Farming communities across South Island should take a bow

Waitaki news
Monday, March 16, 2015

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said farming communities across the South Island should take a bow in the wake of the latest regional gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

“From Southland and Otago, to Canterbury and the West Coast, the latest GDP figures reveal the important role that the rural sector plays in sustaining this country’s economy.

“We hear a lot about Auckland and Wellington, but at the end of the day it’s life down on the farm and the hard working families that support our rural sector who drive our economy and keep New Zealand growing.

“Otago’s economy increased by 6.3 percent in the year to March 2014 driven primarily by dairy cattle farming. Southland had the highest economic increase of any region, (11 percent), also driven by dairy cattle farming, while Canterbury had the next highest increase (10.6 percent), due to dairy cattle farming and construction.

“In contrast, Auckland’s GDP increased by just 5.1 percent and Wellington’s by 4.4 percent.

“For New Zealand to build a more productive and competitive economy, we need all our regions to reach their potential.

“In the meantime, it’s particularly gratifying to see the rural sector continuing to promote growth and support our economy and it must be hugely gratifying for the farming sector to see the important role that it plays.”