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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:26am

A hot air balloon in rainbow colours floating in a blue sky above the Canterbury Plains

Selwyn had the highest population and economic growth in New Zealand over the past 10 years, according to new figures.

Annual economic profile figures released by analysts Infometrics show from 2009 to 2019, the district’s population grew by an average of 5.2% per year and GDP grew by an annual average of 6.5%, ahead of Queenstown Lakes in second. The district also had the largest growth in population in the country over the 2019 year (5.3%), and the second largest growth in GDP (6.8%) just behind Hawke’s Bay (6.9%).

Mayor Sam Broughton says it is good to see so many people recognising what a great place Selwyn is to live in. “We welcome the people who have joined us in calling Selwyn home over the last 10 years. We knew this place was good, and now we share this with many new arrivals. Our planning and investment in quality infrastructure means we can cater for future growth, which continues to bring many new amenities to existing residents.”

Selwyn also fared well in 2019 in new wellbeing indicators monitored by Infometrics. The district had one of the lowest crime rates and highest life expectancies in New Zealand and was better than the national average for work place injuries, people presenting with mental health issues, and housing and rental affordability.

“The evidence shows that Selwyn remains a very safe place to live and raise a family, and that the opportunities here and a bit of fresh air are good for the soul,” Mr Broughton says.

The figures show Lincoln was the fastest growing town in the district in 2019, growing by 10% to 7,380 people, and West Melton saw the biggest growth over the decade growing almost 17% to 2250.

Farming and manufacture of dairy products was the biggest employer in the region last year, followed by defence, higher education and housing construction. Primary industries (agriculture, forestry and fishing) made up 17.6% of the district’s GDP, followed by manufacturing (12.6%) and construction (8.1%).