The graph below shows the total annual distance driven by residents of each Local Government Region. Travel is dominated by regions with larger populations, and Auckland alone accounts for 30 percent of the total national distance driven. Wellington, Canterbury and Waikato together account for another 30 percent.
The average distance driven per driver* varied across the country. In Gisborne, drivers drove an average of just 6,500 km each in the 1997/98 year, whereas in Northland the average driver drove more than twice as far in the same year. Average driver distances were also low in Nelson/Marlborough (8000 km per year) and on the West Coast (9,000 km per year). Wellington drivers averaged just under 10,000 km per year. Drivers from all other regions drove average annual distances of between 11,000 and 12,500 km.
People in Canterbury and Hawke's Bay cycle the most, averaging more than 150 km a year for every man, woman and child over five.
*A driver is defined as a person who reported driving at least 20 km in the 12 months immediately preceding their survey interview.