Category Archives: Personal economics

Hamilton’s car free households

On 2013 census day (see transport) 8.2 percent (4,173) of Hamilton’s 50,388 households had zero access to a car; this represented a change from 10.1 percent (4,188) of Hamilton’s 41,385 households in the 2001 census, but an increase from the 2006 census of 7.7 percent (3,531) of 45,828 households.

Hamilton Unit Area - Carless households 2001  document1

As a comparison, the unit areas Hamilton central at 24.5% and Insoll at 21% are similar to what is found in the London Boroughs of Bromley (23%), Richmond upon Thames (23.7%) and Bexley (23.7%). Source: Do parking standards matter

Hamilton car registrations 2005-14

Question: are we growing the fleet?

There are 188,499 cars registered in Hamilton. Assuming cars are normally driven for approximately 20 years, to replace the total fleet of cars in Hamilton we would need to register 9,425 cars per year. What we see from the graph above is that this is not happening. In fact the 10-year average for Hamilton is 6,910 cars registered per year. With the average age of cars in New Zealand being already 13.8 years (older than the 11.6 years as recorded in 2001), it is very possible that the total number of registered cars in Hamilton may not increase in the near future, as older cars start to be deregistered at a faster rate than new cars are added.

Source: NZTA motor vehicle registration statistics 2013 and Hamilton economic development Sep14 report


Tauranga – Auckland travel options

Posted on by 3 comments

When travelling between places, people have different priorities.

Tauranga is located about 200 km from Auckland’s downtown. To get between Tauranga and Auckland there are several transportation options. This post tries to rank options, considering the frequency, time and cost of each, to choose the best transportation option, as summarised below.

Ranking Mode Frequency Time Cost Score
(lower is better)
1 Bus 12 per day (2) 3 h 25 min (3) $10-$20 (1) 2+3+1= 6
2 Air 7 per day (3) 1 h 55 min (1) $66-$270 (3) 3+1+3= 7
2 Car On demand (1) 2 h 45 min (2) $114-$253 (4) 1+2+4= 7
3 Cycle Once per day (4) 12 h (5) $23-$33 (2) 4+5+2= 11
4 Rail Very rare (5) 5 h 30 min (4) $115 (5) 5+4+5= 14


1. By Bus

Note travel time is over an hour more than that by private car. I do not find it is easy to understand why this is, when the bus is using the same infrastructure, even stops don’t account for this.

Frequency – Intercity offers 3 direct buses (via Waihi or Thames) and 4 that require transfer in Hamilton, while Naked Bus offers 3 direct and 2 that need transfers in Hamilton. This gives a total of 6 direct buses and 6 requiring transfers.

Time – 3h 25 min – 3h 55min – 4 h 15 min – 4 hour 12 minutes to 4 hour 30 minutes – 6 h 45 min .

Here are links to Intercity and Naked Bus, the timings are unclear.

The Cost is low – $10 to $35.

2. Air travel or drive-fly-bus (a mix of modes).

Frequency – Air New Zealand provides up to 7 flights per day.

Time – Arrive 30 minutes before flight, plus 35 minutes flying time, plus 50 minutes Bus to CBD equals 1 hour 55 minutes.

Note:  Auckland airbus  transfers take approximately 40-60 min. Times can vary depending on traffic conditions. Please allow 1 hour travel time.

Cost – $50 to $254 for flight plus $16 airport bus to Auckland downtown, equals $96 to $270. (not included is $10 Tauranga airport car parking).

3. By Car

Frequency – Can be troublesome during rush hour and parking can be difficult and expensive.

Time – Plan on about 2 hours 45 minute of travel time, though stops and traffic will add to overall time. The most direct route takes you through Waihi on SH2 to SH1 over Bombay hills.

Cost – The distance is about 205 km, The AA puts the cost between $0.53 to $1.08 per km  making the drive cost between $108 to $221, plus parking which can cost between $6 to $32, equals $114 at cheapest and up to $253.

4. By Bicycle

Frequency – Once per day.

Time – 12 hours.

Cost –  $0.11 to $0.16 per km x 205 km = $23 to $33.

5. By Train

A low-stress option. Can take as long as five and a half hours, costs $115, very low Frequency – last train was in 2010.