Fieldays 2016 generated $430m in sales

The Fieldays 2016 Economic Impact Report, independently prepared by consulting economist Dr Warren Hughes and the University of Waikato Management School’s Institute of Business Research, has been released at the Mystery Creek Events Centre.

Minister of Primary Industries, Hon. Nathan Guy, spoke at the event, along with NZ National Fieldays Society CEO Peter Nation and University of Waikato economics professor Frank Scrimgeour.

“I am delighted with the report,” said Mr Nation. “This report further reinforces the massive economic contribution to Waikato and New Zealand.”

Fieldays, which is based on a 114-hectare site at Mystery Creek, is held for four days every June. This year Fieldays ran from 15 to 18 June.

The report has outlined a number of highlights from the 2016 event including:

  • generating $430 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms, up nine percent from 2015. Of that, $124.5 million in revenue was generated for firms in the Waikato region; 
  • an impact on the GDP calculated at $58 million for the Waikato and $191 million for all of New Zealand; 
  • the generation of 708 (full-time equivalent) new jobs for the Waikato, and a total of 2021 new jobs across all of New Zealand for 2016 (up 13 per cent since last year); 
  • exhibitor sites and gate entries both being up by four percent.


Although overall revenue for all New Zealand firms increased from $396 million in 2015 to $430 million in 2016, the Waikato region was slightly down, likely due to the then subdued dairy prices.

Overall revenue for the Waikato region decreased by 13 percent from $143 million in 2015 to $124.5 million in 2016 and equipment sales for Waikato firms at Fieldays dropped nine per cent from $75 million in 2015 to $68 million this year.

Mr Nation thinks the environment in June may have meant more day-trippers to Fieldays this year. In the hospitality and accommodation sector, average visitor spending dropped from $303 in 2015 to $208 this year.

“I think that is understandable, given the current environment, that people might be coming for one day rather than staying over.” But he said Fieldays exhibitors contributed hugely to the regional economy. “Each year a mini-city moves in for Fieldays, and it takes a mini-city to build it and then break it down,” said Mr Nation.


Mr Nation said people spent money at Fieldays this year, but not necessarily on large capital items. “We’ve had some exhibitors tell us they had record sales this year,” said Mr Nation. “In terms of quad bikes, trucks, cars, Utes and clothing – all of those things were strong this year. When it comes to the larger investments, the spend would appear subdued. However, everyday items and essential items were a different story.

“Farmers are not going to put up with holes in their gum boots or substandard equipment for items that are a necessity to their business. But there were probably fewer new dairy conversions signed up for this year, or dairy platforms purchased.”

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