Northland has again come out tops on population growth numbers, with an estimated 3600 people moving to the region in just one year.
Provisional estimated regional population numbers show net migration to Northland in the 12 months to June this year was up 2.3 per cent or 3600 more people.
Of that number, Whangārei gained 2000 people, Far North 1100 and Kaipara 500.
Waikato with a 2.1 per cent increase came in second, followed by Bay of Plenty (2 percent), Canterbury at 1.8 per cent and Otago at 1.7 per cent.
Interestingly, the biggest spike in population numbers in Northland was in the 65-plus age group that registered 1700 more — from 36,400 to 38,100.
Census figures released last month showed Northland's population grew by 18.1 per cent between 2013 and 2018 to sit at 179,076.
Iran-born Shima Behnoosh moved to Whangārei recently from Auckland and is fascinated by the slow pace of life in her new town.
She moved to New Zealand about six years ago and completed her PhD in Sport Management and Leadership from Auckland University of Technology before landing a job at Sport Northland.
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The job in Whangārei was more in line with her studies and what she has done in the past, she said.
"It's beautiful up here. The other day I went for a walk to the Whangārei Falls and I was amazed at how it was located a few minutes drive from the city centre which was so convenient.
"People here spend less time in traffic and enjoy more time doing what they love to do. That's the best thing about living in Whangārei."
When she was living in North Shore, Behnoosh said it took her about 15 minutes to visit a friend in the same locality but that was not the case in Whangārei.
She's keen to stay in Whangarei long-term and continue working in the New Zealand sport sector.
"I feel like I am well-settled in my new role at Sport Northland and I like the lifestyle here.
"People here look and sound more relaxed and supportive, and everything has been going well so far," Behnoosh said.
Northland's population rose from 184,500 to 188,700 in the year to June.
Over that period, the number of people in Whangārei went up from 93,700 to 96,000, Far North from 67,200 to 68,500 and Kaipara from 23,600 to 24,100.
Five regions that grew less than 1 per cent were Otago and the West Coast (0.98 and 0.2 percent respectively), Gisborne, Marlborough and Southland (0.8 per cent).
Auckland grew 1.5 per cent, just below the national average of 1.6 per cent.