Marlborough Smart+Connected is an innovative economic and community development approach, designed to lead the Marlborough region into the future. The Smart+Connected approach is designed to implement the vision developed by Marlborough District Council in partnership with the community. This vision is that:
Marlborough is a globally-connected district of smart, progressive, high-value enterprise, known for our economic efficiency, quality lifestyle and well-being, caring community, desirable location and healthy natural environment.
The approach is intended to provide guidance on actions to ensure that we are:
- Smart: That we think strategically – becoming more efficient, creating new solutions, and leveraging those solutions to create new opportunities;
- Connected: That we act collaboratively – staying informed, and supporting each other locally, nationally and internationally
The implementation of the Smart+Connected approach is two-fold. It focuses on both an Industry workstream and a Community workstream. The industry groups currently in operation are:
There are four community groups underway:
View more information about Smart + Connected here:
In October 2019, Economic Development New Zealand (EDNZ) held its Annual Conference in Marlborough. At the Annual Awards dinner held at the Omaka Aviation heritage Centre, the Marlborough Smart+Connected programme received the Award for 'Best Practice in Inclusive Growth', as well as the 'Premier Best Practice Award' for 2019.
These Awards are a testament to the efforts of close to 250 volunteers drawn from across Marlborough’s industries and communities, who have been involved in the Smart+Connected programme since its inception.
Havelock, the township at the base of Pelorus Sound, was the first community to form a Smart and Connected community group.
Picton's Smart+Connected group was established in December 2014.
A Smart+Connected community group was set up in Renwick in March 2015.
The aquaculture sector is identified as a significant economic driver within the Marlborough business community, and indeed across the top of south.
Under the Smart+Connected Visitor Economy Industry Group and its Adaptive Action Plan, the Blenheim Business Association was formed in early 2015.
The wood sector was identified early on as presenting significant economic development potential.
The issue of labour and skills attraction and retention is becoming a critical one for Marlborough, particularly in light of the region’s rapidly ageing population profile.
The Visitor Economy industry discussions got underway in July 2014.