Kāpiti leads economic growth across Wellington Region in wake of COVID-19
The Kapiti Coast’s local economy grew 0.3% over the year to March 2021, joining the Wairarapa in leading growth across the Wellington Region in the wake of COVID-19, according to Infometrics’ latest Quarterly Economic Monitor report.
The district continues to benefit from a growing number of residents working from home and strong local spending.
“Our community’s efforts to support local over the last year have resulted in consumer spending growth of 2.1%, outpacing the national average and more than recovering the loss of spending during last year’s lockdown,” says Natasha Tod, Group Manager Strategy, Growth and Recovery for the Kāpiti Coast District Council.
“Our steadily growing population is also contributing to spending growth, as well as keeping our construction sector busy. Council issued 57 new residential building consents in the March 2021 quarter, compared with 47 in the same quarter last year.”
Employment of Kāpiti residents grew 1.8% over the past year and data from Ministry of Social Development shows a decrease in the number of Jobseeker Support recipients between the December 2020 and March 2021 quarters, particularly in the crucial 18-24 year old age group, which is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 related job losses.
“Visitor spending in Kāpiti was down 2.9% over the year highlighting that we have work to do to promote our slice of paradise as a destination for Kiwis to explore. We have a number of initiatives to support this already underway including the development of a Destination Management Plan which identifies aspirations for what our visitor’s experience could look like, and the actions we would need to take as a district to get there,” says Ms Tod.
“We are also launching a targeted ‘Recharge in Kāpiti’ campaign showcasing the things to do, experience and eat on the Coast to Wellingtonians needing a break from the city. This links with the current Tourism New Zealand ‘Do Something New, New Zealand!’ campaign.
“With all the uncertainty over the last year, especially for our business community, we’re delighted to see this progress towards our economic recovery from COVID-19. Through our draft Long-term Plan 2021-2041 we have proposed significant investment in infrastructure, growth and community to support this economic momentum, and strengthen our resilience.
“These economic growth statistics are encouraging and we have a good platform and a number of initiatives underway to continue to grow and develop our economy,” says Neil Mackay, Chair of the independent Economic Development Kotahitanga Board overseeing the implementation and delivery of the Economic Development Strategy.
“Good progress is being made on a number of the Strategy’s deliverables including qualifying new businesses that have an interest in establishing operations in our region, scoping an Education and Training hub to provide a local training option to meet skill gaps in our local industry and strengthening key relationships with iwi, business, central government and with WellingtonNZ.”
More on Council’s work to support economic development at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/our-district/economic-development/strategy-for-supporting-economic-development/