Growing prosperity. The Auckland Prosperity Index: challenges and opportunities

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development ATEED
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, ATEED
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Across the developed world, there is increasing recognition that the nature of global growth following the Global Financial Crisis has not delivered equally for all communities. While the global economy has slowly recovered since 2012, it has become clear many of those who were less prosperous prior to the crisis remain so and are benefiting least from the recovery. There has been a huge growth in inequality, with the gap between rich and poor wider than at anytime since World War Two.

This divergence speaks to a fundamental tension - a strong macro performance is masking deeper issues and a narrowing opportunity for marginalised populations to achieve prosperity. This has led to an acknowledgement within leading economic development organisations that “top–line growth doesn’t ensure bottom–line prosperity”, challenging the current model of economic development that advocates a trickle–down effect. At a city level, this has most recently been referred to as the “New Urban Crisis” and spurred a drive to find solutions to stimulate a more inclusive and equitable growth.

Since 2012, the macro story of Auckland’s economy has largely been one of growth. Strong GDP growth driven by rapid population growth and record tourism numbers have been consistent features in the economic headlines, contributing to high employment levels and booming house prices. However, as is the case across the developed world, beneath the headlines and when the macro numbers are unpicked, it is becoming clear that many Aucklanders and many areas of Auckland have not benefited from this growth.

In order to achieve a better understanding of this challenge and get beneath the macro numbers, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has partnered with Infometrics to develop The Auckland Prosperity Index. This index is a tool which seeks to explore the prosperity differentials that exist across the Auckland region, and what may be causing these differentials by examining data at a local board level across six broad domains.

This Economic Insight paper presents a summary of the key findings from The Auckland Prosperity Index. This paper will be supported by more technical reports for each local board area, together with an overarching regional report. ATEED’s Local Economic Development Team will work with each board to assist them to use these findings to stimulate inclusive growth in their own areas. ATEED will also use the findings to shape its programme of work at a regional level for the coming three–year period.

This insights paper is the first in the 2018 series, building on the success of the 2017 series. This year ATEED will further examine issues and opportunities within the Auckland economy, and identify how ATEED can continue to use a strong evidence base and work with our partners to develop solutions and create a more prosperous Auckland.

Economic Insights Series 5

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Last updated: 2018-05-14