A fact that may surprise some New Zealanders is that their life is tracked and monitored by the government from the day they are born until the day they die.
The need to understand our changing population has been more important than ever, as an unexpected wave of migration rendered previous projections obsolete. This article explores how this migration wave changed our population, and our view of the future.
Back in August we noted that Auckland city (the urban area defined by Stats NZ) has as many people as the next 12 cities combined. We also showed a map dividing Auckland up into 12 areas with equivalent populations to the cities. Unfortunately, the map is now out of date as Stats NZ revised their population estimates in October.
Economic growth, inflation, and interest rates around the globe remain significantly lower than they were prior to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The limited success of efforts to stimulate the economy over the last 12 years are reminiscent of the Japanese economy’s stagnation during the 1990s. Are other developed economies, including New Zealand, at risk of suffering the same malaise as Japan over the medium-term?
The latest estimated resident population data for regions and districts published by Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ) in late October threw up a few surprises, not least that Auckland’s population is a lot lower than previously estimated. Indeed, we have been overestimating population in many of our larger urban centres and underestimating it in the smaller provincial districts.
Every time we have local elections there is lots of talk about the low levels of turnout, and rightly so. In 2016, turnout was up nationally to an unimpressive 42%. The 2019 preliminary results from Local Government NZ show a drop in national turnout to 41.4%. At a slightly more detailed level, “metro” council areas followed a similar zigzag of up in 2016 and down in 2019. Interestingly “provincial” and “rural” council areas showed an inverse zigzag, with decreased turnout in 2016 and increased turnout in 2019.
On 23 September StatsNZ released the first batch of Census 2018 data, which includes high-level national trends, population counts for local areas, and the number of electorates. Although it is great to finally have some 2018 Census data, the information available is still very high level.
Lifting the skills and opportunities available for Māori has been one of the key priority areas of the government’s Wellbeing Budget. Plenty has been written about the socio-economic, health and other challenges facing Māori over the past couple of decades, yet many of these interrelated issues remain.
One of the true tests of a society is measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members, particularly the old, the young, the sick, and the disabled. There is a lot of good with New Zealand and New Zealand policy. However, on assisting those unable to provide for themselves, our provisions for people unable to work due to a health condition is an area where we are increasingly failing.
It seems that love was in the air again this year, with Cupid’s arrow aiming as much for people’s wallets as their hearts. Looking around and seeing all the hopeless romantics and their gestures of love ranging from rose bouquets to axe throwing made me question just what all the hype is about?