Horowhenua is rocking along as shown by the latest population figures.

More people than anticipated have moved here, more houses are being build and fewer people are without jobs.

"We are beginning to see [the change] on the streets with new businesses and homes going up," says Cam Lewis, chairman of the Horowhenua Development Board. "There is more traffic and more people are shopping in the district."

He says population growth has been above that anticipated for the past two years. In the year ending June 2017 the population grew by 1.8 per cent - that's an additional 600 people. Last year that growth was 1.6 per cent. The decade prior to that the growth was just 0.4 per cent.


He says he expects growth to accelerate once Transmission Gully and the Otaki and Levin sections of the Wellington Expressway are completed.

It is anticipated the council will have to revise its growth expectations as a result (currently set at 0.4 per cent), says Horowhenua District Council development manager Shanon Grainger. He says it is especially pleasing to see the continued reduction in the number of people needing a benefit. "This is where the greatest change in people's lives is occurring."

The number of job seekers registered with the Ministry of Social Development has reduced by 1.6 per cent for the September quarter.

There are 95 fewer job seekers and 156 fewer people on benefits altogether compared to last year. The number of solo parents on benefits has been reducing since 2013, down to 568 from 822.

"More people in work means more families with salaries and wage earners. This is what is needed if we are to reduce the number of people and children in poverty. It means a more secure and inspiring environment," says Lewis.

He says the number of new residential building consents continues to go up.

Horowhenua is the fastest growing district in the Manawatu-Whanganui region. It is now home to 32,500 people.