Hawke’s Bay is a friendly region known for its long, hot summers and mild winters. Over the years, it has moved from a rural economy to a home for a wide range of business enterprises.
Businesses in Hawke’s Bay benefit in the ways you would expect from a smaller centre: cheaper costs compared to large cities, local governments dedicated to bringing new businesses to the area and an active and helpful business hub aimed at supporting local businesses.
But Hawke’s Bay also has unique benefits for businesses. Infrastructure in the area provides an efficient supply chain. Known as New Zealand’s fruit bowl, the area has fertile fields and quality produce that support food and beverage industries. That also leads to tourism, which continues to show strong growth.
Napier is the second-largest exporting port in the North Island and plans to spend $50 million on a new wharf are set to future-proof its importance in the area. The port is mainly an export hub driven by the agricultural industry. This means there is capability for more imports and an opportunity for businesses looking to bring products into New Zealand.
The port is one end of an efficient supply chain that is continuing to grow. The government has invested $5 million on the Napier-Wairoa Railway for transporting logs to Napier Port. The council is also spending money to improve waterways and roads.
The infrastructure in the area includes low-cost electricity and state-of-the-art communication networks. Dedicated business, industrial and research hubs are supported by local enterprises, leading to strong networks in the area.
Food and Beverages
Food has long been the traditional industry in the Hawke’s Bay area, with cherries and apples being the largest exports. This has diversified in recent years with extensive vineyards coming to the region. Hawke’s Bay is also home to table vegetable producers, especially in the growing organic food industry.
There are opportunities in the area for food and beverage processing, as the spot is close to producers as well as the infrastructure to deliver to the rest of New Zealand and the world. Tomoana Food Hub offers space to businesses in the food industry, with opportunities to share knowledge and resources.
Projects to boost culinary tourism also benefit food and beverage businesses in the area. The growing preference for fresh and local foods ensures primary producers will find a market from locals and visitors alike. The Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market (and sister event Napier Urban Farmers’ Market) runs each week and attracts locals, tourists and producers from around the region.
Growing Tourism Industry
Reflecting the trend across the country, tourism spending in Hawke’s Bay increased by approximately six percent in the year to January 2018. The majority of this spending is from domestic tourism, but a growing number of international visitors, helped by Napier Port’s popularity as a cruise ship destination, are visiting Hawke’s Bay.
Hawke’s Bay Tourism focuses their marketing efforts on a number of pivotal industries, including weddings, art and wines. Cycling is also a key draw in the area with the three-day cycling event, The Big Easy, bringing many visitors to the region. An effort to emphasise tourism events throughout the year has also led to increased visitors in the traditionally slow winter months.
This industry association provides support and networking to businesses in Hawke’s Bay who are part of the tourism industry and continues to promote Hawke’s Bay as a tourist destination.
Hawke’s Bay is an area with increasing opportunities, especially in the food and tourism industries. With the government continuing to develop infrastructure in the region, businesses will have the facilities they need to grow into the future.