Pre-election spending across the country is up on previous years, but some regions are opening their wallets more than others, Paymark says.

Nationwide spending through the Paymark network between last June and this June - the last full financial year before the September election - was up by 7.3 per cent, Paymark head of customer relations Mark Spicer said. This contrasts with growth rates in 2012/2013 and 2011/2012, which both sat at 3.6 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, Canterbury had been at the fore of growth over the last three years, particularly in the last two years during which spending increased by 17.6 per cent, Mr Spicer said.

This rate of growth was matched by Auckland (17.6 per cent) and surpassed by Palmerston North (20 per cent), illustrating the "wider nature of the recovery", he said. However, bucking that trend were regions including Wellington, Wanganui and West Coast, which had struggled to increase in three years by as much as experienced in one year in the above regions.


The average spending increase per merchant during the three years was 10.4 per cent, Mr Spicer said.

Sectors with above-average per-merchant spending growth included hardware stores (37.4 per cent) and cafes/restaurants (21.7 per cent).