Factors Influencing Population Growth
The factors which have influenced the growth of population within the region are easily discerned; the port, the development of the surrounding farming districts, especially the Waikato, the general trend towards urbanisation, and secondary and tertiary employment. An examination of the cargoes moving through the port of Auckland illustrates the role played by the urban area in the economy of the surrounding and predominantly agricultural regions and its role as an industrial and manufacturing centre. Both coastal and overseas shipping are important, the latter accounting for twice the amount of cargo: 126,444 tons of butter, 108,650 tons of milk products, 94,159 tons of frozen meat, 46,119 tons of wool, 20,920 tons of tallow, 16,414 tons of hides and skins, and 13,242 tons of cheese–it amounts to a table of overseas trade–are exported through Auckland. In addition there is a notable coastal trade to other New Zealand ports in iron and steel pipes, manures and machinery, motor vehicle parts, consisting of goods first imported and processed or even manufactured in Auckland. Clearly reflecting some of Auckland's industries is the coastal trade in sugar, 50,307 tons, with a further 10,000 tons leaving the port of Onehunga, manures 17,091 tons, and 13,506 tons of beer and other alcoholic products. The overseas imports are divisible into two categories, those required for the victualling of the urban population and those required for the provisioning of the agricultural and manufacturing industries. In the first category are included 117,742 tons of sugar and 44,925 tons of fresh fruit, both stressing Auckland's connection with the Pacific Island territories, and a further 95,320 tons of grain. In the second category one includes 334,690 tons of motor spirit and 238,424 tons of oil and oil products, 291,820 tons of manure, 169,233 tons of steel and iron pipes, etc., 57,132 tons of machinery, and 44,090 tons of timber.
The growth of manufacturing as a factor in Auckland's development needs stressing, for the Auckland Employment District which corresponds closely with the limits of the region as defined here, includes 22·88 per cent of the total civilian labour force in New Zealand, amounting to 204,000 persons in April 1961. In terms of numbers employed, 71,000, the Auckland region is the most important manufacturing centre of New Zealand and accounts for 30·55 per cent of the total labour force in manufacturing. In addition it has the highest proportion of any region, 34·78 per cent, of its labour force engaged in manufacturing. It does not, however, have an especially distinct industrial structure. For distinctiveness one must go to the Wellington region or, in another sense, to the Dunedin region. In Auckland one-third of the total manufacturing labour force is engaged in the engineering and metal industries and one-fifth is engaged in the textile clothing and other industries, whilst 15 per cent is engaged in food, drink, and tobacco manufacturing industries. It would be true to say, however, that the area is noted for the innovations which are occurring in its industries and for the establishment of many industries that are important to the country's industrial future. As is to be expected, the rate of growth of the total labour force in the Auckland region has been very high in the period 1953–61, 31·67 per cent and the rate of growth of the labour force engaged in manufacturing has been even higher, 33·70 per cent, both rates being above their respective national figures.
Everything points to the Auckland region as being the most dynamic in New Zealand. During the decade 1951–61 the total population increased by 35·60 per cent. Growth was particularly rapid in the peripheral areas; thus the population of Manukau County with its interior boroughs increased by 100·42 per cent, and by 73·72 per cent for Waitemata County and its interior boroughs. Containing as it does one-fifth of the total New Zealand population, the Auckland region ranks as the first region of the Dominion. And in the light of the population projections one can only suppose that its influence in national affairs will increase further. At the turn of the century André Siegfried forecast that, under the benefice of the mild climate and easy life of the northern parts, there would come the emergence of a “new colonial race, differing from the Australians as from the English, and which perhaps will one day be the New Zealand race”. Everyone would agree that the focus of this development now lies in the Auckland region where all the forces are concentrated which are breaking with the old traditions and promoting new ones. In the coming decades the region will be the principal setting for the greatest period of urbanisation, industrialisation, and miscegenation as yet experienced in the short history of the Dominion.
by Samuel Harvey Franklin, B.COM.GEOG., M.A.(BIRMINGHAM), Senior Lecturer, Geography Department, Victoria University of Wellington.
- New Zealand's Industrial Potential, Ward, M. W., and Ward, R. G. eds. (1960), “Industrial Development Within The Auckland Metropolitan Region”, Carr, D.
- New Zealand Geographer, Vol. 15, Oct 1959, “Auckland by Gaslight–an Urban Geography of 1896”, Armstrong, R. W.
- Ibid., Vol 18, Apr 1962, “Development of a City Centre - an Auckland Example”, Dudson, G. H.
- Ibid., Vol. 15, Oct 1959, “Market Gardening in Metropolitan Auckland”, Hunt, T. D.
- Ibid., Vol. 17, Oct 1961, “Aspects of Rural Settlement in the Lowlands of Franklin County”, Kennedy, T. F.
- Ibid., Vol. 14, Apr 1958, “Manufacturing in Auckland - its Origins and Growth, 1840-1936”, Linge, G. J. R.
- Ibid., Vol. 6, Oct 1950, “Metropolitan Auckland 1840-1945”, Pownall, L. L.
- Ibid., Vol. 7, Apr 1951, “Metropolitan Auckland - the Contemporary Character”, Pownall, L. L.
- Ibid., Vol. 17, Apr 1961, “The Age of the Auckland Volcanoes”, Searle, E.J.