SOLGM has partnered with Data Ventures to produce a report looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local CBD populations.

Using aggregated and anonymised mobile data, the report looks at the population of eight central business districts, creating population estimates of residents and visitors in New Zealand every hour down to the suburb level.

The report finds a 19 percent decease in average population compared to before COVID-19, which is to be expected following a lockdown. Auckland saw the largest decrease, followed by Rotorua and Tauranga. Christchurch and Dunedin were closest to normal. This may be due to the majority of COVID-19 cases being in the North Island.

Kate Macnaught, SOLGM’s Manager, Sector Improvement, said this report shows how important data can be in determining what changes are taking place in a community and helps councils to shape their responses and their service delivery to match the needs of their city or district.

Data Ventures is the commercial arm of Stats NZ, sourcing and providing data that is not readily available. It obtains datasets and turns them into useful products.