The Horowhenua District economy is estimated to contract by 3.5% (↓$38.2m) over 2020 as a direct result of level 3 and level 4 restrictions imposed in response to COVID-19, compared to the national average of 3.7%.

Overall, for levels 1 to 4, the district is estimated to contract by 6.2% over the remainder of 2020, compared to 6.4% across New Zealand.

These estimates are from the August 2020 Horowhenua District Economic Impact Assessment (EIA), compiled by economists at Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council. The purpose of this EIA is to provide a baseline for understanding the direct impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on economic activity at the territorial authority and regional scale.

District impacts have been estimated by applying the industry level and broad economic impacts estimated within the RBNZ ‘Economic impacts of COVID-19 containment measures’ publication to local and regional economic structure.

Please note that the estimates are based on the RBNZ’s forecast at the time of publication (6 May 2020), which included assumptions of border restrictions and impacts on economic activity in alert levels 1 and 2.

Given that actual economic impacts may differ from estimated economic impacts, a range of metrics are included in the dashboard section of this website. The dashboards report on a variety of metrics and contains data collected on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. To access a more up-to-date understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on regional and sub-regional economic performance, readers are referred to these data.

It should also be noted that GDP is only one measure of impact. The initial focus on GDP recognises the need to get quick, early reporting on potential impacts completed using a commonly used metric and a recognised methodology. A wider approach to understanding impacts may be used to supplement GDP data in the future.

The dashboard below provides some key data and commentary around the impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy.

While data sets are updated regularly to ensure the information provided is as up-to-date as possible, please be aware that the figures do not represent a real-time snapshot.

Electronic card spending

(% change from same week in 2019)
Source: Marketview
  • Horowhenua District
  • New Zealand
In Horowhenua, electronic card spending is showing an increase on the same month as last year for the month of December. There trend was an expected trend observed over the month of December with and increase over the Christmas period to 7% with levels returning to normal in the new year.

Number of Jobseeker Support recipients

Source: Ministry of Social Development
  • Horowhenua District
The number of Jobseeker Support recipients in the Horowhenua District increased 30% from 1,480 in April 2020 to 1,924 in November 2020. In contrast, the number of New Zealand Jobseeker Support recipients increased 56% over the same period.

Trade Me job advertisement index

(Index=100, four-week rolling average)
Source: Sense Partners analysis of Trade Me data
  • Horowhenua District
  • Manawatū-Whanganui Region
  • New Zealand
The change in the number of job advertisements on Trade Me for the Horowhenua district showed strong recovery over November, returning to levels above the February 2020 index.

Value of building consents issued

(Years ended December, $ million)
Source: Statistics New Zealand
  • Horowhenua District
There was a slight decrease in residential consents to $92 million in the year end November 2020, down from $101 million for the year end November 2019. While, non-residential consents halved to $14 million, down from $28 million over the same period.

Summary Table

as at 30 June 2019


Source: Statistics New Zealand


Year ended March 2020

GDP ($ million)

2019 prices, chain-volume series
Source: Infometrics


as at February 2019

Workforce (no.)

Includes an estimate for the self-employed
Source: Infometrics


Year to March 2018

Median earnings

Full quarter jobs
Source: Statistics New Zealand


Year to March 2018

Annual salaries and wages ($ million)

Source: Statistics New Zealand


April 2020

Average house price

Average for past 3 months
Source: QV


April 2020

Average weekly rent

Average for past 12 months
Source: MBIE