economic impact on the region. However, by looking at the Rodney District this alternate spending has a big impact on the region, so the marine reserve at Leigh does have a large economic impact on the Rodney District.
How does the Economic Impact Compare?
The direct economic activity associated with Department activities at the marine reserve is around $70 000 per year including employment of 0.8 FTE’s. Capital expenditure is excluded, but depreciation and capital charges are included. DOC’s accounting records indicate that approximately half the Department’s spending is visitor asset spending (maintaining the car park and access), 25 % is compliance and law enforcement, and 25 % is public awareness and biological monitoring.
This study shows that this very small investment in protecting an inshore coastal area for scientific research and biological integrity has a large economic impact on the Rodney District. The Total Output in Rodney dependent on the existence of the marine reserve is $18.6 million per year and 173 FTE’s in Rodney District are dependent on the marine reserve. This is a very significant return to the people of Rodney District as a result of public investment by the Department.
Although CROP Marine Reserve was selected as a show-case study, there are many other similar sites with potential to be of equally impressive value. New Zealand currently has 32 marine reserves; while some are in isolated locations receiving minimal visitors, others are in popular, attractive locations which also contribute significantly to their local area, although the extent of their contribution is yet to be quantified (e.g. Poor Knights, Hahei, Abel Tasman, Long Bay). The newest marine reserve established is Taputeranga, on the Wellington South Coast. Given its location it is also expected to contribute to local economic activity. It is already a popular dive spot and with plans for a marine education centre nearby it will certainly create an important tourist destination. The Department is currently developing research plans with Victoria University, which is rebuilding its marine research lab next to the marine reserve, to further study these economic impacts in due course. The Department recognises the importance of drawing on a wider range of skills through collaboration to achieve its goals.
The Department is committed to achieving conservation results through wider community collaboration and its new Strategic Direction 2008 – 2011 reflects its overarching purpose to increase the value that New Zealander’s attribute to conservation. 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 study shows that aside from the known