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Where to buy if you want to be a NZ property tycoon

Where to buy if you want to be a NZ property tycoon

Old Nov 25th 2002, 5:44 pm
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Default Where to buy if you want to be a NZ property tycoon

The country's biggest city will continue pulling in more and more people while other regions empty out, says the latest population forecast.

Ninety per cent of New Zealand's population growth over the next two decades will occur in the North Island's four northernmost regions, according to Statistics New Zealand figures.

Auckland will have the biggest growth, its population burgeoning to 1.65 million people by 2021, an increase of 430,000 on last year's count of 1.22 million.

Greater Auckland will be home to 37 per cent of New Zealanders and 47 per cent of North Islanders by 2021, compared with 31 and 41 per cent, respectively, last year.

By 2021, the North Island will be home to 78 per cent of New Zealanders. Last year, it was home to 76 per cent.

According to the Statistics NZ subnational population projections report, regions predicted to experience population rises over the 20 years are: Bay of Plenty, by 61,000; Canterbury, by 54,000; Waikato, by 40,000; and Wellington, by 29,000.

Meanwhile, Southland's population is predicted to fall by about 14,000 over 20 years, Taranaki by 10,000 and the West Coast, Gisborne, Manawatu/Wanganui, and Hawkes Bay are all expected to lose between 4000 and 2000 each over that time. .

Waikato University sociology and population lecturer Dr Dharma Lingham said it was not just the "polarisation" of New Zealand's population that would be the only problem in the coming decades. It was also the type of people leaving regional and rural areas to come to places like Auckland or Bay of Plenty.

"The people leaving are in the prime employment age group and they have the reproductive potential, so they are leaving behind very disadvantaged groups of people," he said.

By far the biggest factor in Auckland's growth was economic activity, Dr Lingham said. People came to where the jobs were. The city's growth would continue to put pressure on education, health and transport services.

By comparison, the South Island's population will not hit one million until 2021 (it is 940,000), but that means just 10 per cent of the population growth is happening there and 90 per cent is happening in the North Island.

Bucking the South Island trend, Queenstown-Lakes District is picked to be the fastest growing of any territorial authority, with a 64 per cent rise in population over the next 20 years.

The other fastest-growing regions in for big population growth over 20 years are Rodney District (up 50 per cent) and Tauranga (up 46 per cent).

The figures show most of the country's 75 regions will have fewer children and more older people in the coming decades. By 2021, at least a quarter of the population in 16 regions will be 65 or older and in six, including Central Otago, Thames-Coromandel and Waitaki, the median age will exceed 50 years.

New Zealanders' median age in 2021 would be 40, the report predicts.

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