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Declining towns and rapidly growing cities in New Zealand: developing an empirically-based model that can inform policy

Abstract
Understanding and predicting spatial patterns in population change has significant implications for infrastructure, property investments, and national spatial planning. It is also at the core of understanding what motivates people to move to different places, and the underlying geographical conditions that are important to people. During recent times, the population growth of large cities in New Zealand (particularly Auckland, but Tauranga has had faster growth) has resulted in severe social and infrastructural problems, such as sky-rocketing house prices, homelessness, and congestion of roads. At the same time, many small towns have had significant population decline, with no proposed solutions apart from acceptance or undertaking so-called “managed decline” (McMillan 2016; Wood 2017). As will be described in this article, net migration has been a significant component of the spatial variation in population change, while natural change does not have a significant spatial variation and has been generally positive for all urban places. A policy response to the spatial variation of net migration needs to be based on an empirically based understanding of what drives net migration.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Brabyn, L. (2017). Declining towns and rapidly growing cities in New Zealand: developing an empirically-based model that can inform policy. Policy Quarterly, 13(Supplementary), 37–46.
Date
2017
Publisher
Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
This article is published in the Policy Quarterly. ©2017 Policy Quarterly. Used with permission.