Aroha Advertiser August 2015

Columns
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Winter time is a great time to be promoting all the wonderful attractions Te Aroha has on offer. It’s the perfect time to be reminding people from far and wide why they should be visiting Te Aroha with its hot soda spas and other great attractions.

I am really impressed with how active the Te Aroha Business Association continues to be in promoting the town with its vision "the first choice boutique destination to live, work and play".  The Adrian Worsley dog bike rack/drinking fountain and the plans for further sculptures are great initiatives and its fantastic to see how hard the Business Association is working to promote our town. Keep up the great work.

Too many of us get a dose of winter flu and for most of us it can be avoided by getting an annual anti flu vaccination. So I was pleased that this year’s programme to provide free vaccinations has been extended through to the end of August.

The free vaccinations are available to people aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, people with long term health conditions such as severe asthma, and children under five years who have been hospitalised for a respiratory illness. People with Down Syndrome and those with cochlear implants are also eligible for the vaccine.

For those not eligible for the free vaccine it is also available for purchase from general practices and many pharmacies. It’s a small price to pay for flu protection.

Despite media commentators beating the doom and gloom drum around the falling milk price, the economic stabilisers of our modern economy have kicked in. The New Zealand dollar has fallen accordingly to a six year low. That makes things easier for our exporters and manufacturing sector.  Not only does a lower dollar mean good news for exporters it also helps keep interest rates low. That has a positive impact for people with mortgages and for those wanting to borrow money to set up new businesses.

The other good news is that our annual inflation rate is 0.1% which is the lowest since 2001.

Tourism is our second largest export earner and it makes up a big part of the local economy around the Coromandel electorate. Across New Zealand the tourism sector directly employs 4.7 per cent of the country’s entire workforce and indirectly employs a further 3.1 per cent in support and service jobs.

In total, around one in 11 working New Zealanders is employed in the tourism industry and is improving the potential of economies of communities around the country now and into the future. The projections for tourist arrivals in the next 5-10 years are absolutely staggering.

Latest figures show that this year just on 3 million people will pay New Zealand a visit. That is a massive 7% more tourist visitors than last year. It means more jobs and prosperity for our retailers, not just in the peak summer period but with benefits felt throughout the year. Our goal is to ensure that Te Aroha has more than our share and our local business association is working hard to achieve that.