This analysis was initiated in light of the Department’s Strategic Direction1 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.
1 DOC Strategic Direction 2008-11: “The overarching purpose of the Department is to increase the value that New Zealanders attribute to conservation. This leads to enhanced care of New Zealand’s unique heritage for people to benefit from and enjoy.”