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Economic Impact Analysis of the Cape Rodney Okakari Point (Leigh) Marine Reserve on community

Abstract
This analysis was initiated in light of the Department’s Strategic Direction and shows that aside from the known intrinsic and biological benefits, marine reserves can, in a broader context, make a considerable contribution to local economies.

The study looks at the economic impact of activities associated with the Cape Rodney – Okakari Marine Reserve (CROP) on the Rodney District by measuring the reserve’s economic impact on variables such as the level of employment, expenditure and incomes.

The Cape Rodney Okakari Point Marine Reserve was established in 1975 and is the most popular marine reserve in New Zealand.  The reserve received an estimated 375 000 visits in the year to February 28th, 2008. 

The surveys show that around 60 % of visitors to the reserve are day visitors to the Rodney District and spend an average of $ 29 per person.  Around 30 % are overnight visitors to the region and spend an average of $137 per trip.  Seven percent of visitors live locally and 1 % owned property locally but lived outside the district.  The majority of day visitors (54 %) said that if the marine reserve did not exist then they would not visit, or would be unlikely to visit, the district on the day they were interviewed

The Total Output in Rodney dependent on the existence of the marine reserve is estimated to be
$18.6 million per year.  Some $ 12.1 million of this is direct spend by visitors and the balance is the result of flow-on effect through the district economy.  Associated with this output is Total Value Added of $8.2 million per year and employment for 173 FTE’s (full time equivalents) in Rodney, including 10 jobs in marine reserve-related activities. 

DOC’s total annual budget at the marine reserve varies but is approximately $70,000 per year, including a total staff input of 0.8FTE.

Key Points
Spending by visitors to the Cape Rodney Okakari Point Marine Reserve (CROP) generates 134 direct jobs in Rodney District, including 10 jobs in marine-related activities.  Multiplier effects in the region mean that in total 173 FTE’s in Rodney District are dependant on CROP (section 3.4).

The Total Output in Rodney dependant on the existence of the marine reserve is $18.6 million per year, including $ 12.1 million of direct additional spend by visitors.  Associated with this output is Total Value Added of $8.2 million per year (section 3.4).

This study looks at the economic impact of activities associated with the Cape Rodney – Okakari Marine Reserve on the Rodney District by measuring the reserve’s economic impact on variables such as the level of employment, expenditure and incomes.  This is not a cost-benefit analysis (section 1.3).

The Cape Rodney Okakari Point Marine Reserve was established in 1975 and is the most popular marine reserve in New Zealand.  The reserve received an estimated 375 000 visits in the year to February 28th, 2008.  About 54 % of these visitors are from Auckland and 20 % from overseas (section 1.2, 2.3 and 2.4).

Around 60 % of visitors to the reserve are day visitors to the Rodney District and spend an average of $ 29 per person.  Around 30 % are overnight visitors to the region and spend an average of $137 per trip.  Seven percent of visitors live locally and 1 % owned property locally but lived outside the district (section 2.4).

The majority of day visitors (54 %) would be unlikely to visit the district on the day they were interviewed if the marine reserve did not exist.  Twenty two percent would come even if there was no reserve (section 2.4), although they would spend 18 % less time in the district in the absence of the reserve.

DOC’s total annual budget  at the marine reserve varies but is approximately $67 000/yr including a total staff input of 0.8FTE (section 4.2).

The Department is seeking to entrench conservation as an essential part of the sustainable social and economic future of New Zealand by promoting the benefits and values of conservation and demonstrating that conservation contributes to economic prosperity.  This analysis was initiated in light of the Department’s new 2008-11 Strategic Direction and shows that marine reserves can make a considerable contribution to local economies (section 4.2) through an estimated Total Output in Rodney dependent on the marine reserve of $18.6 million and 173 FTE’s. 

 

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