MAKING HAPPY VISITORS, FOOD, WOOD & BOATS
Northland is a beautiful region and full of opportunity and potential. The warmest all-year-round climate in New Zealand, stunning natural beauty, highly productive soils and just a 35 minute flight or three hour drive from New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland, are some of the reasons why this region is such a popular place to visit, live, work and invest in. The main contributors to Northland’s economy are tourism, horticulture, farming and forestry. There is excellent connectivity to the region from Auckland with four scheduled passenger flights a day to Whangarei and five to Kerikeri, and ongoing improvements in road access. More direct links to international markets have recently been established for Northland’s produce with kiwifruit starting to be exported from North Port in Whangarei as well as forestry products. Businesses moving to Northland can take advantage of the lifestyle, new technology and infrastructure, lower establishment and living costs and the availability of skilled labour for future growth. Click the image opposite for a detailed regional economic profile.
Visitors come for the natural beauty of the land and sea, the history and culture, artisan food, beer and wine, climate and outdoor activities, most famously boating, fishing and diving. Visitor numbers continue to climb, boosted by factors such as the burgeoning cruise ship industry, the recently opened twin coast 'Pou Herenga Tai' cycle trail and close proximity to Auckland — New Zealand's largest and most cosmopolitan urban area. Click the image opposite for a detailed summary of tourism related statistics.
Northland’s subtropical climate provides a competitive advantage for its agricultural sectors. High pasture growth and a longer growing season are advantages for the dairy, beef, sheep and deer industries, and productivity has doubled in the last 15 years. Around 20 percent of New Zealand’s beef is produced in Northland and dairy and deer farming continue to grow.
HORTICULTURE & BEES
Horticulture is an exciting growth sector for Northland with significant potential for additional development and again, Northland’s temperate climate is a major competitive advantage. This, together with the region’s diverse and fertile soils, allow a wide range of crops to thrive in the area. The largest crop is Kiwifruit, and citrus is also a significant contributor to the local economy. Blueberries are a significant crop and the Far North is recognised as one of the top growing areas for avocados globally. There are over 40 vineyards in Northland, many producing award winning wines, and a strong olive oil industry. Manuka honey is another success story with Northland’s large areas of Manuka forest producing the highest UMF Manuka honey in New Zealand. There are strong growth aspirations nationally for horticulture and savvy orchardists from other regions are starting to invest in Northland. In particular, Northland's sub-tropical climate and soil diversity is attracting the interest of established Kiwifruit growers as an area with strong growth potential and one that is highly suitable for the SunGold™ variety.
FORESTRY & WOOD PROCESSING
The long established forestry and wood processing industry in Northland is also well placed for growth with uncommitted pine resources, a good supply of harvesting and processing labour and facilities and forecast global shortages of pine. Northland contributes an estimated 10% of national forestry GDP and is one of only four regions that collectively contribute over 50% of national forestry GDP. The sector's contribution to Northland regional GDP is estimated at 2.5%. (NZIER report 'Plantation forestry statistics', March 2017)
Northland has an ideal onshore and sea environment for aquaculture, at a time when there is an increasing worldwide demand for seafood and decreasing wild stocks. Northland already has a mature oyster industry, New Zealand’s largest Paua farm and is home to New Zealand’s world leading fisheries and aquaculture research centre. With further development forecast for Kingfish and Mussel farming the potential for Northland’s aquaculture industry is exciting.
Other industries noted as having excellent potential for growth in Northland include manufacturing, construction, health, education and marine engineering. Northland has the second largest boatbuilding and refit industry in New Zealand and the projected trend in the global marine sector is for growth.