A "strong and resilient" Wairarapa business community is optimistic for the future, says a business leader in the area.

Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce chief executive Steph Gunderson-Reid said the forestry, manufacturing and construction industries have performed well recently.

However, it's tourism that has shown particularly strong growth on the back of popular weekend events in the region.

These comments come as newly released gross domestic products (GDP) figures reported a 3.7 per cent growth in fiscal year 2015 for the Wellington region, including Wairarapa.


The region also had the second highest GDP per person in the country at $65,974, behind Taranaki at $75,941.

The national average is is $52,973.

Ms Gunderson-Reid said expectations for the year are positive, but the effects of the dairy downturn are not known yet. "Business confidence is as good as it can be expected in the current circumstances. Everyone is confident but we're watching dairy prices like everyone else," she said. "I think people are optimistically cautious."

She said coming back from the recession was slow but steady, and most companies realise business might not be the same as it was.

"Our business community has shown its strength and its resilience over the last few years. I think the businesses we have are here to stay, and they will get through. They're strong businesses," she said.

Nationwide, 11 of 15 regional economies grew in the 2015 financial year.

Auckland and Canterbury had the largest GDP increases in the country, at $5.7 billion (6.9 per cent) and $2.3 billion (7.3 per cent) respectively, with Canterbury overtaking Wellington for the second highest value.

Decreases were recorded in Southland, at $0.5 billion (9.9 per cent), Waikato, at $0.4 billion (2.2 per cent), Taranaki, at $0.3 billion (3.3 per cent), and the West Coast, at $0.1 billion (5 per cent). These decreases reflected a fall in agricultural activity.

New Zealand's total GDP was $241.2 billion, increasing $8.7 billion (3.7 per cent) from 2014.

Over the five-year period between 2010 and 2015, the Wellington region, including Wairarapa, grew 19.5 per cent in gross domestic product.

The figures released yesterday show the region grew 19.5 per cent between 2010 and 2015, while the national average was 24.2 per cent.

That growth was largely driven by Canterbury (at 37.2 per cent ) and Auckland (at 29 per cent ) which were the only two regions above the average figure.

The value of gross domestic product in the Wellington region in 2015 was $32.6 billion, in third place just behind Canterbury at $32.9 billion, while Auckland topped production at $88.3 billion.