Archive | Population

Countdown to 5 million population is on

Statistics NZ expects New Zealand’s resident population to reach 5 million late this year or in 2020, based on recent trends, after hitting 4.9 million at the end of September.

New Zealand’s population growth is trailing close behind Australia’s 2 biggest cities – the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Melbourne’s population reached 5 million in September and Sydney’s was 5.2 million, although research by the independent Population Australia has Sydney above 5.6 million. Australia’s population rose by 1 million in 31 months to 25 million, reaching that mark on 7 August.

Statistics NZ said in a release yesterday: “It took 30 years to move from 3 million (in 1973) to 4 million (in 2003). But it is likely to take only about half that time to increase by another 1 million – about 16 years. In 1908 the country had just 1 million people living here.”

How fast is New Zealand growing now?

According to Statistics NZ’s population clock, New Zealand’s population is increasing by one person every 5 minutes & 26 seconds.

Population growth reflects both patterns of migration & ‘natural increase’ (the difference between births & deaths). In the year ended September 2018, the population increased nearly 90,000. Over two-thirds of that was from net migration, and the rest from natural increase, with 27,000 more births than deaths.

This 1.9% growth for the September 2018 year was down from a high of 2.1% in 2016.

Those rates are strong compared to the much slower 0.5% in 2012, which was driven by natural increase during a period when the net migration flow was outward.

Statistics NZ’s latest provisional estimate of annual migration in the year ended November 2018 was 43,400, plus or minus 1500. This was the first official release of estimates using the ‘outcomes-based’ measure, which replaces the previous ‘intentions-based’ method of measuring migration.

The organisation says the outcomes-based measure is more accurate and this will flow through into other data uses, including official population estimates.

But it recognises that migration is highly variable, both month to month and over the years: “While annual net migration has been high in recent years, there have been other periods when many more people left New Zealand than arrived here. For example, from the mid-1970s there was an annual net migration loss that went on for many years.”

One other feature apparent in Statistics NZ’s monthly migration figures is the level of churn – more NZ citizens leaving than returning, and far more non-citizens arriving. Total departures jumped from 82-88,000/year in 2009-10 to 100-102,000/year in 2011-12, then fell below 90,000/year for the next 5 years, dropping to 73,000 in 2014. In the year toNovember 2018, however, exits jumped from 89,000 to almost 101,000, led by a rise in departures of non-citizens.

How many new Kiwikids are born each year?

Statistics NZ said while net immigration had dominated population growth since 2013, births had been relatively steady at about 60,000/year for the last 6 years, despite a decline in birth rates. In other words, the number of births/1000 people has been falling, but the growing population means total births remain at relatively high levels, after reachinga recent peak of almost 65,000/year in the period 2007-10.

New Zealand’s total fertility rate in 2017 was down to 1.8 births/woman, its lowest recorded level. 

Despite a much smaller population almost 60 years ago, there was an even greater number of babies (over 65,000) born in 1961–62, when the birth rate/1000 people was higher. In 1961, the total fertility rate was 4.3 births/woman, more than double the replacement level of 2.1.

What’s the effect of our growing & aging population?

As New Zealand’s population grows & ages, generally slightly more people die each year (almost 33,000 in the year to September 2018) partly offsetting the population growth from babies & new immigrants.

Statistics NZ said the number of deaths/year exceeded 30,000 for the first time in 2011: “Deaths are likely to increase, despite increasing life expectancy, because of the growing population, especially in older age groups.”

Since the early 1950s, life expectancy for both men & women has increased by more than a decade. Based on death rates in 2015–17, life expectancy at birth is 80 for men & 83 for women.

When will we get to 6 million?

Further ahead, Statistics NZ said: “Our population projections are an indication of the overall trend, rather than exact forecasts year by year. They are not predictions – the actual population growth could be lower or higher than median projection, depending on factors including highly volatile migration.

“The latest 2016-base projections indicate that New Zealand will probably reach the 6 million mark in the mid-2040s. However, it could be as soon as the 2030s, particularly if migration remains at historically high levels.

NNZ population clock
Births & deaths: Year ended December 2017
New Zealand abridged period lifetable: 2015–17 (final)
How accurate are population estimates and projections?

Earlier stories:
25 January 2019: November net migrant inflow down 40%, annual rate down 19% as new measure kicks in
13 September 2018: Melbourne sees still higher land prices & shrinking house lots as population hits 5 million

Attribution: Statistics NZ release.

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Treasury paper questions Auckland’s actual population growth

An analytical paper published by the NZ Treasury last week raises questions about the accuracy of migration figures, largely because of the hard-to-analyse internal migration.

The paper’s author, senior Treasury modelling analyst Keith McLeod, said in its introduction: “Our estimate of Auckland population growth due to net migration between 2013-16 is about half the official figure.”

The paper describes new sub-national New Zealand population measures that Treasury has developed using integrated administrative data. They’re in an interactive online form in Treasury’s Insights tool.

The paper doesn’t accuse others of getting things wrong – and Treasury says of its own work that it can’t be trusted yet. It’s more a case of additional information giving a more accurate picture of population movements.

Mr McLeod: “New Zealand has a robust system of population estimates, and the data described in this paper has the potential to complement this system. Nevertheless, the results are exploratory in nature, and further work is required to better understand the strengths & limitations of the data. The findings are not official statistics and should be treated with caution.

“A particular strength of the analysis outlined here is the ability to measure & describe patterns of internal migration within New Zealand, something that has previously been largely reliant on the 5-yearly census.

“The analysis not only describes patterns of internal migration, but sets these alongside other key dimensions of population change: ageing, natural increase & international migration.”

Estimates aren’t immediately available for release, and results for a particular calendar year are only likely to be able to be produced 9 or more months after the end of that year.

The Auckland question

On the question of Auckland’s growth, the paper says: “Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, has experienced year-on-year growth since 2008. This has been driven largely by migration from overseas, with foreign migrants more than offsetting net losses of New Zealanders moving away.

“Since 2012, increasing numbers of people have been leaving Auckland to move to other areas, especially Tauranga, Waikato District, Whangarei & the Far North. This has slowed population increase in Auckland over that period.

“Although the case studies presented here tell a similar story to official population estimates, there are some differences, particularly in Auckland, where our estimates show much lower population growth in recent years.

“Our estimate of Auckland population growth due to net migration between 2013-16 is about half the official figure.

“More work is required to better understand these differences. The difference could derive from the difficulty in determining people’s location of residence after their arrival in New Zealand in either or both of the sources, or may relate to the different residence definitions adopted.”

  • For me, this research is very welcome because information on internal migration has long appeared to be lacking.

Treasury Insights analytical paper, 18 April 2018: Where we come from, where we go – describing population change in NZ

Attribution: Treasury Insights.

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Auckland population growth spills into Northland & Waikato

Auckland’s population grew by 2.6% in the last year, and Statistics NZ said yesterday the regions immediately north & south, Northland & Waikato, both grew by 2.4%.

Statistics NZ estimated that New Zealand’s population grew by 100,400 in the year to June, including 72,300 immigrants. According to Statistics NZ’s population clock, it’s now 4.828 million.

Auckland’s population grew by 42,700 over the year to June to 1.66 million.
The only region where the population declined was the West Coast, down from 33,100 in 2012 to 32,500 in 2016, and down another 100 this year.

Statistics NZ said half the growth in the last year was in the 15–39 age group, due to the impact of migration: “About two-thirds of the gain from net migration this year was in this age range. The population growth in this age group has affected regional age structures, where 5 of the regions with the highest net migration either had a stable or decreasing median age in the last year.

“Tasman had the highest median age of the 16 regions, at 46.1 years in 2017. In contrast, Auckland had the lowest median age, with half the population under 33.9 years.”

Attribution: Statistics NZ release.

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Immigrants drive 2%/year population growth, 10-14yos decline

New Zealand’s population grew by over 2% in each of the last 2 June years, and by a record 100,400 in the last 12 months.

Over the last 5 years, the population grew by nearly 390,000 – exceeding the population of Christchurch.

At 30 June, Statistics NZ estimated the resident population at 4.79 million. By tonight, it exceeded 4.8 million – 4,805,505 on the Statistics NZ population clock as I write.

Over the last 4 years the natural increase has been under 30,000/year, compared to annual increases up to 36,200 during the previous 7 years.

The migrant figure went negative in the June 2012 year – 3200 more people leaving than arriving – but in the last 4 years the net migrant inflow has totalled 238,000, of whom 72,300 have arrived in the last 12 months.

Statistics NZ said the current gain from net migration equated to 15 people:1000 population. Population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan said much higher net migration rates were experienced in the late 1870s, and similar rates to today were also experienced in the early 1900s & early 2000s.

“Our current net migration rate is high by New Zealand standards, but historically it has fluctuated more than other countries. At the moment we’re experiencing rates similar to Australia’s in 2009.

“Most migrants are arriving on short-term work & student visas. However, many of them extend their visas, or transition to other visa types including residence visas. It makes sense to count long-term stayers as part of our population, rather than as short-term visitors.”

Mr Dolan said half of last year’s growth was in the 15–39 age group: “This reflects the contribution of migration to our population growth, with net migration of 50,000 among those aged 15–39 years.”

As a result of recent migration flows, the share of New Zealand’s population aged 15–39 years rose from 33% in 2013 to 34% in 2017. This was a reversal of the trend that saw that bracket’s share drop from 41% in the mid-1980s.

Growth of the broad 65+ age group has continued to accelerate, up 25,000 in the last year, as the large birth cohorts of the 1950s-early 1970s begin to reach those ages.

The population at the oldest ages is also growing, reflecting decreasing death rates at all ages over a long period of time. The 90+ population is now 30,000, compared with 20,000 in 2007. It’s projected to reach 40,000 in the late 2020s and 50,000 in the early 2030s.

One group that has increased more slowly is the under 5s – up by just 800 in the last year and by 12,720 over 10 years. The 10-14 age group’s numbers rose in the last year, but both the last 2 years were lower than 10 years ago – 306,380 in 2007, 294,330 last year, 301,360 this year.

Link, and links to graphs:
National population estimates at 30 June 2017

Attribution: Statistics NZ release & tables.

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Economist sees scope for house price fall – my picture more complicated

Infometrics chief forecaster Gareth Kiernan said yesterday the economic consultancy saw “scope for a 12% drop in property values by the end of 2020”.

That turned into this heading: House prices to fall 12% by 2020.

A 12% price fall in 3 years – or a multitude of trend changes? I interpolate:

Some have fallen that much this year while others have been taken off the market because the windfall window has passed. How & what you measure makes a big difference.

When the America’s Cup was first touted as coming to Auckland in the 1980s, my house’s value – along with every other house in the neighbourhood – rose overnight by a million dollars. But few houses actually went on the market to catch this windfall, a handful of homes sold at escalated prices, the cup event didn’t come and the market shot back to where it had been. Did homes drop in value? They didn’t in reality rise.

Auckland was unusual in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 – on Quotable Value’s figures, a drop from double-digit price growth in 2007 to a decline of about 7% both nationally & in Auckland in 2008, followed by a 3% turnaround nationally in 2009 – and a rise of 7.3% for the year in Auckland.

By late 2011 – the year housing consents bottomed – Auckland’s house price index was above the level of the previous peak in late 2007, but on low turnover.

Through to late 2016, both prices & turnover rose. Turnover is now down, and you can see vendors facing hard decisions at auction. Yet, at auction this week, some apartments sold at high price levels – above $10,000/m² for secondary stock that’s now “old”. That can be attributed partly to the rising cost of construction for new developments.

The unitary plan has put another factor into the pricing equation, the ability to intensify sections that previously might have been able to take only 2 townhouses. This potential can raise the apparent value of standalone houses throughout suburbia, though it’s actually a change in land values.

Mr Kiernan raises mortgage rates as a factor below, suggesting a rise could keep some buyers out of the market. Higher interest rates or increased supply over the last 15 years, or both, would have suppressed prices. Supply is starting to increase but, while net immigration keeps rising, that supply will still fall short. That could encourage price rises while, at the same time, ordinary local buyers will tot up capital & mortgage costs which will show prices for them must come down.

Over the last 4 years, New Zealand turned – swiftly – from a net outflow of 39,000 migrants/year to Australia to a zero outflow, and a little more slowly to a net inflow of almost that number (33,900 in 2016) just into Auckland.

Those migration tides can reverse again just as quickly but, as I’ve suggested below, other factors come into play and one of those is amenity for new developments.

Kiernan: several risks hanging over economy

Mr Kiernan said the solid outlook for growth – a prediction of 3%-plus gdp growth over the 3 years to June 2019 – masked several risks hanging over the economy: “Mortgage holders in Auckland look particularly vulnerable to even modest interest rate rises that are likely to occur in the next 2-3 years. Debt-servicing costs in the city now take up a greater proportion of income than in 2007, when mortgage rates reached 8.7%. A future rise of 1.5-2 percentage points in mortgage rates would clearly stretch many borrowers in Auckland and squeeze potential buyers out of the market.”

Infometrics predicts that wholesale interest rates will gradually rise further in the next few months and that the Reserve Bank will start increasing the official cashrate by mid-2018.

“Net migration & population growth will be easing at the same time as interest rates start to rise, and this cocktail could be the catalyst for a housing market correction. Apart from the stresses on the market in Auckland, underlying demand conditions in some other regions do not justify current high prices, and we see scope for a 12% drop in property values by the end of 2020.”

Looking at the wider economy, Mr Kiernan turned first to employment: “Despite the unemployment rate edging up to 5.2% in data released this week, the labour market has been tightening across the board. The capacity constraints that have previously been most intense in the construction & tourism sectors are becoming more widespread.

“Infometrics expects to see increased wage pressures as firms battle harder to attract & retain staff, with the unemployment rate dropping back below 5.0% in 2017 and continuing to decline over the next 2 years.”

Next up, international politics: “Heightened political uncertainty also has the potential to derail New Zealand’s growth train. At this stage, the main threat to New Zealand from US President Trump’s policy agenda appears to be potential trade barriers against China.

“Mr Trump has talked about 45% tariffs on Chinese imports, which would reduce American demand for Chinese products, dampening economic growth in our largest export market and undermining New Zealand’s export incomes.

“President Trump’s proposal is a significant threat to Chinese & global economic growth, and New Zealand would not be able to dodge the flow-on effects over the following couple of years if trade barriers between China & the US were implemented.

“Closer to home, a change of government or a shift in the balance of power after New Zealand goes to the polls on 23 September could also affect our medium-term economic outlook.”

Migration factors

Bald assertions can take some filling in to make sense. For migration & population growth, the biggest factor is the Australian economy.

In the June 2015 year, Australia’s net migrant inflow was 168,000, down nearly 10% from the previous year, and 40% went to New South Wales. The country’s population rose by 338,000 (1.4%) to 24.1 million in the year to June 2016. Incredibly, those seem to be the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The New South Wales economy seems to be in better shape than other states’, which may lead to a resumption of higher emigration from New Zealand in the next couple of years. A resumption of growth in Western Australia’s mining sector looks further away than that.

The Auckland construction market looks overheated and, combined with the unusually high level of infrastructure underway, will drain labour from other parts of the country and require imported labour.

One factor in New Zealand’s migration statistics that’s played down is the proportion of migrants from India, many on student visas and therefore seen as not really permanent migrants. I regard that pool of migrants differently, as a revolving supply because many return home, but still showing a net increase of over 10,000/year, at a similar level to the net inflow from China.

Statistics NZ projections

Statistics NZ’s latest regional projections show Auckland’s population growing at just over 1%/year on the low projection through to 2043, and at nearly 2% on the high projection.

One question there is whether the supply of and for housing will increase enough to dampen the increase in its price. The high growth projection for Auckland over the 5 years to 2023 would see the population up by 200,000 to 1.94 million – by an average 40,000/year, which would require an extra 14,800 homes/year to satisfy demand.

Changing trends will complicate values

The trend in new housing is toward less standalone housing and more intensive development, notably lowrise townhouses & suburban units along with retirement village units rather than a high concentration of apartments. Land values based on higher potential may change that lowrise preference.

A combination of the unitary plan allowing more building height, particularly in both suburban & regional centres, and council organisation Panuku Development Auckland’s regeneration programme for as many as 20 centres around the region could see an increase in apartment living as commercial & retail centre amenity improves.

That would shift the pricing focus away from houses in the most expensive suburbs and to different kinds of home. The expensive suburbs are likely to retain their high pricing levels because of limited supply – one reason they’re expensive even on bad days – but housing elsewhere should graduate to new ranges.

To achieve those changes, more amenities will be needed in suburban centres. As a city apartment dweller told me yesterday, Auckland fares poorly in the provision of amenities for apartment occupants compared to many cities in other countries, such as Vancouver & Sydney.

Some developments provide a pool or a gym, many don’t. Rather than an increase in inhouse amenities, and against council budgets which are very unlikely to allow for an expansion of communally owned amenities, the growth of apartment living in suburban centres could be matched by the separate private-sector provision of amenities.

That in itself would produce 2 value changes – one to reduce the value of apartments by eliminating costly inhouse amenities, the other to increase their value for proximity to externally available amenities.

Attribution: Infometrics release, my own economic date, Statistics NZ, Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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Strong population growth projected to continue for Auckland as much of country slows

Statistics NZ said on Wednesday its projections suggested the record growth rates seen in recent years would begin to subside but Auckland will keep growing.

The projections for the 30 years 2013-43 indicate Auckland will receive over half the net migrant inflow and will account for over half the country’s growth.

The biggest concentrations of growth will be in the Waitemata local board area – the cbd, to Parnell in the east, Westmere in the west, south to Grafton & Great North Rd, and also including Waiheke Island – and Upper Harbour, which takes in Whenuapai, Hobsonville & Albany. Both Waitemata & Upper Harbour’s populations are expected to grow at an average 2.6%/year.

From a starting point of 1.49 million in 2013, the projections show high/medium/low increases for Auckland of:

2018: 1.74 million, 1.7 million, 1.66 million
2028: 2.1 million, 1.99 million, 1.87 million
2038: 2.45 million, 2.2 million, 2 million
2043: 2.6 million, 2.33 million, 2.05 million.

On those projections, Auckland’s population would grow over 30 years by:

High: 1.1 million, 1.9%/year average
Medium: 833,000, 1.5%
Low: 554,000, 1.1%

Around the rest of the country, growth is projected to be strong through to 2028, but slowing in most of the country through to 2043. The total is picked to rise from 4.4 million in 2013 to, in 2043:

High: 6.73 million, up 2.29 million at an average 1.4%/year
Medium: 5.9 million, up 1.48 million, 1%
Low: 5.1 million, 681,000, 0.5%

Statistics NZ’s projections indicate Christchurch’s growth district outside the old city, Selwyn, should average 2.6% growth to 2043, and Queenstown-Lakes 2.2%/year.

A warning from Statistics NZ on the figures: “These projections are not predictions. The projections should be used as an indication of the overall trend, rather than as exact forecasts. Statistics NZ produces low, medium & high growth projections for every local area every 2–3 years to assist planning by communities, local councils & government.

Statistics NZ, Subnational population projections

Attribution: Statistics NZ.

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2.1% population rise the biggest jump ever

Statistics NZ said today New Zealand’s population grew by 97,300 – 2.1% – in the year to June, a record number although the percentage gain has been reached before.

The estimated resident population was 4.69 million at 30 June.

Population statistics senior manager Jo-Anne Skinner said today: “Annual population growth over 2% is high by New Zealand standards. The last time we experienced population growth over 2% was in 1974. And before that, at the peak of the baby boom in the 1950s & early 1960s.”

Record levels of international migration have driven the record increase. Net migration was 69,100 over the June year – 125,100 arrivals less 56,000 departures. Natural increase (births minus deaths) contributed the remaining 28,200. The average annual net migration over the last decade has been 21,800 and average annual natural increase has been 32,300.

Ms Skinner said the large net inflow of migrants meant the younger working-age population (15–39 years) grew by 3.6% in the June year to reach 1.58 million. The older segment of our population (65+ years) also grew by 3.6% to reach 700,000.

Attribution: Statistics NZ release.

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Housing catchup starts as rapid population growth continues

Auckland grew at 119 people/day in the last year, according to the latest research from Statistics NZ. That’s equal to demand for about 44 new homes/day at an occupancy rate of 2.7/household. About 43,400 people/year, 16,000 homes/year.

Construction is cyclical but has generally fallen short of demand since the immigration spike in 2003, and a Regional Growth Forum paper 5 years before that acknowledged a shortfall in land available for housing.

Nationally, consents for new homes have been above 2000/month for the last 7 months (and most likely 8 months when Statistics NZ releases the October figures on 30 November).

In the year to September, Auckland had 9251 consents for new homes, including apartments, flats, townhouses & retirement village units. The year before that, 7366.

When the elderly move into a retirement village, they generally make a larger home available; other apartment dwellers will be a mix of empty-nesters, young couples, groups of flatmates, only some of them vacating larger homes.

Demolitions aren’t counted, and Statistics NZ’s quarterly report on building work put in place records total values but not completion numbers. Completions are also cyclical – many homes consented at the top of a building cycle won’t be built, or not immediately, and a rash of apartment developments proposed in a short timeframe will usually see a few fall by the wayside.

Factors influencing both demand & supply are predictable, and are also numerous. On the demand side, emigration has slumped while immigration has spiked upward; Australia’s economy will perk up in a year or 2, though the lift from mineral exports is likely to take longer, so the turnaround in trans-Tasman migration will have a slow start, picking up over several years; low interest rates encourage borrowing and therefore home purchase, but also contribute to the rise in capital cost; Auckland’s continuing economic growth will encourage new arrivals both domestically and from overseas; the shift toward greater acceptance of public transport and the resulting growth spots will focus both residential & business growth in hotspots around the region.

On the supply side, construction will pick up in special housing areas when infrastructure is in place, and that is being co-ordinated better now than ever before – co-ordinated to a high degree for the first time in 4 decades, probably longer; the number of proposed apartment developments has lifted sharply and might not taper off the way it has in the last few upcycles because of a change to greater acceptance of intensive living; more intensive suburban growth is starting to spread and will make greater provision for families through lowrise & midrise developments.

Economic factors will contribute to changes in employment opportunities, and therefore the population makeup, income brackets and therefore housing expectations. The private sector doesn’t have a great need to look at overall employment types, but Auckland Council has started the process toward encouraging sector development, which should lead to some significant geographic & income factors changing.

The super-city council began in 2010 with aspirations to lift poorer, and very Polynesian, South Auckland suburbs economically through the Southern Initiative. That programme has faltered but needs to be prioritised to meet higher educational demands, which will also lead to changes in housing demands.

Many see that as taking the council outside its core domain and into the central government realms of education & encouragement of business.

A feature of the super-city through the Auckland Plan, endorsed in 2012, is that it encompasses these wider issues because they affect the makeup of the city. A swathe of poor suburbs, staying poor while others prosper, guarantees future turmoil. A proactive council will lift aspirations & performance.

Meanwhile the common complaint is that the council isn’t providing the services its predecessors used to, to the same standard the predecessors used to. On my scoresheet, many issues get recognised & resolved, numerous issues don’t get resolved because of structural changes within the council or the budget has been taken away. Overall, the big issues are starting to be dealt with, at huge cost which predecessors preferred to defer or meet only partially because inadequacies in infrastructure such as sewers didn’t attract determined attention as they couldn’t be seen. And some niggly little local issues still fester.

The council has brought in many new executives with the skills to lead these changes; the next challenge is to introduce political skills to match the requirement for better decision-making. That’s not easy. Politicians need to keep an ear to the ground and can’t shift too far from their political base, while also leading rather being led by the nose.

Special housing areas

The council issued notice today of its approval of variation 11 to the proposed unitary plan for a special housing area at Whenuapai & accompanying resource consent, rezoning 16.8ha from future urban to the mixed housing suburban & local centre zones.

The qualifying development will provide for 51 residential sections (50 new, one around an existing house) & 10 superlots, along with establishing onsite infrastructure.

Last week, commissioners heard the application for private plan variation 8 to rezone 200ha at Flat Bush under the housing accord provisions.

It has 3 applicants for resource consent for qualifying developments – Hugh Green Ltd (now with the late Mr Green’s daughter, Maryanne Green, in charge), Murphys Development Ltd (Brian Hong Biao Chen, Andrew Guest & Dan Xiao) & Eastfield NZ Ltd (Lin Zi).

And today, the hearing begins for another group of plan variations & resource consents, this time covering about 240ha on the Hingaia Peninsula.

The applicants for proposed unitary plan variations 1, 5 & 7 are Karaka Brookview Ltd (Mark O’Brien and Frank, Juliet & Richard Reynolds), Hayfield SHA Ltd (Nigel Hosken & Juliet Reynolds) & Gar-Gar Ltd (Jamshed & Nilaofer Behram Meher-Homji), and KARLA (Karaka Area 1B Residents & Landowners Association) & Karaka Harbourside Estate Ltd (Ian & Jim Ross).

The Rosses have been trying unsuccessfully to get development consent for 10 years. Although some parts of their proposal and those of the Reynolds interests are disputed by council planners & engineers, early approval is conceivable.

The Rosses said that if they got consent before February they could have earthworks underway at the end of next year.

The special housing process is speeding up the ability to build, but considerations such as earthworks seasons will vary the development timeframe. Nevertheless, special housing areas are coming onstream and will add thousands of sections for development in the next couple of years.

That will be followed by changed rules for development throughout Auckland once the unitary plan is approved next year (appeals may hold up parts of it), enabling more intensive brownfields development and also setting parameters for adding more land zoned & ready for development.

Thus the bleak picture of supply failing to meet demand for most of 2 decades will be improved in large lumps, though still with a shortfall to overcome.

Attribution: Council consent documents, Statistics NZ.

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One-person households on the rise

Statistics NZ projected yesterday that one-person households – almost entirely the over-60s – would rise from 24% to 27% of the total over the 25 years to 2038.

Senior manager Vina Cullum said one-person households would be the fastest-growing household type, increasing from 390,000 in 2013 to 580,000 in 2038, and 90% of this growth in people living alone would be in the 60-plus age bracket.
The proportion of the population living alone, distinct from households, would rise from 9% to 11% over those 25 years. The 60-plus age group made up 54% of those living alone in 2013, and would make up 65% by 2038.

Ms Cullum said the total number of households was projected to increase from 1.65 million to 2.14 million, as the population grew from 4.44 million to 5.5 million. This would see the average household size drop from 2.6 to 2.5 people. In 1951 it was 3.7 and in 1981 it was 3.0.

Attribution: Statistics NZ release.

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Population growth fastest in 12 years

New Zealand’s population is growing at its fastest rate since 2003, and is exceeding Australia’s growth rate for the first time since 2004.

Statistics NZ said in its latest population estimates on Friday New Zealand’s population grew by 86,900 people (1.9%) in the June year from net immigration of 58,300 and a net natural increase of 28,700. New Zealand’s estimated resident population was 4.6 million at 30 June. The latest figures
show Australia’s population growing at 1.4%/year.
Population statistics manager Vina Cullum said the younger & older working-age populations were almost equal the 15-39 bracket made up 33.3% of the total population and the 40-64 bracket 32.2%. 2 decades ago the younger group accounted for 38.7% of the total and the older group 26.7%.

Comment: None of these figures are a surprise. The last immigration spike was in 2003-04 and the baby-boom generation – born between 1946 and the year the first of them left school, 1964 – is doing what everybody knew it would, started retiring.

What is astounding is that, as a country, we prefer to import people than have policies encouraging locally born families.

Attribution: Statistics NZ release, my comment.

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