Economic and Social Values
Geothermal activity and the extractive use of heat energy from systems across the region contribute substantially to the regional economy due to their range of uses.
Geothermal was identified by Central Government in 2015 as one of nine key areas that have the most potential to grow incomes, employment and investment in the Bay of Plenty, through its Regional Growth Programme. To find out more, see the Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan.
The monetary value of geothermal resources to the regional economy in 2013 was estimated at $482.5 million. when direct and induced effects are included, such as support services. This equates to almost 5% of the region’s GDP for that year. Geothermal resources also contributed an estimated 8,127 jobs to the region.
The graph below shows the relative contribution of different sectors of the Bay of Plenty economy that rely on geothermal resources.
In 2014 48% of all tourist visitors to the region, particularly Rotorua, came for the geothermal attractions, while 25% came for Maori Culture and 24% to experience spa and wellness.