Taupo District Economic Monitor March 2017

This report provides an analysis and assessment of the current economic situation within the Taupo District area, trends over the past year and the national economic outlook for the next 12 months. The base information for the analysis is sourced from a range of organisations including Statistics New Zealand, Government agencies, banking sector and other organisations. Growth comparisons with other regions and the country as a whole are included in the analysis, where appropriate. Appendices 1 and 2 provide a range of annual key economic and industry indicator results for the district since 2005 which may be helpful to business and other interests in and outside the area.  This report covers the March 2017 quarter.

Trend summary:

There were a number of individual economic indicator changes in the Taupo District over the past year, including as follows: 

Positive economic changes: 

  • Further gains in total population and overall net population migration into the District. 
  • Significant growth in the volume and value of consented new residential building activity.
  • Increased volume and value of total consented building alterations.
  • Increased house sales, median selling prices and median housing rentals. 
  • Significantly increased retail spending and consumer confidence. 
  • Significant gains in commercial visitor arrival numbers & night-stays and also in total visitor spend.


The main ‘downside’ local economic indicator trends over the past year were the significant falls in the volume and value of consented new commercial-industrial and rural building, and the decline in new motor vehicle registrations. 

Overall, real economic activity/ GDP growth of an estimated 3.3% is forecast by ESL for the Taupo District for the March 2017 year.  This compares with the forecast similar national growth rate for the period. Annual economic growth in the district for the earlier year ended March 2016 was recorded at an estimated 3.6%. 

The Taupo sectors which recorded the strongest overall GDP growth in real terms during the 2006-2015 period are forestry/logging and wood manufacturing, mining and energy provision, and commercial industries and services.

District employment grew by an estimated 6.4% over the year ended March 2017, based on Statistics New Zealand Household Labourforce Survey results for the wider Waikato region. Meanwhile, unemployment was unchanged from the previous March 2016 year. The rate of unemployment fell from 4.2% down to 3.9% and the number of registered Job Seeker Support benefit recipients fell by 7%. 

Nationally, dairy industry export receipts nationally are forecast to increase by some 16% during the coming year. Meat and wool receipts are forecast to increase by around 4%. Forestry exports are forecast to increase by approximately 9%.  Horticultural export receipts are forecast to increase by 5% during the coming year. The ANZ Bank’s international commodity price Index has been on an underlying long-term increasing trend since around 2005 and also experiencing a relatively sharp increase since late 2015/early 2016. 

Recent/impending new developments in the Taupo District include the new Discovery Centre at Mind Junction, improvements to Spa Park’s natural hot pools, employment of additional structural engineering expertise at Cheal Consultants, completion of the redeveloped Motuaopa boating marina and launching of Destination Great Lake Taupo’s 2017 winter tourism campaign.  

The latest New Zealand Institute of Economic Research Consensus Forecasts, prepared in March this year, are anticipating 3.3% average annual economic growth for New Zealand as a whole for the year ended March 2018, compared to the figure of 3.4% for the year ended March 2017.

Click to download the full report: Taupo District Economic Monitor - March 2017 Quarter

Population Estimate (June 2016): 36,200

Projected Total Households: 14,500

Est. Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $1.85 Billion

Est. Annual Economic Growth (March 2017): 3.3%

Annual HLFS Based Employment: 19,788

Annual employment change: 6.4%

Unemployment: 805

Unemployment rate (%): 3.9%

Economic Research and Reports

Each quarter, Enterprise Great Lake Taupo commissions economic research and publishes the findings in the ‘Taupō District Economic Monitor’.  This report is prepared independently by Economist Sean Bevin, and follows the same format each quarter to provide benchmarking and comparison.  

Local valuers, Truss & Keys, produce an annual Retail Precinct Survey that contains benchmarking data and analysis.  You can read the current edition here

SME's dominate our industries and make an important contribution to our economy. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment together with Statistics New Zealand have put together this Small Business sheet that contains plenty of great facts and figures.

MBIE also have an interactive tool that you can use to find out key economic data and see how our economy compares to others.  Check it out here.

Marketview - This report gives an insight into retail spending in the Taupo District. It looks at who is spending in our district, where the hotspots are and how our retail spend compares to the rest of New Zealand. 

Download previous Taupo District Economic Monitor reports below: