Census 2013: Auckland up and away

By Simon Collins

Auckland Council chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley said it was too early to revise the council's planning. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland Council chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley said it was too early to revise the council's planning. Photo / Dean Purcell

Auckland has grown up and out in the past seven years.

The Census reveals unexpectedly dramatic growth in both the central city and around the urban fringe.

The standout surprise in the Auckland figures is an increase of 14,200 people (22.6 per cent) in the Waitemata local board area, which includes the central business district west to Herne Bay and east to Parnell.

Statistics NZ's last estimates, for the six years to June last year, forecast an increase of only 7.5 per cent in that area, indicating that the Census has picked up new apartments in both new buildings and former office buildings.

But the growth rate was even bigger, at 25.2 per cent in the Upper Harbour area, which extends from Albany to Greenhithe and Hobsonville on the city's northern fringe where the last official estimate pointed to growth of only 17.3 per cent.

Growth also exceeded forecasts in Hibiscus and Bays (9.7 per cent) in the north and in Franklin (11.5 per cent) in the south.

High growth was in line with projections in the other fringe areas of Rodney (11.2 per cent), Howick (12 per cent) and Papakura (9.8 per cent).

Even Great Barrier Island grew by 45 people (5 per cent), defying Statistics NZ's forecast of a decline.

But the population grew more slowly than expected in all the remaining 14 local board areas which are entirely within the new Auckland Plan's rural-urban boundary.

Overall, just over half (55.9 per cent) of the region's total population growth of 110,600 was in the local board areas - including Waitemata - entirely within the rural-urban boundary.

The other 44.1 per cent was in the outer board areas that straddle the boundary.

Auckland Council chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley said it was too early to revise the council's planning.

"There is a cyclical pattern occurring here. If you just take part of the cycle, you will not draw reliable conclusions," he said.

- NZ Herald

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