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Demographics report card, Waiheke Local Board area 2016

​This local board area includes Waiheke Island, Rangitoto, Motutapu, Ponui and Browns Islands, as well as several smaller islands.

The beaches, bays, regional parks, walks and tourist attractions of these islands are enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. Transport to most islands is available by ferry from downtown Auckland as well as Half Moon Bay, or by private means – boat or (on occasion) helicopter.

Fast ferry services to downtown Auckland have encouraged residential and economic growth on Waiheke Island, and many locals commute to Auckland each day. On the island itself, the often inter-dependent industries of tourism and wine production attract visitors and provide local employment for many.

The island nature of this area means it is an ideal site for successful conservation efforts
and initiatives.

Quick facts

  • 45.3 yrs Median age
  • 2840 employees work in the local board area (2015)
  • 90% European, 11% Māori, 3% Asian, 3% Pacific
  • 28% born overseas
  • $51,100 Median household income
  • 61% of residents employed
  • 3 schools, rated decile 7 (2016)
  • 1344 businesses in the local board area (2015)


Between the 2006 and 2013 censuses, the population increased by 7 per cent, similar to the regional growth rate of 8 per cent during that time.

In 2013, Waiheke had a higher proportion of residents aged 65 years and over (19%) when compared to the region (12%).

The median age was 45.3 years, older than the regional median of 35.1 years, and the second oldest in the region after Great Barrier Island (53.9 years).

A quarter (28%) of local residents were born overseas, and of that group, 35 per cent had been in New Zealand for less than ten years. Among the overseas born, the largest group was born in the United Kingdom, with smaller groups from Australia and the United States.


In 2013, there were 3618 households in the Waiheke Local Board area, 1 per cent of the regional count. The median household income was $51,100 – lower than the regional median at $76,500.

Two thirds (66%) of households owned the dwelling they lived in (this includes 16% who owned it in a family trust), compared with 61 per cent regionally. The majority of households that rented (98%) rented from private landlords.

Two thirds (66%) of households were couples with children, and a further 9 per cent were sole parents with children. The proportion of households that was one person only (33%) was higher than across Auckland (19%).

Education and employment

Levels of formal education were in line with the overall region. In 2013, 16 per cent of all residents aged 15 years and over had no formal educational qualification, compared with 17 per cent regionally, and 28 per cent had gained a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 25 per cent regionally.

Just under half (44%) of residents aged 15 years and over were employed full-time and a further 17 per cent part-time. Of those employed, 62 per cent were paid employees, and a quarter (27%) were self employed.

Around 45 per cent were managers or professionals, while 13 per cent were technicians and trade workers.

Business in the local board

As at February 2015, the largest proportion of people who worked in the Waiheke Local Board area were employed in the accommodation and food services sector (18%), followed by retail trade (13%). Much of this employment caters to the visitor market.

The largest number of local businesses were in the rental, hiring and real estate services sector (19% of all businesses in the area), followed by construction, and professional, scientific and technical services (15% each).

During the period from 2010 to 2015, employment in the local board area increased by 45 per cent, the greatest percentage increase across all local board areas and much higher than the overall regional increase of 13 per cent. This was driven by increases across almost all sectors, particularly accommodation and food services, and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Top five employment sectors (2015)

All data presented here is from the 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings, unless stated otherwise. The census allows respondents to identify with more than one ethnic group, hence the ethnicity percentages may sum to more than 100. ‘Business in the local board’ data is from Statistics New Zealand’s Business Demographic data. School data is provided by Auckland Council, using Ministry of Education information. A school’s decile rating indicates the extent to which it draws its students from lower socio-economic communities. Decile 1 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the highest proportion of such students and decile 10 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the lowest proportion.