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Census of businesses in Auckland’s city centre: January 2020 and changes since 2017

Ting Huang
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:  

From the Executive summary:

Auckland’s city centre is of strategic importance regionally and nationally. This is reflected in the Auckland Plan 2050 and the recently refreshed City Centre Masterplan, which sets out practical ways to develop the city centre so it can continue to thrive economically and cater for the needs of Auckland’s diverse population. Understanding the structure and distribution of business activities in Auckland’s city centre contributes to Auckland Council’s ability to work with stakeholders to deliver positive outcomes.

This report presents findings from a census of businesses for the city centre, undertaken by Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) in January 2020 (prior to the Covid-19 pandemic). It is a snapshot in time, and updates a similar census undertaken by RIMU in 2017. It focuses on the core business area within the city centre, where employment density is the highest.

The study area was divided into seven zones based on main streets or business areas: Skycity and Elliott, Lower Albert and Hobson, Commercial Bay, Central Queen Street Valley, High Street and Chancery, Shortland Street and Britomart (see Figure A, page iii).

For each meshblock within the study area, information on the use of space (e.g. retail, office, vacant etc.), name, address and main activities of businesses located in each building was recorded on a survey sheet. The census was limited to the inclusion of businesses or premises (including vacant) with publicly accessible information visible from the street and on signage in building foyers, therefore findings are indicative and may not be complete. Businesses were classified according to the Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC 06) by the research team.

It is perhaps useful to note that this census of businesses was undertaken while significant infrastructure works were underway in the city centre, including the City Rail Link project, and the development of the PWC Tower and the Commercial Bay retail centre. As mentioned above, it was also undertaken prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated
economic downturn. ...

Auckland Council technical report, TR2020/018

September 2020