Population stats healthy for SC
Census population figures released yesterday show a conservative rate of growth in South Canterbury.
Statistics New Zealand released its resident population count from this year's census, which shows an increase of 1749 on the 2006 census.
The Timaru District increased by 1065 to 43,932. Waimate increased 330 to 7536 - up 4.6 per cent on 2006.
Mackenzie was one of the fastest-growing territorial authorities in New Zealand, although it registered small figures.
It ranked 10th, with a 9.4 per cent increase in population between 2006 and 2013 - up 354 from 3801 to 4158.
Timaru mayor-elect Damon Odey said an increase of more than 1000 people and relatively low unemployment showed positive signs for the district, but had expected the population growth to be higher.
"I didn't manage to have a look at the Long Term Plan but I know the forecast growth was relatively low.
"Any growth in the district is positive. I think there is room for future growth; it's something to look forward to."
Mackenzie Mayor Claire Barlow said she doubted the rise in her district's population was because of one specific factor.
However, she thought growth in Tekapo and Twizel was testament to the growing popularity of those towns and their access to the surrounding landscape.
She said internet broadband, allowing people to conduct business from virtually anywhere, helped.
"I see digital communications as a critical issue in ensuring that our tourism, business, education and farming sectors can conduct business without being disadvantaged by location."
She also cited the district's business growth, giving the examples of salmon farming and the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, as bringing new families into the region.
"Let's face it - if you can conduct your business in the Mackenzie, why would you want to live anywhere else?"
Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley said he had not read the data and was unable to comment.
- © Fairfax NZ News