The Bay of Plenty is on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The region takes in the full sweep of the coastline from Lottin Point in the east, to Waihi Beach in the west.On the landward side, the region is mostly bound by the watersheds of the catchments flowing into the Bay of Plenty. This includes the lakes in the Rotorua district. On the ocean side, the region includes 18 offshore islands extending out to the 12 nautical mile boundary.The area of the region is 21,836 square kilometres comprising 12,253 square kilometres of land and 9,583 square kilometres of coastal marine area.

Regional features

The prominent features of the region include islands such as Matakana, Mayor (Tuhua) and an active volcano, Whakaari/White Island. Other distinctive landmarks include Mt Maunganui, Mt Tarawera and Putauaki (Mt Edgecumbe), the Tauranga and Ohiwa Harbours and the lakes in the Rotorua district. There are also five other major estuaries – the Maketu, Little Waihi, Whakatane, Waiotahi and Waioeka/Otara estuaries.

The region extends inland, generally to the ridge of the catchments which drain into the Bay of Plenty. The furthest point from the coast, the top of the Rangitaiki River catchment, is 139 kilometres from the sea. The eight major rivers emptying into the bay are the Wairoa, Kaituna, Tarawera, Rangitaiki, Whakatane, Waioeka, Motu and Raukokore Rivers.

The Taupo Volcanic Zone crosses the region in a line from Lake Taupo to White Island. Two major features of this zone are the extensive geothermal areas and the number of earthquake fault lines which run parallel to the zone.

Current Economic Development Policies

The region currently bases their economic development on four themes of:

• More globally competing firms in the Bay of Plenty
• World class infrastructure to catalyse economic development
• Environmentally sustainable
• Innovative and productive industry sectors

More globally competitive firms in the Bay of Plenty World class infrastructure & skills


Alignment with Rotorua and Bay of PlentyBiomaterials – natural materials innovation.


Alignment across the region. Innovation Centre (Food, Horticulture & Nutraceuticals, and Innovation Park).


Become the centre of excellence for metallurgy. Establish an applied powder metallurgy centre with associated training facilities – likely to be at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

World class infrastructure & skills to catalyse economic development


Support the establishment of appropriate infrastructure to ensure that economic development is not constrained (ie roading, broadband, industrial land, energy, Port of Tauranga and
Rotorua International Airport).


Support the implementation of the regional broadband project to meet the needs of business, research institutions, education providers and others.


Progress the development of regional partnerships with targeted tertiary and research institutions that support and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship and assist to internationalise the region’s businesses.


Attract and develop the required skill resource to meet industry needs. Representatives from government and the economic development agencies to set up a Bay of Plenty Skills working group and agree on a terms of reference for how we will work together on regional skills issues, agree on priority areas, and integrate the regional development work with the New Zealand Skills Strategy.


Alignment between the sub-regions, and investigate sustainable energy options for the future.

Environmentally sustainable


Build on the brand being developed by Rotorua International Airport and surrounding regional tourism organisations to develop an integrated strategy.


Support the development of structures and skills to maximise economic growth and development for Maori, including initiatives for efficient land utilisation and energy development.

Innovative & productive industry sectors


Develop the Harbour Central Marine Precinct.


Link ICT businesses throughout the region to maximise collaborative opportunities and stimulate business growth. Opportunities for businesses to share resources and collaborate on tenders for national and international projects. Attract ICT research providers.


Establish a significant Aquaculture industry in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, and investigate options for a Harbour Entrance in Opotiki.


We need someone passionate about helping build business in this Region by writing about local businesses as well as whats happening on the business front in the region. We accept single promotional stories from anyone but we seek a Regional Editor who can share in the growth of the region. If you’re interested in this opportunity click here. 


We need someone passionate about helping build business in this Region by conducting interviews with local business owners and operators, either over the telephone or face-to-face. We seek a Regional Host for a podcast series dedicated to the region. This person can become the voice of regional business and share in the growth. If you’re interested in this opportunity click here.



Economic Development Organizations:

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Bay of Plenty Regional Council guides and supports sustainable development in the region by:

  • Growing the regional economy sustainably
  • Promoting and funding infrastructure meet the needs of industries, residents and the environment
  • Improving the careers of residents and the successes of industries through education and training opportunities
  • Promoting the region as a great place to invest, live and visit
  • Adding value to industries within the region and building links with markets outside the region
  • Contributing to a range of other factors that influence regional economic development including telecommunications and affordable housing.

Regional Initiatives:

The Bay of Connections
The Bay of Connectionsis the Bay of Plenty’s regional economic strategy. Its mission is to deliver a progressive regional economic development strategy that incorporates new and existing initiatives and industries, building on the region’s collective strengths to create economic growth and development.The Bay of Connections’ strategy encompasses the centres and sectors of the wider Bay of Plenty region, including Tauranga, Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, and the Eastern Bay of Plenty.Bay of Connections is led by a Governance Group consisting of business leaders from across the Bay of Plenty, supported by the region’s Economic Development Agencies and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. It also works in conjunction with local and national agencies, organisations and businesses.The regional economic development strategy encompasses both the new and traditional industries of the Bay of Plenty. These are encompassed within four themes – more globally competitive firms, world class infrastructure and skills, environmentally sustainable and innovative and productive industry sectors.Bay of Plenty Industry Profile Click to Download Reader
SmartGrowth SmartGrowth is a programme aimed at developing and implementing a plan for managing growth in the western Bay of Plenty. This programme’s social, economic and environmental goals can be achieved in a sustainable way leading up to 2050 and is being led by Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and Tangata Whenua, on behalf of the community.
Sustainable Business Network Sustainable Business Network Bay of Plenty is a forum for businesses that are interested in sustainable development practice, to get together and make it happen.Bay of Plenty Regional Council is one of four cornerstone sponsors of the Bay of Plenty branch of the Sustainable Business Network. Members have access to information, resources, and expertise across a range of sustainable development issues.Members receive the following benefits:

  • Access to information, advice, practical tools and resources
  • Networking events, seminars, conferences and shows
  • Topical news updates
  • Quarterly newsletter
  • Access to a national organisation with regional offices

You can also enter the Get Sustainable Challenge.

For more information about the Sustainable Business Network visit the website: