Taranaki booming says local leaders

The Daily News reports:

Taranaki leaders are hailing new population figures that show the region is booming.

The province has 5484 more people than it did seven years ago, making it the third fastest-growing region in the North Island …

Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle said New Plymouth district is a standout performer and one of the country’s strongest-growing areas.

New mayor Andrew Judd agreed and said the increase was largely due to the province’s booming oil and gas industry.

However, he also said New Plymouth must ready itself to be in a strong position to capitalise on the growth.

“With growth comes more pressure. We need to make sure we have enough houses for these people and our healthcare can handle the increase.

“We also need to examine these figures and find out where the gaps are and work on those,” he said.

Mr Trundle said New Plymouth’s 7.7 per cent growth was monumental, especially by comparison with the Manawatu/Whanganui, which grew by 1 per cent.

So they’re calling the growth monumental. But wasn’t there someone saying the figures would show an exodus of people from the region?

National came out firing yesterday with Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young both accusing Labour leader of making up stuff.

Mr Cunliffe said the latest Census would show a widespread exodus from the regions as provincial New Zealanders flee forgotten small towns. He also said real median weekly incomes for Taranaki have dropped $24.

But Census figures showed the new Labour boss was wrong.

Statistics released yesterday show the region’s population had actually increased.

Mr Young said the figures contradicted Mr Cunliffe’s claims.

“Since the 2006 income survey, real after-tax weekly incomes in Taranaki have increased by $85.”

So Cunliffe was wrong on the population and he is trying to pull a swiftie on the income side by quoting gross incomes, not after tax incomes (ie how much actual money you have to spend).


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