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New report shows economic potential for Kapiti and Horowhenua regions
May 2013

Otaki MP Nathan Guy has welcomed a new report on the Wellington and Manawatu-Wanganui regional economies which highlights the major investment pouring into local infrastructure.

"The Regional Economic Activity Report pulls together for the first time in one place the available economic data on all New Zealand regions. It also provides a breakdown of some of the specific initiatives the Government has underway under as part of the Business Growth Agenda.

"The report notes the Wellington Airport to Levin Road of National Significance, which will have a major impact on our region. The construction of this road will create thousands of jobs and once complete will be a major boost to regional growth.

"It will mean better access to markets for producers, and encourage more people to live, work and play in both Kapiti and Horowhenua.

"The report also notes the importance of Wellington commuter rail upgrade, which includes new Matangi trains and extended services to Waikanae

"Ultrafast and rural broadband will connect our regions with the world and open up new business and employment opportunities.

"Roughly half of Kapiti's working population commutes to Wellington for their day jobs, choosing to live here because of the lifestyle. That's why a growing Wellington economy is so important to our region.

"The report also notes the challenge we have in maximising our tourism earnings, making the most of our proximity to Wellington and great local attractions like Kapiti Island. Palmerston North and Kapiti Airports now offer important transport connections for domestic tourists.

"The Manawatu-Wanganui region report highlights the importance of primary industries to the area. The Horowhenua economy is underpinned by agriculture and horticulture production and the challenge now is around environmental sustainability and innovation. Every one percent productivity gain across New Zealand's primary industries will generate an extra $4 billion a year in exports.

"The Wellington region has an average household income of $88,900 a year compared to $66,000 in Manawatu-Wanganui.

"The report will be of interest to local councils and to everyone who attended the recent Electra Kapiti-Horowhenua business forum.

"The next 10 years will be an exciting time for our region and it's now up to local businesses to make the most of these new opportunities," says Mr Guy.

A full copy of the report is available at with the Wellington and Manawatu-Wanganui regions featured on pages 30 to 34.

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