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Northland sets economic growth pace, displaces Canterbury

Much maligned Northland, often described as an economic laggard, is the top performing region for the second quarter in a row.

It is also the top-performing regional economy on a year-on-year basis for the first time in 10 years.

ANZ’s latest quarterly survey of regional economies shows Northland posted a 3.4% growth rate, nearly twice that of runner-up Bay of Plenty with 3.8%.

ANZ says the Northland increase was reflected in retail sales, employment, section sales and online job advertising. The annual increase was also boosted by house prices, rural real estate sales, dwelling approvals, commercial consents and regional traffic flows.

The economies of Nelson-Marlborough and Canterbury have both risen for 12 consecutive quarters, with the Bay of Plenty next best with nine consecutive quarterly increases.

Rural-aligned regions recorded a 1.0% increase in activity, while the three main metropolitan regions undershot this with a 0.4% increase.

Regions to show negative growth were Gisborne (down 0.7%), Southland (down 0.3%) and Taranaki (down 0.2%).

The nationwide measure of economic activity increased 0.7%, with the North Island economy increasing 0.7%, slightly ahead of a 0.6% increase measured in the South Island.

Annual growth figures
Northland is also the top region in year-on-year growth with four consecutive and robust quarterly increases contributing to a pace-setting 7.4%.

Canterbury was displaced into second place with 4.9%, its lowest rate of increase in two years.

Auckland, by far the biggest region, rose 4.3% annually and 0.4% in the March quarter.

Year-on-year economic growth has accelerated to three-year highs in Wellington and Otago, and two-and-a-half-year highs in Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu-Whanganui.

At the national level, year-on-year economic growth eased from 4.2% in December to 4.1% in March. The economy of the South Island expanded 4.3%, while the North Island economy increased 4.1%.

RAW DATA: ANZ Regional Trends 2014 (pdf)900.05 KB

Comments and questions

Sitting in an unrepaired house 3 and a half years after the quakes I am not surprised that Christchurch's growth is below expectation. The repair, despite media claims to the contrary, has been slow, irregular and inept.

Northland has had literally hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars thrown at the region on the basis of iwi claims - some highly contestable, but rubberstamped by this opportunistic government.

A year ago, on Waitangi Day, John Key boasted of bestowing $200 million on one small tribe alone. Another multi-million-dollar settlement was made about the same time this year, and one iwi is after half a billion.

It would be outrageous if Northland is not getting its act together - given these extraordinary figures. But will these massive handouts achieve permanent results - or will the iwi be carving it up among themselves, as is customary - given that no requirement is ever made that they have a responsibility to the government, and to the taxpayer?

One of the most culpable things about these "compensations" - is that no accountability has ever been required in return.

What sort of banana parliament are we supporting?

How about using facts, not prejudices.

Northland treaty settlements total $187m to date, covering 44,000 iwi members. That's an average of $4k per member. Ngapuhi is claiming $500m for it's 125,000 members, but the likely settlement is half that.

What accountability was required from Arthur Alan Thomas in return for his compensation for the Crowns' historical wrongs?

When you receive compensation for land taken by the Crown (such as for a motorway), do you think we taxpayers should tell you how to spend it?

While I understand your thoughts Cassandra (and agree that there should be accountability for public spending), this is quite different from standard operating requirements and these are exactly "compensations" and not "handouts" as you suggest.
While your Insurance company may require you to spend a payout a certain way to get value back in the asset they're insuring, a compensation payment (say issued through a court order) is often left up to the recipient to spend as they feel best.
The Iwi are best suited to distribute this to their people and ave controls and accountabilities in place for that- not the Govt or people outside looking in who haven't had any of the tragedies against them that has led to the compensation in the first place.
And, no, I'm not Maori nor am I benefiting from any of these payouts.