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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:27am

The latest quarterly economic monitor from analysts Infometrics showed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in Selwyn at 4.4% pa in the year to March 2018. This is well above average, with the Canterbury region expanding 2.1% in the same period, and 2.7% nationally.

Retail continues to grow in the district, with tourism spend one of the highlights in this quarter. Tourism-related spending increased by 17% in the March 2018 year, outstripping the regional increase of 12% and 9.3% nationally. Retail trade activity was up by 14% overall, with the Canterbury region up by 3.5%.

Rebuild-related projects continue to soften, as house sales have decreased by 7.2% compared with the previous year. Infometrics’ data shows building consents were down, with Council issuing 202 new residential building consents in the March 2018 quarter, a decrease of 4.2% annually compared with the same period a year ago.

That’s consistent with Selwyn District Council data, which shows that in the year to May 2018 a total of 851 building consent applications were received, compared with 996 for the same time last year.

Council Building Manager, Vanessa Mitchell says in May, however, Council issued 293 building consents, up from 285 at the same time last year. “We have seen an increase in building consents issued due to increased staff numbers, meaning we’ve been able to process consents more quickly.”

There has also been an increase in commercial building consents, attributed to current projects such as the construction of a new primary school in Lincoln worth $6.7m, and a number of warehouse developments in the Izone Southern Business Hub and Iport worth up to $2m. “This trend will continue into the foreseeable future. We have major projects such as the Lincoln AgResearch joint venture worth $170m, two new prison blocks worth $32m, and Synlait milk processing plant extensions worth $9.5m which are currently being processed, along with other large scale commercial developments,” Mrs Mitchell says.

In the 12 months to June this year, 330 resource consents were received by Council, compared to 297 this time last year, which is an increase of over 10%.

Mayor Sam Broughton says strong commercial growth means the district is heading beyond the re-build phase. “The Selwyn district continues to perform well in retail, tourism and commercial development. Our maturing economy is providing the commercial infrastructure that our people need while creating job opportunities in Selwyn for local people,” he says.

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