Manawatū economic update

(Posted on: May 29)

MDC Economic Advisor Stacey Bell outlines the opportunities in Manawatū

According to the data presented at the Regional Economic Update held at Manfeild, there are opportunities for business in Manawatū. Our population is increasing and so has the number of jobs, earning from salaries has increased by 7.7%.

With strong population and employment growth, the demand for residential housing is high. Land values have increased by 448% since 1994. Alongside this there is solid growth in the number of residential building consents. With the most critical pressure for the housing market expected over the next three to four years, new housing builds will need to grow further to keep up with demand.

There are significant non-residential projects identified through to 2030 that will inject approximately $3.5 billion and transfer jobs in to the region. Meat and dairy exports continue to perform well for the district with export values increasing strongly to the year ended April.

Trade conditions and levels of investment are driving employment and income growth in the region. According to Manawatū District Council's Economic Advisor, to capitalise on these opportunities we will need to create the right conditions for growth. This means boosting the housing supply. “We also need to create confidence for business to invest, and develop skills and talent to meet the elevated demand for labour in the region” said Stacey Bell, “Much of the key to our continued growth is through our people, enhancing health and wellbeing and investing in skills and talent to match labour demand with skills.”

To support continued growth, the government needs to deliver policy certainty to support business confidence and drive investment, alongside access to capital and funding. Through government, agency, industry and community we need to invest in human capital to improve social outcomes and create a productive workforce to support economic expansion.

All of these elements are the nutrient for growth in the region, the other key element is collaboration between industry, community, agencies and government to grow grassroots entrepreneurships.