The Waikato Means Business (Economic Development Strategy) has four main growth goals: (i) grow value added by 2.8% per annum; (ii) grow value added of key sectors by at least 3% per annum; (iii) grow productivity by at least 1% /annum; and (iv) grow value of international exports by at least 1.5%/annum
The economic analysis of the WMB growth goals was undertaken by Market Economics Ltd (ME) of Auckland (McDonald and Kim 2018). For this ME constructed a GAMS-based optimisation model which allows them to simulate dynamically the changes in the ‘final demand categories’ (i.e. the key drivers of economic change within the WISE model) necessary to achieve the EDS growth aspirations given the known quantifiable constraints.
The ME economic modelling provided the necessary economic data to create a “WMB Goals” scenario in WISE. Their analysis also provided an adjustment to population growth required to provide labour force to support the increased economic activity.
Two scenarios (Reference and WMB Goals) were then run in WISE to assess the possible land use implications of striving for the WMB goals.
Value Added in Region under the WBM goals, between 2016-2031, is anticipated to increase at a rate of 3.4% per annum compared with 1.7% per annum under Reference scenario.
Employment growth in Region under the WBM goals, between 2016-2031, is anticipated to increase at a rate of 2.0% per annum compared with 1.1% per annum under Reference scenario.
A population increase, above the medium projection used in ‘Reference’ scenario in WISE, of ~5% by 2031 and 14% by 2064 is required to meet the increased employment demands of the WMB growth goals. This level of population growth is similar to the “High” projection provided under the Waikato Projections work programme.
Projected regional population growth for Reference and WBM scenarios
Refinement of the ‘WMB Goals’ scenario could be undertaken to look further at pressure points for ‘accelerated growth’ such as where additional growth should occur and how quickly specific zoned areas are utilised.
Additional scenarios could be developed to test/explore alternate zoning/development pathways.