Lovin’ our corner of the world

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, June 11th, 2008 - 22 comments
Categories: culture, International - Tags:

Wanting something that’s great to be even better is no bad thing – but the Mercer 2008 Quality of Living survey our today shows we’ve quite a bit to be happy about.

Auckland (#5 in the world) is the city in Asia Pacific with the best quality of living, followed by Sydney (#10) and Wellington (#12). It’s worth noting that Auckland and Wellington are the same as last year whereas Sydney has slipped slightly (#9 to #10). Melbourne and Perth are ranked 17 and 21 respectively.

The Herald reports:

They’re the very things we love to complain about, but public transport, a top-notch health service and attractive rental accommodation make New Zealand’s cities among the best places in the world to live.

Auckland and Wellington both received perfect scores for housing, with surveyors commenting on their attractive rental properties and prestigious residential districts. They tied at 10th in the world for personal safety. In comparison Chicago, Houston and San Francisco are amongst the safest cities in the US, all ranking at 53.

In the UK, London ranks 38, while Birmingham and Glasgow are jointly 56. The highest entry for the United States is Honolulu, appearing at number 28.

The cities with the lowest quality of living ranking are Ndjamena (#211), Khartoum (#212), Brazzaville (#213) and Bangui (#214). Baghdad, ranking 215, retains its position at the bottom of the table.

[Update: Jafapete chips in here.]

22 comments on “Lovin’ our corner of the world”

  1. r0b 1

    But but but — that nice Mr John Key says that New Zealand sucks! Doesn’t New Zealand suck? Crumbling health system! Violent crime! Exodus to Australia! Could it all be just a lie?

  2. An incredible result considering Auckland has the worst public transportation system and the worst sprawl of any developed world city. It certainly doesn’t feel as a world class city to live in (that’s why I live on an island 25km away) due to its rather mediocre facilities and cultural treasures. But then that may be of no importance to multinational expatriate employees the survey is aiming at.

  3. Stephen 3

    “worst”? you’ve not used it much then? Maybe there could be more bus shelters, but other than that i’m not complaining.

  4. Phil 4

    Interesting that Tokyo is ‘only’ 35th… Outside of the polution, I would say it is the single best city I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

    Auckland and Wellington (and London) could learn a lot from the way Japan, Tokyo in particular, runs public transport and ammentities

  5. I have used Auckland public transport daily ever since I migrated here. Not having a car does that to you. Living on an island also helps. So I do know a bit about public transport here and in Europe. Auckland should be in the rankings on a par with an average American city. Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Oslo, even Madrid and Paris are far more pleasant cities to live than Auckland.
    The Mercer survey is only interested in how it feels to live there as an expatriate business man on international salaries and perks and who doesn’t have to deal with everyday horrors such as Fullers, Veolia, Stagecoach – or Manukau and Waitakere City, like the rest of us mortals have to.

    Captcha: Lazarus Canton

  6. Byron 6

    Hows New Zealands child povery rate doing? in 2005 we were 4th worst in the ‘rich’ world, with 1 in 6 children being raised in poverty.

    Has Labour fixed this since then? (not that I expect National do do any better on that front) In the Herald article linked to John Banks said in the context of Auckland “To be frank, there is much room for progress and even more room for improvement.” Apply that to the whole country, and its a hell of an understatement when you look at the big picture.

    [Pitiful. Labour introduced Working For Families in 2005, lifting 70% of children who were lving in poverty out of it. There are no more recent figures than 2001, which the report you quote is based on. We have certainly improved dramatically relative to other countries thanks to WfF high employment and minimum wage increases. You’ve got to do better than this. It’s like fish in a barrel. SP]

  7. r0b 7

    Bryon, that UNICEF report released in 2005 was based on data (for NZ) up to 2001. Our terrible poverty stats at that time were of course a legacy of the National government of the 1990’s, and in particular the mother of all budgets.

    Fortunately child poverty has been slowly decreasing since under Labour led governments.

  8. mike 8

    “But but but — that nice Mr John Key says that New Zealand sucks!”
    No Rob – he says labour sucks and NZ is a great little country that can only get better.
    It may be a bit hard for some leftards to see the difference as their arogance is overwelming but there you go.

  9. mike 9

    And labour thinks NZ is such a great place to live it has to use stock photographs of a happy American family in their campaign material? How embarrassing. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10515612

  10. Helen Clark runs the governments advertising company too? gosh she must be busy you know running helengrad, being all the main posters in the blogsphere, and eating all those babies every day, I dont know how she gets the time!

    Come on this is bloody rediculous, its a stock photograph, who cares where its from? most of them are from America anyway. Can you explain to me what the actual problem is with that not being a New Zealand family? or in future should all government contracts have a clause requiring stock photography to be from New Zealand?

    Please go and read ‘sods fantastic indepth guest post from a few days ago, you coudl leanr a thing or two in regards to style over substance.

  11. Lew 12

    mike: I bet you’d be decrying the expense if, instead of using a $20 stock image, they paid a photographer and models several thousand dollars for an original.

    I think they should have. But I don’t think you think they should have.


  12. fraser 13

    mike – i get your point – but i presume you do know how these things are put together?

    “The family are friends of his who he photographs for stock images”

    yeah i would have prefered some actual new zealanders, but thats the way these things are generaly made.

    stock image = 20 bucks (according to the link)
    paying a photographer, crew, models, location scout etc etc = couple of thousand bucks at least

    also im pretty sure that the only involvement anyone from the labour party would of had in picking the image would have been to pick from about 4 or 5 images that were presented to them by whatever media agency was doing the work.

  13. Seriously, doesn’t this give the lie to the narrative that National, ACT and the right-wing media are trying to construct?

    Uroskin, yes, our public transport isn’t up to European standards, but it is better than most US cities’ that I’ve been in.

    Now, let’s see, the best cities were mostly in German and Switzerland, and the German and Swiss economies are (a) lightly regulated (b) heavily regulated?

    PS Dancer, you forgot this bit: “Auckland’s ‘excellent’ range of restaurants won a special mention.’

  14. Matthew Pilott 15

    No Rob – he says labour sucks and NZ is a great little country that can only get better.
    It may be a bit hard for some leftards to see the difference as their arogance is overwelming but there you go.

    No mike, he frequently attacks New Zealand, and idiots like you good people like you (don’t want to be a party to your lowering the tone to a school yard taunt-fest, whoops) make an assumption that it’s Labour’s fault, because he makes that link once or twice. Then the sheep get in line, as you have, and believe that he can fix anything.

    I don’t think it’s the left who are retards mike.

  15. erikter 16

    Obviously the people doing the survey didn’t go to beautiful and peaceful South Auckland.

  16. outofbed 17

    Mike I know its hard for you
    but a little acknowledgement that Auckland at number 5 and Wellington at number 12 is a really good reflection on how great our country is to live.
    Will the National Party shout this piece of good news from the roof tops ?
    No because it does not fit into their strategy’s of being negative about everything .

    I know as an opposition party for 9 yrs they have to paint a negative picture, but in the unlikely event of them gaining power in 2008
    they will have to work really hard to lift the mood of the nation which they and their media mates have helped subdue

    And yes Labour are not angels and I will not vote for them,
    They have not been very good at decreasing poverty or repealing restrictive employment laws but I am forced to concede they have done extremely well in lots of areas, low unemployment and lifting min wages spring to mind.

    So Mike, look around you, its not too bad in the scheme of things

    I for one am glad to have the opportunity to live in one of the top 5 cities in the world

  17. andy 18

    Brazzaville (#213)

    went there in the late 98, had just been through a RPG and AK47 urban renewal program.

    Potholes are the same the world over, funny that.


    throws hands up in frustration…

  18. andy 19

    erikter, did you read this bit?

    They tied at 10th (auckland and wellington) in the world for personal safety. In comparison Chicago, Houston and San Francisco are amongst the safest cities in the US, all ranking at 53.

    Looks like all those guns don’t make people safe either.

  19. r0b 20

    stock photographs of a happy American family in their campaign material? How embarrassing.

    Yeah, silly Labour for paying for the photo. They should have just done a John Key, as when he ripped off Coldplay’s music without paying on his vanity piece DVD.

  20. andy 21


    you also forgot the GST fiasco from the party of business.

  21. Stephen 22

    Fair enough uroskin, i’ve only used PT in Auckland which I think is fine, not exceptional. Flat ol’ Melbourne had some nice new trams…

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