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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.

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