16 March 2018

Action teams to tackle District's future

Growing the Gore District’s population by 1500 people by 2030 is the ambitious aim of a development project launched in Gore this week.

Ready for Growth is a community-led project that will focus on shaping the District’s future economic and social aspirations and goals.

It was initiated by the Gore District Council following last year’s successful economic summit that saw over 90 business and community leaders come together to talk about the District’s challenges and opportunities.

Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks said Ready for Growth was very much about community ownership, although will be coordinated out of the mayoral office.

Ready for Growth will see six action teams focus on the following areas:

  • Business and Retail
  • Community Wellbeing
  • Facilitating Growth
  • Industry and Innovation
  • Population and Workforce
  • Tourism and Natural Environment

The action teams will report to a steering group to be chaired by former senior police officer Richard McPhail. Steering group members are Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks, chair of the Council’s Growth Committee Cr Doug Grant, an iwi representative and the action team leaders.

The steering group met for the first time this week.

Mr Hicks said he was impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment shown by everyone.

“It is heartening to see people willing to give up their time to be part of what is an important project for this community.

“People’s pride in the Gore District was obvious at the summit. This project is now their chance to be involved in ensuring sustainable growth and community wellbeing.”

The Gore District is facing some key challenges, such as an ageing population and attracting tourism and new investment, which need a community-led solution, Mr Hicks said.

Each action team has six months to produce an action plan specific to their theme. These plans will form the basis for a district-wide Ready for Growth action plan.

Mr McPhail said he felt privileged to be asked to chair the steering group.

“We have some challenges before us but I believe as a community we can deliver a plan that will stimulate growth and ensure a vibrant future.”

Like all locals, he was proud of the Gore District and personally invested in making sure it is the best place in New Zealand to live, work and do business.

Mr McPhail believed the project’s core values would resonate with many people.

They include:

  • Our ‘can do’ attitude is at our core
  • We have a huge amount of pride in our unique identity
  • We place strong value on a spirit of collaboration
  • We are an open, inclusive and welcoming community

While the membership of each action team still has to be decided, it will involve people from the wider community and have a Council representative.  Each action team will be responsible for engaging with the community.

Ready for Growth complements the Southland Regional Development Strategy.

Ready for Growth fact sheet

  • Is a community-led project aimed at stimulating growth and shaping the socio-economic future of the Gore District
  • Its objective is to grow the Gore District population by 1500 people by 2030
  • It will be coordinated out of the office of Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks
  • It complements the Southland Regional Development Strategy
  • Has six action teams, which have six months to produce an action plan specific to their theme
  • A steering group, chaired by former senior police officer Richard McPhail, will oversee the project

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: