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Community services

Auckland City plans for growth in central business district (CBD) apartments

The Auckland City Council uses census data to plan for growth in the Auckland CBD. Census data, including age, income profiles, and employment information is combined with other sources to capture a wide picture of people who live in the CBD.

Between 1996 and the 2006 Census the number of apartment dwellers in the Auckland CBD more than quadrupled from 2,805 to 13,311. This accounted for more than 70 percent of growth in apartment dwellers nationwide.

Census information helps the council plan the services that CBD residents need such as infrastructure, transport, parks, and other community services. Having a clear profile of CBD residents allows the council to make informed decisions to achieve the best outcomes for the people and businesses located there.

2006 Census data was used to help bring additional broadband services to the Auckland CBD. The data was used to profile the area, focusing on topics such as occupation and household income. This led to new and better targeted investment from telecommunication companies, and resulted in additional fibre-rich services and greater broadband affordability for Auckland’s CBD residents and visitors.

Auckland libraries service the world

New Zealand is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures. Recent census figures confirm what the Auckland City Council already knew – that its region is becoming increasingly diverse. In Auckland City, 40 percent of people were born overseas, compared with 23 percent for New Zealand as a whole.

Local libraries have the ongoing challenge of providing services to a diverse population, with many residents who speak languages other than English. For example, 67 percent of people in Auckland City speak only one language, compared with 81 percent for all of New Zealand. Samoan is Auckland City’s second most widely spoken language behind English; nationally, Māori is New Zealand’s second most widely spoken language.

Armed with information about ethnicity, languages spoken and age group information, local libraries are better prepared to help meet the needs of the changing community. Onehunga library, for instance, has broadened its Chinese and Māori collections to better suit the local community. The library also hosts Job Search Support, where the Migrant Action Trust assists migrants seeking employment to use the free Internet access and resources provided by the library. On top of this, the self-check units customers use to take out books are now programmed with English, Māori, and two other languages spoken locally. Auckland City's libraries aim to enable people from all ethnic backgrounds, including those with English as a second language, to enjoy a well-resourced and responsive library service.


Christchurch libraries become multicultural

Although Christchurch has a fairly homogenous population in terms of ethnicity, it is becoming increasingly diverse. Between 1991 and 2006, Pacific peoples, Asian, and Middle Eastern, Latin American and African ethnic groupings have all increased as a proportion of Christchurch City's total population. The largest increase was in the Asian ethnic group, up from 2.1 percent in 1991, to 7.9 percent in 2006. Local community groups and non-government agencies are aware of these changes and want to tailor their services, such as libraries, to these changing communities.

The Christchurch City Council used 2006 Census information to create a specialised report for its city. Published in August 2007, the report covers information relating to demographics, migration, housing, age structure, occupation, and access to services such as telecommunications. It helped library staff across Christchurch to be more aware of the size and location of different ethnic and age groups. It highlighted a need for more reading resources for a number of languages. For example, since 2001 native speakers of Afrikaans have increased by 62 percent to reach 993.

Library staff have now expanded their world languages collections, which are now better able to meet the language needs of their local communities.


Getting to know Porirua

Porirua City lies to the north of the capital and has a 2006 Census usual resident count of 48,546 people. Many of the residents are unaware of the growing and changing nature of their city and the people who live in it.

The Porirua City Council is filling this information gap by publishing a statistical 'snapshot' of the city and its residents. For instance, Porirua has a relatively young population, with a median age of less than 33 years compared with the national average of almost 36 years. After English, Samoan is the second most common language, spoken by 11.0 percent of Porirua residents. For New Zealand as a whole, Māori is the second most common language, at 4.1 percent.

The council has completed this statistical snapshot using 1996–2006 Census information. The snapshot is freely available to community groups, local businesses, and local and central government to help inform their planning and decision making. Hard copies are also available at council libraries for the public, with the aim of educating people on the changing environment of Porirua, and the usefulness of statistics when planning for the future.


Hauraki ageing gracefully

New Zealand's population is ageing and all over the country, programmes are emerging to meet the needs of ageing New Zealanders.

The Hauraki District Council suspected that their population of over 65-year-olds was growing. The council looked at census information to determine where numbers were increasing and how rapidly these were rising. Especially useful were the time series comparisons provided by the five-yearly census. They could compare Hauraki today with Hauraki 10 or 20 years ago, and make plans for 20 years from now.

From 1996 to 2006, the number of residents 65 years and over in Hauraki has been steadily increasing. This is especially true in Waihi, Paeroa and Ngatea, where people in this age group make up 21.8, 21.6 and 23.2 percent of the population, respectively. These proportions are significantly higher than the national average of 12.3 percent.

The older residents of Hauraki are keen attendees at their local libraries, and use them as places to socialise. Now, the Waihi, Paeroa and Ngatea libraries will have increased age-specific information, an improvement in services, and targeted book selection. The community is also looking forward to enjoying more reading spaces, improved access for mobility scooters and more seating in the Waihi and Paeroa libraries.


Helping refugees settle in to Kiwi life

As part of New Zealand’s efforts to provide aid to people around the world, 750 refugees settle here each year with the help of Refugee Services Aotearoa New Zealand. The agency helps new arrivals settle into their new homes, particularly in their first six months.

The Christchurch Refugee Services unit used 2006 Census information to determine where different ethnic groups settle in the city, with the aim of housing new refugees nearby. For instance, of Christchurch City's Afghani population of 462, nearly one-fifth live in just two areas, Jellie Park and Barrington North. Having these local support networks and contacts is especially important for those who do not speak English.

Another reason refugees are placed together is because high schools with refugee students receive funding for specific resources, such as bilingual teaching aids. The more refugee students, the greater the funding for these resources. Refugee students can then learn English faster, increasing their future employment opportunities.

Refugee Services also helps refugees fill out their census form which comes around every five years. The agency recognises that refugees are more likely to receive services dedicated to them when they are represented in statistics.

As a result of the assistance Refugee Services provides, refugees have a better settlement experience, increased involvement in the local community and better integration into Kiwi life.


Low cost services for seasonal workers in Marlborough

Marlborough is a well-established wine-producing region. The wine industry is seasonal, and causes an influx of temporary workers over the summer months. This peak in population, combined with the changing characteristics of its usually resident population, was putting pressure on the region's healthcare providers.

The Marlborough District Council used 2006 Census data to determine what the characteristics and size of the peak population were. By comparing the census usually resident population count with the March census night count, the council found that about 8 percent of the 46,000 people on census night were visitors to the region.

Those who don't usually live in an area are generally ineligible for certain healthcare benefits, and potentially have different healthcare needs compared with usual residents. Information from the census also showed there was a high population of overseas visitors on relatively low incomes. To better service this population, a recently established community trust has proposed the creation of a low-cost healthcare clinic. Also, thanks to the census information about age, sex and ethnicity, established healthcare providers now provide services that are more relevant to the community.

Less pressure on GPs and better-tailored services benefit the whole community, while visitors to Marlborough can now expect more affordable healthcare services.


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