Hawke's Bay latest Regional Economic Profile, a report by Infometrics commissioned by Business Hawke's Bay, shows a region booming at a rate greater than most of the rest of New Zealand.

Horticulture and hospitality were the largest contributors to growth in the region in the year to March 2018, but guest nights were down slightly.

Hawke's Bay accounts for two thirds of the country's apple and pear output and the value of apple and pear exports from New Zealand grew by 11 per cent in 2018.

The growth in value was driven by increases in both volumes and prices.


CEO of Business Hawke's Bay, Carolyn Neville was thrilled at the region's current performance.

"Price and volume increases for pip fruit exports, new cargo records being set by Napier Port, an increase in consumer spending, a booming construction industry, a buoyant housing market and unemployment at a 10-year low - Hawke's Bay businesses are prospering and that bodes well for the region."

The tourism industry continues to grow. Tourist spending reached $664 million in the region in the 2018 calendar year, up 1.2 per cent on the previous year.

Factors that had lowered slightly in the region was guest nights, which decreased by 2.8 per cent on the year to December 2018 - New Zealand guest nights increased overall by 2.3 per cent.

Visitors stayed a total of 1,211,881 nights in the region during the year to December 2018, which was down from 1,247,406 a year ago.

The reported suggested if private accommodation platforms were used such as Airbnb, the measure would more likely be positive.

When it came to house prices Neville said that Hawke's Bay sellers are now asking for some of the highest house prices in regional New Zealand.

"Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay are posting record median prices. High house prices are great for home owners, but they can be a real constraint to growth and attracting workers to the region."


The unemployment rate fell from 6.3 per cent to 4.1 per cent in the past year and is at a 10-year low.

"The regional economy continues to do well, which leads to job creation and a reduction in the unemployment rate, making for a tight labour market. This current snapshot is before the key grape and apple harvests, so I would expect the unemployment rate might fall even further in the quarter to come.

"We know that we have a real challenge over the next few months to get all the apples picked, and our pip fruit operators have good reason to be concerned as a record harvest is expected.

"A long term solution to this problem needs to be found," Neville said.