Regional Population Changes

October 15th, 2013 at 11:12 am by David Farrar

have released the regional population changes. The average annual change from 2006 to 2013 for each region is:

  1. Auckland 1.2%
  2. Nelson 1.1%
  3. Waikato 0.8%
  4. Tasman 0.8%
  5. 0.7%
  6. Wellington 0.7%
  7. Otago 0.6%
  8. Bayof Plenty 0.6%
  9. Canterbury 0.5%
  10. Southland 0.4%
  11. West Coast 0.4%
  12. Hawke’s Bay 0.3%
  13. Northland 0.3%
  14. Marlborough 0.3%
  15. Manawatu-Wanganui 0.0%
  16. Gisborne -0.3%

The Auckland growth of 1.2% just over half of the growth rate the Auckland Council are using in their plans. Unless there is some reason to think the change is temporary, their plans should incorporate the new data.

The only region to shrink is Gisborne, which is good. A shrinking regional makes it very hard to attract jobs and investment.

Of the 68 territorial authorities, 18 shrunk and 50 grew. The Ruapehu District shrunk the most at an annual average of 1.9% a year and the Selwyn District grew the most at 4.1% a year,

Within Auckland the smallest growth was 0.6% a year in five board areas. Albert-Eden had the lowest growth. The highest growth was in Upper Harbour at 3.3% a year.

At an area unit level Burwood has had a 63% reduction in population over seven years, Middlemore 62%, Kaiapoi East 59%, Cathedral Square 54%.

The biggest growth is Mission Heights from 48 people to 2,532 which is a 5175% growth over seven years.

UPDATE: Rather embarrassing for that yesterday he was saying to the Taranaki Daily News:

Taranakians are leaving the province in droves because they’re being forgotten by the National Government, Labour leader David Cunliffe says.

Mr Cunliffe said data released today would show a widespread exodus from the regions as provincial New Zealanders flee forgotten small towns.

He said these towns had been gutted by the hands off approach of the National Government.

That’s an epic fail. Instead Taranaki grew by 0.7% a year, which is the fifth largest in the country. Does this mean David Cunliffe will now “blame” National for the 5,484 extra people now living in Taranaki over the last seven years? That compares to just 1,266 extra people in Taranaki in the five years before that (2001 to 2006).

The lesson for the Labour leader is wait until the data is released before you spin it. Telling the local paper the figures would show an exodus when it fact shows population growth three times stronger than the previous period is again a rather epic fail.

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12 Responses to “Regional Population Changes”

  1. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Otago is very uneven. Regional annual averages:

    Dunedin 0.2% (total 1.3%)
    Clutha 0.0% (total 0.3%)
    Waitaki 0.4% (total 3.0%)
    Central Otago 1.0% (total 7.5%)
    Queenstown-Lakes 3.0% (total 22.9%)

    Rates of increases in Dunedin, Queenstown/Wanaka and Central Otago are all less than half the previous period 2001-2006.

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  2. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    The areas south of Whangarei have grown by >30% in the last 12 years. I reckon it’ll accelerate from this point to a city a little larger than current Tauranga with sprawling southern beach suburbs. Just need to keep generating jobs at the port, keep improving transport links to Auckland and keep being awesome. Oh… and move the airport from Onerahi to Mata.

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  3. Ross12 (1,147 comments) says:

    The only problem DPF with your comments about Cunliffe ( which is great that you highlight) is that will the Taranaki Daily News call him out it , like they should ?

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  4. greenjacket (416 comments) says:

    “Mr Cunliffe said Census data released today would show a widespread exodus from the regions as provincial New Zealanders flee forgotten small towns…..” Instead Taranaki grew by 0.7% a year, which is the fifth largest in the country.

    Serious question – is the Labour Party research unit setting up Cunliffe to fail? It is the second time Cunliffe has said stuff that his research unit people presumably provided him that turned out to be BS. (Either that conspiracy, or else the Labour Party research unit are morons).

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  5. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    LOL..own goal silent T…

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  6. s.russell (1,559 comments) says:

    South Island population now tops 1 million for the first time.

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  7. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    s.russell – Pretty cool mark to pass. Interestingly, the South Island as a % of total population is almost consistent over the last 12 years (just over 24% to just under). Auckland is increasing (31% to 33%) and the rest of the NI is decreasing (45% to 43%).

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  8. Camryn (550 comments) says:

    Let’s say Cunliffe had picked a rural region that is actually declining in population, one of my many issues with such fretting is that it treats population decrease as an indicator of low or negative economic growth. However, New Zealand farmers are constantly leveraging new technologies to reduce the need for labour. Perhaps it’s chicken and egg, the labour shortage driving the technology update as well as vice versa, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Similarly, improved transportation allows farmers to use larger, cheaper service providers rather than the former monopoly provider in their locality. There are many more similar factors. All up, we have a very healthy farming sector and if that means that the small towns that provided labour and services are no longer required, that can be taken as a sign of *growth* and *development* rather than decline. If Labour wants a “hands on” approach to the decline of small rural towns, it’s just going to be another futile, money-wasting effort to prevent a normal and perfectly rational process from running its course.

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  9. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Steven Joyce on Cunliffe’s claims:

    Labour caught making stuff up – again

    Results from the 2013 Census shows Labour and its leader have been caught making stuff up with population growth spread right across the country, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

    “Population growth occurred in 15 of the country’s 16 regions between 2006 and 2013 – hardly the widespread exodus from the regions as claimed by the Leader of the Opposition,” Mr Joyce says.

    “Mr Cunliffe claimed people were leaving regions such as Taranaki in droves. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Taranaki grew by 5.3 per cent between 2006 and 2013 and has 5484 extra people now living in the region.

    “He is also way off beam with his claims that incomes in the regions have fallen.

    “Mr Cunliffe stated that real median weekly incomes have dropped by $24 in Taranaki. Wrong again. Since the 2006 income survey, real after tax weekly incomes in Taranaki have increased by $85. And the other examples he used for Southland and Waikato are also totally incorrect.

    “This is a stunt that has backfired. There will be red faces all round in Labour following David Cunliffe’s embarrassing exaggerations and made up statistics.

    “Labour will clearly stop at nothing to talk down the good progress being made across our regional economies.

    “It confirms a bad start in the integrity stakes for the new Labour leader. He’ll have to do a lot better than this if he wants the public to trust him.”

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/labour-caught-making-stuff-again

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  10. Fox (201 comments) says:

    The Auckland growth of 1.2% just over half of the growth rate the Auckland Council are using in their plans. Unless there is some reason to think the change is temporary, their plans should incorporate the new data.

    1. Historical data is only of limited value when attempting to forecast future population growth.

    2. Hmmmm…..what major global event occurred between 2006-2013 that would have significantly affected migration flows and internal population trends, and thus compromises the value of this particular census as a predictor for population growth? Hint: National still regularly uses this event as an excuse when explaining lacklustre economic growth during their time in office (2008-201x).

    3. To what extent has this growth figure been impacted by the housing crisis? How many people refrained from moving to Auckland and would otherwise have done so, had it not been for the astronomical house prices in the region, and associated inflated living costs.

    Short-sighted politicians are in danger of turning this into a self-fulfilling prophecy; a housing shortage causes living in Auckland to become prohibitively expensive – people refrain from moving to Auckland – (National Party) politicians seize on this as evidence that population growth is slowing and start to hack into planned housing growth – reduced housing causes prices to remain sky high – people remain deterred from moving to Auckland – politicians use this data to hack into housing growth – :repeat cycle:

    Maybe a more intelligent approach in assessing future population growth is to ask the question: “if housing in Auckland were made to be more affordable (through increased provision of housing as is provided in the current Unitary Plan), how many more people would then be making the move to Auckland?”

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  11. hj (6,347 comments) says:

    Going through the Buller Gorge you see the past site of Lyell and in the Murchison Museum you can see people leaning on the turned balcony rail of a hotel. The town has disappeared into the beach forest, an epic fail of governments regional development policies.

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/20971/cliff-street-lyell

    Just kidding but why prop up regions just for the sake of it and when are we going to wrestle decision making about population (immigration) away from elites. We have people on the public payroll dedicated to things like diversity and breaking our “mono cultural” and “white dominated” society. They spend a lot of their time studying the media and proscribing how journalists should think. On the other hand, we have a people servicing industry lobbying and stacking government. Tail wagging dog.

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  12. hj (6,347 comments) says:

    @ Fox

    Maybe a more intelligent approach in assessing future population growth is to ask the question: “if housing in Auckland were made to be more affordable (through increased provision of housing as is provided in the current Unitary Plan), how many more people would then be making the move to Auckland?”
    ……………..
    How about we get real about the demographics of our source countries and tell the developers and their progressive allies to F off?
    Tony Alexander’s view on house prices

    3. The government is explicitly aiming to grow Auckland’s population as a means of achieving “agglomeration” benefits for economic growth which accrue from high interaction amongst economic players.

    http://www.davidwhitburn.com/blogs/auckland-house-prices-to-rise-over-10-in-2013/
    The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance says agglomeration benefits are likely to be at the small end while the negative effects will drive people away..

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