Gooderham, L., Mackness, K., Trebilco, U., & White, I. (2014). Potential influence of Auckland’s growth on land use and resource use in the Waikato Region (Report). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13909
Auckland and the Waikato region have a strong interdependent relationship and are connected physically, as well as socially, economically and culturally. At present, Auckland is growing and will continue to growth in the future. This report examines how the development of Auckland might affect land use and resource use in the Waikato in the short to medium term. It draws together information from academic literature, international case studies, stakeholder interviews and the Auckland Plan to identify key issues. The discussion of rural-urban relationships is an emerging theme in academic literature. There is a general recognition that the areas are connected in physical and non-physical ways. For example, urban areas are dependent on rural areas for their natural resources, housing, and tourism, and urban areas offer specialised services, labour markets and education. The interdependent relationship is fluid and may become stronger or weaker as technology develops, the mobility of the population increases, and the political environment shifts. The report puts forward two international case studies to demonstrate how the interdependent relationship may play out across time. The US case study found that: • Consumer preference and global trends have a significant effect on rural-urban relationships and as these change, new types of businesses such as niche tourism may establish themselves in non-urban landscape • Cities with high land prices can push out locally unwanted land-uses into the region, and these industries come with long-term infrastructure costs The Dublin, Ireland case study focused primarily on housing and transportation infrastructure. It found that: • The population of a city is mobile and may spill into the surrounding region due to various ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors • The population movement from cities to the wider region may change the nature of rural areas and smaller towns and increase demand for residential development, office space, and land for industries • Regions outside a metropolitan area can become ‘transportation corridors’ which connect several regions. Land-use and transportation planning for these areas is thus increasingly important The interviews with stakeholders demonstrated that there is a high level of general awareness about change in land use that might occur in the Waikato in the long term. The participants discussed current changes, such as an increase in demand for industrial and residential land on the fringe of Auckland city, as well as a long term shift in consumer demand, which will alter land-use and resource-use in the long term. However, it was determined that these changes are hard to predict, as they are subject to economic, political and social direction. The Auckland Plan reflected some of these discussions from the point of view of Auckland. Among other matters, the report found that the Plan focused on the interdependencies between Auckland and the Waikato, specifically in terms of water, electricity, food resources, transportation and infrastructure and tourism. It thus situated the Waikato as a key partner in shaping Auckland into the future, and enabling it to strengthen its position as an export city. Nonetheless, there exists a need for the Waikato to address cross-boundary effects from a Waikato point of view; determining how shared resources will be managed in the future. Taking into account the literature review, the case studies, interviews and Auckland Plan review, the following themes can be identified: • Land use in the vicinity of a metropolitan area will continue to be dynamic, and the types of changes occurring may be both visible and invisible. • Change is likely to occur across a whole region and effects may ignore administrative boundaries, however, the majority of change is likely to be within commuter distance of the metropolitan area. • The wider area will be affected in different ways than the rural-urban fringe, and because impacts may be indirect, they will be harder to quantify. • Land use may change and economies may diversify and local economies may shift from purely agricultural to more service based. In the rural urban fringe, this might mean an increase in niche agricultural activities such as hobby farms and wineries. • Demand for residential land will increase as consumer preference shifts to rural areas that offer lower housing pricing, higher amenity and perceptions of safety. This will put pressure on existing infrastructure in some cases, and stimulate interest for other activities such as offices to locate in the area. • Traffic movement between urban and non-urban areas may thus increase, resulting in congestion in some areas. • Metropolitan areas may increasingly rely on non-urban areas for water, food, electricity, waste management and unwanted land uses such as prisons and noxious industries. The change that will occur in the Waikato region as a result of Auckland growth is highly dependent on the political environment, technological improvements, environmental change and social perceptions. As such, additional research needs to be undertaken to understand the dynamics of rural-urban relationships, and this relationship may need to be monetised and mapped to fully understand how regions might affect each other
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