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Filling gaps in local area data for transport decision-making

Strategic transport decisions have far-reaching economic and social impacts for regional New Zealand.  Transport infrastructure weaves together communities, enabling people from all parts of the country to connect with each other for business, work, socialising, and other leisure activities.  Given the importance of such infrastructure, it is essential that regional leaders and transport decision-makers have the appropriate local area economic and social data in front of them to make optimal investment decisions.  At Infometrics, we are working hard to make such a framework for local area data a reality.

A recent study by LBNZ, Mobilising the Regions, took an in-depth look at “the role of transport infrastructure in achieving economic success across all of New Zealand”.  The two key outcomes of the report were that:

  1. Consistent criteria must be applied in decision-making across all modes of transport.
  2.  Regional leaders and transport decision-makers must work together to highlight any regional economic impacts or other priorities of transport infrastructure.

The LGNZ study adds to calls we have heard during client visits and at speaking engagements in provincial New Zealand over the past year asking for more in-depth coverage of local communities.  At Infometrics, we have listened to this demand and have been making significant progress in developing a web-based system of local area economic and social profiles.

Territorial authority level data can often mask vast differences in fortunes of towns within districts. For this reason we are developing economic and social profiles at area unit level.  The profiles will have a similar look and feel to what we have developed for Auckland’s local boards, and will give decision makers in the provinces the ability to get detailed economic and social insights of each small area within their jurisdiction.

The profiles will combine Infometrics proprietary estimates of GDP and employment together with a wide range of business demography and census data. A summary infographic and PDF summary report will also be available for download.

Infometrics clients will be given the option of having the profiles customised to accord with townships and communities in their local area.  We expect local area profiles to be released in early 2016 when the 2015 data for the Regional Economic Profile has been prepared.

We will keep our followers abreast of developments in this area, or please get in touch with Andrew Whiteford (04 473 0630) for more specific details.

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