Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan

HenleyHutchings was engaged to facilitate the development of the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, which set a new vision for the Wairarapa. The project was a partnership between the three local Councils (Carterton, Masterton and South Wairarapa) and Greater Wellington Regional Council. Greater Wellington funded the project.

Through a combination of analysing economic data, facilitating Steering Group and Action Team workshops and stakeholder interviews, we were able to ‘tune into high and low frequency signals’ that indicated areas for opportunity and development, sometimes in unanticipated areas. We were able to gain consensus on a strategy that included nine key elements : three industry sectors, three people focused issues and three areas of critical infrastructure.

Work to produce the plan was governed by a Steering Group, comprising senior representatives of each of the local authorities, the Regional Council and Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA). The Steering Group was chaired by Steve Maharey.

The Plan is complementary to the Wellington Regional Investment Plan, which we also supported.


  • A plan that brings the next 20-30 years into focus and details actions needed to ensure prosperity for the residents and businesses of the Wairarapa.


  • Analysis – input from economic data and extensive stakeholder interviews

  • Strategy – defining opportunities and enablers

  • Communications –information flow on progress between the Steering Group and Action Teams, production of a document for public release

  • Facilitation - with local business, iwi, local and central government and other key stakeholders

  • Collaboration – with representatives from Rangitāne and Ngāti Kahungunu, local and national agencies