Its scale and commercial and industrial opportunities means it is able to develop infrastructure and attract highly specialised talent that drives economic development.
Its employment diversity, market size and
business clustering enable it to attract high value economic activity and international investment other parts of New Zealand cannot.
Auckland's contribution to the economy lifts the standard of living for all New Zealanders. New Zealand needs Auckland to succeed, just as Auckland needs the rest of New Zealand.
The effect of Auckland's size
Auckland's large population size relative to the rest of New Zealand is likely to remain during the next 30 years.
In this timeframe, Stats NZ projects that Auckland's working age population (those aged 15 years and over) will grow by 773,000 compared with an additional 647,500 working age people in the rest of New Zealand.
Auckland's scale means it is able to support higher education and nurture highly specialised businesses across a range of industries, such as healthcare and research.
This has attracted young people from across New Zealand, and particularly the upper North Island, to migrate to Auckland for work and educational opportunities.
Auckland within the upper North Island
Auckland is and the rest of the upper North Island are closely linked, and work together to achieve shared objectives.
Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty are home to over half of New Zealand's population and generate more than half of the national gross domestic product.
Many issues that arise across these regions demand cooperation if they are to be satisfactorily addressed. The environment, for example, does not recognise administrative boundaries, particularly in regards to marine and terrestrial weeds and pests.
In the north, road and potential rail freight improvements between Auckland and Whangarei will increase the need to work collaboratively.
There are a number of opportunities for collaboration in the short, medium and long-term, including:
- integrated business case development for
- combined land use planning
- agreeing on a common evidence base for the management of threats to
There are challenges as well, such as:
- current funding mechanisms
- institutional constraints
- political continuity.
Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA) was established in 2011 and renewed in 2017. Its purpose is to respond to and manage a range of common interests and issues.
The members are:
- Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional councils
- Auckland Council
- Whangarei District Council
- Hamilton City Council
- Tauranga City Council.
The impact of Auckland's growth on its neighbours
Based on recent trends, Auckland is likely to continue to be an attractive place for settlement for migrants to New Zealand, and growth from internal migration and natural increase (the number of births over deaths) will continue.
Despite Auckland's high
amenity and liveability, growth can have negative consequences. Increased demand when unmatched by increased supply drives up the cost of housing and insufficient or ineffective public transport leads to more congestion on the roads.
The rising cost of living in Auckland, particularly the cost of housing, has led to a 'halo' growth effect in neighbouring regions. Auckland-based investors and those relocating out of Auckland have escalated demand for property.
This is particularly significant in northern Waikato given the extent and speed of current and predicted future population growth and how close some settlements are to Auckland.
The challenge is to mitigate any less positive impacts and share the prosperity that arises from population growth.
Transport links between Northland / Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga are critical to the economic and social success of each area.