Central Otago district experiencing unprecedented growth


30 September 2019

Central Otago is the fourth fastest growing district in New Zealand according to recent statistics released from the 2018 Census.​

The usually resident population has grown by a significant 20.5% since the last census in 2013, with 21,558 people now calling Central Otago home, up from 17,895 just five years ago. Central Otago's growth follows closely on the heels of Kaipara, Selwyn and Queenstown-Lakes – an increase that will not surprise residents. New housing developments are particularly noticeable in the Cromwell and Alexandra areas, but pressure on the housing market is also being felt across the district. The number of private dwellings has risen 11.9%, from 9810 to 10,974 over the same period.

"Central Otago is a truly remarkable place to live, with access to beautiful outdoor playgrounds for hikers and cyclists, and thriving viticulture and horticulture sectors. With increasing living and housing costs in Queenstown-Lakes district, the easy commuter access is encouraging more people to choose to call Central Otago home," said Central Otago District Council Chief Executive Officer Sanchia Jacobs.

"The Census data only confirms what residents of Central Otago already know. While growth is advantageous for the local economy, a key challenge will be managing the growth into the future. We need to ensure that Central Otago remains an amazing place to be for residents and visitors alike, while standards of services and infrastructure keep pace with growth."

Over the last term the Council committed to future proofing the region with the adoption of the Cromwell Spatial Plan, which provides for a coordinated approach to growth management for Cromwell over the next 30 years, and has supported similar spatial planning work to commence for Alexandra and Clyde. Delivery of this work, as well as maintaining progress of the Lake Dunstan Water Supply, Clyde Wastewater and Clyde Heritage Precincts projects are key priorities, Ms Jacobs said.

Other statistics on usual resident population in Otago:

Waitaki – increase of 7.1%
Clutha – increase of 4.6%
Dunedin – increase of 5%
Queenstown Lakes – increase of 38.7%
Otago region as a whole – increase of 11.2%


Page reviewed: 30 Sep 2019 8:25pm