The latest regional growth statistics show 12 out of New Zealand’s 15 regions grew in the year to March 2016, Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges says.

The GDP statistics for New Zealand’s fifteen regions were released by Statistics New Zealand today and show the strongest growing regions in the year were Bay of Plenty (7.7 per cent), Auckland (6.0 per cent), and Otago (4.8 per cent) while Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Manawatu-Whanganui grew by more than 3 per cent.

“It’s really encouraging to see strong growth in regions like Bay of Plenty, Otago, Manawatu-Whanganui and Waikato,” Mr Bridges says.

“Bay of Plenty is the highest growing region, underpinned by strong performances across a number of sectors including agriculture industries, primarily kiwifruit.”

Across New Zealand the average growth for the year was 4.1 per cent.

Decreases were recorded in the three regions most affected by the dairy downturn and the drop off in New Zealand’s mining and oil and gas industries – Taranaki, West Coast and Southland.

However Taranaki retains the highest GDP per capita followed by Wellington and Auckland.

“The Government will continue to work intensively with regions through the Business Growth Agenda and the Regional Growth Programme. We are working actively with Southland, Taranaki and the West Coast in particular to help lift their growth rates in the years ahead,” Mr Bridges says.

"We are committed to helping every region in New Zealand achieve its potential by both attracting new investors and investing in the infrastructure for growth, be it ultrafast broadband to 150 more regional towns or key regional roading projects up and down the country."

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