City of the Month – Auckland
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
On the Britannia Emigration Blog, we regularly look at a popular expat city and highlight a few of the reasons so many people move there. This month, we’re going to take a look at Auckland, New Zealand‘s largest and most populous city that is chosen by over 60% of expats relocating to NZ.
Auckland – The City of Sails
Lying between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, Auckland is surrounded by water from almost all sides, and it is one of the few cities in the world to have harbours on two separate bodies of water. Aucklanders probably own more boats per capita than residents in any other major city, with one in three households owning one.
Quality of Life
Auckland ranked 4th for quality of life in the 2010 Mercer Quality Of Living Survey and is the world’s 10th most liveable city according to The Economist. Some of the most positive things cited by expats about Auckland include the abundance of employment opportunities, free space and leisure activities and the relative affordability. Most expats find it easy to integrate in the local community and to make friends with locals. Some negative points cited by expats are the lack of good public transport, traffic congestion and increasing housing costs.
Many major international corporations have an Auckland office and the city can boast a lively commercial and business life. Auckland is the economic centre of New Zealand and generates around 36% of New Zealand’s GDP. The region has a high median personal income, and the unemployment rate is 8%.
Housing and Living in Auckland
When you first move to Auckland, it is best to live as close to where you work as possible, or near a good transportation option, especially if you don’t have a car. Public transport in Auckland is not used very widely, and roads can become easily congested during peak times. Housing and the local community vary considerably between different areas in Auckland, and while the North Shore and the central parts are quite affluent, the southern part of Auckland is poorer and has higher levels of crime. The North Shore is probably the most popular area with British immigrants.
Leisure & Entertainment
Sailing, fishing, boating and swimming are unsurprisingly some of the most popular leisure activities in Auckland. The Viaduct Basin and the North Shore are dotted with a large number of cafes, restaurants and clubs and can boast a vibrant nightlife. There are also a number of art galleries, theatres and cinemas that you should certainly check out. If you are looking for family entertainment, you can visit the Auckland Zoo or Kelly Tarton’s Underwater World.