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Last modified: 18 Nov 2021 2:06pm

Selwyn’s population has topped 70,000 people as it continues to grow faster than the rest of the country.

Figures from Statistics New Zealand show Selwyn’s population reached 73,600 in the year to June 2021. Waikirikiri/Selwyn also saw the largest total number of new residents, growing by 3400 people over the year to June, ahead of Tauranga with 3100 new residents. It also saw the biggest proportional growth at 4.8%.

The district’s population growth more than doubled that of Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin combined, underlining Selwyn’s continued popularity with Kiwis.

Propping up the Selwyn story is a strong economy, with the most recent statistics showing the economy growing by 7% against a national average of 4.2%. This is underpinned by high primary sector prices and confidence in business, reflected by almost $138 million of non-residential building consent applications in the past year.

Mayor Sam Broughton says Selwyn’s community and natural attractions combined with good planning have made the growth possible.

“We are in a good place because we planned for this growth, thought about the infrastructure required and how it would be funded. We have a history of communities full of families who love this place and just want to get on with what’s important to them. We also have a variety of great employment opportunities and a strong economy. We sit within easy distance of Ōtautahi Christchurch and there are plenty of awesome places to spend free time.”

The challenge now is to balance the population growth while retaining those attractions, he said.

“People love Selwyn towns and the countryside for what they are and change is not always popular. Government regulations for Aotearoa New Zealand mean we now have less local community voice in decisions about where development occurs. I am also mindful of the need to protect the productive land that sits around our towns and across the rural areas of Selwyn. So there are many outcomes that need to be balanced.”