Half of New Zealand’s Greenshell™ Mussels and King Salmon are farmed in the Marlborough Sounds and the local industry sustains over 100 businesses and 750 jobs. This industry is of critical importance to our smaller communities of Havelock, Picton and the Marlborough Sounds.

This story of inclusive growth begins with Marlborough Smart+Connected, an innovative engagement programme to bring together industry, community and Council to identify and collectively solve problems that cannot be solved by one group alone.  The solutions identified create growth for all. 


  • long term security of farming operations in the Marlborough Sounds
  • harmony between the industry, Council and the community
  • increasing the innovation and value of this food product with its many health benefits.

As a collective impact programme, the Council has provided independent facilitation services, staff and administrative support services to support the establishment of a strong steering group overseeing two active working groups.  Working groups include a unique mix of sector community, environmental and council representatives who largely volunteer their time.



Harmony working group

  • The launch of National Aquaculture Week and Mussel Appreciation Day in March 2018 to engage the industry with hundreds of people on the value and benefits of aquaculture to Marlborough.
  • Co-design of a balanced score card to more easily communicate the environmental, economic and social impacts of the industry on the Marlborough Sounds and its relationship with the Havelock community and wider region.

 Value and Innovation working group:

  • Six commercialisation pilot projects to address the economic and environmental issue of the industry disposing of 12,000 tonnes of blue mussels per year into land fill.  These pilot projects include realising the economic value of blue mussels as a nutritional and nutraceutical product.
  • Commencement of a multi-trophic pilot programme to look at transferring aquaculture by-products, including waste, from one aquatic species as inputs (fertilizers, food) for another with the aim of minimising environmental impacts while maximising outputs from farming activity.