About the New Zealand Atlas of Population Change

The New Zealand Atlas of Population Change is part of a broader research programme looking at the changing composition of New Zealand's population: Capturing the Diversity Dividend of Aotearoa/New Zealand (or CaDDANZ, pronounced 'cadence') www.caddanz.org.nz/. These changes are occurring as a consequence of the settlement of migrants from throughout the world, temporary and circular international migration, internal migration, growing ethnic diversity, population ageing, changing fertility patterns and urban growth. The project identifies how New Zealand can better prepare for, and respond to, these demographic changes in order for the country to maximise the benefits associated with an increasingly diverse population. CaDDANZ is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and involves researchers from the University of Waikato, Massey University, and Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington.

The New Zealand Atlas of Population Change – also referred to in the programme as a ‘geo-data decision support system’, is being developed by Dr Natalie Jackson and Dr Lars Brabyn with the assistance of Glen Stichbury. The primary objective of the Atlas is the visualisation of socio-demographic diversity across New Zealand’s 16 Regions, 67 Territorial Authority Areas (TAs), 143 towns and 132 rural centres. Much of the data is drawn from other research projects that Jackson, Brabyn and other team members have been involved with, such as the Royal Society Marsden project: ‘The sub-national mechanisms of the ending of population growth. Towards a theory of depopulation’. In this sense the New Zealand Atlas of Population Change differs from the thematic mapping of raw data by Statistics New Zealand and other organisations, in that it is accompanied by supporting, value-added research, focused on socio-demographic diversity. This project has also added value to existing information available from Statistics New Zealand, through further analysis and the automated generation of maps and graphs. To understand how the population will change in the future, it is useful understand how the population has changed in the past. This is particularly important as subnational level, where different trends and drivers of change can be identified. The New Zealand Atlas of Population Change provides this information as well as the opportunity to view these changes using different spatial units.

The New Zealand Atlas of Population Change is an ongoing project.