A small but diverse Community

This content researched and provided by University of Auckland Urban Planning Students Josh Davies, Tom Caiger, Reina Kumar, Antonia McClean and Jun Tang in 2012.

As local residents of their community, many in Grafton are active members within their community, involved in a variety of groups, including the Grafton Residents Association, which has had a strong presence in the community for decades. With communal projects such as community gardens and the aesthetic beautification through the promotion of public art, Grafton is certainly cared for by its beloved residents.

In terms of the residents of the community, Grafton is home to a wide variety of people. With families, both young and old, elderly couples and students all residing within the area, Grafton holds a unique balance in terms of its people. Though this balance contributes to the diversity of the area, the population shifts in the area are worthy of note. As each year passes, the number of students living in the Grafton community fluctuates, largely dependent on the availability of flats and the costs of rent in comparison to other areas. Since the balance amongst Grafton residents changes annually, the need for stability would contribute to the balance of Grafton residents. An increase in the amount of families with children in the area, along with young homeowners, would add to the residential diversity of Grafton, as demonstrated in data for the area provided by Statistics New Zealand (Stats NZ).

Many Residents comment on how much they enjoy living in the area. Long term Residents tend to be over 30 years and are a mix of homeowners and renters. For those not owning their own homes, there is still a strong sense of connection with the Community which is unusual in most parts of Auckland.

Here are some key facts supplied by the students taken from Stastics New Zealand Census data between 1996-2006:

  • The population of Grafton has remained fairly consistent with between 3,500 – 3,800 residents living in the suburb.
  • Due to the high student population in the area, the median age of residents is skewed lower than the national average – people aged 20-29 years were the predominant age group.
  • The student population also influences the short length of stay for many residents, with one third of people having lived in the area for less than 4 years.
  • Grafton is dominant by European Ethnic Groups with an overrepresentation of Asian Ethnic Groups and an underrepresentation of Pacific Peoples.
  • The majority of residents do not associate themselves with any religion and there is a significant overrepresentation of single and never married/never joined in civil union people in the area. This probably explains why households without children dominate the community.
  • Residents tend to be educated to a high level and living in rented accommodation. Fewer residents own their own home in Grafton than other central city suburbs.