Mata­mata takes ti­tle of dis­trict’s big­gest town

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STEWART ni­cola.stewart@wrcn.co.nz

Mata­mata’s pop­u­la­tion has shot up al­most 12.5 per cent since 2006, mak­ing it the largest town in Mata­mata-Pi­ako.

Num­bers re­leased by Sta­tis­tics New Zealand this month show Mata­mata’s pop­u­la­tion climbed from 6309 in 2006, to 7092 at the time of this year’s cen­sus.

Mor­rinsville recorded a smaller rise of 5.9 per cent from 6603 to 6993, and Te Aroha in­creased by 3.5 per cent from 3771 to 3903.

Mata­mata Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Sue Whit­ing said the of­fi­cial num­bers came as no sur­prise.

‘‘The town is feel­ing vi­brant, en­er­getic and busy so it’s of no sur­prise to us,’’ she said.

‘‘We have no doubt that that fig­ure re­flects the sort of en­ergy that’s in the town at the mo­ment ... cer­tainly the in­flux of res­i­dents at Park­side Vil­las and the new fam­i­lies we are see­ing.

‘‘Growth [in pop­u­la­tion] re­flects di­rectly on the eco­nomic growth for busi­nesses and it se­cures our strong branded busi­nesses in town – by that I mean it keeps our su­per­mar­kets busy and it also gives na­tion­wide busi­nesses the con­fi­dence to start new busi­nesses in our town.’’

Though Mata­mata is on the up, the num­ber of peo­ple who usu­ally live in Wa­haroa fell 8.2 per cent from 507 in 2006 to 465 this year – al­most a 13 per cent drop since the 2001 cen­sus.

Pop­u­la­tions in Hin­uera and Te Poi were more sta­ble, with Hin­uera in­creas­ing 2 per cent from 891 to 909, and Te Poi drop- ping 2.1 per cent from 819 to 801.

The Okauia area also showed a slight shift of 2.8 per cent from 1911 in 2006 to 1965, while Wal­ton-Wai­hou fell 7.9 per cent from 4344 to 3999.

Over­all, the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict pop­u­la­tion rose by just 3.4 per cent from 30,480 to 31,536.

Cen­sus night was March 5, two years later than planned be­cause of the Can­ter­bury earth­quakes.

There were 4.24 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing in New Zealand on cen­sus night – 214,101 more than in 2006.

Ka­t­rina Tanirau and Ni­cola Stewart were there. Op­por­tu­nity of a life­time: Mata­mata Col­lege rugby play­ers lis­ten in­tently dur­ing a Q&A ses­sion with All Blacks Ju­lian Savea, Owen Franks, T J Per­e­nara and Jeremy Thrush. Meet­ing their idols: Hun­dreds of peo­ple lined up at Bed­ford Park in­clud­ing An­son Waru, 5, to have rugby balls, All Blacks jer­seys and what­ever else they could get their hands on signed by All Blacks Ju­lian Savea, Owen Franks, T J Per­e­nara and Jeremy Thrush. Stoked: Ethan Kaukau and Ki­wara McMoses, both 10, af­ter hav­ing their rugby balls signed by All Blacks Ju­lian Savea, Owen Franks, T J Per­e­nara and Jeremy Thrush.

Boom­ing: Mata­mata is now the largest town in the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict.

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