As the population ages, the demand for various products and
services will change in the regions, along with other parts
of New Zealand, the NZIER report on regional economies says.
There will be greater demand for services such as healthcare
and aged care to be provided locally.
New Zealand Institute of Economic Research principal
economist Shamubeel Eaqub said the changes would be subtle.
The type of retail and hospitality services demanded would be
different as each generation tended to want different things.
The economic potential of the regions would also change, as
the supply of labour declined because of increasing
urbanisation. Young populations were shrinking in many of New
Zealand's regions already, he said.
At the same time, ageing populations in rich economies would
be crying out for labour, both skilled and unskilled, Mr
There would be job opportunities for young New Zealanders not
just here, but also in places such as Australia, Singapore,
London and San Francisco.
Similarly, New Zealand would need to import labour to meet
demand in some sectors.
''New Zealand will be competing for migrants to meet the
demand for workers. Southland, which is ageing the fastest in
New Zealand, is dealing with this by being more open to
migrant workers from the Philippines.''
Ageing would have profoundly varied impacts across regions.
Movement of older people had been towards Northland, Bay of
Plenty, Waikato and Marlborough.