A nationwide study into design’s economic contribution to New Zealand’s economy was released today. The ground-breaking research shows that during the last year alone design contributed $10.1b to New Zealand’s GDP (approximately 4.2 per cent).
The results of the Value of Design report, which was started in 2013, launched today in Wellington by Hon. Steven Joyce Minister of Finance.
The study was undertaken by PwC and commissioned by a national design consortium DesignCo, which comprises Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, the Designers Institute of New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic School of Design, NZTE (Better By Design programme), AUT School of Art and Design, the Auckland Co-design Lab, Callaghan Innovation and Victoria’s University’s School of Design.
Professor Claire Robinson, convenor of DesignCo, said at the launch of the research today: “There is a strong correlation between national prosperity, economic growth and a thriving design sector. International evidence confirms that design leads to more competitive firms making and selling higher value products and services.
“The research reveals that if design were treated as an individual industry its contribution to the New Zealand economy would be larger than agriculture and on a par with retail trade ($10.6b), and food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing. The sector also provides approximately 94,200 FTE design positions in New Zealand, roughly 4.4 per cent of employment,” Professor Robinson said.
The study indicates a broadening use of design as an effective process – in exporting firms, technology, health, conservation, the public sector and within cities.
Ludo Campbell-Reid, general manager of the Auckland Design Office and Design Champion for Auckland said: “There is a global movement that is centred on cities that are transforming themselves through people centred urban design. Think Melbourne, Vancouver, London, Barcelona, Bilbao, Portland, Seattle, Helsinki and Copenhagen. Each of these cities has pursued a deliberate programme of economic revitalisation and urban renewal based around design led thinking. Great design is all about the value add: good for the environment, good for business, good for attracting talent and critical for social cohesiveness”.
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