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Confidence in the Waimakariri District is strong, based on data from the latest Quarterly Economic Monitor which was released by Infometrics last week.
The report shows that for the year to March 2019, the Waimakariri economy grew 2.7%, compared to just 1.6% for Canterbury overall and 2.5% nationally.
Commercial and residential consents in Waimakariri have markedly increased in the year to March (up 47% and 28% respectively), as have tourism expenditure (up 11.9%) and consumer spending (up 5%).
Enterprise North Canterbury Business Support Manager Miles Dalton says the figures show confidence in the future of the district.
“Commercial consents up 47% is huge and shows a large level of investment planned for the Waimakariri District. A 28% increase in residential consents is also significant, and shows a population that continues to grow rapidly. Both of these statistics demonstrate a good level of confidence in what is happening in the district.
“Consumer spending is another good indicator of confidence – up 5%, which is much higher than Canterbury overall (2.7%) and New Zealand as a whole (4.1%).”
A near 12% increase in tourism expenditure in the district for the year to March was another notable highlight in the report, but is offset by a 9.3% drop in guest nights. However, Visit Waimakariri District Promotions Manager Elizabeth Pitcorn says the guest night statistic could be misleading as it does not include B&B accommodation, freedom campers or visitors who state they are visiting friends and relatives. Peer-to-peer accommodation such as Airbnb is also excluded from the guest night stats.
“All of these forms of accommodation are significant in our district, but are excluded from the guest night stats provided by Statistics NZ. In fact, StatisticsNZ has recently announced that it will no longer record guest night statistics as, without including the likes of Airbnb bookings, it is not an accurate portrayal of a region’s guest nights. As such, we are focusing on the increased tourism expenditure here as a very positive marker of our tourism promotion work.”
International and domestic tourism spend in the Waimakariri District reached $87million for the year ending April 2019. This excludes visitors from Christchurch, who spent a further $50million in the district’s towns and at local events.
Other statistics from the report show house prices, house sales, job seekers, traffic flow and health enrolments were all up, whilst car registrations and commercial vehicle registrations were down.