Modelled Territorial Authority GDP 2019 release

The 2019 release of our experimental Modelled Territorial Authority Gross Domestic Product (MTAGDP) estimates is for the year ended March 2018.

Data download

Full data table for MTAGDP [XLSX, 1.6 MB]

Main results

Annual nominal GDP

The annual nominal GDP figures for territorial authority regions align with Statistics New Zealand’s annual nominal GDP figures for regional council regions. Nominal or current price GDP does not control for changes in prices.

  • Annual nominal (non-inflation adjusted) GDP increased in 58 of the 66 territorial authority regions for the year ended March 2018. The West Coast of the South Island is the only region which experienced a reduction in GDP (-1.8%). Buller, Grey and Westland had a decline of -5.6%, -0.4% and -0.2% respectively. Other regions which had negative nominal GDP growth, include Kawerau (-1.5%), Horowhenua (-1.5%) and Hurunui (-1.2%).

  • Queenstown-Lakes had the strongest nominal annual GDP growth to the year ended March 2018 at +15.8%, close to triple the New Zealand growth rate of +5.5%.

  • Over a 5-year period, 60 of the 66 regions experienced nominal GDP growth. Queenstown-Lakes had by far the strongest growth, up +90.5%. Other regions that had very strong growth over this period include the Northland regions of Kaipara (+61.2%) and Whangarei (+38%). GDP growth was also strong in the Tasman district (+43.3%), and in the Bay of Plenty regions of Tauranga (+51.5%), Western Bay of Plenty (+42.3%) and Opotiki (+39.0%).

  • As a combined regional council and territorial authority, Auckland also grew a very strong +38.5% over the 5 years to March 2018, as did the Waikato regions of Taupō (+39.1%), Matamata-Piako (+38.2%) and Waitomo (+37.7%).

Per capita GDP

GDP per capita (nominal), controls for population growth and allows for a better comparison of GDP growth between regions.

  • Annual nominal GDP per capita for the year ended March 2018 increased in 57 of the 66 territorial authority regions. Buller had the largest fall (-5.3%) while Kawerau and Horowhenua fell -3.5% and -3.2% respectively.

  • Queenstown-Lakes (+9.0%), Invercargill (+8.8%) and Gore (+7.8%) had the strongest GDP per capita growth for the year ended March 2018. Invercargill and Matamata-Piako per capita growth was accentuated by nearly flat population growth, 0.5% and 0.2% respectively. Matamata-Piako and Tauranga also experienced strong per capita growth for the year (+7.6% and +7.5%).

  • Over a 5-year period, 62 of the 66 regions experienced GDP per capita growth. The strongest growth was seen in Queenstown-Lakes (+46.0%) and Kaipara (+43.8%). Queenstown-Lakes GDP per capita growth coincided with strong population growth of +30.5% taking it to 38,200 in 2018. Other regions growing robustly in GDP per capita were Tauranga (+35.3%), Opotiki (+35.3%), Tasman (+35.0%), and Waitomo (+33.8%).

  • Wellington City ($118,400) had by far the largest GDP per capita. It was followed by Queenstown-Lakes ($78,500) and South Taranaki ($78,300), and then by New Plymouth ($70,000) and Waitomo ($67,100). However, these comparisons should be used with caution, as regional GDP per capita differences are accentuated by the tendency for many people to work in the main urban centres (where the production takes place) while living in neighbouring districts.  

Table 1: Fastest growing TA regions ordered by nominal GDP per capita growth over 5 years (2013-18) 

Territorial authority regions GDP per capita growth GDP growth Population growth
2013-2018* 2017-2018 2013-2018* 2017-2018 2013-2018* 2017-2018
Queenstown-Lakes 7.9% 9.0% 13.8% 15.8% 5.5% 6.3%
Kaipara District 7.5% 1.7% 10.0% 5.1% 2.3% 3.4%
Tauranga City 6.2% 0.1% 6.8% 1.7% 0.5% 1.6%
Tasman District 6.2% 7.5% 8.7% 10.3% 2.3% 2.6%
Opotoki District 6.2% 5.6% 7.5% 7.4% 1.2% 1.8%
Waitomo District 6.0% 6.4% 6.6% 6.3% 0.6% -0.1%
Marlborough District 5.9% 5.6% 6.7% 6.8% 0.8% 1.2%
Taupō District 5.5% -0.3% 7.3% 2.1% 1.7% 2.4%
Western Bay of Plenty 5.4% 5.7% 6.8% 7.1% 1.3% 1.4%
Matamata-Piako 5.3% 7.6% 6.7% 9.3% 1.3% 1.6%

*Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Source: MBIE

Figure 1: Fastest growing TA regions ordered by nominal GDP per capita growth over 5 years (2013-18)
figure 1 average growths rates fastest growing ta regions

Table 2: Slowest growing TA regions ordered by nominal GDP per capita growth over 5 years (2013-18)

Territorial authority regions GDP per capita growth GDP growth Population growth
2013-2018* 2017-2018 2013-2018* 2017-2018 2013-2018* 2017-2018
New Plymouth District -3.8% -0.6% -2.7% 0.7% 1.2% 1.3%
Buller District -3.4% -5.3% -4.3% -5.6% -0.9% -0.2%
Kawerau District -1.7% -3.5% -1.0% -1.5% 0.8% 2.0%
Strathford District -0.9% 0.8% -0.4% 1.9% 0.5% 1.1%
Central Hawke's Bay District 0.4% -1.0% 1.5% 1.0% 1.0% 2.0%
Selwyn District 0.5% 1.3% 6.5% 6.6% 5.9% 5.2%
Upper Hutt City 1.0% 2.7% 2.0% 4.0% 1.0% 1.3%
Waimate District 1.0% 0.3% 1.4% 0.3% 0.4% -0.1%
Otorohanga District 1.2% 1.1% 2.4% 2.5% 1.3% 1.4%
Lower Hutt City 1.2% 3.3% 2.0% 4.6% 0.8% 1.2%

*Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)
Source: MBIE

Figure 2: Maps of TA GDP per capita – 2018 totals and five-year growth rates
figure 2 map ta gdp per capita 2018 totals five year growth rates

Regional summaries for highlighted regions

The following summaries are for territorial authority regions and metropolitan areas that have stood out because they have had the highest GDP growth rates or GDP per capita. This section takes a look at the economic characteristics and composition of these regions using the GDP by industry figures that are available for March 2000-18 years.

We focus on the regions with outstanding per capita GDP growth over a 5-year period, which is the preferred indicator of growth as it smooths out short-term fluctuations and is less subject to revisions in the data. The main standout remains (from the previous year) the Queenstown-Lakes District.

Queenstown-Lakes

Queenstown-Lakes had easily the strongest growth in GDP over the 5 years to March 2018, at +90.5%. Its annual growth to 2018 was also relatively high at +15.8%. Its per capita GDP growth over 5 years was a very strong +46.0%, but this was considerably less than its total GDP growth rate due to very high population growth over the same period (+30.5%). Its annual per capita growth rate over the year to 2018 was +9.0% alongside high population growth in the region over that period (+5.5%).

Tourism and a rapidly growing population are fuelling the Queenstown-Lakes economy, and this is reflected in the strength of its two largest industries, which were rental, hiring and retail estate services (16.2% of Queenstown-Lakes total GDP in 2018) and construction (10.4% of total). The GDP contribution of rental, hiring and retail estate services doubled to over $400 million from 2012 to 2018. Information media, telecommunications and other services (in particular, the arts and recreation services component of this) was Queenstown-Lakes third largest industry at 8.8%. In addition, due to tourism and population growth, the share of accommodation in Queenstown-Lakes GDP was approximately 10 times greater than the New Zealand average. The share of manufacturing in Queenstown-Lakes GDP was a very modest 2.4%, while it was over 10% for New Zealand on average.

GDP growth in the 5-year period from 2013 to 2018 was driven by strong increases in rental, hiring and real estate services; construction; and information media, telecommunications and other services (particularly arts and recreation services). Owner-occupied property operation and taxes were also strong contributors to growth over the period.

Figure 3: Top five industries in Queenstown-Lakes
figure 3 top five industries queenstown
Figure 4: GDP by industry share in Queenstown-Lakes
figure 4 gdp by industry share queenstown
Figure 5: GDP per capita over time – Queenstown-Lakes vs New Zealand
figure 5 gdp per capita over time queenstown vs nz

The GDP growth rate (2013-18) of Queenstown-Lakes was twice the New Zealand average. In 2012, Queenstown-Lakes GDP per capita was similar to the national average, at approximately $50,000. In 2018, the difference in per capita GDP was close to $20,000 in favour of the Queenstown-Lakes district.

Metropolitan comparison

The Wellington metropolitan area (comprised of Wellington City, Lower Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, and Porirua City) has had the highest GDP per capita of all metropolitan areas since at least 2006. The difference in GDP per capita between Wellington and Auckland has been maintained at approximately $10,000 since 2014. The Christchurch metropolitan area (comprised of Christchurch City, Selwyn, and Waimakariri) had a sharp recovery post the Canterbury earthquakes. However, GDP per capita growth has been relatively slow since 2015, which has meant the gap between Christchurch and the other two main metropolitan areas has increased. Nevertheless, Christchurch has had higher GDP per capita ($56,600) compared to the rest of New Zealand ($51,700) over the whole period for which we have data (2006-18).

Figure 6: GDP per capita for main metropolitan areas over time
figure 6 gdp per capita for main metropolitan areas over time

Auckland and Wellington metropolitan areas had higher shares of GDP (37.9% and 12.4%) relative to their shares of population (34.7% and 9.7%), whereas the Christchurch metropolitan area, and especially the rest of New Zealand, had higher shares of population (10.5% and 54.1%) than shares of GDP (10.1% and 45.1%).

Figure 7: Share of national GDP and population in 2018
figure 7 share of national gdp and population in 2018
Last updated: 30 July 2019