Economic Development

Gisborne’s economy has been underperforming for many years. Employment shows the slowest growth rate for all regions, worker productivity is 26% behind the New Zealand average and internet connectivity is the lowest of all regions. Youth not in employment, education and training show that Gisborne is the worst performer of all the regions for this measure. Intervention is required to lift Gisborne’s economic performance and accelerate growth.

Not only does ECT have considerable community support to be more active in the economic development space, it also has an obligation, supported by its trust deed, to support business, community and other initiatives that are likely to encourage or sustain economic growth for the benefit of its beneficiaries.

One of the key messages ECT received from the community last year in the Key Research survey was that it must take an active leadership role in economic development, with job creation and the attraction of new business the key economic issues facing our region. According to that same data, our community overwhelmingly felt the most important priority for ECT is to undertake projects that create jobs.


We are now making a real commitment to transforming the regional economy in a number of ways:

  • supporting independent initiaitives that have the capacity to transform our economy. The vehicle for this is the Prosperous (Contestable Regional Economic Growth) Fund.
  • taking a lead role in strategic regional economic development initiatives such as the ones in this section.