Taupō economy surges ahead
The Taupō district economy is growing and with building consent activity on the rise, the forecast is looking positive,
according to Enterprise Great Lake Taupō, the regional economic development agency.
Research commissioned by Enterprise Great Lake Taupō to the March 2014 quarter presents some compelling growth
statistics, and supports the anecdotal perspective that the local economy is returning to pre-recession levels says
Fritz Frohlke, Enterprise’s General Manager.
“Our region has shown consistent annual economic growth since 2011,” says Mr Frohlke, “and at 3.4% over the March 2014
year, we are back close to 2005 – 2008 growth levels and well ahead of NZIER forecasted growth of 2.1%”.
The report also reveals significant growth in the value of new residential, commercial-industrial and rural buildings
consented, increased consumer confidence and a noticeable increase in economic activity in most of the main industry
“Of particular importance is the growth in value of new commercial industrial buildings,” explains Mr Frohlke. “Our
residential housing growth of 11% is positive, however given our large proportion of holiday homes across the district
we have ample housing stock to accommodate population growth. Whereas the $85.3m invested in new commercial industrial
buildings has provided a strong boost to our local economy and reflects a level of confidence unseen since the GFC. This
year has seen a 140% increase in the value of new commercial industrial building consents for the Taupō district, well
ahead of the New Zealand average of 18.8% and in stark contrast to the 41% decrease for Hawke’s Bay.”
From a retail perspective, the statistics are also positive. Paymark monitored figures between May 2013 and May 2014
show an increase in the total volume of retail spending transactions of 6.8% for the Taupō township compared to 5.3% for
the rest of New Zealand.
Industry growth figures are equally compelling, with Taupō priority industry nominal GDP rising from $1,537m in 2013 to
$1,660m in 2014. Dairying, forestry, geothermal energy and tourism all contribute to this growth.
Employment levels for the year ended March 2014 are up 1.6% on the previous year, and annualised unemployment in Taupō
district was an estimated 5.1% of the total district labour-force, compared to the national level of 6.1%.
“Whilst we accept that not every individual business will be thriving, overall it is very pleasing to see such positive
indicators of growth for the Taupō district,” said Mr Frohlke. “The team at Enterprise Great Lake Taupō are actively
working to continue this wide-spread growth, and we are confident that our new business attraction strategy will see
even higher levels of growth activity in the coming year.”
Pictured: Robert Power, Director of Miro Park Limited and Fritz Frohlke from Enterprise Great Lake Taupō – onsite at the
new “Miro Park” 11ha industrial park. This site, a former Carter Holt Harvey sawmill, had been vacant for over 14 years
and is now redeveloped with two thirds of available land already leased by new industrial tenants.