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The Waimakariri District is proving an increasingly popular place to live and visit, as evidenced by the latest Quarterly Economic Monitor.
Released by Infometrics in late November, the report shows an almost 20% increase in tourism spending in the Waimakariri District for the year to September 2018, as well as increases in guest nights (5.0%), house sales (8.7%) and residential building consents (19%).
Tourism spending in the district, from both international and domestic visitors, increased from $73m in September 2017 to $86.4m in September 2018. Nationwide tourism spend across the same time period increased just 8.2%.
Heather Warwick, CEO of Enterprise North Canterbury, which operates the district tourism organisation Visit Waimakariri, says the district’s vibrant events calendar and her team’s focus on tourism promotion have both contributed significantly to the increased spend.
“We are thrilled that tourism expenditure in the Waimakariri continues to rise steadily. Our team works exceptionally hard to promote the Waimakariri District both domestically and internationally, and showcasing our wonderful region to the world is clearly paying off.
“Our retailers, accommodation providers, hospitality services and attractions are buoyed by those visitors and we hope that the figures continue to increase, thereby supporting the local economy and business community in the Waimakariri District.”
House sales and residential building consents also rose in the year to September, compared to a notable decrease in both figures nationwide. Residential consents across New Zealand increased just 5.4% in the year, compared to 18.8% in the Waimakariri, whilst house sales decreased 0.6% nationwide compared to the Waimakariri’s 8.7% increase.
Housing growth in the district looks to continue according to a draft report from the Greater Christchurch Partnership released this month. The ‘Our Space’ report says that Rangiora and Kaiapoi are two of three towns that should be prioritized for housing growth as Christchurch’s population is predicted to balloon by as much as 50 percent in the next 30 years. It goes on to recommend that 15 per cent of housing growth should occur in the Waimakariri District.
The latest Waimakariri District Council Long Term Plan, adopted earlier this year, outlines a future increase in capacity of the district’s arterial roads as well as significant recent spend on sewerage schemes and a water supply upgrade to support the growing population.
The Waimakariri District has more than doubled its population over the past 30 years, and a significant population growth in the next 30 years is a key component of the Council’s planning.
“The Council’s main focus for the next 30 years is on catering for growth, ensuring the renewal of assets is supported by an appropriate funding strategy, and that the Council is addressing increasing community expectations of the standard of services provided,” the plan says.