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Population: Growing Fast

This page contains a news update about population growth in Whangarei District. The latest figures estimate that the population of Whangarei District has grown to 96,000.
Updated: 20/12/2019 11:09 a.m.

​Latest figures released by Stats NZ estimate the population of the Whangarei District has grown to 96,000.

Whangarei District Council is now the eighth largest local authority in New Zealand, and has been acknowledged as one of the country’s 12 Metropolitan Councils. 

Whangarei District Council Chief Executive Rob Forlong says our District’s population has risen faster and higher than predicted. 

“We have been a growth node for several years, planning and operating on the basis that we are getting larger and more complex. This data confirms that, but takes us several steps further, quicker than previous Statistics NZ projections. 

“That means good planning to provide services, assets and infrastructure to meet the needs of a larger, faster growing District. 

“Anyone who has been in the District for the past 10 years will have seen major development occur in our roading networks, expansion of sewage and water supply systems, great amenity work happening in our rural centres and in the centre of the city. 

“Building Te Matau a Pohe, Wilson’s Dam, getting a new water treatment plant under way at Whau Valley, major expansion of the waste water treatment plant at Kioreroa Road, expanding waste water treatment systems throughout our District, developing the Hatea Loop are just a few highlights.“

In future we could be looking at major industries moving into the district, the New Zealand Navy and Port of Auckland are just two which come to mind, and of course we have been looking at developing a new airport here as well. 

“The upper North Island is critical to the success of New Zealand. It supports 53 per cent of the national population and generates 52 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Our Council is already part of the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance which has seen bonds forged between Auckland, Bay of Plenty Regional, Northland Regional, Waikato Regional, Hamilton City and Tauranga City Councils, to promote our joint causes. 

“The challenges our District faces are like those that large urban centres face – more people and goods to move around, more consumers of our services, more impacts on our environment.

People’s expectations are growing and changing too – our population is more multicultural, people travel overseas and nationally more, there is more exposure to the luxuries and the challenges of large populations. 

“We also need to be aware that the population is changing and ageing. More people want to live closer to where they work, urban centres are becoming more amenity-rich, with urban density that requires public transport.

The productive land around us also must be preserved. Our rural land is an important part of our identity and economy and must be protected too. 

“We predict there will be a trend towards smaller households in the next few decades and the move toward new multi-family units over single family dwellings.

“Future generational shifts will also change housing needs, choices and affordability, access to public transport and proximity to work. 

“Some of the great things that come with a growing population include more diversity, more artistic and economic energy. But the pace of growth does come with serious challenges for housing availability and affordability, traffic and mobility issues, and balancing what we can afford to do with the resources available to us.

“Whangarei is popular because of its affordability, rates, commute times, access to health care, amenities and culture, and for being a welcoming community.”




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