The four fastest-growing regional council areas accounted for over 75 percent of New Zealand’s population growth in the year to June 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Auckland’s population swelled with a 2.8 percent increase, followed by Canterbury and Waikato (2.3 percent each), and Bay of Plenty (2.2 percent). These regions all exceeded the national level of 2.1 percent growth.


Fifteen of New Zealand’s 16 regions experienced growth, and three-quarters had greater increases than in the year to June 2015.


“The most significant component of growth in most areas was record net migration – more people arrived and fewer departed,” senior analyst Kirsten Nissen said. “Not only was growth high in the big cities, but also in their surrounding areas.”

The Queenstown-Lakes district overtook the Selwyn district as the fastest-growing territorial authority area in the year to June, with a 7.1 percent population increase. Growth in Queenstown-Lakes and the greater Christchurch area accounted for about 73 percent of the population increase in the South Island.


Key facts

In the June 2016 year the estimates indicate:


  • 15 of New Zealand's 16 regions experienced population growth.
  • Auckland (2.8 percent), Canterbury and Waikato (both 2.3 percent), and Bay of Plenty (2.2 percent) regions grew faster than the national average (2.1 percent).
  • Almost 80 percent of the population growth happened in the North Island, with Auckland accounting for about 46 percent growth.
  • 64 of the 67 territorial authority areas had population growth.
  • The three fastest-growing territorial authority areas were the Queenstown-Lakes (7.1 percent) and Selwyn (6.7 percent) districts, and Tauranga city (2.9 percent).
  • Median age varies across New Zealand, from 31.8 years (Hamilton) to 52.4 years (Thames-Coromandel).



Waikato is growing at 2.3% per annum, the third highest regional growth in NZ.

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