The Dunedin City Council will review some of the
assumptions underpinning its planning efforts, after census
data revealed slower-than-expected growth in the city.
The figures, released earlier this week, showed Otago's
population had climbed to 202,470, which was 8667 (4.5%) more
than in 2006.
However, three-fifths of total growth in the region came in
the Queenstown Lakes district, while Dunedin grew by 1563
people (1.3%) to 120,246.
Three-quarters of that modest growth also occurred in Mosgiel
and its immediate surrounds, which increased in size by 1170
(7.6%) to 16,503.
Council city development manager Dr Anna Johnson yesterday
told the Otago Daily Times the city's growth rate was
lower than council planning had anticipated.
The city's resident population had increased from 118,683 in
2006 to 120,246 this year, which equated to annual growth of
just 0.19%, she said.
That was below 2006 expectations, which had anticipated
annual growth of 0.4%, she said.
''The growth is slower than was expected or planned for, and
it is lower than the estimates that we have been working
There was nothing in the data as yet to suggest the council
should change urban development policies included in its
spatial plan, which anticipated demand for an extra 7600
residential units in the city by 2031, Dr Johnson said.
However, council staff would be reviewing the latest data to
consider any required adjustments in more detail.
It was ''not a surprise at all'' that most growth within
Dunedin was occurring in Mosgiel, ''because that's where all
the greenfield land is'', she said.
However, the slower growth meant efforts to plan for future
land use across the city were ''probably more conservative
The city was likely to be heading towards an oversupply of
land in the short to medium-term, based on current growth
rates, although any land-banking to occur could affect that
picture, Dr Johnson said.
Council staff would also be taking another look at the
practice of land-banking, ''which is a problem throughout the
country'', to try to identify solutions.
Her comments could address concerns raised by REINZ Dunedin
spokeswoman Liz Nidd earlier this week.
Mrs Nidd, speaking to the ODT after the release of the
census data, said the city faced problems with infill
development when some of the sites ''were cliff faces behind
''They are not actually [potential building sites] when they
have looked into them a little more deeply.
''It's perhaps not as viable an option as maybe thought and I
have expressed that to council.''
Dr Johnson said many of Dunedin's suburbs were ''close to
capacity'', although the recent rezoning of land in
Abbotsford and Mosgiel had led to subdivision and greenfield
That meant growth - largely concentrated in Mosgiel - was
''as we would have anticipated'' and was likely to firstname.lastname@example.org