29 March 2012
Economic growth in the Waipa District is still driven by agriculture and in particular dairy, however other sectors are also performing strongly, a report by economics firm Infometrics shows.
Dairy continues to be the single largest sector, making up 15.7 per cent of the Waipa economy in the year to March 2011. Agriculture and forestry together are the largest industry, accounting for 22.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The next largest industries in Waipa are wholesale and retail trade, 11.6 per cent of the economy, and manufacturing, 11.3 per cent.
The Infometrics report showed that Waipa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $1.14 billion in the year to March 2011, 3.7 per cent higher than the previous year.
Dairy farming was a big driver behind that growth. In the 12 months to March 2011 the industry grew at 8.7 percent, compared to the national average of 5 percent. While it contributed close to half of the 3.7 percent GDP growth seen in the year to March 2011, it did not have the fastest rate of growth, with wholesale and retail trade expanding by 9.6 per cent.
“We have a mix of industries in Waipa of which dairy is an important facet,” said Waipa District Council Business Development Facilitator Peter Carr.
“In moving forward with our Economic Development Strategy we are striving to ensure we get a sensible mix of industry that encourages employment right across the district,” he said.
Infometrics said that since 2000 Waipa’s economic diversification has stayed relatively static, compared to the national economy which has become less diversified. Infometrics measured diversification using the Tress index, where zero represents a highly diversified economy and 100 represents an economy where activity is centred in a few industries.
Waipa had a Tress index of 77.9 in 2011, the same as it recorded in 2000. The national Tress index was 72 in 2011, up from 69.9 in 2000. Waipa’s Tress Index of 77.9 for 2011 ranked it 29 out of the 72 local authorities in New Zealand for economic diversification.
The report also showed that dairy farming is the biggest employer in the district, providing 11.6 per cent of jobs. Agriculture and forestry was the largest employment sector, accounting for 21.1 percent of jobs ahead of wholesale and retail trade with 17.4 per cent.
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