Investigating small town shrinkage in the Clutha District of New Zealand and the local response
Husband, Mathew David
Throughout history population centres, of any size, have always fluctuated in prosperity, population, and production activities. Current international trends, such as globalisation and urbanisation have created megacities with ever-expanding populations and economies. In contrast, the same trends have begun to cause shrinkage in some parts of the world. Some small towns can be particularly vulnerable to international trends which can destabilise their populations and/ or economies. Multiple examples of this are found in New Zealand such as in towns within the southern district of Clutha. Towns in the Clutha District have been impacted by the rural to urban migration trends seen across the world as well as globalisation which creates large-scale manufacturing as opposed to the relatively small manufacturing offered by small towns. Shrinkage can have negative impacts on small towns and their communities which prompts the need for a response to slow, stop or mitigate the issues related to shrinkage.This research aims to understand the impacts and responses to population loss and economic instability which has taken place in small towns within the Clutha District. The case study towns of Kaitangata and Lawrence were chosen as these towns highlight the varying geographic, social, and economic identities of the Clutha District. The aim of this thesis is to find out how councils, communities, and individuals are affected by economic and demographic change and how they are responding to the impacts of shrinkage. Through developing an understanding of the impacts and possible responses to this issue, this research could help in creating more effective responses that lessen the negative effects of shrinkage in small towns.
Advisor: Nel, Etienne
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: "Small town", shrinkage, "New Zealand", "urban shrinkage"
Research Type: Thesis