Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZ Outdoor Recreation Could Be Big Business

NZ Outdoor Recreation Could Be Big Business

A New Zealand outdoor recreation advocacy says outdoor recreation is a very big contributor to the economy, but lacked appreciation by government.

Andi Cockroft, co-chairman of the Council of Outdoor Recreation said a recent study in the US showed the outdoor recreation industry’s contribution to the US’s GDP was larger than that of all mining, including the extraction of oil and gas.

“And the US study showed the industry is expanding. In 2016, it grew 3.8 percent, compared to the overall economy’s growth of 2.8 percent,” he said.

Andi Cockroft said it confirmed what many strongly suspected that outdoor recreation was a big business.

“The impact of activities like boating, fishing, mountain biking, recreational vehicle treks, hunting, camping, hiking and others, is immense,” he said. “Many businesses benefited in accommodation, charters and guiding, travel and many retail businesses. Significantly such expenditure flowed strongly into regions.”

Fishing Whopper

Andi Cockroft said the strong clue that the US study conclusions would be similar in New Zealand was a 2016 study by the NZ Marine Research Foundation that recreational saltwater fishing benefited the national economy by supporting 8,100 jobs and stimulating $1.7 billion per annum in total economic activity. Participation in both fresh and saltwater fishing increased by 10 percent between 2008 and 2014 and was trending upwards.

“If fisheries are kept strong and resilient, that contribution of recreational fishing can grow even more,” he said. “That’s the crux - outdoor recreation has greater economic potential than commercially exploiting fish stocks to exhaustion.”

Unfortunately economic data on the recreational fishing industry had been previously lacking and governments tended to strongly favour commercial interests, to the extent of ignoring the recreational fishing public.

Political Donations

This was in a large measure due to corporate fishing companies “investing” heavily in political parties by way of donations to get preferential favours.

“New Zealand has too often overlooked the significant contributions generated by marine recreational fishers,” said Andi Cockroft. “Extend the recreational saltwater study to all outdoor recreation and the monetary value of total outdoor recreation to the economy would be in several billions of dollars per year.”

Futile Ideology

He warned that the ideology of locking outdoor resources up or trying to restore New Zealand to 500 AD by measures such as mass aerial poisoning was futile and self-defeating.

“Locking the public out of their own lands while ignorantly poisoning the ecosystem, which outdoor recreation is based on, is plain stupid.”

Rather than just exploiting the outdoors as a resource, as previous governments had done, valuing participation in outdoor recreation should stimulate a new culture in politics and the public service. Outdoor recreation has proven physical and mental health benefits.

Appreciating the value of outdoor recreation benefited conservation values and New Zealand’s vaunted “clean and green” marketing image for exports and tourists Andi Cockroft said. Outdoor recreation was also a significant tourist drawcard adding to the economic value by New Zealanders.

“Often that is the bottom line by which you can protect these natural resources, by showing the economic driver that they are in terms of outdoor recreation”.

Stats. NZ Failing
It was revealing that while other developed nations could value and quantify the health and economic benefits outdoor recreation made to their economies, the recent Statistics NZ report on the economic value of our natural resources ignored it completely.

Referring to the recent election of Simon Bridges to National Party leadership, Andi Cockroft said politicians particularly needed to heed the US study and its application to New Zealand. He pointed out that the previous Government’s Energy Minister was Simon Bridges who signed off the public’s biggest forest park for oil and gas exploration and then later admitted he had never heard of the park.

“At stake were environmental and recreational values, all of much greater value than mining as the American study showed,” he said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Up $1.20: $17.70 Minimum Wage Next Year

Coalition Government signals how it will move toward its goal of a $20 p/h minimum wage by 2021... “Today we are announcing that the minimum wage will increase to $17.70 an hour on 1 April 2019." More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Capital Proposals Are 'Radical', Says Fitch

International credit rating agency Fitch says the Reserve Bank's proposals for increased bank capital adequacy ratios are "radical" and "highly conservative relative to international peers", but the result will ultimately be "significantly stronger buffers" against financial system shocks. More>>

ALSO:

Regions And Skills: Work Visa Proposals 'Step In The Right Direction'

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced yesterday that the Government is consulting on proposed changes to employer-assisted temporary work visa settings to ensure that work visas issued reflect genuine regional skill shortages. More>>

ALSO:

Long Commutes: Hamilton To Auckland Passenger Rail Trial Gets Green Light

The NZ Transport Agency Board has approved a business case for the next steps in a start-up trial Hamilton to Auckland passenger rail service, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced. More>>

ALSO:

Working Group Update: Mycoplasma Bovis Eradication Making Substantial Progress

International experts are impressed by New Zealand’s efforts to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis and are more confident the campaign is working... More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Arrest For Human Trafficking And Slavery

It is alleged that the man, who is a Samoan national and New Zealand resident, has been regularly bringing Samoan nationals to New Zealand to work illegally for him in the horticultural industry. More>>

ALSO: