Wine helps to boost Marlborough's GDP by $213m

Marlborough's gross domestic product has increased by $213 million, thanks to the region's thriving wine industry.

The latest figures from Statistics New Zealand show the region's GDP increased from $2.069 billion to $2.282b in the year ending March 2014 - the third-highest increase in the country.

Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said the figures showed the region benefited when the wine sector performed well and showed profitable growth.

"There is a diverse range of components that make up the economic contribution of the wine sector and sometimes that's all too easy to overlook when we think of the primary and finished forms - vineyards and bottled wine.

"The wine sector here provides deep and wide-ranging employment and business opportunities and this news is a timely reminder that we should all acknowledge, if not celebrate in, its success."

Marlborough Chamber of Commerce general manager Hamish Macfarlane agreed, saying the region's economy was largely driven by the primary industries, including the wine industry.

"The region needs to be supportive of those industries in every way.

"At times the wine industry needs to be cut a bit of slack especially at prime time.

"When I read that one grape on the road is too many, that is just out of touch with reality, we need to remember what feeds the town and our economy and be grateful.

"If the industry is doing it hard, everybody does it hard."

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In the year ending March 2013, the region's GDP dropped by $18m.

Experts put that down to the agricultural industry, which includes the wine industry, being hit hard by the dry conditions in 2013.

However, the bumper grape harvest last year helped to boost the economy, with Marlborough contributing to 1 per cent of the country's total GDP of $229.7 billion.

Macfarlane said the significant increase in Marlborough's GDP was a "stellar result".

 - The Marlborough Express

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