The vital role Port Taranaki plays in the prosperity of the Taranaki economy and community has been highlighted in the latest Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) report.
The report estimates that in the current year, the port’s own operations and the flow-on effect from them will generate $28 million in GDP and 319 fulltime equivalent jobs.
The report also highlights the port’s important enabling role for the operations and trade of other businesses. It is estimated that in the current year, Port Taranaki’s users and service providers are likely to generate $353 million in GDP and 929 fulltime equivalent jobs.
Overall, the port and the activities associated with it account for just under $400 million in GDP and almost 1250 fulltime equivalent jobs.
The BERL report is commissioned by Port Taranaki’s sole shareholder the Taranaki Regional Council and is updated every five years, in line with the council’s 2015-2025 Long-Term Plan.
“The port remains a key part of the Taranaki economy, and it is likely to remain so,” the report said.
“Allowing for flow-on effects, the value added [GDP] from the port’s own operations remained broadly stable between 2007 [first BERL report] and 2017” and “its impact on employment has actually increased”.
“It is also important to note the dividend Port Taranaki pays to its owner: Taranaki Regional Council. In 2016/17 that dividend was almost $5 million, which is equivalent to approximately 20% of the total revenue of the council, and equal to approximately 52% of revenue from rates.
“Earning a significant dividend from a strategic investment like Port Taranaki allows the Regional Council to provide legislated services to a high standard without putting undue pressure on rate-payers,” the report said.
The report also highlighted Port Taranaki’s wider role in the community, through providing sponsorships and support of community events.
“In addition to being a vital part of the Taranaki economy, and directly and indirectly providing for many hundreds of livelihoods, Port Taranaki continues to act as a socially responsible corporate citizen.
“Sporting sponsorships and event hosting highlight the role Port Taranaki plays in the social landscape of Taranaki,” it said.
Port Taranaki chairman Peter Dryden said the BERL report’s analysis was confirmation of the port’s importance to the wellbeing of the Taranaki community and economy.
“This highlights that the port continues to have a key role to play in the long-term success of the region, and our operations and the industries we support are crucial to Taranaki remaining prosperous,” Mr Dryden said.
“The nature of the shipping and logistics industries are constantly changing, so it is important through our strategic planning and direction that we remain flexible, are forward-looking and ready to meet those changes.
“With the Taranaki Regional Council as the port’s sole shareholder, dividends returned help offset regional rates, so we have a great responsibility to ensure we are profitable for the betterment of the Taranaki community,” Mr Dryden said.
Other highlights in the 2017 BERL report:
- Port Taranaki is ranked second of New Zealand’s 13 seaports for annual export volumes (3.6 million tonnes), behind only Port of Tauranga.
- Port Taranaki’s export volumes account for 9.1% of all New Zealand’s seaport exports.
- Port Taranaki is ranked fifth out of New Zealand’s 13 seaports in total trade volume – exports and imports (4.2 million tonnes).
- Port Taranaki is well situated to take advantage of the cruise ship industry and is active in looking to secure more bookings. This would be an addition to port-related activity and likely see the economic impact increase.
Note: Port Taranaki reports tonnage figures in freight tonnes, therefore the tonnage figures reported in the BERL report differ from those in the Port Taranaki annual report.