Regional spending is an important part of rebuilding the Bay economy - and business and tourism leaders are encouraging residents to spend locally in the coming months.

While many businesses had to shut down over the alert level 4 lockdown, many are now re-opening in new ways.

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce chief executive Karla Lee said Hawke's Bay businesses need locals to choose local products, first and foremost.

Lee said this didn't just mean Napier locals only choosing Napier products, but supporting the region as a whole.


"Everybody is connected to a business or shopping experience in Hawke's Bay which they love and if they don't get behind it and support them, then these businesses are at risk of closing.

"Rather than in 3- or 6-months' time saying, 'oh well really should've bought from there so it's still open', why don't they do it now at the front end?

"If you want all the things that you've got today to be open and readily accessible, then you need to support by shopping with them."

Supporting local businesses was important in helping the Hawke's Bay economy stay alive and prosper, Lee said.

"We can definitely be a thriving region; all we need to do is get behind each other."

Business Hawke's Bay chief executive Carolyn Neville said we all had a part to play in helping local businesses.

"The enormity of the problem that we're currently facing feels overwhelming, at times.

"Everyone in the community wants to feel a sense of purpose in contributing to local recovery in whatever way they can."


People can easily and effectively help by supporting local businesses.

"Every dollar spent locally has a multiplier effect out into our community.

"We need to shop and buy local and make sure that we support the businesses and organisations that support our livelihoods and our way of life.

"That way, as much money as possible stays in our local economy, rather than going out of region or even offshore and gives our businesses the best chance of recovering from the economic effects of Covid-19," Neville said.

Key industries such as horticulture, viticulture and tourism also need support.

Hawke's Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton said locals will play a critical role in rebuilding confidence in the region's tourism industry.


In the last normal year, tourism was worth $673 million to the local economy with just over $95 million coming from Hawke's Bay residents, Saxton said.

For the year ending January 2020, Hawke's Bay locals spent $44 million in the Hastings District, $35 million in the Napier City District, $11 million in the Central Hawke's Bay District and $5 million in the Wairoa District.

"Our regional population will play a vital role in kickstarting the visitor economy and assisting operators to get back on their feet.

"Now is the time to rediscover this wonderful place that we get to call home and to have your very own Hawke's Bay-cation," Saxton said.

The domestic travel market will be the next step in reinvigorating the visitor economy.

"Our regional population is not enough to solely support the quality hospitality experiences our residents are so proud of.


"During the last normal year, almost $500 million in tourism spend in Hawke's Bay was from New Zealand travellers, with the biggest markets being Auckland, Wellington and Manawatu/Whanganui. These visitors supply our region with the critical mass required to support such infrastructure enjoyed by so many locals."

Saxton said the tourism industry was about to become extremely competitive.

"With 30 other regional tourism destinations vying for the domestic visitor, the work we do now in supporting the revival of our tourism sector is vital."

Linden Estates chief executive Wayne Walford said wineries had been a huge drawcard for tourists in the past. They had helped promote the Bay so now was the time for locals to support them.

While cellar doors and restaurants have been shut, as an essential business, all wineries have been going through harvest during a lockdown.

Online orders and now the re-opening of restaurants for takeaways are helping cash flow. They are a way locals can support the industry.


"It's fantastic to see that level of support locally."

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The Yummy Fruit Company general manager Paul Paynter said the horticulture industry is a big employer and an important part of Hawke's Bay.

It's an industry where jobs are increasingly higher-paying and high-tech, he said.

Hawke's Bay is an ideal environment for horticulture due to the climate, water and what Paynter describes as "some of the best soils in the world".

He said it was an industry with an "incredibly bright future".

Local support is also important, and people can do so by choosing local produce over alternatives, where available.


Paynter said it is also important to "look after the small guys" and he was looking forward to when smaller food producers could open.