local RDA to explore new opportunities for its regional economy,” Pam said.
“The roadmap is a tool that will prove invaluable as New Zealand’s economy transitions to a low-emissions future. The Awards Panel was impressed with the innovation and integration underlying this initiative and felt that it was deserved of a commendation.”
The H2 Taranaki Roadmap was developed by Venture Taranaki in partnership with Hiringa Energy and New Plymouth District Council, with support from the Provincial Growth Fund, and launched by Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern in New Plymouth on 14 March this year.
“New Zealand is moving to a low-emissions future, and we needed to look at a wide range of options to support that transition,” Justine said.

“As a region, we expect the global energy landscape to change, and we want to be part of that change. The H2 Taranaki Roadmap is part of a plan to help ensure Taranaki’s skills, experience, knowledge and infrastructure can maximise the opportunities this transition provides.”
“The Roadmap set out a range of initiatives that could see hydrogen developed as a viable energy source, and a number of projects have already been announced in this space.”
“These awards demonstrate the value that Venture Taranaki is delivering for the region’s enterprises and residents and reinforce the agency’s position at the forefront of regional development in New Zealand,” Justine said.
The EDNZ 2019 Best Practise Awards were announced as part of the annual conference themed ‘Delivering Inclusive Growth’. The conference covered a broad range of issues impacting on New Zealand’s wellbeing and quality of life. The EDNZ 2019 Best Practise Awards is in its third year.
Over 30 entry submissions were received by peers in the industry with award winners developing and implementing campaigns which are at the forefront of inclusive growth, innovation, collaboration and research.