Like many countries, the New Zealand population increase has “slowed to a crawl” according to news provider ‘Stuff’.  Recently released population statistics for the year ended September 2012 show that live births decreased by 1799, while deaths increased by 249.

Despite both areas’ increasing house prices, the largest decreases in births were in Auckland (down 2%) and Canterbury (down 6%).  The reason for the decrease in Canterbury is thought to be partly explained by the traumatic earthquake which occurred there two years ago.  People are still getting back on their feet and, understandably, many do not feel that’s it’s been a great time for them to have a baby.

Not surprisingly, compared to previous decades deaths were increasingly concentrated in the older age groups.  The reason for this could be both better healthcare and the fact that there are simply more older people now. 

I hope that, with fewer babies and children around, that New Zealand society will continue to be tolerant of children.  My sister-in-law was recently surprised that a twenty-something young woman became upset with her because her two young children were ‘taking up the showers’ at a local swimming pool (they weren’t adults only showers).  As there are fewer children in cafes and toddlers having tantrums in shops, will society forget that dealing with families of all shapes, sizes and noise levels is a part of life in a community?  To be honest, this has never been my experience in Auckland, but I hope not!

Shannon Roberts

Shannon Roberts is co-editor of MercatorNet's blog on population issues, Demography is Destiny. While she has a background as a barrister, writing has been a life-long passion and she has contributed...