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Headline: GDP figures show growth in all NZ regions

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today welcomed the latest regional gross domestic product (GDP) data release, which shows that all regional economies in New Zealand have grown in the last 12 months.

The GDP figures for 15 regions for the year ended March 2014 were released by Statistics New Zealand today, revealing a national increase of 6.7 per cent.

“Today’s nominal GDP data, combined with the Household Labour Force data last month showing employment growth of 80,000 jobs in the last year, paints a strong picture of a broad-based economic recovery,” Mr Joyce says.

“Strong sustainable economic growth is the only way to create more jobs and increase incomes.”

Several regions grew strongly above the national average, including Southland (11.0 percent), Canterbury (10.6 percent), Marlborough (10.3 percent), Waikato (10.1 percent) and Northland (7.8 percent).

The Auckland and Wellington regions had the smallest increases of 5.1 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.

“The strength of growth in some South Island regions, particularly Southland, Canterbury and Marlborough, is particularly notable,” Mr Joyce says. “In the North Island, the Waikato, Northland and Taranaki stand out.

“Overall, the South Island has experienced stronger growth than the North Island over the last five years. The South has grown 27 per cent while the North has grown 21 per cent in five years. That’s another signal, alongside lower unemployment rates, that there are significant job opportunities in the South Island.”

New Zealand’s total GDP was $229.7 billion for the year ended March 2014. The North Island contributed 76.6 percent to total GDP, compared with 23.4 percent from the South Island.

“The Government is continuing to focus on economic policies that encourage business investment right across New Zealand,” Mr Joyce says.

“It is only when businesses have the confidence to invest that we achieve the sort of job growth that we are now seeing in the New Zealand economy.”