Thousands of people head to Fieldays – and walk the endless streets in search of the best bargains for agricultural services, equipment and knowhow – but does this really make an economic impact to the New Zealand economy? Yes, it does, if last year’s results are anything to go by.
The Fieldays 2017 Economic Impact Report, prepared post-event last year by independent economist Dr Warren Hughes and Professor Frank Scrimgeour of the University of Waikato Management School’s Institute of Business Research, highlights a significant increase in Fieldays’ contribution to the NZ economy.
It reported the Fieldays’ brand value increased from $380 million in 2016 to $465 million in 2017, signalling the Fieldays platform is increasing in value for manufacturers selling to primary producers.
It was also identified Fieldays broke the half-billion dollar barrier for the first time, generating $538 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms.
And overall, Fieldays in 2017 generated $238 million to New Zealand’s GDP, an increase of 24.7 per cent compared to the 2016 year which was, of course, a low spending year for the primary sectors.
Up by $108 million on 2016, this significant increase in spending is a good indication that New Zealand’s economic growth is in a strong position compared to recent years.
Dr Warren Hughes said the 2016 figures reflected the effects of two years of low dairy payouts, while 2017 showed renewed confidence and increased expenditure in the dairy sector.
ANZ Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie commented on a strong rural community showing strength across the board.
“It’s going to be a big economic tailwind for New Zealand over the next two to three years.”
This evident in the creation of more than 2300 full time equivalent jobs in 2017 – up from 2021 in 2016. Of those, 900 were created in the Waikato alone, a 27 per cent increase on the previous year.
These jobs have been sustained either side of the four-day event, including site preparations, freight and hospitality, with the report showing that for every dollar spent during the event another $1.37 of sales revenue is generated somewhere else in the New Zealand economy.
New Zealand National Fieldays Society CEO Peter Nation says the organisation is proud of the contribution Fieldays makes to both the Waikato region and New Zealand economies.
“This report shows record highs for the event and we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved, both from an organisational point of view and what that means for NZ.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve in an ever-changing market and these findings are just going to drive us to deliver better results,” says Peter.
He’s also pleased to see Fieldays create so many full time jobs. “We’re crucially aware that many businesses and families rely heavily on Fieldays as a large part of their annual livelihood.
“The spin-off to the food and beverage, accommodation and service industry, particularly in the Waikato is great. As Fieldays grows, so do the service industries that supply our exhibitors and their businesses.”
For every one of the 133,588 visitors through the gate last year $4000 in sales was generated.
Every entry through the gate by a visitor from outside the Waikato region generates $317 spent in the Waikato hospitality sector.
Every dollar spent during Fieldays, whether on accommodation, equipment sales, infrastructure etc generated another $1.37 of sales revenue somewhere else in the New Zealand economy.
Sales at Fieldays increased by 30 per cent per site in 2017.
81 per cent of patrons rated Fieldays as the most important or equally important annual event in New Zealand.
Exhibitors estimate that 9.1 per cent of sales made at Fieldays would have been lost if Fieldays did not exist.