Dunedin’s economy holding up

Photo: ODT files
Dunedin. Photo: ODT files
Increased interest in Dunedin as a filming location is among several highlights in a new report that show the city’s economy is holding up despite Covid-19.

Film and TV interest, retail spending and the job market are all heading in the right direction, the report suggests.

But Auckland’s lockdown hit Dunedin heavily, costing it an estimated $270,000 a day.

Film Dunedin responded to 53 screen, filming and work inquiries this year, compared with 21 last year, the report from Enterprise Dunedin to the Dunedin City Council’s economic development committee states.

"Film Dunedin is currently working with nine domestic feature films and four domestic television and web series in varying levels of production."

Other trends were also looking positive.

In the four weeks ended September 20, retail spending in Dunedin dropped only 1.1% below the corresponding time last year — well below the 3.3% decline nationally.

There was also good news on the employment front.

The number of jobs in Dunedin in August was 1% higher than it was a year ago, and average wages over the three months to August were 3.3% higher.

There was a wide range of employment trends between industries.

Jobs in public administration, health, construction and hospitality increased, but media, warehousing, wholesale trade and recreational services did not fare so well.

Covid-19 continues to affect the city’s visitor sector.

Domestic spending in the year ended July was $480million, down 16.1% on the previous year.

The change in alert levels for Auckland following the second outbreak had an impact, with no Aucklanders heading south and half the normal number of visitors from Waikato and Northland.

International visitor spending in the city was $187million, down 18.7%, in the year ended July.

The conference sector had taken a significant hit from Covid-19 restrictions and a business events strategy was due to be completed this month.

The report noted Enterprise Dunedin had submitted three conference bids this quarter — one, with an estimated value of $257,000, was successful, one was lost to Queenstown, and another was still to be confirmed.

The committee will meet on Monday.



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Somebody is telling porkies! With closed borders, international spending is down 18%, really? Are there hidden enclaves of foreign tourist around town spending money? Increased interest in filming here is different than increased spending and money in the bank! The streets are empty, bussiness are closing and there are empty stores all over town. The economy is not good regardless of what you might publish. Tell the truth! Stop being a shill for the mayor and DCC. People are hurting and stories like this diminish the likelihood of us getting help. Sound off folks! Is your life as rosey as this ODT author portrais it? Or more BS from the ministry of propaganda? I'm living paycheck to paycheck since COVID hit and I'm tired of people pertending it had no effect!

With respect, the author is noting, that Dunedin, in comparison to other centres, is holding up well. No one for one minute denies many people are struggling. Covid 19 has had the greastest delibertating since the stock market crash of 1987. As for tourism, yes, the numbers are down, but many NZers are travelling all over the country and spending money. Some sectors of the economy aren't doing so well, but others are moving ahead strongly, and employing staff. Trade me pages show over 20 pages of situations vacant, as opposed to only 14 pages this time last year. The streets aren't empty, driving down George Street on a Saturday or Sunday morning is still a nightmare of crawling traffic. Also the film industry can bring millions of dollars to a region, there is no doubt about that. I'm in construction, we're struggling to find staff, and so are many other sectors of the economy.

Totally disagree! If Dunedin is doing well, shops wouldn't be closing. Yep, there are people in town near the meridian today, but its empty during the week when you are out doing construction. EMPTY! People are traveling but the author states there is only an 18% decline in international travel. That is total BS! Domestic travel isn't going to keep Dunedin afloat nor are people going to continue to travel domestically. What sector of the economy do you think is doing well? GDP shrank at an unprecedented pace in Q2, as the Covid-19 pandemic and strict lockdown measures ravaged the economy. Household spending plunged amid souring consumer confidence and a record-breaking fall in hours worked, while nosediving business sentiment, business closures and the uncertain economic outlook hit investment activity hard. The economy will continue to shrink considerably this year, as the coronavirus pandemic and its associated lockdown measures take their toll. The government project the economy to contract 5.6% in 2020 and to another 5.0% in 2021. Do you really think the film industry is going to save Dunedin? It aint going to happen! Its just plain silly to think otherwise!

Spot on there Red_Pill

We are making an effort to go out more and most restaurants/stores we visit seem to be quite busy. It may not be ideal, but stop the whinging. This is Dunedin, not Christchurch. We do it for ourselves down here.

Paula, it's easy to look for the clouds. You state your figures based on the actual lockdown period during the Q2. There has been a substandual turnaround since then. Many predictions from leading economists have been entirely wrong. And in fact, business confidence has improved, as have house prices and sales. There will always be businesses closing in any economic jolt. They are usually the ones that were marginal anyway. You have a lot of exclamation marks in your statement. We can't just yell and scream everytime the economic bubble bursts. The best we can do is be positive, thank our lucky stars we live here in New Zealand, put our heads together and do the best we can. Looking to blame, jumping up and down?......only our best efforts will get us out and on top of this, just as every other generation before us has done in times of crisis. God help us should we be invaded and shot at, yelling and screaming won't get you out of that either. Frankly, we are a very fortunate nation......many of which are profound whingers. Rule One, life isn't fair. Again, the author of this article was stating our position in comparison to other parts of NZ. We're doing better than predicted.

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