New Zealand Traffic Data

Steven Morrison
July 22, 2020

When you ventured out to the supermarket during lockdown, I bet you noticed waaaay less traffic on the roads. I live in the Wellington CBD, and it was really weird walking around with no people, no traffic for weeks.

It got me wondering about the data; Thankfully StatsNZ had me covered for the data I needed.

Now that life is returning to normal, so is the traffic! We are slowly trending up, with this trend likely to continue as more and more people return to the office after being at home for 4+ weeks.

I’ve focused on light vehicles for this blog as they are the ones most people drive around day to day.


This orange graph shows the traffic levels in Wellington for a period in 2019 as a base line of what is the norm for this time of the year. For an insight to the numbers I have pulled out the 22 April for each location and year for the 22 April of 2019 in Wellington there was 32,714 light vehicles recorded.

As a stark contrast to what we see with the 2019 data, here is what we have seen over a similar period from the start of 2020 in Wellington. On the 22 April of 2020 in Wellington there was 10,000 light vehicles recorded.

We have some OptimalBI staff in different places in New Zealand so I thought I would look at the cities the remote offices are located in as well – Auckland and Christchurch. Both places show a major drop in traffic – I’m sure that is not a surprise to you at all.


The purple graph below is the data for light vehicles in Christchurch for the start of 2019. On the 22 April of 2019 in Christchurch there was 11,069 light vehicles recorded.

Now once more we have the data for 2020 over a similar period. On the 22 April of 2020 in Christchurch there was 4,326 light vehicles recorded.


And finally, we have the numbers for Auckland at the start of 2019. On the 22 April of 2019 in Auckland there was 105,662 light vehicles recorded.

Then the similar period for 2020. On the 22 April of 2020 in Auckland there was 35,652 light vehicles recorded.

The pure number of cars not on the road during the lockdown period around New Zealand is staggering, and I’m sure that the cars being gone for this time has done good things for the environment. No doubt the effects of this worldwide lock-down will be studied for years to come.

All graphs made with Rapid Miner

Stay Safe Be Kind


Image of Steven Morrison with the OptimalBI logo in the background.

Steven Morrison is a design innovation grad who’s part of the team here at OptimalBI, so you’ll find him squirreling away working on stuff that helps make us look good. 

Connect with Steven on LinkedIn, or read some of his other blogs here.

Copyright © 2019 OptimalBI LTD.