Environmental Health Indicators for New Zealand 2008

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Data source

The data source for this indicator is the Census of Population and Dwellings, which is carried out every five years by Statistics New Zealand. The first part of this indicator examines the increase in the estimated resident population over time. This is based on the Census usually resident population, with adjustments for under-reporting, multiple reporting and residents who were temporarily overseas on Census night. The data for 2001–2006 were revised by Statistics New Zealand using data from the 2001 and 2006 censuses.

The second part of this indicator examines the change in the usually resident population in each territorial authority from 1996 to 2006. This section presents the data as the percentage change in population over this 10-year time period. It should be noted that the estimated resident population (presented in the first part of the indicator) is not directly comparable with the Census usually resident population (in the second part) due to the post-Census adjustments. For additional information on territorial authority populations, 1996 and 2006 Census data are available in Appendix D.


Figure 4 shows that the total estimated population in New Zealand has grown considerably over the past 50 years. In 1951, the estimated population size was approximately 2 million people. This had more than doubled by 2006 to over 4 million. The rate of increase over that time has been fairly consistent.
Figure 4: Estimated population in New Zealand, 1941–2006

Source: Statistics New Zealand

Note: Year to 31 December.
When examining the usually resident population, there was an overall increase of 11.3% from 1996 to 2006, although there were substantial geographical differences. Figure 5 presents a map showing the change in the usually resident population between 1996 and 2006 by territorial authority. Several geographic areas experienced a large population increase over this 10-year period. From 1996 to 2006, the greatest population increases were seen in territorial authorities in the South Island, including:

  • Tasman District (17.5%)

  • Selwyn District (35.8%)

  • Waimakariri District (32.4%)

  • Queenstown-Lakes District (60.7%).

In the North Island, the greatest increase in population size over this 10-year time period was in Rodney District, with a 34.7% population increase, followed by Tauranga City with a 33.2% population increase. Other North Island areas to show a large population increase included:

  • Auckland areas:

  • North Shore City (19.4%)

  • Auckland City (17.0%)

  • Waitakere City (19.8%)

  • Manukau City (29.4%)

  • Franklin District (23.2%)

  • Hamilton City (17.7%)

  • Western Bay of Plenty (20.3%)

  • Kapiti Coast District (19.7%).

Figure 5: Map of population change in New Zealand, by territorial authority, 1996–2006, percent change

Source: 1996 and 2006 censuses (Statistics New Zealand)

Note: A reference map labelling territorial authorities is provided in Appendix C.

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