Auckland expects that its economic growth will be transformational, inclusive and equitable; built on innovation, a green economy and a business-friendly attitude.
KO TE ARO WHAKARRO O TĀMAKI MAKAURAU TĒRĀ ANA MAHI OHAOHA TE HUA HEI MEA RITENGA HŌU, MAHI TAKITAHI, MANAWA TAURITE HE MEA HANGA I RUNGA I TE WHAKAARO HŌU, TIKANGA TIAKI I TE TAIAO, ME TE HINENGARO TUWHERA HAUTŪ PAKIHI.
365_ To achieve the vision for Auckland, its economy must be transformed and its economic prosperity dramatically improved. We need to innovate constantly. Our advantages lie in our technical capabilities, our Kiwi ingenuity, our strong sustainability focus and resource utilization, and the quality of life Auckland offers. A prosperous, culturally diverse city, that is innovative and capitalises on its knowledge, skills and creativity is attractive to entrepreneurial workers and enhances liveability.
366_ We will ensure that growth is inclusive and equitable, so that all Aucklanders participate in growing the economy and can enjoy its benefits. We need to earn more income, increase our skills, use our resources more effectively and make better use of our comparative advantages. This is especially important for Auckland, because prosperity and opportunity are unevenly distributed.
367_ Auckland is interdependent with the rest of New Zealand. It is the major domestic market for producers throughout New Zealand and is the distribution hub for the upper North Island cities and regions. This emerging northern North Island urban and economic system, comprising the cities and towns north of Taupo (52% of New Zealand’s population), has significant business and freight connections with Auckland. With freight volumes to and from provincial centres and Auckland projected to double over the next decade, this interdependence will increase. Auckland also relies on energy and productive resources outside the region.
368_ Auckland’s contribution to the national economy and improving
New Zealand’s economic performance is critical. It is home to one third of the population, is the largest commercial centre in New Zealand, comprises a substantial proportion of the domestic market, contributes significantly to New Zealand’s imports and exports, acts as a key service centre for other parts of the country, and has a high concentration of tertiary and research institutes.
369_ Measured internationally, Auckland’s performance is relatively poor: it is ranked 69th out of 85 metro regions in the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) in terms of GDP per capita. New Zealand’s economic performance has declined relative to other OECD countries in terms of GDP per capita33 to its position at 21st, but has stabilised at around 80% of the OECD median.34
370_ Auckland’s relative size is a disadvantage, because the scale of cities affects output per capita and levels of productivity. Auckland has lower productivity and wages than the cities that we compete against for the title of ‘most liveable’.
371_ Auckland competes internationally for ideas, talent, skills and capital. Australian cities, for example, attract thousands of our talented young people each year and compete with us for immigrants from Europe and Asia. This has contributed to Auckland having a 40% lower GDP per capita than Sydney and Melbourne.
372_ We have set bold economic targets for Auckland’s economic prosperity, supporting central government’s ambitious aspiration for New Zealand to achieve parity with Australia in terms of GDP per capita over 15 years. This is likely to require average real GDP per capita growth of above 4%, more than twice
New Zealand’s average rate over the last two decades.
373_ Achieving our economic targets requires a fundamental structural change in Auckland’s economy. Auckland is still primarily an inwardly-focused city, with an economy driven by consumption, real estate, and domestically-focused services. Although New Zealand has experienced a period of high economic prosperity over the last 15 years, largely driven by the primary sector, Auckland has not established itself as a centre of excellence or innovation regarding the development of export products.
374_ To achieve the required transformation, Auckland’s economy must shift from being import-led to export-driven. It must encourage the emergence of ‘new economy’ sectors, complemented by long-term sustainable growth in our internationally competitive sectors: marine, tourism, food and beverage, high tech, screen and creative, finance, and tertiary education and training (see Priority 2 for further detail).
375_ Growing new markets, such as in the Asia-Pacific region, provide a ready outlet, because New Zealand does not compete directly with those economies. We must improve our labour and capital productivity significantly, through growth in skills, labour market participation, innovation, and access to capital.
376_ Auckland needs an effective strategy to grow the ‘economic pie’. This depends on collaboration from stakeholders including central government, local government in Auckland and beyond, business, education and research institutes, and the community. Central government establishes the economic macro context through its policies, and supports a network of agencies to coordinate activity nationally. This Plan identifies key Auckland-wide issues and establishes the framework for achieving Auckland’s vision. Auckland’s Economic Development Strategy, developed in parallel with the Auckland Plan, expands on the economic priorities and crosscutting opportunities set out in this Plan.
377_ Map 6.1 outlines the key economic directions for Auckland. Understanding how Auckland is expected to grow and planning for this growth will ensure that Auckland maximises its potential, while retaining liveability – aspects that attract investment and entrepreneurial talent. Map 6.1 identifies the major centres and business areas in Auckland and the economic corridors which connect them, and provide for new business activity. The corridors highlight the flows of economic activity from Auckland to the rest of New Zealand. Economic infrastructure is shown, such as the ports and airports that help drive our economy and connect us globally (refer Priorities 1 and 3), and some of the elements (e.g. visitor attractions) that make us attractive to visitors (Priority 5). The map displays elements of the innovation system associated with Priority 2.
378_ The remainder of this chapter focuses on:
- the five priorities
- the cross-cutting opportunities that underpin these priorities.