A group of researchers is calling on the Government to develop a strategy around the country's population change and growth.
Massey University researchers said strategic population policy was needed to avoid problems such as regional decline and housing shortages.
Professor in humanities and social sciences Paul Spoonley said New Zealand faced an ageing population, falling birth rates and rapidly increasing immigration.
"The demographic change that we're beginning to experience is so substantial that our current policy settings are probably going to be inadequate, and in fact are inadequate in some areas."
He said if regions were to survive, they needed to consider options such as increased immigration flows.
Professor Spoonley said there had not been a strategy in four decades and it was long overdue.