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Economic overview

New Zealand's economy is primed for investment, with specialised investment and business visas along with a foreign investment policy to support investors. The strength and diversity of Wellingtons business environment provides ample opportunity for investment.

Wellington's economy

Partly thanks to the presence of the government sector, the Wellington economy is more resilient than the rest of the New Zealand economy, and more able to withstand shocks such as falling commodity prices. At the same time, its business sector is thriving with its exporters benefiting from low interest and exchange rates. 

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Economic activity in Wellington is poised to expand with businesses and households optimistic about the future and firms signalling their intention to increase investment and take on more staff. 

A stronger fiscal position, reports of new businesses starting up and lower interest rates are driving the growing confidence. 

Sectoral growth in the Wellington economy is broad, with recent highlights being the lifts to guest nights and retail trade. 

The construction sector has also been growing with a major programme of road construction underway and significant building activity occurring.

Wellington's economy is growing from strength to strength with a higher GDP per capita than other major New Zealand cities as well as the national average. Wellington's unemployment rate of 5.7% is also lower than other major New Zealand cities as well as the national average, and more than half of employment in Wellington is based in medium and high-skilled work.

New Zealand's economy

The New Zealand economy has steadily recovered from the global financial crisis and the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes and is generally recognised to be in a sound position relative to other OECD countries.

New Zealand Economic Indicators

 (dollar amounts in millions)
GDP at current prices     192,855201,630210,300215,735230,498
Annual % increase (decrease) in real GDP (0.3) 1.4 2.2 2.2 2.5
Population 4,342 4,379 4,404 4,435 4,494
Unemployment rate 6.3 6.4 7.1 6.1 5.4
Change in consumer price index 4.0 1.8  0.91.6 0.8
Exchange rate  0.75780.7768 0.8236 0.8281 0.7822
90-day bank bill rate 3.18 2.71 2.64 2.69 3.67
10-year government loan stock rate 5.47  4.203.514.71 3.95
Terms of trade index 1,246 1,288 1,170 1,355 1,352
Current account deficit as a % of GDP (2.4) (3.3) (3.7) (3.9) (2.6)

Foreign investment policy

New Zealand boasts a relatively strong fiscal position and has a commitment to reduce net public debt to less than 20 percent of GDP by the early 2020s. It is among the top 20 rated sovereigns in the world: Standard & Poors gives New Zealand an AA+ local currency rating, an AA foreign currency rating and an AAA T&C assessment.

New Zealand’s regulations governing foreign investment are liberal by international standards as New Zealand maintains targeted foreign investment restrictions in only a few areas of critical interest. 

Overseas investments in New Zealand assets are screened only if they are defined as sensitive within the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (the Act). The Overseas Investment Act 2005 is administered by the Overseas Investment Office – a dedicated unit located within Land Information New Zealand.


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