Key factors for faster growing NZ towns and cities

Four key factors are behind New Zealand towns and cities with the fastest growing populations, according to a study by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, led by Arthur Grimes as part of the Resilient Urban Futures research programme. These are land-use capability, human capital, sunshine hours and proximity to Auckland.

The full results of the research are in this paper by Arthur Grimes, Eyal Apatov, Larissa Lutchman, and Anna Robinson, Infrastructure’s long-lived impact on urban development: Theory and empirics, Motu Working Paper 14-11, October 2014

Gareth Vaughan discusses the results at

The researchers analysed impacts that provision of infrastructure and other factors have on long term urban growth. Growing cities have preferred attributes relative to other cities, which may include natural characteristics, social amenities and transport infrastructure. A theoretical model was tested using data covering 1926 to 2006 across 56 New Zealand towns. This showed that four dominant factors have impacted positively on urban growth, especially since 1966: nearby land-use capability; human capital; sunshine hours; and proximity to the country’s dominant city, Auckland.

The paper was prepared with funding from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for the Resilient Urban Futures programme.

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
Resilient Urban Futures