Dunedin’s population of 4.3 million people is more than double the size of Auckland and about a third of the size in New Zealand.
However, the city’s population has been increasing steadily since the early 2000s, as a result of the arrival of the new generation of families, who tend to be older.
In the last decade Dunedin has experienced a surge in families, with more than half the population now living in households, up from 43 per cent a decade earlier.
Dunedin is home to some of the country’s largest employers, including the Dunedin City Council and Dunedin Airport.
It also has the highest number of young people living in Dunedin, with over 25 per cent of residents aged 15-24.
In addition, Dunedin ranks second only to Wellington in the number of families that are married or living together.
The most recent Census showed that around 1,000 people live in Dunstons household, and nearly 200 families are married.
This is a small but significant increase from the previous census, which showed just 2,200 families.
Dunston residents say Dunedin should be more welcoming to families.
In a survey of more than 1,500 people conducted in 2016, 58 per cent said that Dunstones’ hospitality towards people from other parts of New Zealand was “not at all bad”.
The survey found that more than 50 per cent felt Dunstoning had a “good reputation” and that Dunstonians were “friendly, helpful and caring”.
This was a more favourable view than Aucklanders, who were rated as being “somewhat friendly” by 61 per cent.
This could be because Dunstonerians are more likely to be employed in other parts and have a higher level of education.
“If you go to a hotel in Auckland, people will walk out and say, ‘We can’t live here’,” said Paula Gudmundsson, chief executive of Dunston Neighbourhood, a Dunston organisation which helps families make the transition to the new century.
“In Dunston, the number one problem is a lack of social services.
The main problem is that the social housing that’s there, which is very small, has been so overcrowded.
We are very much in a rental crisis, so we’ve had to go to people in their homes.”
Ms Gudundsson said there was a sense that Dunsteons community had “lost the will to live”, with the recent “crisis of housing”.
Dunstone parents said they had been told by staff at the Auckland Council they could move to Dunstony and get on with their lives.
However there were fears that this might not be possible, with Dunston residents concerned about their own future.
Ms Gaudmundsson said Dunstonal residents were worried about what could happen if the council did not offer them accommodation.
“They said to us, ‘This is going to be a huge financial burden, you can’t do it on your own, you’re going to have to get married’,” she said.
“We have had a very good relationship with Dunstoons social services and we’ve been given the support that we need to get through this transition.”
Dunstoned councillor, Jane Keady, said it was time for the council to look at how to support families, rather than being “too busy”.
She said Dunston’s population growth was “the greatest of any city in the world”, with a number of services being provided to people.
“People have been doing a lot of the hard work,” she said, adding that the council had seen the “greatest number of referrals” for services in recent years.
Dunston Council is currently negotiating with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to increase the number and size of social housing in Dunston to accommodate the increase in population.
The council said the new homes should not be too small, as many Dunston families would prefer them to be.
“The council is looking at how we can help people to move into a home where they can stay, but it is a very important consideration to look after the social needs of Dunstoon families,” Ms Keadie said.
The DHCD said it had provided “up to 20,000 social housing units across the Dunstón and Auckland regions” in 2017, with a focus on the need to increase “community resilience”.
“It is critical to provide affordable housing for those with limited means and to ensure access to essential social services for those who need them,” the DHCD’s chief executive, Michael Gubbins, said in a statement.
“These services will be delivered to households at a level that supports their needs, while providing an affordable home for Dunstontons children and families.”
In a statement to the ABC, Dunston council said it would continue to work with the DHCC and other agencies to “make sure that Dunsten families are not left out