Economic impact of Kaikōura quake revealed

  • Simon Bridges
Transport Economic Development

Economic Development and Transport Minister Simon Bridges today released a Government commissioned report that assesses the economic impact of the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts.

“The quake has had a significant effect on people’s lives and businesses which the Government is strongly focused on supporting. As well as the Kaikōura economy, the report shows the national economy has also felt the impact,” Mr Bridges says.

The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million.

The estimated reduction is made up of $110-$130 million (25 per cent of the total impact) in Canterbury and $340-$370 million (75 per cent of the impact) across the rest of New Zealand.

“Increased freight transport costs and impacts on businesses from infrastructure damage and transport disruptions are the two key contributing factors,” Mr Bridges says.

“The Government has committed significant resources to getting businesses in the most affected communities back on their feet and repairing or replacing infrastructure,” Mr Bridges says.

The response to date has included:

  • Getting work underway to fully reinstate the State Highway 1 coastal route
  • Upgrading the alternate State Highway route between Picton and Christchurch
  • A range of business support packages, and support for the tourism industry and the primary sector
  • A grant to help with the restoration of Kaikoura Harbour; and
  • Temporary accommodation and housing support for residents, including farmers.

“The Government is focused on providing a coordinated and rapid response and ensuring it is targeted to where it will be most effective and best placed to return affected areas to pre-quake levels,” Mr Bridges says.

The report was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Transport. They will continue to work with the Earthquake Commission and the New Zealand Transport Agency to monitor key information relating to flows of people, tourists, and freight.

The report can be found at