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Auckland Has Work Ahead to Catch up "Liveability"

6 October 2005

Media release

Auckland Has a Lot of Work Ahead to Catch Up with “Liveability” of Australian Cities

With all Australia’s major cities ranked in the top 4 of the world’s most liveable cities, compared to Auckland’s 20th, “we have a lot of work to do to lift our game,” said Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

He was commenting on The Economist magazine’s latest ranking of the world’s most liveable cities in which:

- Melbourne is ranked 2nd with Vienna and Geneva, behind Vancouver at number one;

- Perth, Adelaide and Sydney tied at number three; and

- Brisbane was ranked 4th, with four other cities.

In contrast, Auckland and Wellington tied with several other cities at 20th of the 63 cities that fell into the top liveability bracket in the Economist’s survey.

“If Aucklanders make a shared commitment to lift our game, I cannot see why any of the Australian cities or Vancouver should be a more liveable city than Auckland,” said Mr Barnett.

“Our environmental assets are just as good as any of the higher ranked cities – if not better. Clearly, factors that disadvantage Auckland are things we have created ourselves,” he said. “Our incomplete and confusing transport infrastructure is a big difference from Australian cities and Vancouver, but so also is the standard of living that is available.”

The annual gross domestic product (GDP) difference between New Zealand and Australia and Canada is now $7500 and $8500 respectively. “This means that someone working in an Australian city doing the same job as in Auckland will earn around $150 more a week.”

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Mr Barnett said the recent announcements by Auckland City to make the City more attractive for hosting events, coupled with the initiative by the Regional Council to promote Auckland’s attractiveness as a destination to work and live, were very timely. “Our collective challenge in the period ahead is to convert our rhetoric into actions and results.”

With the right strategy, Auckland should be able to become a top liveable city alongside Vancouver, he concluded.


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