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Marsden Pt and Ruakaka predicted to grow by a third.

Marsden Pt and Ruakaka predicted to grow by a third.

One Tree Point, home of the Marsden Cove Marina development, will be a population growth hotspot, along with neighbouring Ruakaka. Photo / Michael Cunningham

By Christine Allen

Marsden Point and Ruakaka are predicted to be population growth hotspots, according to a report by Wellington economist company Infometrics.

The area could see a 29 per cent increase in population, with 1120 new residents predicted to move there by 2023, according to the Regional Hotspots Report.

Improved access and spillover from the North Shore in Auckland, and the development of commercial land close to Northport and Refining NZ, were indicators of potential population growth.

The growth prediction report published by Infometrics said expected growth around the area would result in infrastructure improvements.

There were no other areas in Northland earmarked for such growth, according to chief forecaster Gareth Kiernan.

The report stated that population growth was expected with development plans for mixed-use commercial and residential areas between Ruakaka and One Tree Point.

Census 2013 figures revealed a population growth spurt in Ruakaka as the “usually resident” population for the Marsden Point-Ruakaka area had grown from 2913 in 2006 to 3543 in 2013. This was the biggest population increase in the Whangarei district.

While Northland had not experienced the same halo effect as Bay of Plenty or Waikato, Whangarei would experience fast population growth.

“Whangarei is not red hot on its own,” Mr Kiernan said, adding that Whangarei District Council planning and zoning suggested growth and population was being funnelled into the area south of the city.

Northland Inc chief executive David Wilson said Northland was sending the right message to potential investors.

Central government was “making the right noises” around improving digital and physical connectivity for the region, he said.

The business community takes no notice of boundaries so in a sense, Mr Wilson said, Ruakaka could be a business suburb of Auckland.

“Ruakaka is just one hour from Silverdale, there are cheaper houses, it’s by the beach and all still connected.”

In its latest Regional Roundup, Westpac economists said Northland was going through a strong rebound, with economic and employment confidence bouncing back.

People moving to the region implied a demand for retail goods and services, and vehicles.

Thursday, 01 December 2016 By Christine Allen  The Northern Advocate.