Cook County assessor Sam Cook said he was pleased with the county’s ranking, and said it was important to recognise the fact that most of the country’s population are still moving out of the county and into suburbs.
“It’s a good measure of the way people are going to live in the next five years,” he said.
He said he had heard a lot of people talk about their dissatisfaction with the local area.
Mr Cook said it would be hard to make a direct comparison because the counties’ rankings were based on what people in the county were doing.
While Mr Cook said the county was in the top half of the nation, he admitted it was not as good as the national average.
Auckland’s population has grown by around 200,000 people in five years, while Wellington’s has grown about 100,000, he said, but the figures were not comparable.
The Cook County Council said the average annual cost for housing in the regional area was $2,900.
This included about $3,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
About 10 per cent of the cost of a home in the Cook County region was spent on rent, the council said.
The council said the majority of households in the region had incomes in the $50,000 to $60,000 bracket.
People in the lower-income bracket would be forced to rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families, Mr Cook noted.
Many of the people living in the higher income bracket would pay a small amount in rent, which would then be used to pay for essential needs, he added.
The county’s overall population density was 1,200 people per square kilometre, with just under 7 per cent people living below the poverty line, the government’s report found.
However, it also noted that in the area’s suburbs, people were moving into smaller and more dense housing.
In Auckland, the city’s population density is less than 10 per square mile, with a little over 4 per cent living below poverty line.
It is important to note that these figures are just averages.
It is not possible to compare a census metropolitan area with the Cook region.
On average, people in each region would spend around $300 a week, which included about half on housing costs.
One of the main concerns for the region’s residents is the loss of a healthy population, the report said.
“In the past decade, more than 80 per cent more people in New Zealand have been diagnosed with obesity than were in 2000.
These trends have meant the population of Auckland has grown from 564,000 in 2000 to 765,000 today.” More: