Capital richest, most educated

Last updated 16:43 03/12/2013

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More people are earning top incomes than ever before - and the number of Wellingtonians who make $100,000 year has boomed since the last census.

Back in 2006, 18,642 people in Greater Wellington said they earned more than $100,000. By census day this year the number had shot up to 32,238.

Havana Coffee co-founder Geoff Marsland is one of them. His business, which of course ties in to one thing the capital is famous for, has seen him earn the trappings of success.

''When I started making coffee I was a hippy gay biker on acid, [now] I've got kids at fancy schools, got a big fancy house, a big yacht.''

But the gap between rich and poor worries him.

''I can't believe how people get by on normal wages ... living's got so expensive. The whole time in life, you get unexpected problems and how people deal with it on wages I don't know.''

Entrepreneurs like Mr Marsland are different from people making a salary - even if that salary is over $100,000, but he says Wellington is full of people with a get-up-and-go spirit that creates successful businesses like Havana.

''Wellington is not for the faint hearted. In coffee terms it's a long black, not a bowl of latte.''

People in the capital become successful by actually doing things, rather than bankrolling others doing things.

''That's what sets Wellington apart - lots of guys take their idea from conception right through to where it's making money.''

He called himself a wanker because he knows that is how some people view success - classic tall poppy syndrome.

"If you have nice things people tell you you're a wanker. Instead of 'he's worked really hard' they think 'look at him, he's a wanker'."


Wellington is the richest and most educated city in the country, according to census data released today.

The median income in the capital region is $32,700, the highest of all regions in New Zealand, an increase of 16.8 per cent since 2006.

Greater Wellington also has the highest proportion of people with university degrees, 28 per cent of people have a degree or equivalent. This is a five per cent jump from the 2006 census and eight points above the national average of 20 per cent.

The rate of home ownership in the city is down to 64.9 per cent from 66.1 per cent in 2006, but the number of occupied dwellings has grown by 8466.

Wellington also has the highest proportion of Samoan language speakers (3.3 per cent) after Auckland, and 3.5 per cent of people speak Maori. Samoan and Maori are the most common spoken languages after English.

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More people are renting homes today than in 2006, the 2013 census suggests.

With house prices continuing to rise, home ownership remains a far-off dream for many people, particularly the young.

Over the past few months The Dominion Post has done several stories about the struggle facing first home buyers in Wellington, and the census figures seem to bear out much of what you would expect.

The rate of home ownership is down to 64.9 per cent from 66.1 per cent in 2006, but the number of occupied dwellings has grown by 8466.

There just over 10,000 new houses and apartments in the region since 2006.

In Greater Wellington, 58,512 households do not own their home, up from 53,583 in 2006.

Ownership has fallen from 87,123 households to 86,344.

Use of family trusts to hold property has also become more common, with 21,933 properties in Wellington owned through a trust, compared to 17,385 in 2006.


Wellington and Hawke's Bay are becoming more culturally diverse, mirroring national trends which show growing numbers of languages and ethnicities.

Wellington region figures show a big jump in the number of people identifying as NZ European, although Statistics New Zealand said it is due to a drop in the number who identified as "New Zealander".

In 2006 there was a media campaign to tick Other and then put New Zealander under ethnicity - the number of people nationally who opted for New Zealander dropped from 14,685 in 2006 to 2493 this year.

In Wellington, Maori and Pacific populations increased in numbers but held steady percentages - roughly 12 and 7 per cent of the total population, respectively.

The Asian population has increased from 8 per cent to more than 10 per cent, and people of African, Latin American and Middle East descent have increased slightly from 1.2 per cent to 1.4 per cent.

Hindi is now Wellington's fourth most common language, after English, Maori and Samoan, reflecting a national trend.

In the Hawke's Bay, 24.3 per cent of people now identify as Maori, 4.4 per cent as Pacific people, and 3.6 per cent as Asian. Also, 14.7 per cent were born overseas.

After English, the next most common languages spoken in the Hawke's Bay region are te reo Maori and Samoan, which is similar to 2006.

Hawke's Bay has the fourth-highest percentage of te reo Maori speakers and the third-highest percentage of Samoan speakers after Auckland and Wellington.


The incomes of Hawke's Bay people are growing slower than those of people elsewhere in the country despite being better educated.

According to Census results released today the median income for people aged 15 years and over in the Hawke's Bay region was $26,100, compared with the New Zealand median income of $28,500. 

Although it had increased by 15.5 per cent since 2006, it is the third lowest percentage increase for any region in the country.

Nearly 14 per cent of people aged 15 and over living in Hawke's Bay said they had a university degree or equivalent, up from just over 10 per cent in 2006.

- The Dominion Post


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