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Northland’s economic report card confirms progress

Northland’s economic report card confirms steady progress towards sustainable growth

Northland’s economy is tracking steadily towards a sustainable and robust future, according to the second annual report card on the regional economy.

Commissioned by Enterprise Northland, the report card tracks performance since 2002 towards the goals identified in Northland’s regional economic strategy, Northland Forward Together - Kokiri Ngatahi Tai Tokerau, with comparisons against a peer group of eight similar regions.

As Northland’s regional economic development agency, Enterprise Northland is responsible for implementing the strategy, with the key objective: “Northland will be recognised within five years [from 2002] as a top-performing regional economy of its type in New Zealand, by being a leading (within the top three) destination for visitors, a leading region for sustainable business development, and by being a leading region for Maori business successes.”

Northland received top-three rankings for economic activity, consumer confidence, and building consents (by value and number).

The region also held its reputation as a leading tourism destination, maintaining first place for visitor nights and second place for visitor arrivals, and moving up from third to second for length of stay.

“Overall, the report card highlights just how consistently the Northland economy has performed over the past three years,” said Enterprise Northland chief executive officer Brian Roberts. “It confirms what has been coming through in the quarterly figures released during the year – that Northland’s economy is tracking favourably when compared with similar regions.

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“The absence of major fluctuations will be welcomed by Northlanders who remember the boom-and-bust cycles of the past.”

He added that the buoyant building consent figures demonstrated long term confidence in the region, especially in terms of commercial building activity..

However, Northland continued to trail other regions in employment, labour force participation, qualifications and average weekly income.

“This year, the Northland regional skills and training strategy, Meeting the Skills Challenge In Northland - designed to better align education and training with industry need – has been developed as a joint initiative between a number of agencies,” said Mr Roberts.

“We would expect to see an improvement in the labour-related indicators over the next five years as that strategy takes effect.”

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