Release: Statistics New Zealand
Commuting by car in Christchurch continues to increase
The Canterbury earthquakes had a major effect on commuting patterns in greater Christchurch, according to Statistics New Zealand research released today. Data from the 2013 Census reveals that fewer people work in the central business district – meaning more car commuters, and fewer people on the bus.
Commuting patterns in greater Christchurch shows that 84.0 percent of commuters in greater Christchurch used a car to get to work on census day on 5 March 2013 – up from 82.3 percent at the previous census in 2006.
“Clearly the earthquakes caused a lot of disruption, and our research shows that employment became significantly more dispersed. The employment density in the CBD declined a lot, which has meant people changed the way they travel to work,” researcher Rosemary Goodyear said. “We’ve also seen a large increase in population in Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, with more people commuting into Christchurch city.
“Interestingly, company car use is up too. About 1 in 6 people in greater Christchurch got to work that way in 2013, compared with around 1 in 8 in 2006. Those numbers are particularly high in the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts.”
Bus use fell from 4.4 percent to 3.1 percent of greater Christchurch’s 176,919 commuters on census day in 2013. Meanwhile, the proportion of people walking, jogging, or cycling grew.
“With its largely flat terrain, Christchurch city has traditionally had a high proportion of people cycling to work, and that increased slightly – to 7.0 percent in 2013. Only Nelson had a higher proportion of cycling commuters,” Dr Goodyear said.
Almost 1 in 3 employed people who lived in central Christchurch walked or jogged to work, although this was less than the 1 in 2 in central Auckland who walked or jogged to work.
The research shows that as at March 2013, Canterbury was the second-largest region in terms of workplace addresses. With 255,480 people giving a workplace address in Canterbury, the region was ahead of Wellington at 220,434, but behind Auckland at 596,313.
In 2013, New Zealand had 2,001,006 employed people – up from 1,985,775 in 2006.
The census gives information about where people live and where people work. Local and central governments use this information for transport planning.
For more information about commuting, see Commuting patterns in Wellington and Commuting patterns in Auckland.
For more information about these statistics:
• Visit Commuting patterns in greater Christchurch – report