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Four million milestone driven by Auckland

MAYOR’S OFFICE
AUCKLAND CITY

Moving Auckland Forward


Hon John Banks QSO
Mayor of Auckland City

24 April 2003


Four million milestone driven by Auckland

“There are two groups of New Zealanders: those who live in Auckland and those who want to live in Auckland,” said Auckland City Mayor John Banks today.

Mr Banks was commenting on Statistics New Zealand’s claim that the country’s population will reach four million at 5.30pm tonight.

“It is likely the four millionth New Zealander will be an Aucklander,” he said.

Auckland is New Zealand’s fastest growing region, with its population set to reach 1.65 million by 2021 - an increase of 430,000 people.

“By 2050, Auckland is likely to be home to 2 million, though in reality it probably won't take that long. With such enormous population pressures, comes the need for substantial infrastructural development in the areas of roading, public transport, waste water and sewerage.”

Mr Banks said the region grows by the size of Dunedin every four years.

“This should be of grave concern to the dwindling number of people living at the bottom of the South Island who have not yet seen the light!”

On a more serious note, the Mayor said Auckland’s excruciating growing pains mean the region will need to spend close to $1 billion a year, for the next 10 years, on economic infrastructure.

He said without challenge, Auckland is the hub and engine-room of the nation. It has one third of the country’s population and is responsible for a third of the country's economic worth, with Wellington and Christchurch contributing just 13 per cent each.

“All this activity comes from a region that takes up just two per cent of the country’s land mass. The city itself is restricted by the fact that it sits on an isthmus. Coping with population growth is, and has to be, carefully and continually managed.”

Mr Banks said one great thing about Auckland’s population is its diversity, with one in three residents born overseas. Auckland has a larger proportion of Pacific and Asian people than any other region in the country.

“In 50 years time, Maori and Pacific people will make up 50 per cent of Auckland’s population. Much planning needs to be done in the areas of housing and health, and our education system must be able to equip everyone.”

With people come cars and in 20 years’ time the number of cars in Auckland is predicted to double. Already there are at least 583,305 private motor vehicles in the Auckland region.

“Under my leadership, Auckland is dealing with the many consequences and predicaments of population growth head-on. The time is well overdue for Auckland to start the process of becoming one super-city,” concluded Mr Banks.


Ends

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