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Cook Strait ferry's contribution to the Wellington economy

Backgrounder on Cook Strait ferry contribution to Wellington economy


The quake has thrown a light on the vital role of the Cook Strait ferries as part of State Highway 1.

Recently (pre-quake) CentrePort and Interislander commissioned BERL to produce a report looking at the economic impact arising from the two ferry companies having their operations based in Wellington.

They have agreed to the release of the attached summary and it is timely to remind everyone of the value of the port to the city. The numbers below include both operators on the Strait.

Key findings from this were:

The Cook Strait services transport 4 million to 5 million tonnes of freight across Cook Strait annually.
The value of these goods has been similarly estimated using a range of public and private sources at $15 billion to $20 billion per year
This is equivalent to 30% to 40% of New Zealand’s total value of goods exports.

Employment
There are approximately 820 people directly employed in the ferry operations
If including Indirect employment as a result of goods and services supplied, then the NZ total is around 1,780 FTE’s
The GDP generated by the employment activity is around $170m

Spending from travellers
There are around 1.1m passenger journeys each year
Around 35% of the journeys are from overseas tourists
There is significant economic impact spending by passengers as they pass through and spend time in Wellington as part of their journey.
The spending is estimated to generate employment for 1,660 FTEs directly and 2,135 FTEs in total.
The GDP impact of the passenger spending for Wellington is estimated at $169m

Total impact on Wellington from hosting the ferries is estimate at $330m GDP and 3,600 FTE’s

Not possible to measure the impact / benefit to business in the Wellington region from being adjacent to the main domestic freight ‘pipeline’.

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