web analytics
The Standard

Maurice Williamson: a fool speaking without numbers

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, October 11th, 2013 - 12 comments
Categories: Economy, making shit up, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

It isn’t that often that I agree with the anonymous editorials in the NZ Herald. But this morning’s editorial was completely accurate about Maurice Williamson’s reported comments after the census…

Pronouncements like, for example, that of Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson, who declared the first Census data in seven years contained a surprise “bigger than Ben Hur”.

The finding that so enraptured the minister was that New Zealand’s population growth had halved since the last Census. The population had increased by 31,000 a year, or 0.75 per cent, over the past seven years, compared to 58,000 a year in the previous 2001-2006 period. This, trumpeted Mr Williamson, should prompt a revision of Auckland’s infrastructure plans, such as an increase in high-rise apartments and the construction of an inner-city rail loop.

Ah yes. As the anonymous author at the NZ Herald pointed out, there are a few minor mathematical issues with Williamson’s “analysis”…

The growth rate is, indeed, surprisingly slow. But what that means for Auckland must be subject to a couple of important caveats. First, the data so far released – annoyingly, the Census findings are being drip-fed – does not reveal the extent of Auckland’s long-term growth.

This, as the Auckland Council’s chief planning officer, Roger Blakeley, noted, has historically been much more rapid than for other regions. This is not expected to change. Auckland has and will receive more migrants, and has a more youthful population than the rest of the country and, therefore, a higher fertility rate.

A second proviso arises from the fact that the number of people leaving the country reached record highs during the past seven years. Already, this has started to decline as the Australian economy encounters headwinds. It is highly unlikely the emigration rate will continue to match that of the past seven years.

This doesn’t mean no notice should be taken of the Census data. The council’s planning for the next 30 years, as outlined in its Unitary Plan, is based on the prediction that the number of Auckland residents will grow by one million, or 2.2 per cent a year.

Leaving aside the second point – that National who campaigned in the 2008 election as being the party would stop many of our best and brightest disappearing. Obviously these days they’d prefer for forget that election promise, as instead they have presided amongst the fastest emigration in our history as people escaped the like of Williamson and Key’s inability to govern…. Yes – another post really needs to be written.

The first point is the important one. The trickle feed of stats doesn’t show regional differences yet. However you can see it in the maps for the electoral boundaries that are fed from the census.  Since Maurice Williamson is an MP, you’d have expected that he’d have taken some interest in his own job’s geographical basis. But it appears that he hasn’t bothered to read the statistics NZ page about changes in voting populations in electorate since the last census. Now this isn’t the full populations (I only looked at the general roll and it excludes children and other non-eligible voters), but does give an idea of where the population is growing.

The following maps from the overview PDF show where the population increases have made geographical electorate seats overflow relative to the rest of NZ. There is a wee trend that perhaps even the hapless Mr Williamson may be able to detect. It is called Auckland is where most of the urban population growth is going to…

North island seats South island seats Auckland seats Wellington seats Christchurch seats

Bearing in mind that these electorate seats were roughly the same population size in 2007, it is pretty clear that almost all of the major urban growth has been in Auckland urban and semi-rural electorates and to a lesser extent in the dairy growth areas. If you look at the spreadsheet it becomes even more apparent – the second column is the percentage increase and I’ve tagged the type of electorate in the third.

In the top 10 growing electorates, Auckland has 7 of them.  3 are in the rural fringe of lifestyle blocks. 4 in the dominently urban areas. Auckland Central had a nearly 22% increase in voters in an already built up and congested zone.

Hunua 26.1 Auckland
Selwyn 23.8 Rural
Auckland Central 21.7 Auckland
Rodney 15.7 Auckland
Hamilton East 15.6 Hamilton
Helensville 14.1 Auckland
Waimakariri 12.1 Rural
Waitakere 11.6 Auckland
East Coast Bays 11.5 Auckland
Papakura 11.3 Auckland
Bay of Plenty 10.9 Rural
Wellington Central 9.5 Wellington
Tauranga 9.2 Urban
Wigram 9.0 Christchurch
Manurewa 8.8 Auckland
Waikato 8.7 Rural
Te Atatū 8.3 Auckland
Waitaki 8.0 Rural
New Plymouth 7.7 Urban
Tāmaki 7.7 Auckland
Mana 7.3
Ōhariu 7.2
Māngere 7.1
Nelson 7.1
Maungakiekie 7.1
Clutha-Southland 6.9
Epsom 6.6
Manukau East 6.4
Rangitata 6.2
New Lynn 5.2
Botany 5.2
North Shore 4.9
Taupō 4.9
West Coast-Tasman 4.8
Northcote 4.6
Kaikōura 4.6
Pakuranga 4.4
Mt Roskill 4.3
Mt Albert 4.3
Ōtaki 4.1
Tukituki 4.1
Rimutaka 3.8
Whangarei 3.5
Taranaki-King Country 3.3
Rongotai 3.1
Invercargill 2.9
Hamilton West 2.9
Napier 2.5
Palmerston North 2.5
Northland 2.3
Wairarapa 2.1
Dunedin South 2.0
Coromandel 1.7
Hutt South 1.4
Rangitīkei 0.5
Dunedin North 0.1
Ilam -0.5
Whanganui -0.9
Rotorua -1.4
East Coast -2.0
Port Hills -3.4
Christchurch Central -7.2
Christchurch East -17.6

12 comments on “Maurice Williamson: a fool speaking without numbers”

  1. greywarbler 1

    Yes heard that and thought that this man Williamson is past his use-by date. The pallid wraith in question has apparently never heard of planning for the future. The NACTs are always on about how fast Auckland will grow, always referred to in confident ringing tones. Hello! Anyone there?

    For Auckland to be this world-blahblah city they talk about, it needs to get some features that go with the look. Nice-to-have accessories. A fast-track to the airport, or are they thinking of just providing helicopters for their mates and partners.

    Then good transport to near where you live not a bus that takes 15 minutes to get through 500 metre bottlenecks and reaches South Auckland, for 5pm commuters, in the dead of night in winter.

    And their roads! I have never heard others comment on this but I noticed when driving that my wheel would sink into apparent potholes, quite severely, while on smooth roads. The reason is that they just add seal around the service hatches and don’t lift them, till there is a 20cm square deep hole. I thought my wheel was coming off. Just another joy of Auckland.

    And my relatives hardly ever go to Auckland city and not even to Manukau. Which in one perhaps old map I looked at was hardly identified as a city. When they go out for somewhere special it is likely to be on holiday elsewhere in NZ or overseas.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The pallid wraith in question has apparently never heard of planning for the future.

      That would be true of National in general. They’re so focused on taking us back to the 1500s that they don’t have the capability left over to think about tomorrow.

  2. geoff 2

    Bit of a segue but, whatever happened to his supposed appearance on Ellen?

  3. Tracey 3

    I did wonder how so many… jim mora included are concluding auckland is not growing as fast as predicted from this ijmited census result.

    Surely the overall growth can be lower than thought but aucklands is still growing quickly

  4. tc 4

    From the minister who brought you leaky homes in the 90’s, robbing akl of its allocation of road user charges, petrol taxes etc as transport minister, sold joycee some radio frequencies when not the highest bid…..there is more so is this any surprise.

    Pakuranga would elect a sock puppet if it was dressed in blue.

  5. greywarbler 5

    John Key on Williamson “”He is very funny and there is always a serious message in there.” from lynn’s link above. From the judge of NZ’s gotten talent, I think.

    Life has never been the same since Muldoon appeared on the Rocky Horror Show and the yellow jacket danced onto the celebrity stage. Then Muldoon had the dancing cossacks in his promotion advertising. The Cold War lingered in this country in stupid two-faced ignorant minds while we were prepared to trade our butter with Russia for Lada cars.

  6. ropata 6

    Pure self interest from the Wellington political elite. http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/10/12/what-every-aucklander-knew-the-wellington-syndrome/

    Key’s lip service to the brighter future for young kiwis has been disproved by natz policies to keep wages low and shut young people out of property ownership

    Life is sweet for the top 1-2% with their kohimarama mansions, tax breaks, 17 rental properties, and subsidised shares in public assets

  7. Crunchtime 7

    Maurice Williamson isn’t a Minister. He’s a Munster.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    4 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    5 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    5 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    6 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    6 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    6 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    6 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    6 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    7 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    7 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere