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Regions lead recovery from Global Financial Crisis

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister for Economic Development

28 March 2014

Regions lead recovery from GFC

Provincial regions across the country have led New Zealand’s economic recovery from the Global Financial Crisis according to new Statistics New Zealand numbers released today, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

Bay Of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay in the North Island, and Nelson/Tasman, Canterbury, Otago, and Southland, have experienced growth above the national average of the five year period from 2008 to 2013, while Auckland, the West Coast, and Waikato have been just under the average. Meanwhile Taranaki continues to generate the highest GDP per capita by some margin.

“This new regional data, which wasn’t previously calculated, is the clearest indicator yet that it is our regional economies that have led New Zealand’s recovery from the GFC,” Mr Joyce says. “Sustained economic growth is the only way we can create more jobs and increase incomes.”

New regional GDP data, which is now available up until 31 March last year, covers the period of the GFC, the Canterbury earthquakes, and last summer’s drought which affected agricultural regions across the country.

“We can see in the data the clear effects of the drought last summer with a number of more farming-based regions having a tougher time in the year to 31 March 2013. We can also see the positive effect of the first stages of the earthquake rebuild in Canterbury, with growth of six per cent recorded in just one year,” Mr Joyce says.

“Overall the South Island has experienced stronger growth than the North Island over the last five years. The South has grown at 21 per cent while the North has grown 13 per cent in five years. That’s another signal, alongside lower unemployment rates, that there are significant job opportunities in the South Island.

Mr Joyce says regional GDP statistics would become a regular feature of the national landscape in the years ahead.

“It’s important to have clear indicators for the regions of the results of their efforts to attract investment and encourage growth,” Mr Joyce says.

ENDS

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