The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Marlborough’s wine industry contributes $571 million to local economy

Close to one fifth of all economic activity in Marlborough is generated from the wine industry, according to a recent report.

The report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) was commissioned by Wine Marlborough Ltd and highlights the role the wine industry plays in the continued economic growth of Marlborough.

NZIER says 18% of all of Marlborough’s economic activity in 2020, a total of $571 million, can be attributed to the wine industry.

The wine industry directly and indirectly fills one in every four jobs in the Marlborough region.

NZIER says the wine industry accounts for 2,750 jobs in the region and another 3,338 jobs are indirectly supported by the industry, far greater than any other sector investigated.

In terms of wages, $171 million from both grape growing and wine production ends up in Marlborough household’s pockets.

NZIER says that equates to more than 14% of total household income in Marlborough during 2020.

Wine Marlborough General Manager Marcus Pickens says the findings highlight the significant economic role wine plays within the region and demonstrates how important it is that the wine industry successfully responds to challenges like COVID-19, the labour shortages that have struck leading into vintage 2021 and for what is looming as a potentially tight labour supply for winter grape pruning.

“This report demonstrates the many ways the wine industry drives the Marlborough economy and is a fantastic information set for us to share with our community and stakeholders.”

Pickens says the report also gives a clear picture of how the wine industry has helped grow the Marlborough economy in the past few decades.

“Back in 2000 wine contributed $119 million to the economy. In 2020 that has increased to $571 million – that is a 380 percent increase,” he says.

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett says he was impressed at how much the wine industry provides to the Marlborough economy, when compared with other major industries in other regions.

“Dairying in Southland, which is a key contributor to their economy, sits at 16%, whereas Marlborough’s wine industry makes 18 percent of our economy.”

In other comparisons between sectors and regions, the NZIER report says kiwifruit makes up just seven percent of the Bay of Plenty economy, with Hawke’s Bay apples and pipfruit making up eight percent in that region.

Leggett says having independent research providing the figures gives credence to “what we have been saying, what the industry has been saying about development and how things have been going in recent years. It gives it real credibility. It’s a job well done.”

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