Tourism and food key to Nelson’s economic growth


Tourism and food are the two industries that can provide the most economic growth to Nelson and Tasman, says economic development minister Steven Joyce.

Mr Joyce today released the 2015 Regional Economic Activity Report, which highlights areas of growth and opportunity in every region of New Zealand. For both Nelson and Tasman it was tourism and food that were seen as the major industries that could see growth.

The report said Nelson’s economy is diverse, with a high proportion of its employment in the health care and social assistance, retails and professional, scientific and technical services sectors

While Tasman is the most rural of New Zealand’s regions, with much of its economy based around primary production.  Around 14 per cent of its employment is in horticulture, compared with 1.5 per cent in the rest of the country. Forestry is also a significant contributor to regional GDP, with both forestry and horticulture contributing around $430 million to the regional economy in 2012.

“The report identifies tourism as one of the sectors where further development will help lift growth in the region. Further development of the cruise ship market and the promotion of Nelson as a premier food and beverage region will be key. Tourism will also be helped by Jetstar’s recent announcement that it will operate to Auckland and Wellington from the region.”

“Nelson airport is the fourth busiest commercial airport in New Zealand and that the city provides international connectivity for the surrounding wine, pip fruit, seafood and forestry industries.” Mr Joyce says.

On Tasman, he says it is home to three national parks – Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes, and the report identifies an opportunities for Tasman to further develop the tourism sector based on the conservation land, cycle ways and walking tracks in the region, as well as promoting it as a premier food and beverage region.

“There are a number of Business Growth Agenda Actions highlighted in the report that are relevant to Tasman including, completing Nga Haerenga – The New Zealand Cycle Way, extending the Ultra-Fast Broadband network and Primary Growth Partnerships.”


The report was produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and provides the most recent facts on the economy of each region. It supports the Government’s Business Growth Agenda by increasing understanding of the New Zealand economy and its component regional economies. The report highlights trends and opportunities for each region, to inform better decision making and investment attraction.

“The Government has a full range of projects in the Business Growth Agenda to help Tasman benefit from its economic opportunities. We will continue to work with Tasman’s business and community leaders to build on its strengths and attract new investment to grow jobs and incomes.”

The 2015 Report is complemented by a data-and-functionality-enhanced web tool as well as a new mobile app with interactive maps and charts. This information will be regularly updated as new statistics become available.

“The improved web tool and new mobile app will make it easier for councils, business groups and residents of different regions across New Zealand to compare and contrast the economic fortunes of different regions, and explore in more depth how economic growth can be achieved in their particular region,” says Mr Joyce.

The Regional Economic Activity Report and interactive website are available