Recent Statistics

When your current Mayor and her CEO suddenly start talking about economic growth and streamlining council, be aware, be very aware!

Your current Mayor, her councillors and their new CEO has spent the last 3 years ignoring the economic truth, hiding it from you and sticking their heads in the sand. This sort of behaviour has gone on for many years and is the sole reason why Whangarei is standing still.

In this year’s Pre Election report our CEO speaks of, ‘Whangarei is on the up two years of economic growth, increasing population and falling unemployment are bringing significant benefits and new challenges for our district’. Really! See the statistics.

Everybody but our Mayor and our council recognise that our economy is in very poor shape. We all see the closing businesses, the empty shops, the empty streets. We see the social issues that are evolving from an unhappy society especially our youth, we see the falling agricultural incomes and struggling support industries.

Something needs to change and quite frankly if you listen to the promises now being made by your Mayor and your councillors and believe that after 3 years they now ‘really’ believe the time is ‘just’ right to start on economic growth. You’ve got rocks in your head.

Your current Mayor and her councillors adopted their Long Term Plan, your Mayor stated “it heralds a change of focus for our district for the next 10 years.” Unfortunately economic growth was never mentioned in that summary and if we wade through 107 pages and get to page 108 titled ‘Economic Growth’ all it seems to say is that “council will provide an accurate bookings and information service which influences more visitors to stay longer and spend more”. Really that’s about the heart and soul of this councils strategic economic growth policy, it got barely 2 pages in the LTP.  They gave it a budget of around $3.8 million and took $3.77 million to pay themselves!!.


Here is the real truth, the latest govt statistics.

  • Our economy is poor. From 2010 – 15, the increase in Northlands economy was below the national average.
  • Our GDP per capita is the lowest. Govt statistics released in March 2106 state that Northland had the lowest GDP per capita in NZ, $35,103.00 verses the national average of $52,953.00
  • Our population growth is poor. Govt stats put Whangarei’s actual ‘real’ population growth at less than 400 per year. In comparison the Bay of Plenty grew by over double that.
  • Govt statistics state that since the 2006 census, Northland’s entire population grew by only 3223 people.
  • Our unemployment is getting worse. The annual average unemployment rate in the Whangarei District was 7.8% in June 2016 up from 7.7% a year earlier. The average unemployment rate in NZ is only 5.2%. Infometrics 2016.
  • Our Business growth is abysmal. In the last 10 years over-all business growth in Whangarei was less than 0.5%. In the BOP their annual employment grew by 13%
  • Has our regions GDP really increased?. No not via true economic growth, only through increased house prices. Its a very false indicator.

Its depressing and its real and its simply not going to go away. Building more infrastructure will do nothing to improve the situation. Whangarei needs a completely new team of experienced and sound business minded people to establish real economic growth and to bring back some prosperity to Whangarei.

Simply those currently in council do not have the skills to do so.