Proposed Tourism Funding Cut May Jeopardise Burgeoning Economy

Friday, March 30th 2018

Wow, to think we are just about to enter the second quarter of the year - this year is moving at an astounding pace and the property market is keeping pace with the median figures climbing higher across the Bay every month, now sitting at a record high of $444,000.  You may be aware that Hawke’s Bay continues to lead the country in capital growth with the 12-month increase sitting at 18 per cent coming from a $375,000 median in February, 2017.

When the economy is good, the residential and commercial market will mirror this and it is certainly a reflection of just HOW good the region is tracking when our Colliers Hawke’s Bay team has its best month since Colliers was established in Hawke’s Bay in 2004, doubling the previous record.  Investor confidence is high and our commercial team is fielding huge numbers of enquiry from not only investors but also developers across a wide spectrum of industries - particularly retirement village complexes and hotels.

With this in mind, it brings me to the current issue in the region of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council proposing to significantly reduce the funding for Hawke’s Bay Tourism.  Last week the HBRC adopted the consultation document for its Long-Term Plan which proposes to cut Hawke’s Bay Tourism funding by $1.8 million over the next three years, bringing a rates reduction of 1.6 per cent.

Whilst all home owners benefit from a reduction in rates, we also need to consider the impact that a large cut in spending makes to the wider Hawke’s Bay economy.  Visitor spending currently injects $630 million into our local economy, with this forecasted to be $830 million by 2021.  This spend filters through, not only to tourism operators but also to local shopkeepers, supermarkets, petrol stations, hotels, restaurants and bars.  This in turn impacts wages, employment rates and families across the region. 

As locals, we already know that Hawke’s Bay is the best place in the world in which to live, work and play.  With so many fantastic events on our annual calendar, and with many more still to come such as The Big Easy over Easter weekend, the Hawke’s Bay Marathon in May and F.A.W.C!, it would be  disastrous to see national and international visitor numbers decrease and consequently the loss of millions of dollars into our economy.

Talking about events, our Awards Evening for the Tremain Group of Companies was held on 14 March at the Napier Conference Centre.  It was a fantastic evening celebrating the success and huge contributions of individuals and teams within our businesses.  A huge congratulations to all our winners on the evening, particularly to Lisa White from our Taradale team who took out the coveted Kel Tremain Cup for top Tremains agent for 2017, with Caleb Robinson from Tremains Hastings and Jen Brownlie from the Napier office coming a close second and third respectively.  You can see all our Tremains award winners on pages 10 and 11 of this issue.

With Easter upon us, we are looking forward to receiving lots of visitors into the region.  I wish you a happy and safe Easter weekend and lots of quality time with friends and family.

Have a great weekend!