Taranaki’s local economy is unique in New Zealand in that it’s fuelled, literally, by oil and gas. Though there are plenty of other industries thriving the region – beef farming for one as well as revived dairy prices, not to mention a healthy demand for lifestyle property from those looking to escape the cities – it is oil and gas that separates the region’s economic profile from the rest of the country.
Taranaki is home to all of the nation’s oil and natural gas production, and 90 percent of the industry’s nationwide employment, generating $2.5 billion in GDP. According to Venture Taranaki the industry began more than 150 years ago when settlers noticed oil washing up on the beach. But the industry really took off with the discover of the onshore Kapuni field in 1959 and the offshore Maui field in 1969, one of the six largest in the world at the time.
Oil and gas are now produced from around 20 petroleum licenses / permits, all in the Taranaki basin.
The flow-on effect for the region is a robust infrastructure and support economy around the pipeline network, storage, and port facilities, which is an integral part of the region’s ability to thrive.
But Taranaki is not built on fuel and gas alone. With oil prices low - and recent dips to dairy incomes - the region is looking to other industries to ensure continued growth.
One is tourism. There is a big push from operators in Taranaki to make their backyard a destination for both local and overseas tourists. They have plenty to build on with a stunning coastline mixed with mountain and bush landscapes all in the regional backyard – not to mention a rapidly growing restaurant scene.
Add to that the “halo” effect seeing increasing numbers of Auckland buyers looking to the regions for investment and residential property options and the future for Taranaki is looking bright.
Harcourts Team Taranaki rural manager Graeme Rogers says though the rural market has been quiet during a wet winter and spring, there is plenty of demand for lifestyle blocks up to about 5ha in size, particularly those within easy commute of town.
Did you know?
- Two-thirds of Taranaki’s farms are devoted to dairy and its cows produce about 20% of New Zealand’s milk.
- First Gas owns and operates the more than 2,500km of high pressure gas pipelines that stretch from Taranaki up to Auckland (the 300km Maui pipeline) and across to Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Wellington.