Venture Taranaki’s latest Taranaki Trends publication is available now, presenting an easily digestible snapshot of regionally-focused data spanning a range of industries and sectors.

“Overall, Taranaki can be seen as performing well, though the data supports the need for work that is being done, through Tapuae Roa and initiatives like the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap, to help ensure growth can be maintained,” says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Justine Gilliland.
 
“Regional GDP, the measure of economic activity in Taranaki, rose to $8.1 billion in the year to end-March 2018, and while this has slowed in relation to the national pace, Taranaki still ranks as one of the highest rates of economic activity per capita in New Zealand.”
 
This issue of Trends also captures business numbers, employment, average wage and household income, housing values and affordability, and more.
 
The food production industry receives a special focus, finding that the sector employed 9,444 people last year in Taranaki, 5.4% of the industry total nationwide, and contributed $1.2 billion to the regional economy.
 
Retail spending, the visitor industry and construction activity are also reviewed in detail.
 
“The data tells some really interesting stories,” Justine says. “For instance, visitors to our region spent an estimated $411 million in the year to the end of January 2019, fuel and automotive spending is the fastest growing retail sector but groceries and liquor attracts the greatest proportion of the region’s retail spend, and around two thirds of the $338 million in building consents issued last year were for residential builds.”
 
“The data in Trends suggests that Taranaki’s economic performance is being influenced by broader economic developments, but that there is still positive momentum in the region’s performance. The challenge we face will be ensuring that momentum continues.”
 
“Trends is an important component of Venture Taranaki’s regional intelligence activity, which also includes regular releases of retail and visitor data, a comprehensive six-monthly survey of regional business sentiment, and more detailed documents looking at the economic impacts or potential of specific industries, sectors and events,” Justine says.
 
“The value of this work is in giving businesses a credible tool to help them plan for growth and to benchmark against wider regional performance, while it also offers those with a strategic connection to the region a regular barometer of progress against the wider economic landscape.”
 
This edition of Trends introduces two new measures – those of electric car registrations and Ultra-Fast Broadband uptake.
 
“The statistics that we use to measure our society change over time and adding this new data to Trends is a reflection of that change” says Venture Taranaki’s General Manager Economy & Sector Development Dr Anne Probert.

“The Consumer Price Index is a good example - in 1914 tripe, sago, candles and tinned herrings were among the key household staples assessed, while restaurant meals were added in 1949, kiwifruit and yoghurt in 1974, and cell phone services in 1999. Candles were removed from the list in 1949, 45rpm records in 1974, and telegrams were deemed no longer relevant in 1980.”

“It is important that Trends moves with the times and with the changing economic landscape of our region,” Anne says.

“Evaluation of our region’s prosperity is increasingly broadening to encompass measures such as well-being and environmental sustainability. This has created new challenges in terms of securing robust and accurate data relevant to our region and its businesses and residents.”

“As new areas of interest and economic potential arise, we’ll look to capture and present evidence of those areas to help local businesses and stakeholders confidently plan for the future, just as Venture Taranaki is helping the region as a whole plan for its own.”

View this and past Taranaki Trends here