Latest News & Public Notices

GP enrolments a sign of healthy population growth

05 March 2019

Enrolments with local doctors have shot up across the Thames-Coromandel district, a sign of a growing population that’s helping boost our healthy economy.

The latest data just released by economics consultancy Infometrics reveals the number of people with a Thames-Coromandel address who enrolled with a local GP grew 3.1% last year. That compares to enrolment growth of approximately 2% across the wider Waikato region and 1.9% across New Zealand as a whole.

Our expanding population has pushed up spending on goods and services throughout Thames-Coromandel (up 6.8% for the three months to December) and our economy  remains robust, growing 2.6% for the same quarter, just shy of the national growth rate (2.7%)  and on-par with the wider Waikato region (2.6%).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the total value of goods produced and services provided, was $1,073 million in Thames-Coromandel for the year to December 2018.

Our economy has now had healthy growth for the last three years, supported by strong job creation.

But Infometrics senior economist Benje Patterson says despite this, we’ve struggled when it comes to productivity.

“A lot of the growth in the economy is being driven by more people working, rather than working smarter, or by a more productive use of resources,” Benje says.

This provides a reminder for businesses to be forward-looking in their thinking and business planning.

“Think about investing in capability, that’s in terms of staff and the technology they use in the day-to-day functions of the business,” Benje says.

Our Mayor Sandra Goudie says our Council is taking steps to address productivity.

"Council signed off on a Productivity Plan in December last year, which is helping Council to focus on high value opportunities to grow out economy," Mayor Sandra says.

“The plan outlines how we can partner with central and regional government agencies, local councils, industry, iwi and the community to catalyse a positive change that stretches outside our normal remit as a Council,” Mayor Sandra says.

Five targeted workstreams in our Productivity Plan are:

  • Land use
  • Land productivity
  • Connected journeys - roading, data connectivity, water and air transport
  • Aquaculture
  • Destination management and tourism

You can read more about our Productivity Plan here.

Our Council strives to support new and existing businesses. We welcome businesses to get in touch with our Economic Development team to find out more about how we can help connect businesses with the right agencies to get assistance with technology, employment and staff training. Phone our main office 07 868 0200 or email

Visitor economy still a strong driver of growth 

Visitor spending in Thames-Coromandel rose 5.8%, while commercial guest nights increased 2.9% over the 2018 year.

Infometrics warns visitor growth is starting to slow across New Zealand.

“The tourism sector has been driven by volume of visitors, but we have seen a softening from some markets over recent months, for example the Asian visitor market,” Benje says.

“That will have to be offset by an improvement in the value we get out of each visitor,” Benje says. “This involves a focus on the tourism experience and the product we offer our visitors.”

Destination Coromandel general manager Hadley Dryden says despite reports of the visitor market softening, Thames-Coromandel enjoyed its best January on record, with total visitor spending reaching $97 million, beating the previous record of $90 million in January 2017 (Source: MBIE January 2019 - Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates)

The regional tourism organisation has just launched a new campaign to promote the Coromandel Coastal Walkway tour in northern Coromandel to attract visitors as we head going into the off-peak autumn and winter months.

In other parts of the economy, most spending and investment indicators remain in growth territory. Car registrations and new dwelling consents remain well above historical averages and there’s no shortage of other construction work at present to keep builders busy, with non-residential consents soaring 67% in 2018.

The average current house value in Thames-Coromandel District was $743,550 in December 2018, up 3.7% on the year earlier. This growth is well above the rest of the country, where prices increased by 2.3%.

Unemployment remains at historic lows

An average of 689 people were receiving a JobSeeker Support benefit in Thames-Coromandel last year.

While that’s a very slight increase (0.2%) on the year earlier, our unemployment rate sat at a decade-long low of 2.8% in December, which was lower than the national average rate of 4.8% (the highest level in more than four years).

“We are not reading too much into the slight uptick in the number of Jobseeker Support recipients at present,” Benje says. “Thames-Coromandel’s unemployment rate remains at decade-long lows, while the recently released Infometrics Regional Economic Profile showed that employment growth remained healthy in the March 2018 tax year.”

Looking ahead

In terms of its outlook for the year ahead, Infometrics expects economic activity will hold close to current levels for the rest of the year, but remains wary of the US-China trade war, more cautious Chinese consumers and the flow-on effect from Australia’s struggling housing market.

More information

If you want to find out more details on our latest economic quarterly data for our district go to our website page here.

Our Council uses Infometrics to provide industry, regional, and general economic analysis and forecasts, which helps to inform us when we make planning, policy, and strategic decisions.

Read more about our Council's  Economic Development Strategy 'Towards 2028' here: