The GDP of Tairawhiti is small - 0.7% New Zealand’s GDP
This is partly geography (location, population and landscape) and partly a historical reliance on primary industries.
If we want to grow our share of the GDP, and have a stronger, more resilient economy, we may need to re-shape what we do, how we do it and where we do it.
“He tangata – it is people”
The evidence - what do we already know?
Population growth is significant
» In 30 years we expect to have another 4,000 people living in our region (nearly 9% increase) – mostly from inward migration.
» Gisborne is facing the prospect of an aging population. Currently the 70+ years age group accounts for 10% of the population. This is expected to increase to 16% of the population aged over 70 years by 2048.
» Housing affordability is becoming an issue within Gisborne city. Median house prices rose by $44,000 during 2018 to $390,000 in February 2019 - up more than 25% on the same time last year.
» Nearly a quarter (23.8%) of jobs are in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sectors
» Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing experienced a 18.7% overall drop in the number of workers between 2000 and 2017.
» Employment growth in Gisborne has lagged behind the rest of the country. Between 2000 and 2017 Gisborne employment grew around 5.5%, while the rest of the country experienced growth of around 28%.
» In 2017 the largest sectors were:
> Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
> Health care and social assistance, and
» The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sectors currently make up a large share (23.8%) of employment, relative to other sectors. Sheep, beef cattle and grain farming is the largest sector in terms of employment - 2,093 workers .
» Other large sectors include:
> Health care and social assistance (2,653 workers)
> Professional, scientific, technical, administrative and support services (2,123 workers)
> Education and training (2,103 workers).
» By 2048, the largest sectors are expected to be:
> Agriculture, forestry and fishing support services (3,080 jobs; +84% from 2018)
> Sheep, beef cattle and grain farming (2,730 jobs; +10%)
> Professional, scientific, technical, administrative and support services (2,710 workers; +15% from 2018)
» The working-age population is decreasing as our people get older.
» 400 jobs need filling immediately and yet…
»In 2018, Gisborne was New Zealand’s fastest growing tourism region with the total spend increasing by 14.4% to $166m
»52,700 international visitors visited the region in the year ending December 2018, up from 36,300 the year before (+40%).
»Longer term average increase of 5.5% per annum since 2007.
Growth and development
The government announced $153 million of funding to develop Tairawhiti outlined below:
» The Waiapu landfill is the only class 1 landfill in the region
» We truck most of our waste approximately 300km to a landfill in Paeroa
» We have too much organic waste currently going to landfill:
» Green waste currently 5.9% of total waste stream at TPI (748Tpa)
» Food waste currently 22% of total waste (2795Tpa)
» Approx. 10,000Tpa of wood bark is transported to Hawke’s Bay for processing into compost
» 87% of Tairawhiti have access to refuse and recycling services
The challenges and opportunities
Challenges - if we do nothing
» Tairawhiti will continue to rely on primary industries that may not be sustainable for example, our economy is the most reliant on forestry in all of New Zealand.
» The continual shortage of labour will continue to negatively impact on economic growth in the region.
» An aging population will place constraints on rates affordability.
» A continuing shortage of housing supply will constrain economic growth and challenge affordability and home ownership rates.
» Our waste mountain will continue to grow – the economic cost of managing this waste will continue to grow as well.
» Continue to promote Tairawhiti as a lifestyle destination and the best place to live in New Zealand.
» Look at opportunities to invest in local townships to support regional economic development.
» Support the growth of tourism through an East Coast journey with development of key destinations, activities and infrastructure to support an increase in visitor traffic.
» Ensure availability of land for new housing to attract and support new businesses establishing in Gisborne.
» Consider alternative waste technologies to landfill disposal.
» Promote the reuse of treated wastewater .
» Development of circular economy for the region.
» Tech industry development and innovation.
» How do we fill the labour market shortage?
> How do we attract more people to the region?
> Where will they live?
> What further infrastructure will we need to support this growth?
» What infrastructure do we need to support the sustainable development of our key regional industries?
» What are the opportunities to reduce our waste stream?
» How do we move towards a more circular economy?
> How do we eliminate waste?
> How do we create a more liveable region?
> How do we regenerate natural systems?
» What are the opportunities for new industries and business sectors across Tairāwhiti?
> Tech hub?
> Manufacturing / value added to primary products?