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Rural contracting nears a billion-dollar-a-year industry

New Zealand’s rural contracting industry contributed almost a billion dollars to the country’s economy last year, according to recently published research.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) says a report, prepared for it by research company Infometrics, shows that the rural contracting sector contributed some $947 million to New Zealand’s GDP in 2013.

“This research shows that the rural contracting industry is not only a major contributor to our all-important agri-sector, but also a strong and vital part of New Zealand’s over all economy,” says RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton.

This contribution to the national economy came from some 5255 registered rural contracting businesses.

Mr Parton says the Infometrics research demonstrates how the rural contracting industry experienced rapid growth in economic output between 2000 and 2008 – expanding by 4.1% a year compared with the national economy growth of only 2.7% over the same period.

“The sector’s economic output peaked in 2008 and eased back in recent years, due to cautious spending in the agricultural sector in the aftermath of the GFC,” he adds. “However, Infometrics expects demand for rural contracting to expand back towards its previous peak again, as farmer confidence – buoyed by a sustained period of elevated commodity prices – returns in the coming years.”

Mr Parton says another key finding of the research is the nearly 18,000 people employed by rural contractors. The report found that an average of 17,984 people were employed in the rural contracting industry up until March 2013.

“This clearly demonstrates the growing importance and influence of rural contracting in the agricultural sector and the need for our politicians and policy makers to better understand the industry and its needs.

“This report also shows that the rural contracting sector is well and truly contributing – and will to contribute – to New Zealand’s ‘rock-star’ economy in the coming years ,” Mr Parton concluded.


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