The Queenstown-Lakes District is expected to grow faster
than Auckland over the period 2006-31.
Statistics New Zealand projections released yesterday showed
the district, which includes Queenstown and Wanaka, shares
the highest growth rate in New Zealand of 2.2% a year with
the Selwyn District.
The increase would add more than 17,400 people to the
Queenstown area by 2031.
New Zealand is expected to have 5.2 million people by 2031,
almost two million of them living in Auckland, which is
expected to grow 1.5% per year.
The South Island would increase from 1 million in 2011 to 1.2
million in 2031.
Dunedin City will increase 0.4% per year, culminating in a
population of 134,700 in 2031.
The Gore District was the only one in the South Island to
drop in population, -0.3% over the period, but Statistics New
Zealand senior demographer Kim Dunston said growth would
decline in other districts towards 2031 as the population
Despite estimated population losses following the
earthquakes, Christchurch City is projected to increase by
0.5% per year.
The news Queenstown would lead the country in population
growth did not come as a surprise to the QLDC and community
initiatives, though how prepared Queenstown is for the growth
In an area renowned for high housing costs, providing
affordable housing was already a "continued and ongoing
challenge", Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust chairman
David Cole said.
"Although it's not news to us, the trust already has a large
database of households in our district that are facing
housing challenges," Mr Cole said.
He said many residents were employed in the hospitality
industry and essential to the continued success of the
Most were in the "low to medium" income bracket and spent a
large amount of their income on housing.
"Unless we want to build a ghetto for them to live in we have
to integrate them into the community and provide long-term
housing. Our challenge for the trust is to not only help
those that are on the list ... [but] to expand the
association to meet what is now expected to be a continued
and ongoing challenge."
QLDC communications manager Meaghan Miller said the council
had known of the growth status for some time and had
Queenstown businessman Alastair Porter, speaking as the
managing director of the Porter Group, said the projections
emphasised the need to have a development strategy which best
accommodated and encouraged future growth.
The statistics were a reason why the council "should be
actively supporting current growth initiatives such as Pak'n
Save and Mega Mitre 10 at Shotover Park on the Frankton
With the high number of children, the Ministry of Education
"made the right decision" in announcing Wakatipu High School
would be relocating to Remarkables Park, an area which would
allow it to expand without competing with the growing tourist
centre, he said.
Because the last census was delayed due to the Christchurch
earthquake, the projections were calculated using varied
information such as electoral rolls, health data, arrivals
and departures, school rolls and birth and death