About Us

Our Services


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.


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.


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.


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 centre 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.


About Us

Nigel Tutt

Chief Executive

Drives the economic development of the Tauranga/Western Bay sub-region through the delivery of the Priority One strategy for economic growth.

Achieves outcomes through visionary strategic planning with the Executive Board, robust financial performance, functional delivery of outcomes, inspired leadership of the Priority One team, and valuing relationships with members, partners and key stakeholders.

Draws on significant commercial experience in chief executive and senior management roles in digital marketing and media, supply chain management, export planning and sales, and operations in the private sector.

Believes that we should have huge aspirations for what the Western Bay sub-region can become in the future – a place where Kiwi businesses can take a world stage.

About Us

Greg Simmonds

Chief Operating Officer

Drives the implementation of Priority One’s strategy and significant economic development initiatives on behalf of the wider Bay of Plenty.

Achieves outcomes by developing the partnerships and collaborative strategies necessary for success, including the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Strategy, to increase jobs, employment and investment; the Bay of Plenty Tertiary Intentions Strategy, to ensure regional needs are met by an educated and skilled workforce; and the Western Bay of Plenty International Strategy, which leverages our strengths to increase international competitiveness.

Draws on his background in trade and economic development across the public and private sectors in New Zealand and overseas.

Believes that economic sustainability is intertwined with social responsibility and prosperity – something we can only achieve by working together.

About Us

Gail Elliott

Office Manager

Drives Priority One – at the coal face as the highly professional and responsive entry point for members and stakeholders, business and talent, ensuring the organisation operates efficiently all day every day.

Achieves outcomes through efficient and effective office processes, including managing financials through to reporting stage, delivering high quality events and functions, coordinating Priority One’s membership and providing administrative assistance, and most importantly technical support, to the Chief Executive, Priority One team and Executive Board.

Draws on extensive legal and administrative experience in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Believes that outstanding customer service and an approachable and helpful attitude plays a vital role in engaging business members and other stakeholders in economic development opportunities.


About Us

Mark Irving

Business Partnership Manager

Drives the strategic promotion of Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty as a destination of choice for business relocations and the attraction of investment.

Achieves outcomes through Priority One’s business and investment attraction campaign and activities that profile our competitive advantages for new businesses.  He takes a strategic approach, targeting businesses and investment of scale that are aligned to our key and emerging sectors.

Draws on a strong background in civil and structural engineering and business management roles in Australia, including working on large ventures encompassing private, institutional and government frameworks.

Believes that our open and collaborative engagement with all levels of business and government creates a unique platform on which to further grow the economy of this great region.

About Us

Awhina Ngatuere

Māori Economic Development Navigator

Drives the implementation of the Bay of Plenty’s He Mauri Ohooho Māori economic development action plan within the wider Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study.

Achieves outcomes through growing leadership, career pathways and futures for youth; connecting investment opportunities; mobilising cluster groups; facilitating stakeholder and industry engagement; and advancing projects that increase productivity and utilisation of Māori land.

Draws on her experience in business and community leadership, including relationships with iwi, government, tertiary providers and community partners.  She has Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Rangiwewehi and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui iwi affiliations.

Believes that together we can achieve amazing things for our people and lift economic outcomes for the wider Bay of Plenty region.

About Us

Shane Stuart

Innovation Manager

Drives the development and commercialisation of science and technology innovation in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.

Achieves outcomes through supporting industry and collaboration including: preparing the successful investment case for $8.4 million in government funding towards PlantTech, a new technology-based research institute; leading delivery of the innovation workstream for the Ōpōtiki Harbour transformation project;  and facilitating design-led innovation initiatives including the Bay of Plenty Design Thinking Meetup group and Design the City Experiment.

Draws on previous positions at the interface of research and business at Unitec, University of Waikato and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, as well as corporate and financial market research in the United Kingdom.

Believes that our future relies on supporting the great people, companies and industries in our region to achieve global success.

About Us

Lyn Parlane

Instep Manager

Drives the Instep programme to align educational outputs with business needs to support the attraction and retention of talent in the Western Bay sub-region, both now and in the future.

Achieves outcomes through actively engaging the business community with secondary schools to enable students to investigate the career opportunities available in the region and to inspire innovative thinking and leadership skills, and demonstrate how their studies apply to real-world situations.

Draws on more than 20 years of teaching experience, an extensive knowledge of the school curriculum within secondary schools, and strong relationships with the business community.

Believes that creating opportunities for collaboration between education and business is essential in helping to prepare the future workforce for an innovation era.

About Us

Jill Beedie

Project Coordinator

Drives the administration of the Instep programme, coordinating events and activities between 11 secondary schools, the business community and local authorities.

Achieves outcomes of key stakeholders through the delivery of unique events and projects that actively engage business with education so young people are prepared for the workforce.

Draws on previous executive administrative experience in multi-nationals, both in New Zealand and overseas, as well as running her own office administration business.

Believes that proactive networking provides the opportunity to build new and existing relationships for the benefit of our young people.

Education Tauranga

About Us

Anne Young

Regional Manager

Drives international education in the region, ensuring that the industry thrives and provides economic, social and cultural benefits for all who live in Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.

Achieves outcomes through the delivery of an effective international education strategy, guiding and supporting institutions who enrol international students and working collaboratively with Education New Zealand to deliver impact projects for the benefit of international students who study in the region.

Draws on over 20 years of experience in international education across marketing, policy and student services; combined with excellent relationships with education agents and stakeholders in New Zealand and overseas.

Believes that all young people should be given the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to live, work and learn globally.

About Us

Melissa Gillingham

Project Coordinator

Drives the administration and delivery of key Education Tauranga projects to ensure that international students feel welcomed to our region, receive a quality experience while they are studying here and enable their success stories to be captured and shared through digital media.

Achieves outcomes by building solid relationships with the 45 education providers who enrol international students across the region and by working closely with them to support, promote and enhance the exceptional programmes they offer across all education sectors.

Draws on her personal experience of studying as an international student in Egypt during her high school years. This led to a rewarding career in primary teaching followed by over a decade heading the international department in a local secondary school.

Believes that the Tauranga region has the best of everything to offer international students looking to study abroad! The strength of Education Tauranga’s success is in the collaborative teamwork of its members and the high-quality education and pastoral care services they consistently provide.


Executive Board

Brett Hewlett (Chair)
Sara Lunam (Deputy Chair)
Scott Adams
Peter Tinholt
Steve Saunders
Kylie Boyd
Antoine Coffin
Simon Clarke
Miriam Taris
Carol Ward
Jodie Tipping
Fiona McTavish
Marty Grenfell
Te Horipo Karaitiana (not pictured)