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Business Numbers Grow in All Regions

Business Numbers Grow in All Regions


This release presents information on businesses in New Zealand by regional breakdowns as at February 2003. This Information is sourced from the Statistics New Zealand Business Frame.

North Island, South Island

•The North Island has 77 percent of New Zealand’s 323,839 business locations, the South Island has 23 percent. These proportions were the same five years ago.

•9 out of 10 New Zealand businesses employ less than 10 people (full-time equivalent). This proportion is the same for both the North and South Island.


•All regional council areas recorded growth in the number of business locations in the year to February 2003.

•More than 1 in 3 businesses are located in the Auckland region. With 114,428 businesses, Auckland is well ahead of Canterbury (38,710) and Wellington (38,020).

•The West Coast region has the least number of business locations with 2,458. Gisborne is the next lowest with 2,891.

•The Tasman region showed the largest percentage increase in the last year, with 8.8 percent more business locations. This is almost double the 4.5 percent average increase across New Zealand.

•Other regions with a higher than average increase in the number of business locations in the last year were:

Nelson 6.2%

Otago 6.0%

Bay of Plenty 6.0%

Marlborough 5.7%

Auckland 5.2%

Hawke’s Bay 4.9%

Southland 4.7%.

•The Auckland region accounted for 40 percent of the increase in business locations in the year to February 2003 (5,639 out of 14,090 businesses).


•Auckland City had 51,070 business locations as at February 2003, nearly twice as many as the city with the next highest number, Christchurch, with 26,118.

•Nelson City had the largest percentage increase in the number of businesses between February 2002 and 2003, up 6.2 percent.

•Other cities to record above-average growth rates were Manukau, North Shore, Auckland and Waitakere.

•The city with the lowest number of businesses was Upper Hutt, with 2,203 businesses. In the latest year, the number of businesses in Upper Hutt grew by 4.4 percent, just below the national average of 4.5 percent.


•Queenstown-Lakes District recorded the highest percentage increase in the number of business locations in the last year, with 13.8 percent more business locations. This is more than three times the New Zealand average of 4.5 percent.

•Other districts recording annual increases in the number of business locations of more than 7 percent in the last year were:

Western Bay of Plenty 10.7%

Hurunui 9.5%

Kaikoura 9.0%

Tasman 8.8%

Otorohanga 8.6%

Waitomo 7.4%

Central Otago 7.3%.

This is the second of three media releases related to Statistics New Zealand's business demography statistics. It will be followed on 20 November 2003 by a release containing key points about New Zealand's industries.

More information, including numbers and a graph for each region, city and district, is available at: or by calling 0508 525 525 toll free in New Zealand.

Note: Businesses in this release refer to business locations. A business (enterprise) may operate from more than one location. Businesses engaged in farming are not included.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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