Economic Profile

  • Are you looking to establish a business in Central Otago?

  • Do you want to expand your business here in Central Otago

  • Want to get a better feel for the local economy and community

  • Looking for agencies or associations that can assist you with your business

Central Otago is a great place to do business. There has been strong population growth, incomes have increased and the existing support infrastructure is excellent. Also, the Central Otago District Council has a positive attitude to business development and is a good partner to work with. There are, however, some fairly unique challenges. These include the most extreme climate on mainland New Zealand and a high degree of seasonality as local and international visitors flock into the area over summer.

Several key sources of information have been sorted and summarised to provide this information.

If you can’t find what you are looking for here we welcome your queries and will do what we can to get you in information you are looking for.


What is the age, sex, marital status, education, ethnicity, income, occupation, technological status profile of the resident population? You can access NZ Census population statistics to help guide your business decision making.


Central Otago economic performance is second to none. A 2015 BERL report ranked the region as the best performer when compared with New Zealand and the Otago region in five Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and better than the Otago region and equal to New Zealand performance in two others. The combination of location, natural resources, a skilled and willing labour force plus outstanding manufacturing/building and business service sector performance gives Central Otago the economic edge.


What’s the weather like? What about the land and soils? Central Otago’s physical environment is often described as extreme, and for good reason! Understanding the soils, vegetation and climatic patterns will help you decide on the ideal location or crop for a land-based enterprise.


The development of the Central Otago economy is a remarkable journey. From early beginnings of gold mining and farming, access to water and large scale power generation, to the growth of horticulture,, viticulture, tourism, light manufacturing and knowledge based businesses; all have played a part in making Central Otago what it is today.

Business Groups and Organisations

There are a number of industry or sector support organisations that play a large part in building and maintaining the strength of the Central Otago economy. These organisations variously offer a range of training, advocacy or support services for Central Otago businesses.
Business Directory
Business Groups & Organisations
There are a range of business groups and organisations in Central Otago for networking, advice and business support. Find out details of when and where they meet and how you can contact them. Read More

Economic Development Strategy
The Economic Development strategy’s key purpose is to help the Central Otago community focus on issues that impact on our economic and social well-being, and to suggest some of the actions we can take over the next few years to address them. Read More
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference
Our Regional Identity - A World of Difference 'A World of Difference' defines what is uniquely Central Otago as a place and a community. Read More

Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes
Central Otago NZ - Through Local Eyes Meet some unique and passionate Central Otago locals and be introduced to their favourite places and activities. Read More

Food & Wine
Food & Wine Central Otago is a place of sheer indulgence – whether it’s fine dining, a casual al-fresco lunch or café culture. You will be spoilt for choice when enjoying local fare and award winning wines at the great selection of cafés, restaurants, cellar doors and country pubs. Read More
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