KEYNOTE ADDRESS PRESENTED TO THE NEW ZEALAND POPULATION CONFERENCE HELD AT UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO, HAMILTON, 29 JUNE 2015.
The recent floods in Whanganui and Rangataiki have served as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of regional New Zealand.
Part of the problem for Whanganui and Rangataiki Districts is their demography. These communities are small in scale, somewhat scattered, relatively poor and aging quickly.
Perhaps one of the biggest problems facing the Manawatu-Whanganui region, and many small regions like it, are forecasts of a rapidly aging population who most likely will find it more and more difficult to
afford to pay for local infrastructure let alone the repairs to such infrastructure from storm damage.
This paper attempts to flesh out this challenge a little more by looking at the challenges and opportunities which an aging population offers for New Zealand’s smaller regions.