About Us

Our Services

Connections

We sit at the heart of business, local government and economic activity in the sub-region, with access to the information and contacts that businesses need to succeed. We are able to direct our business members to the most appropriate source of information dependent on the enquiry. Regular member functions are also held throughout the year.

Referrals

We are as loyal to our members as they are to us. Regularly approached for advice on where to go for products, services or support, Priority One members are our first port of call. Our business attraction campaign has seen these referrals increase significantly in recent years.

Facilitation

We regularly assist members make their dealings with local and central government processes quick and easy, from resource consents to government funding, to the immigration of skilled workers.

Advocacy

We make sure the business community is represented and heard on issues being considered by local and central government.

Member Promotion

The Priority One website is a central hub for people looking for information about Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty. Member businesses each have a profile page on the site to ensure you get the first shot at new customers and business opportunities. We also feature members in our newsletter, which is received by over 4,000 subscribers each month.

Destination Promotion

We have a strong focus on the attraction of business and skilled people to the sub-region through a targeted marketing campaign called The Tauranga Business Case. This means more potential customers for our members and a larger pool of people for them to recruit from. The campaign also promotes innovative member businesses through case studies in local, national and international media.

Make a Difference

Our business members are able to play an active part in bringing positive change to the nature and shape of the local economy so that we attract skilled people and the businesses that need them, and have educational opportunities and jobs for our young people.

Big Picture

In summary, our business members help us grow the ‘economic pie’.

Priority One is the Western Bay of Plenty region's economic development organisation, established in 2001 by the Tauranga and Western Bay Of Plenty business community in partnership with the sub-region's local authorities. It was the first economic development organisation in New Zealand to be initiated by the business community and run along business principles of action and results.

Our job is to grow the economy of the region. We work with local authorities to ensure local government and business needs and aspirations are aligned. We actively encourage Bay of Plenty businesses to grow by the removal of roadblocks, ensuring the skills and experience required by industry are available locally, and active targeting of offshore businesses into the Western Bay of Plenty market.

Priority One has built up strong networks and valuable experience dealing with business migration and investment.

Convinced of the business advantages of locating your business or investing in business in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty?

Priority One will work alongside you every step of the way to do business in one of the fastest growing regions of New Zealand.

Team

About Us

Nigel Tutt

Chief Executive

Nigel brings significant commercial experience and knowledge to this key role from a wide ranging background in small and large companies within the private sector.  This has included involvement in commercial management, media, product development, data strategy, and supply chain and logistics.  Prior to joining Priority One, Nigel’s most recent roles were in digital marketing and media.  He headed up marketing technology company, Affinity ID, which has offices in New Zealand and Australia, and led the digital media arm of Fairfax Media New Zealand.  He has also worked in senior roles in supply chain management, export planning and sales and operations.  Nigel has a strong strategic approach to developing and promoting our competitive advantages to encourage investment and attract businesses and skilled people to Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.  His background gives him an excellent understanding of opportunities for growth based on our commercial and lifestyle advantages.

About Us

Greg Simmonds

Chief Operating Officer

Greg has a background in trade and economic development across the public and private sectors in NZ and overseas.  He oversees the development and implementation of Priority One’s strategic projects as well as leading a number of economic development projects on behalf of the wider Bay of Plenty region, including the development of a whole of region strategy for the post-secondary education sector and the development of the Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study Action Plan – a partnership between central government and the region to increase jobs, employment and investment across the wider region, including Taupo.  In addition, Greg works closely with the regions local authorities to position Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty as an attractive destination for international trade and investment.

About Us

Annie Hill

Communications/Projects Manager

Annie's role is to provide support in the areas of marketing and communications, project-based research and analysis, cluster group facilitation, monitoring of contracts and strategic plan delivery, management of systems and project information, economic monitoring and local government relationships.  Her experience includes management support/PA roles both in New Zealand and overseas.  She also has a strong background in local government, particularly in the areas of finance, strategic planning and contract management.

About Us

Gail Elliott

Administrator/PA

Gail is your first point of contact at Priority One, and as Administrator/PA is responsible for ensuring the activities within the office run smoothly, managing financials through to reporting stage, coordinating events and functions, managing the website and Priority One’s membership. Gail emigrated from the UK in 2006 and her background includes 20 years legal experience specialising in licensed conveyancing.

About Us

Mark Irving

Business & Investment Attraction Manager

Mark’s role is to lead Priority One’s business and investment attraction activities, including promoting Tauranga and the Western Bay as a destination of choice for business relocations.  His background is in civil and structural engineering, where he has experience in all tiers of business within Australia with a strong focus on project management, business development, consulting and construction.  This has included working on large ventures that have encompassed private, institutional and government frameworks, where he has developed expertise in managing complex projects, gaining market attention and attracting investment.  Mark’s experience has provided him with a strong skill set from which to strategically develop and grow the region’s value proposition for the attraction of new business.

About Us

Shane Stuart

Innovation Manager

Shane’s role as Innovation Manager is a partnership between the University of Waikato and Priority One, focused on helping to develop and commercialise science and technology innovation in Tauranga and the broader Bay of Plenty. He has held previous positions at the interface of research and business at Unitec, the University of Waikato and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, as well as corporate and financial market research in the UK.  Shane holds a BSocSci (Waikato) and MBA (Henley Business School, UK).

About Us

Lyn Parlane

Instep Manager

Lyn has managed the Instep Programme since its inception in 2002.  Previously she was Assistant HOD of Art and a Dean at Otumoetai College.  Lyn has 20 years’ experience through teaching in both primary and secondary schools.  Her role is to actively engage the business community with secondary schools so students can see regional career opportunities.  Lyn’s knowledge of the school curriculum and the organisational structure within secondary schools ensures the effectiveness of programme delivery.

About Us

Jill Beedie

Instep Administrator

Jill assists and supports the Instep Manager to deliver projects and events to meet agreed outcomes for key stakeholders.  Her previous experience includes Executive PA roles for both Telecom and Ministry of Forestry in New Zealand, as well as various positions overseas in the off-shore oil industry.  Jill has also had experience as a business owner, running her own office administration business.

About Us

Susanne Irwin

Ignition Manager

Susanne manages the Ignition co-working space, established by Priority One in 2012 to foster innovation and entrepreneurship for early stage start-up companies, those that are self-employed or small businesses that have recently moved to Tauranga.  She is responsible for Ignition’s day-to-day operations, the promotion of the benefits of co-working and the growth of the Ignition community.  In addition, she organises a range of events and activities in the co-working space that support Tauranga’s development as a nationally recognised innovation hub.  German born, Susanne has an extensive experience, including business ownership in the hospitality and tourism sectors, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Executive Board

Brett Hewlett (Chair)

Brett Hewlett (Chair)

Comvita

Brett was previously Chief Executive at Comvita and is currently serving on its board.  He holds significant international business development experience, including roles in emerging and developed markets, serving 15 years with world-leading food packaging company, Tetra Pak, as regional Managing Director of its eastern Mediterranean markets and as Commercial Director in Saudi Arabia.  He has held other commercial & project management positions in the UK and Europe.  He has run his own strategy consulting company and has been an active angel investor supporting start-up companies in New Zealand.

Sara Lunam (Deputy Chair)

Sara Lunam (Deputy Chair)

Port of Tauranga

Sara is the Corporate Services Manager of the Port of Tauranga and is a key member in the Port’s Senior Management Team, involved across the business from human resources to providing assistance on operational and commercial matters. Sara’s role in human resources includes overseeing the personal development and training of staff, the Company’s health and safety policy, industrial relations and ensuring the Port continues to attract top calibre staff. Sara also assists the port in representations to various regulatory authorities on issues likely to affect the business and its operating environment. She was appointed to this position in 2010 and has extensive experience in port related industries.

Mary-Anne Macleod

Mary-Anne Macleod

Bay of Plenty Regional Council

Mary-Anne Macleod was appointed as Chief Executive of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in 2011.  Prior to this Mary-Anne held a senior management position in Council as Group Manager Strategic Development.  Before coming to the Regional Council, Mary-Anne worked in Wellington for 7 years holding several senior positions in central Government departments, including the Ministry for the Environment.  She has significant environmental and policy experience. Mary-Anne has also worked in the private sector in NZ and Europe in international consultancies specialising in environmental management and working in the oil and gas, and mining sectors.  She is a director of Bay of Plenty Shared Services Ltd (BoPLASS), a director of Quayside, and an Executive Board member of the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Economic Development Agency, Priority One.

Scott Adams

Scott Adams

Carrus Properties

Scott is the General Manager of Carrus Properties, a management company responsible for a number of residential and commercial developments throughout the North Island.  In 2012, Scott was appointed Managing Director of The Lakes, the largest single residential development in Tauranga being 250ha in area, which shall comprise approximately 2,000 lots upon completion.  Carrus was formed in 1990 and has since developed more than 5,000 residential lots in Tauranga, Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo and Wellington.  Scott has a BMS from University of Waikato and an MSc. from London Southbank University.

Simon McDonald

Simon McDonald

Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust

Serial Inventor, Simon McDonald, has lodged over 90 patent applications since relocating from the UK 28 years ago.   With a dental degree and masters in dental public health, Simon started his dental practice in 1998, where he invented a better dental mouse-trap.  Simon became CEO and Triodent grew to 100 staff and exports of $90m over 10 years. Triodent sold in 2013 and his newco, Rhondium, launched its first product in August 2014.  Simon recently founded Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust, offering 10-day Waka voyages to youth.  A member of Enterprise Angels, Simon resides in Katikati and has eight children.

Adam Hazlett

Adam Hazlett

Modern Office Limited

Adam is the Managing Director of Modern Office Ltd, a past winner of the Emerging Growth & categories at the Westpac Business Awards, & Office Furniture Warehouse.  Adam established the companies in Tauranga eight years ago and imports a wide range of commercial furniture through the Port of Tauranga from suppliers based in China & Eastern Europe.  His businesses supply commercial furniture throughout New Zealand and he works with some of the most respected architects and project management companies in New Zealand.


 

Steve Saunders

Steve Saunders

Plus Group Horticulture Ltd

Steve is the owner of the Plus Group of companies, specializing in horticulture management/consultancy, global pollen production, robotics development, international JVs, tech R&D/innovation and science, and he is the co-founder of Newnham Park Horticulture Innovation Centre at Te Puna. He is a major stakeholder in the kiwifruit postharvest sector and an active Angel investor and has won a number of innovation and export awards, as well as government and Zespri/KVH funded technology projects.

Kylie van Heerden

Kylie van Heerden

Sharp Tudhope

Kylie is a partner at Tauranga-based law firm Sharp Tudhope and has more than 10 years commercial law experience, advising across a range of industries including manufacturing, exporting, logistics and horticulture.    With a solid commercial knowledge base and an appreciation of the legal challenges and issues that many businesses face, Kylie brings a focused and strategic perspective to the board table.  In addition to her role at Sharp Tudhope, Kylie is a member of the Institute of Directors, sits on the Executive Committee of Export NZ Bay of Plenty, and a Director of Custodial Services Ltd and Craigs Investment Partners Superannuation Management Ltd.

Garry Poole

Garry Poole

Tauranga City Council

Garry joined the Tauranga City Council as Chief Executive in April 2013. He leads a team of 6 Executive managers in an organisation of approximately 400+ staff.  He graduated from Victoria University in Wellington, and began his career in the Audit Office.  He worked in London for five years in the 1980s, and on his return he was appointed assistant Auditor-General, and then Chief Executive Officer of Audit New Zealand.  He remained with Audit NZ until his appointment as Chief Executive Wellington City Council in March 1998.  In Wellington Garry was involved in rugby being Deputy Chairman of Wellington Rugby and a director of the Hurricanes before his move north.

Antoine Coffin

Antoine Coffin

Tauranga Moana iwi representative

Antoine hails from Ngaiterangi, Ngati Ranginui, and Ngati Raukawa iwi of Tauranga and is a New Zealand descendant of French and American settlers.  He has recently established a new company, Te Onewa Consultants, specialising in arts, culture, heritage and environmental issues. Antoine has significant experience in resource management, heritage planning, community engagement and facilitation. Throughout his career he has worked in regional and local government, non-government organisations, community groups and academic institutions and held a number of community and iwi positions.  He is currently a member of the Ngati Ranginui Fisheries Trust, Smartgrowth Implementation Committee and the Mauao Joint Management Board.

Simon Clarke

Simon Clarke

Trustpower

Simon is the General Manager Business Solutions & Technology for Trustpower and returned to his home town of Tauranga in September 2011.  He has held a number of senior executive roles in the energy sector and was previously CEO of Christchurch-based smart metering service provider, Arc Innovations.  He has degrees in law and politics from the University of Otago and is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  He is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors and in 2010 Simon was named the inaugural winner of the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards Young Energy Executive of the Year.  Simon has a particular interest in renewable energy and emerging customer facing technologies.  Simon also sits on the government appointed Smart Grid Forum, is on the Board of Trustees at Matua School and is Priority One's representative on the Bay of Connections Governance Group.

Miriam Taris

Miriam Taris

Western Bay of Plenty District Council

Miriam has been Chief Executive of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council since 2014.  She began her corporate career in 1989 and has held senior roles with Audit New Zealand and KPMG.  Prior to this Miriam enjoyed a career in the science sector and worked for ICI New Zealand.  Miriam is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Accountant with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA).  She holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from the Waikato Institute of Technology.  As Chief Executive of Western Bay of Plenty District Council Miriam leads a staff of 190 who work across one of the largest local authority areas in New Zealand.