10.8% in 5 years!

The population growth rates – based on the 2018 census – which were released today show that New Zealand’s population grew 10.8% over the 5 years between the 2013 and 2018 censuses. Therefore, on average, the population grew by about 2.1 percent a year since the 2013 Census which is significantly higher than the annual average growth between 2006 and 2013 (0.7 percent).

In total New Zealand’s population grew by 457,707, from 4,242,048 in 2013 to 4,699,755 in 2018. It took 30 years – from 1976 to 2006 for New Zealand’s population to increase from 3 million to 4 million and now it looks likely that New Zealand’s population will reach 5 million in 2020 – that is less than half the time taken to add the previous million.

Let that sink in for a while.

While the rest of the world is seeing it’s rate of population growth decrease – the rate of  population growth in Aotearoa has been increasing. Why and to what benefit?

The only answer is short-term economic thinking by successive short-sighted and vision-less Governments (the current one included). New Zealand does not seem able to rid itself of the ghosts of the New Zealand Company in which the modus operandi was to grow the population for the benefit of the wealthy landowners and to hell with the indigenous people and the environment (and screw over much of the immigrant labour as well).

New Zealand’s (and the Planet’s) only hope at ever being truly sustainable is for our human population to stabilise and slowly decrease. We can’t grow our numbers forever on a finite planet.

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