The Western Bay of Plenty economy has weathered the storm of the past year surprisingly well. We are fortunate that our industries are relatively diversified for regional New Zealand, and we haven’t been overly-exposed to the sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
We are also in the great position of having many of our core industries performing well, in particular our horticulture and manufacturing sectors. The Port of Tauranga has gone from strength to strength, underlining its value to the region and the country.
These factors have led us to a position where most of our economic indicators are back to what we saw before the pandemic.
Pleasingly, unemployment has bounced back quickly from the lockdown shock – a key factor for our community wellbeing. Consent levels and retail spend have been strong, and businesses report that they are confident in the local and national economy.
As we look forward to the next year we should be optimistic. We expect the world economy to get stronger as it slowly recovers from the pandemic, and New Zealand will be well placed to take advantage of better economic conditions.
While the pandemic has been disruptive, many of our exports are in demand and our companies are well placed to take the opportunities in front of them.
“While the pandemic has been disruptive, many of our exports are in demand and our companies are well placed to take the opportunities in front of them.”
It won’t be plain sailing; supply chain issues will likely disrupt us for the foreseeable future and businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to get staff – with a reopening world becoming a competitor to New Zealand businesses.
We expect Tauranga to remain strong, with a renewed focus on investment in infrastructure and facilities locally. The Tauranga CBD will be a key area, we need to work hard to encourage more people to live, work and study in the city.
Investment intent and opportunities for offices and residential living are good, and we would expect Tauranga City Council to play a strong hand in supporting this.
After the past year, we’re particularly grateful to have come out of it in much better shape than the rest of the world economically. That places us in a strong position for the opportunities ahead.
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