Wednesday, 25th November, 2020
Economic activity in Mackenzie District has eased by 2.3% over the past year, according to Infometrics provisional estimates.
This compares favourably to the national decline of 3.3%.
Although the Mackenzie has traditionally been reliant on international visitors, the district has benefited from a surge in domestic tourism. According to MBIE’s regional tourism estimates, domestic visitors spent an extra $28m in the district in the September 2020 quarter compared to the September 2019 quarter. This nearly offset the loss of international visitors, who spent $36m in the district in the September 2019 quarter.
Wendy Smith said “The majority of operators we have spoken to have been thrilled with the support from locals and from wider New Zealand and encouraged the visitors to keep on coming and experience the Legendary Mackenzie.” There is however huge concern for the post-Xmas holiday period when kiwis return to school/work and the usual influx of international arrivals from February unable to occur.
International visitors spent $78m in Mackenzie in the December 2019 quarter, so their absence may become more apparent from late summer.
Consumer spending overall in the district is down by only 3.4% on an annual basis, again reflecting that the domestic tourism surge has nearly offset the loss of internationals through winter.
Mackenzie’s house values have appreciated by 7.7% over the past year – in line with the national average of 8.0%. Residential consents have fallen 9.1% over the past year, despite a 3.5% increase nationally. A total of 21 new residential building consents were issued in Mackenzie District in the September quarter, compared with 40 in the same quarter last year. Although the number of residential consents issued in the September quarter is comparable to the District’s ten-year average – indicating there is still solid demand for the District’s house builders – this is an area to be monitored closely going forward.
Non-residential consents dropped by 50.5% over the past year, as a burst of visitor accommodation construction comes to a close.
The number of Jobseeker Support recipients has continued to rise, with an additional 41 recipients in Mackenzie over the past year. The labour market remains tight, however, with an unemployment rate of 1.5%.
” We are receiving constant feedback from businesses around unavailability of kiwi workers to fill a wide range of vacancies despite extensive advertising and offers around relocation. The key for the Mackenzie District is to enable migrants who are already in New Zealand to change employers and jobs and to extend their visas to be able to continue working” said Wendy Smith. “We have fit willing and able migrants who can’t work and can’t return home and we need them. We are hopeful that the government will recognise this and adapt current policy settings that will benefit everyone.”
Indicator Mackenzie District Canterbury Region New Zealand
The Mackenzie District also benefits from a strong and high performing agricultural sector, often a sector that slips below the radar as it has a lower profile and yet makes a very consistent contribution to the GDP of the district. As an example, Mackenzie District's dairy payout for the 2020/21 season is expected to be approximately $41.2m, $2.06m lower than last season, assuming that production levels from last season are maintained.