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Report urges cooperation for northern success

This page contains information about a report outlining how life could change for New Zealanders in the coming decade.
Updated: 5/04/2017 12:00 a.m.

​The future needs of more than 2.5 million Kiwis, including Whangarei residents, have been outlined in The Upper North Island Story; a report that shows how life could change for more than 53 percent of New Zealanders in the coming decade.  

Whangarei District Council was one of seven North Island councils receiving the report that aims to help efforts to align local and central government priorities so that economic growth, good living standards and healthy environments can be supported.

The seven district, city and regional councils across Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Northland regions formed an alliance called UNISA (Upper North Island Strategic Alliance) last year, to work jointly to campaign government on shared concerns. 

Mayors and Chairs from the UNISA partner councils received the report at a meeting chaired by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff last week, and re-confirmed their commitment to working together by signing a UNISA partnership agreement for 2017-2019.

The report says councils and government should plan and invest together to tackle increasing pressure on housing, infrastructure, natural resources (such as water and productive land), skilled labour and transport systems. 

It outlines population and economic growth projections to 2033 and identifies key challenges and opportunities that Upper North Island communities will face as a result of projected changes. 

UNISA partners will now be working together to tackle shared challenges and maximise opportunities through collaborative investment, planning and advocacy work.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the Upper North Island, from Northland to Waikato,  supports 53 percent of the national population and generates 52 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  

“Growth here is increasing more rapidly than for the rest of the country and will continue to do so. That’s good for New Zealand, but sustaining it comes with challenges that local councils can’t manage alone.

“By working together to identify and focus on the things that matter most, we can create the best possible future for all New Zealanders,” Mayor Goff said.



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