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Whether you call this city Wanganui, or Whanganui it's “well worth the journey"

Population: 43,269

Whanganui, has a rich and diverse cultural history with the famous Wanganui river flowing through the township, yes you can spell the name of this city both ways after the inclusion of the "H" in recent years brought about by a consensus, either spelling is acceptable.

Rafting, fishing, jet boating, kayaking, and generally exploring this fascinating river and bustling close community environment are all activities for those living in Wanganui. The city is also the location of where the recently released film “The River Queen” was filmed.

The secret's out, Whanganui is the place to be.

The city and district population has grown by 700 people in the last year - the biggest annual increase since population changes were first recorded in 1996.


District population now stands at 44,500 and is the highest it's been in 18 years, the Whanganui District Council announced, citing latest census test figures.

"The population increase reflects what people are experiencing – a lot of Whanga-newbies, rising house prices, and a growing economy," Mayor Hamish McDouall said.

"The previous two government projections did not seem to reflect the growth that most people could see around them, but the test census has clearly flagged that Whanganui is becoming more popular."

Whanganui is number six on the list of growth areas for house sales in New Zealand and is experiencing what has become known as the "catch-up effect".

The housing market is similar to other asset markets in the sense that once one area becomes too expensive, buyers look for other areas to purchase.

When house prices surged in Auckland, buyers moved on to other large urban areas such as Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, and Dunedin.

After prices in those areas escalated, buyers moved on to "next ring out" which saw inflation begin to surge in places like Rotorua, Whakatane, Carterton, Upper Hutt, Invercargill, and Palmerston North.

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