Image Courtesy of Grow Mid Canterbury
Agriculture underpins the economy of Ashburton District, with over a third of the district’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) coming directly from the dairy, meat and arable and crop industries in 2010.Ashburton district is at the forefront of New Zealand’s agricultural industry.
Our farmers are constantly seeking ways to maximise the return from their land, while maintaining the efficient use of resources. This has resulted in the development and use of leading-edge technological innovations that often lead the way nationally and internationally.
Our agricultural sector is complemented by significant processing, service and advisory sectors, with a range of innovative businesses built on world-leading intellectual property. Irrigation has transformed Ashburton District into one of the powerhouses of New Zealand’s agricultural economy.
Water is the life-blood of the district and continues to be the single biggest issue our district will face in the years to come- Securing reliability of supply and using water efficiently to improve the overall wellbeing of the people and the environment is crucial.
Industry and Manufacturing
These industries are growing features of our expanding local economy with food processing and engineering being key sectors. There are also a large number of seed companies in the district with seed cleaning, packing and distribution facilities. Ashburton District accounts for over 43% of all arable farm production in New Zealand.
The district is well served with financial and commercial services. Ashburton is the retail and commercial hub of the district, while Methven and Rakaia both have retail and commercial businesses servicing the local urban and rural communities.
Tourism continues to be a strong supporting sector of the local economy. The district’s main tourism attractions are the Mount Hutt ski field in winter and the scenic attractions of the foothills and high country areas throughout the year.
The development of Lake Hood has added another dimension to the district’s attractions, with a full championship rowing course, recreational boating and swimming.
Key Economic Data
• GDP in Ashburton District measured $988m in 2010, up 2.3% from a year earlier. New Zealand’s GDP decreased by -0.4% over the same period. This ranked us number 17 among the 72 territorial authorities for GDP growth
• Over the two years 2008 to 2010 our GDP grew by 2.3% pa ranking us number 9
• Over the five years 2005 to 2010 our GDP in Ashburton grew by 2.2% pa ranking us number 11
• Agriculture, fishing and forestry was the largest industry in Ashburton in 2010 accounting for 25% of total GDP, followed by manufacturing (19.9%) and wholesale and retail trade (11.3%)
• Dairy farming and milk production contributed 8.5% to our district’s economic output in 2010, up from 3.9% ten years ago
• Sheep and beef farming contributed 16.8% to our economic output in 2010, down from 17.5% ten years ago
• Arable and crop farming contributed 9.3% to our economic output in 2010, up from 8.9% ten years ago
• Engineering and agricultural servicing contributed 8% to the district’s economic output in 2010, up from 7% ten years ago
• Ashburton District’s tourism sector contributed 3.6% to the district’s economy in 2010, down from 3.8% ten years ago