The Herald reports:
Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson says new Census data which show that New Zealand population growth has halved since the last Census could prompt revision of Auckland’s infrastructure plans such as an increase in high-rise apartments and the construction of a city rail loop.
But Auckland Council is standing by its plans for growth, saying that Auckland is expected to grow faster than the rest of the country.
The council’s planning for the next 30 years is based on the prediction that the number of residents will grow by 1 million.
Mr Williamson said the first Census data in seven years indicated that this projection was far too high.
Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday showed that on Census night, there were 214,101 more people in New Zealand than at the previous Census in 2006. This meant the population had grown by 31,000 a year over the past seven years, compared to 58,000 a year in the previous period of 2001 to 2006.
“This is a huge surprise – bigger than Ben Hur,” Mr Williamson said. “It’s nearly half the growth rate that everyone had been basing their historic numbers on.”
This is why I think the Government’s funding position on the CRL is smart. Budgeted to start in
2010 2020, but with the provision to start earlier if there is sufficient population growth etc leading to inner city employment growth.
The planning documents assume that the region will grow by 2.2 per cent a year. As a result, they include proposals for more high-rise, small apartments in the suburbs and 160,000 homes outside the existing urban boundaries.
The Census data showed a national average increase of 0.75 per cent in population per year, but regional growth would not be revealed until next week.
One can make a dirty estimate if you ignore changes in the Maori roll.
The 21 electorates mainly in Auckland had an electoral population of 1,205,678 in 2006 and of 1,318,141 in 2013. That is growth of 112,463 or 9.3% over seven years.
That equates to an average growth of almost 1.3% a year – well below the 2.2%.
What difference does this make over time?
Well 2.2% a year for 30 years is a 92% growth while 1.3% for 30 years is a 47.3% growth.
What difference does that make to projected population? Well on 1.5 million current population the 2.2% figure means an extra 1.4 million residents while the 1.3% figure means an extra 710,000 – so a difference of around 700,000 Aucklanders.
I look forward to people claiming that we should ignore the census data and not change the Auckland plan. Of course we should wait for the official figures next week.