8 Oct 2013

Auckland Council sticking by prediction of extra one million in 30 years

8:49 pm on 8 October 2013

The Auckland Council is sticking by its prediction the country's biggest city will be home to an extra one million people in 30 years, despite comments from the Statistics Minister that population growth has slowed.

Data from the latest census shows the country's population increased by about 31,000 people a year since 2006, just over half the rate in the five years before that.

The minister, Maurice Williamson, says the council may need to redo the numbers and revise infrastructure plans such as the contentious city rail loop because of the dramatic slowing in population growth.

Auckland Council chief planning officer Roger Blakeley says that interpretation isn't accurate and the plan remains.

"All that's happened in these latest figures is that we've seen a short-term fluctuation between the last census period and the one before. But we have always had fluctuations up and down.

"What really matters in terms of decisions like the city rail link and the long term planning in the Unitary Plan is 'what's the long term projection, what's the projection over 30 years?'"

Mr Blakeley says the city's 30-year plan is based on projections Statistics New Zealand gave to the council.