Population and Growth

Whakatupuraka o te Taupori

The Queenstown Lakes District is considered to be a high growth district within New Zealand. To help address this key challenge and help with future planning, we have developed comprehensive demand projections.

Demand Projections

These projections consider COVID-19 in the short-term, all figures are projected out 30 years.  They cover:

  • Resident population

  • Number of visitors (day visitors, visitors in private residences and those in commercial accommodation)

  • Number of occupied and unoccupied dwellings that will be required in the future

  • Number of visitor units that will be required in the future

This information is analysed to compare numbers on an average day and on a peak day for all of our communities - urban, rural, large and small.

The demand projections consider a range of things including national data from Statistics NZ, migration and tourism numbers, building and resource consent data, analysis on existing zoned capacity and a review of development trends.

Frequently asked questions

  • The projections are based on Statistics NZ (Stats NZ) Usually Resident Population which are the official estimates of population in New Zealand.

    The QLDC methodology incorporates additional information which provides for a more robust,
    localised and multi-dimensional model that has proven to be more accurate. The approach considers a range of data sources including Stats NZ, census data, resource and building consents, Housing and Business Capacity Assessments, migration data, Data Ventures information, Infometrics projections (including those produced by Waka Kotahi) and tourism and visitor accommodation projections.

    The previous projections were produced in a period of unprecedented uncertainty as the COVID-19 situation was unfolding. The updated projections use the latest information from these sources and the observed impact of COVID-19 on migration, the economy and construction activity.

  • Demand projections include forecasts of resident population, visitor numbers, houses and ratings units. These are forecast out 30 years for all Queenstown Lakes District communities.

    These forecasts include several sub-categories including average and peak day visitation, resident homes and holiday homes, and various ratings unit categories. Peak day visitation assumes all Queenstown Lakes district communities have their peak day simultaneously and in practice is only likely on very few days over the Christmas/New Year period. Visitor numbers are projected alongside resident numbers to give a true sense of the demand on the district’s infrastructure, and providing a peak day forecast ensures that infrastructure demands are met year round. Longer term, visitor numbers are based off historic trends in the ratio of visitors to residents. The Queenstown Lakes’ Destination Management Plan and work identifying optimal tourism numbers, are not currently considered in these visitation projections.

  • The projections are utilised across Council in all workstreams, which includes:

    • The Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan

    • Ten Year Plan

    • 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy

    • Proposed District Plan

    • Annual Plan

    • Development Contribution Policy

    • Business Cases

    • Masterplans

    • Strategies / Policies

    • Housing and Business Capacity Assessments

    Demand projections are forecasts of future demand on resources and infrastructure based solely on data available at the point in time the projections are calculated. They are not goals or targets, or developed with any particular policy outcomes in mind, but simply outline potential growth in line with current and historical data and are used to assist short-term and long-term planning needs. Unforeseen events such as natural disaster, another pandemic, or changes in government legislation are not incorporated into the calculation of the projections.

  • Makarora falls within the Hāwea projections as the area units used follow those of Statistics New Zealand.

  • We will aim to release this data every six months - in June and December.