While the NZ population overall continues to grow, a large proportion of towns and communities in rural or peripheral areas exhibit near-certain stagnation (Cameron infra) or decline in their populations (Jack & Brabyn infra). This is in part due to declining fertility and aging, and in part due to migration for economic or amenity-related reasons (Brabyn infra).
This is not, however, the fate of all such areas, as it has long been thought that rural areas can benefit from growth spill-overs from nearby urban agglomeration.
Cochrane, William and David C. Mare. 2017. "Urban influence and population change in New Zealand" Policy Quarterly Vol 13 Supplementary Issue, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Wellington, New Zealand.