About census usually resident population counts
Census usually resident population counts are a count of everyone who usually lives in New Zealand, or in a particular area, and is present in New Zealand on census night.
These census counts are the basis for, but are different to, population estimates and projections.
Census counts are used by government agencies for planning and making decisions about allocating resources. Census counts are also used to determine electorate boundaries.
Area unit: Area units are aggregations of meshblocks. They are non–administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities in size. Area units must either define, or aggregate to define, regional councils, territorial authorities, and urban areas.
Area units within urban areas normally contain a population of 3,000–5,000.
Census usually resident population count: The census usually resident population count of New Zealand is a count of all people who usually live in, and were present in New Zealand on census night. Excluded are:
- overseas visitors
- New Zealand residents temporarily overseas.
The census usually resident population count of an area in New Zealand is a count of all people who usually live in that area and were present in New Zealand on census night. Excluded are:
- visitors from overseas
- visitors from elsewhere in New Zealand
- residents temporarily overseas on census night.
For example, a person who usually lives in Christchurch city and is in Wellington city on census night will be included in the census usually resident population count of Christchurch city.
Local boards: Local boards were introduced as part of the new local government arrangements for Auckland in 2010. Local boards share governance with a council’s governing body and each has complementary responsibilities, guaranteed by legislation. Local boards can propose bylaws and they gather community views on local and regional matters. Local legislation enacted in 2012 allows for the establishment of local boards in areas of new unitary authorities which are predominantly urban and have a population of more than 400,000. The boundaries of local boards cannot be abolished or changed except through a reorganisation process.
Regional council: Regional councils were established in November 1989 after the abolition of the 22 local government regions. The Local Government Act 2002 requires the boundaries of regions to conform as far as possible to one or more water catchments. When determining regional boundaries, the Local Government Commission gave consideration to regional communities of interest when selecting water catchments to be included in a region. It also considered factors such as natural resource management, land use planning and environmental matters.
Regional councils are defined at meshblock and area unit level.
Regional councils cover every territorial authority in New Zealand with the exception of Chatham Islands Territory. The seaward boundary of the regions is the 12 mile (19.3km) New Zealand territorial limit. Generally regional councils contain complete territorial authorities. Where territorial authorities straddle regional council boundaries, the affected area has been statistically defined in complete area units.
Territorial authority: A territorial authority is defined under the Local Government Act 2002 as a city council or district council. There are 67 territorial authorities, comprising 13 cities, 53 districts and 1 territory.
When defining the boundaries of territorial authorities, the Local Government Commission placed considerable weight on the 'community of interest'. While the size of a community was a factor, the relevance of the components of the community to each other and the capacity of the unit to service the community in an efficient manner, were the factors on which the Commission placed most emphasis.
Territorial authorities are defined at meshblock and area unit level.
Unitary authority: A unitary authority is a territorial authority (district or city) which also performs the functions of a regional council. New Zealand has five unitary authorities: Gisborne District, Nelson City, Tasman District, Marlborough District, and the new Auckland Council.
The Chatham Islands Council is not usually considered a unitary authority, although it acts as a regional council for the purposes of the Resource Management Act 1991.