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Commuting patterns in New Zealand have come under increasing scrutiny because of growing public and government interest in sustainability. This interest arose because of legislative changes, such as the Local Government Act 2002, which required local councils to consider sustainability in their ten-year development plans. Larger city councils have promoted more sustainable commuting options such as public transport, walking, and cycling. Better information about commuting is important to help inform government and society.

Commuting Patterns in New Zealand: 1996–2006 gives a statistical overview of commuting patterns in New Zealand between 1996 and 2006, focusing on the cities in the Auckland and Wellington regions, and Christchurch city. The report is based on information from the Census of Population and Dwellings.

This report was written by Rosemary Goodyear and Martin Ralphs.

Interactive DVD

There is also an interactive DVD available from Statistics New Zealand’s Customer Services Centre on request. The DVD includes interactive maps that allow the viewer to track the size and direction of commuting flows dynamically for various commuting populations in 1996 and 2006. The maps include separate visualisations for:

  • all commuting flows
  • modes of transport
  • occupational groups
  • industry
  • full-time and part-time workers
  • selected ethnic groups (European, Māori, Pacific peoples, and Asian).

The DVD also includes interactive migration flow maps for 1996 and 2006.

Background thematic mapping is also included in the DVD showing employment density, population density, deprivation (New Zealand Deprivation Index), self-containment (people that live and work in the same area unit), 2006 labour market areas, and employment rate.

There is a companion media release published with this report.

Published July 2009

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