Brabyn and Jackson A new look at population change and regional development in Aotearoa New Zealand.pdf
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Brabyn, L., & Jackson, N. (2019). A new look at population change and regional development in Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Geographer, 116–129. https://doi.org/10.1111/nzg.12234
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13779
In New Zealand, population change is interlinked with regional development. Places growing in population attract regional investment, while regional investment—or lack thereof—can change migration patterns. However, to determine the appropriate response to population change for a community, it is important to understand that population change involves much more than “just” migration. Specifically, it involves interactions between the three components of population change: natural change (births minus deaths), net migration (international and internal) and population ageing (changing cohort size). For example, migration can be negative, but growth can be positive due to underlying natural increase or growth in cohort size. Responses need to differ, depending on these drivers. The goal of this article is to provide new insights into these interactions using data for 275 cities, towns and rural centres (hereafter “urban places”) in New Zealand for the period 1976 to 2013. The results show that natural change has been consistently positive for most urban places up to the present, although projections indicate that in the future this component will become negative across much of the country. At the same time, net migration shows considerable spatial variation, not only in terms of volume, but also direction (negative or positive), which differs markedly by age. A net gain of people of retirement age can offset a net loss of young adults to deliver overall growth, and vice-versa, but the two have very different implications for longer term growth. An analysis of the drivers of net migration using GIS and machine learning techniques provides an indication of the importance of economic conditions (land-use and access to markets), lifestyle, access to essential services (hospitals and education) and their interaction with age in regional change. The results show that population age is the best predictor of migration. Younger people are moving to cities for tertiary education and work and older people near or in retirement are moving to smaller lifestyle towns but also want to be close to amenities such as hospitals and international airports. The research also shows that natural lifestyle characteristics (landscape and climate), in combination with age are just as important as economic conditions for understanding migration. Regional development, such as infrastructure that helps business (ports and services) is important for the working age population but not necessarily the retirement age group. When regional development, age/life-cycle stage and lifestyle come together, such as in Queenstown and Tauranga, net migration gain is high.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Brabyn, L, Jackson, N. O. A new look at population change and regional development in Aotearoa New Zealand. N Z Geog. 2019; 75: 116– 129 which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/nzg.12234. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. © 2019 New Zealand Geographical Society