15 March 2011
The Waipa District has recorded some of the strongest economic growth of any local authority area in New Zealand, a report by economics firm Infometrics shows.
Infometrics said the Waipa economy grew faster than the Waikato region and more than three times faster than the national economy in the year to March 2011.
Waipa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $1.14 billion was 3.7 per cent higher in the March 2011 year than the March 2010 year. This compares with 2.4 per cent growth for the Waikato region, and 1.2 per cent for New Zealand. Infometrics said Waipa was ranked 13 out of the 72 local authorities in New Zealand for economic growth.
The Infometrics report also reveals that Waipa had one of the best performing local economies as the country struggled to recover from the global recession, with growth of 2.8 per cent in the two years to March 2011. This compares with just 0.2 per cent for the whole of New Zealand, ranking Waipa 6 out of the 72 local authorities over this period.
“This report shows that our economy is in good shape, despite the tough economic times that continue to prevail in New Zealand and overseas,” Waipa District Council Chief Executive Garry Dyet said.
“It’s a tribute to the hard work of our residents and the council that we have one of the strongest performing economies of all the local authorities in New Zealand,” Mr Dyet said.
“Council has worked tirelessly to protect our unique and elite soils which provides the backbone for agricultural production, and has supported and guarded the districts equine industry to ensure it remains world leading”
The report shows that primary industry - agriculture and forestry - remains the backbone of the Waipa economy, accounting for 22.5 per cent of GDP. Other important industries are manufacturing, 11.3 per cent of GDP and wholesale and retail trade, 11.6 per cent of GDP.
Within agriculture dairy remains the largest single sector, contributing 15.7 per cent or $179 million to the Waipa GDP in the March 2011 year. With growth of 8.7 per cent, dairy expanded faster than the national average of 5 per cent over this time.
During the March 2011 year wholesale and retail trade grew at 9.6 per cent, making it Waipa’s fastest growing industry. Agriculture and forestry was second with growth of 6.8 per cent.
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