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Auckland Council Logo The Auckland City Centre Master Plan Logo
Te ōhanga taurikura i te pokapū tāone o Tāmaki Makaurau

Economic prosperity in Auckland's city centre

Economic significance of the city centre 

The prosperity of Auckland's city centre directly affects New Zealand's economic wellbeing. In 2018, the city centre generated an estimated $17.5 billion of economic activity, accounting for 19 per cent of Auckland's GDP and 7.2 per cent of New Zealand's GDP. This is approaching the GDP of the entire Waikato region (8.4 per cent of NZ GDP).

How jobs are affecting the city centre's prosperity 

The city centre's prosperity is driven by the very high number of jobs (~ 130,000) concentrated in a relatively small geographical area. This high job density leads to specialisation, higher productivity and higher incomes. This particularly applies to high-end professional services, which tend to favour the city centre.

A 1 per cent increase in effective job density in the city centre would increase GDP by an estimated $42 million. The CCMP uses urban design to increase the city centre's job density, thus improving its economic performance.

Since 2012, city centre employment has increased by almost 25,000 jobs, while morning peak car travel to the city centre has gradually declined. Long-term investment in public transport has delivered a substantial mode shift and enabled more Aucklanders to access the city centre.

How the City Rail Link (CRL) will affect employment in the city centre 

CRL is expected to be a catalyst for up to 20,000 additional jobs. This will consolidate the city centre's position as the heart of New Zealand’s economy. 

Retail, entertainment and dining 

The CCMP seeks to support retail, dining and entertainment by making the city centre easier to reach, more inviting to explore and more pleasant to be in.

Auckland city centre is one of New Zealand's largest retail centres, generating over $1.6 billion of retail expenditure per annum. Britomart has emerged as an established niche retail precinct, the north end of Queen Street has a focus on high-end fashion retail and the Commercial Bay shopping centre is due to open in mid-late 2020.

Auckland's city centre night-time economy is worth $450 million annually. Entertainment and dining opportunities have grown up in recent years, with clusters of activity throughout the city centre in Wynyard Quarter, Commercial Bay, Britomart, Aotea Quarter, and Karangahape Road.

The CCMP envisages a better pedestrian environment to link existing areas of activity and enable new opportunities elsewhere in the centre. Substantial improvements to all forms of public transport will be needed to support the night-time economy and enable the transition to an increasingly 24-hour city.

Visitor activity in the city centre 

Visitor activity in Auckland is an important contributor to retail, hospitality and accommodation and a catalyst for transport and infrastructure investment.

Total tourism spend (international and domestic), in the year to March 2019 totalled $8.3bn in the Auckland region. Export education and training (i.e. international students) accounted for approximately $2.7bn.

Despite these significant figures, visitor interests in the city centre have until recently been relatively shallow, with little to hold visitors for more than 48 hours.

The CCMP envisages Auckland city centre with more depth, colour and relevance to visitors. Its attractions will be better connected by a network of green links, laneways and the City Rail Link.

New drawcard attractions will line the waterfront, connected by a transformed Quay Street as part of Transformational move 8: Harbour edge stitch.

In addition, the universities will become key components of the city centre as part of Transformational move 4: The Learning Quarter.

Māori and Pasifika economic development 

As the largest Polynesian city in the south Pacific, we need to ensure the city centre provides opportunities for Māori and Pasifika communities and businesses to thrive.

The vision for a prosperous city centre sees Māori business and iwi organisations as a significant driver of economic growth.

Innovation and enterprise are two key elements of Māori success and have been a hallmark of Māori development since Māori first arrived in Aotearoa.

Marginalisation of Māori and large land losses have had substantial effects on Māori economic progress over the past 170 years. However, treaty settlements and strategic iwi investments now contribute to a strengthening economic base.

Hapu and iwi are enduring and perpetual, and have an inter-generational approach to investment outcomes. Their enterprises and activities will advance Māori wellbeing through economic development. This will also benefit the city centre and region's economy.