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Emerging sectors not growing fast enough

Emerging sectors not growing fast enough

Emerging sectors in the arts, tourism and innovative small companies are not growing quite fast enough to counteract the departure of head office businesses from the Wellington Region, according to the latest edition of Regional Outlook, published six-monthly by Greater Wellington – The Regional Council.

“Growth in these new sectors has been encouraging. But the businesses are small scale and in the last two years they haven’t grown enough to keep Wellington at the forefront of economic expansion,” says Margaret Shields, chairperson of Greater Wellington.

Recent head office departures from Wellington include Tranz Rail, Westpac and New Zealand Milk Products. New businesses to start up include business service providers, film and TV production related services and tourism-related businesses.

“These new businesses rely on entrepreneurs as well as a suitable environment for innovation to happen,” Cr. Shields says.

It could take five years for these areas to grow enough to become the new core of the economy.

“Government can help by providing appropriate infrastructure, such as transport systems, and consistent regulation. Central and local government are now working together to resolve the crucial issue of commuter rail.”

The structural change that has gone on in the region meant few jobs were created over 2002 but the rest of the economy performed well. Property markets were buoyant and retail sales increased.

The outlook for 2003 is bright for most of the region, particularly for the education, building and property and information technology sectors. The education sector provides 6.5% of the jobs in the Wellington Region. The presence of two universities, a wananga and four polytechnics gives the region a good tertiary base, supplemented by private schools teaching English.

Regional Outlook is prepared by Infometrics Ltd for Greater Wellington. Regional Outlook is available from the offices of Greater Wellington in Wakefield Street, Wellington, the economic development agencies of local councils, and on the GW’s website at www.gw.govt.nz/economy


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