Bay of Plenty among top performing regions
Tuesday, 1 May 2012 10:30 a.m.
The Bay of Plenty was one of the top performing regions in economic development in New Zealand in 2011, according to a report from Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL).
Bay of Plenty Regional Council is ranked second behind Auckland Council, and improved five places from 2010. The rankings are based on indicators of economic activity, such as population, employment, gross domestic product (GDP) and businesses.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chairman John Cronin said the results were very good news for the Bay of Plenty and emphasised the value of the Bay's economic strategy, Bay of Connections.
"This report recognises that regional development is vital to encourage economic growth at a national level. Understanding what causes economic growth and where this growth is coming from is especially important to maintain and improve our current standard of living," Mr Cronin said.
It was pleasing to note that all parts of the region featured well up in the national statistics, recognising the strong partnerships between local authorities, he said.
The BERL economic indicator ranking report provides Central Government, local government and private businesses with a high-level overview on economic performance, and a comprehensive measure of the economic performance of New Zealand's 66 local authorities, 14 regions and 20 cities.
The Bay of Plenty had the highest employment and GDP growth for 2011, and the fastest growing medium-term GDP. The region also ranked second in medium-term employment growth and on the Relative Openness Index, which measures gearing of the regional economy towards export-focused sectors.
Two of the Bay's local authorities, Western Bay of Plenty district and Tauranga City, finished in the top 10 in local authority rankings for the first time, and Tauranga is the only city in the top 10. Western Bay ranks sixth, up eight places from 2010, and Tauranga City ranks eighth, up 25 places from 2010.
Tauranga is ranked as New Zealand's top city for economic performance. It had the fastest growing employment and GDP growth of all cities, and the second fastest business unit growth. Over the last five years, Tauranga has had the second fastest employment and GDP growth, and the third fastest population growth.
The eastern Bay of Plenty also performed well. In ranking the biggest gains made for local authorities, Ōpōtiki ranked third, Whakatāne fourth, Tauranga City fifth and Rotorua seventh and all placed in the top 10.
The report states changes in technology and the global economy have increased the importance of regions and local activity. The ability for activity to happen anywhere, a mobile workforce and localisation of innovation has put even further value on the importance of place.
The Western Bay of Plenty's performance was supported by improvements in employment and GDP rankings, where it came in seventh and fourth respectively. It also had the ninth fastest growing population in 2011.
The BERL report says Western Bay of Plenty is a "solid performer", with strong medium-term rankings in population, employment and GDP, ranking in the top 10 for each. It ranked second for employment growth over the last five years. The indicator that stopped the district from ranking higher was business unit growth, where it ranked 57th in 2011 and 32nd in the medium term.
Click here to read the full report (1.5Mb, pdf)
For further media information please contact Strategic Development Group Manager Fiona McTavish on 0800 884 880, or Linda Thompson, Senior Communications Advisor, on direct dial 0800 884 881 ext 8149 or (021) 923 339.