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QLDC releases population projections

A slowdown in the Queenstown Lakes District’s population growth is only a temporary position, Queenstown Lakes District Council population projections suggest.

QLDC published its population projections, which look forward 30 years into the district’s future, this afternoon.

The projections shed light on average population figures and take into account the effect COVID-19 has had – and will continue to have – on the district.

Four different demand projections were considered, all of which were based on Council’s previous 2018 population projections. They range from the same eventual outcome as proposed in the 2018 projections, to a 30 year delay from the 2018 projections.

While a slowdown in growth over the initial ten years is expected, population figures will increase in the 20-year period that follows.

QLDC chief executive Mike Theelen says the projections showed any population slowdown would not last into the future.

“While COVID-19 will have a significant impact on our population in the short-term, this doesn’t mean our district’s ongoing development will stop.

“Both historic and current patterns suggest the district can have continued confidence about its future population. The district has very strong demographic fundamentals, and while the economic and social dislocation as a result of COVID will dampen demand this will eventually return.

"Our modelling expects that ongoing family formation and migration from people across Aotearoa New Zealand and elsewhere who see the district as a great place to live, work, and play will ensure that population trends recover over time.”

While population projections were initially scheduled to be reviewed every six months, delays in the release of the 2018 census data led to them not being reviewed until this year.

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