New Zealand’s economic heart and largest city, Auckland also is a vibrant cultural hub and one of the world’s most liveable cities according to several surveys.
Located in the upper half of the North Island, Auckland is not just a city, it is a region that spreads over 5,000 km2 and is home to one third of the country’s population. It is hard to find a more diverse city anywhere in the world: expansive nature reserves, countless beaches, two harbours, vineyards, a bustling cafe scene, trending restaurants, etc.
A DIVERSE REGION STEEPED IN HISTORY
The isthmus was settled by Māori as early as mid-14th century, partly because of its its rich and fertile soil, so close to the sea, and oceanic to subtropical climate (with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters). It is not often known that Auckland was the administrative capital of New Zealand for a short while (1842-1865) before Wellington was chosen as a better alternative due to its proximity to the South Island. However, Auckland very much remains the economic capital of New Zealand. Several waves of European settlements in the 19th century, or the implementation of an immigration policy in the late 1990s allowing Asian migration, all contributed to creating a vibrant, multicultural city with over 180 ethnic groups. This is reflected in the diversity of festivals and art institutions. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world and slightly more inhabitants of Asian origin than the rest of New Zealand.
ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST LIVEABLE CITIES
Auckland has a wealth of features, making it a destination of choice for many migrants. Over half of new settlers in the country will choose it as their new home and just over one third of Aucklanders were born outside of New Zealand. As a matter of fact, the 2014 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 3rd place in the world on its list, while the Economist’s World’s most liveable cities index of 2011 ranked Auckland in 9th place.
Uniquely located, Auckland lies on and around an isthmus, less than two kilometres wide at its narrowest point. With two harbours, the city boasts over 3,700km of coastline! It is easy to understand why “City of Sails” is one of its most popular nicknames. 135,000 yachts and launches are registered in the city. Swimming beaches, surf spots, short walks or long hikes will delight those with a love of the outdoors. Queen Street, Britomart, Ponsonby Road, Karangahape Road, Newmarket and Parnell are popular shopping areas.
ONE THIRD OF NEW ZEALAND’S EMPLOYMENT
With over 1/3 of the country’s GDP and 1/3 of New Zealand’s paid employment, Auckland is an easy choice for those seeking a first job. Migrants looking to first study in New Zealand will also find several internationally renowned schools and universities to choose from and Auckland is the most educated city in the country. As New Zealand’s economic spear head, Auckland’s industries focus on food and beverage manufacturing and hospitality, business services (lawyers, accountants, marketing/management services), IT services, or building trades. Job opportunities also lay in tourism services.