Kapiti Business News - Jacinda Thorn, Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce Chair.
New data shows Kāpiti is tracking behind New Zealand averages for productivity and standard of living measures, and the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce is urging the new District Council to urgently address issues identified by Infometrics in its latest Kāpiti update.
Employment grew by 3.2% in 2018, compared to the New Zealand average of 3.0%, but productivity growth went backwards to -1.7% compared to 0.2% growth nationally. The mean average earnings were $47,430, compared to $60,891 nationwide, and housing affordability is also declining.
Jacinda Thorn, Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce Chair, says Economic Development was a crucial priority in the Chamber's 2019 Local Body Election Manifesto, particularly the need for a cohesive long-term vision for the region.
"Without an agreed plan, and key deliverables, our community has no direction or goals to support a stronger economy, which encourages business growth and higher wages.
"These new figures from Infometrics have highlighted several areas of concern we believe need to be addressed first by our new Council. We want productivity to grow again and higher wages available in Kāpiti.
"We are working with the Council to develop its Economic Development Strategy Refresh, but also want to see action taken by the people our community has elected to lead the region through the next three years," says Ms Thorn.
Sam Pritchard, Deputy Chair, says the Infometrics data has highlighted the high number of self-employed people in Kāpiti. "28.4% of our working population is self-employed, compared to the national rate of 16.7% - which isn't a surprise but will present some unique challenges to the District as it decides its economic direction and looks to grow its workforce.
"The next three years are important for Kāpiti, and we look forward to working closely with the Council. The decisions made by our Mayor and Council between 2019 and 2022 will set the scene for the next decade's worth of development, and beyond," says Mr Pritchard.